By, Sophia Blythe
You might already be one of Logan Paul’s thirteen million YouTube subscribers or Jake Paul’s ten million Instagram followers, in which case I suggest you skip this first paragraph. For those who are not yet familiar with the Paul brothers, be prepared to be sucked into the public lives of two of the biggest stars of 2017. The teenage heartthrobs rose to fame on the social media platform Vine, where their six second videos racked up millions of loops apiece. Taking advantage of their massive (and ever growing) fan base and their talent for relatable comedy, they started a YouTube channel in which they continued their legacy of quirky jokes and borderline dangerous stunts. Jake then scored a spot on the Disney show “Bizaardvark,” playing, not surprisingly, a fun-loving social media star. Meanwhile, Logan pursued his dream of becoming the “Dr. Dre of Media,” as he called himself in an interview with Business Insider. However, Jake beat him to it; the 21 year old took a stab at producing and became the head of Teen Entertainment and Media Kingdom, a company focused on the talent label Team 10, which Jake also created. Although Team 10 was never actually made up of ten members, Jake seemingly worked magic by turning a group of wannabe teen idols into internet celebrities in a matter of weeks. His YouTube channel continues to gain popularity, as he showcases life in the mansion he bought specifically for Team 10 members. At the same age as some Class VIII students at Winsor, he was a producer, a talent agent, a coach to rising YouTube stars, and a self-made millionaire.
According to Jake, he made the decision to become a rapper and wrote his first song all in the span of a single day. In “It’s Everyday Bro,” we are witness to Jake’s talent for similes (“we chew ‘em like they’re gum”) and his carefree attitude (“tattoo just for fun”). The track, which features Team 10 members Nick Crompton, Chance Sutton, the Martinez twins, and Tessa Brooks, who was accused of a relationship with Jake while he was still dating his ex-girlfriend Alissa Violet, was one of the highest trending videos of 2017 with nearly 150 million views. Almost immediately, the video gained notoriety for its obnoxious lyrics and awkward dance moves. The name “Jake Paul” became associated with imbecility. Now he had two more feats to add to his list of achievements: dropping one of the most viral and parodied rap songs on the internet and becoming (in the eyes of older generations of Americans) the representation of all that is wrong with Generation Z.
With the dislikes hitting seven digits, “It’s Everyday Bro” ranked seventh on YouTube’s list of most hated videos. After the release of two “diss tracks” against Jake Paul, the internet seemingly fell apart. “The Fall of Jake Paul,” a vicious diss track by his own brother Logan, and “Its EveryNight Sis,” a parody of his own song by his ex-girlfriend Alissa Violet and YouTube mogul Ricegum, were new crowd favorites. Jake soon lost his contract with Disney, although the exact reason was never released. I found myself intrigued in the turmoil and would come home prepared to analyze the newest diss track with my sister Athena. Was this obsession over internet celebrities a way to take a break from our own lives or just a harmless guilty pleasure?
Throughout all the YouTube drama, there were real reasons to hate Jake. Multiple racist tweets from his Twitter account resurfaced, and Alissa Violet released heartbreaking stories of the cheating and abuse she endured while living with him. Images of her bruised arms circled through Instagram and Snapchat. People now had new reasons to antagonize Jake Paul, although these two occurrences, especially the tweets, were never at the forefront of the hatred.
He recently released two videos in which he talks about the difficulties of being in the limelight and expresses regret for his actions. He and Logan then created a video that shows the two of them making up and agreeing to put their turbulent past behind them. Their relationship troubles only gained them more publicity. “I don’t know if anyone in my grade genuinely likes Jake Paul, but for some reason everyone knows the lyrics to ‘It’s Everyday Bro.’ If that’s not infamy, I don’t know what is,” notes Teresa L., ‘19. Despite the vast amount of online hostility directed towards the brothers, millions of tweens continue to idolize them. We are left to wonder: was this whole debacle a plan between the brothers to gain unimaginable amounts of fame and attention? One thing’s for sure: they certainly got what they wanted.