It is 2014. Two zero one four. Twenty-fourteen. Social networks are huge part of real life, whether that’s good or bad, that’s just how it is. Now unless you lived under a rock you were aware that three things took social networks (specifically Twitter) by storm this summer. Those three things were: Bobby Shmurda and his shmoney dance, DJ Zeeti and his selfie epidemic, and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
As terrible as it sounds…Vine can play some role in the success of an artist. Especially one that’s unknown. Mr. Shmurda is a prime example of that. “Hot Ni**a” was a song that had already been out months before Vine caught hold of it and blew it up and that only led to Twitter blowing it up even more.
The question is “What made it so popular?”. Maybe it was the dope, hard-hitting beat that Lloyd Banks already rapped on? But probably not. Maybe it was the authenticity of his lyrics? But probably not. Maybe it was his aggressive flow and no hook? But probably not. Maybe it was because “Mitch caught a body ’bout a week ago”? But probably not. Maybe it was because he was shooting some of the most believable imaginary guns in rap video history? Hmmm. Maybe it was because he threw his fitted cap in the air and it never came down? Hmmm. Or maybe it was because he had one or the funniest/dopest reinventions of the “Diddy Bop”? Yupp. That’s the answer. Right on the shmoney.
A couple vines of him dancing, or people reenacting his dance, and bang suddenly everyone’s comparing him to Trinidad James and asking how long will he last. That’s all it took. Six measly seconds of a looped video and Bobby Shmurda became one of the biggest topics on your Twitter timeline this summer.
Another phenomenon this summer that had the timelines on smash, was DJ Zeeti. DJ Zeeti is one of those Twitter weirdos who got lucky. He’s a DJ (that’s not really a DJ) that tweets weird s*** like “twitpic a selfie with your booty pokin” or “twitpic a selfie showing your side boob” or “twitpic a selfie with your thighs in it”… Weird stuff like that.
twitpic ya hips pokin
— DJ Baked Zeeti (@DJZeeti) October 5, 2014
twitpic a sideboob selfie
— DJ Baked Zeeti (@DJZeeti) October 4, 2014
twitpic a selfie with your nipples pierced
— DJ Baked Zeeti (@DJZeeti) October 9, 2014
Now somewhere along the road, DJ Zeeti got lucky. Lucky in the sense that either A) a girl with a lot of followers tweeted him a good enough selfie with one of those “additions” he asked for B) a provocative enough girl sent him a selfie with one of his “additions” and it was retweeted on to timelines everywhere. Either A or B gave Zeeti his Twitter fame, it’s just hard to say which one it was.
The question you’re probably asking is “Why?”. It’s (almost) simple. People want followers on Twitter. Apparently it is indeed “that serious”. All a girl has to do is really just tweet Zeeti a picture that serves as eye-candy so he can retweet it to his 120,000 followers then bang…the girls followers immediately get a boost. All this keeps people coming back to DJ Zeeti’s page so it looks like it’s a win-win for both sides. But he’s already started getting slandered along with the females who tweet him the selfies and cold weather is coming so the selfies are either going to get extremely creative or his whole wave will come to an end… Only time will tell.
The last frenzy of the summer came was more sensitive… More meaningful. More helpful. More connected to Boston. It was all those things even though it won’t appear that way to the blind eye. This frenzy was the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.
Anyone and everyone with a working social network was knowledgable of the videos of people of people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads then nominating their family and friends to do the same. And by “people” I mean everyone. From average joes to actors mega celebrities (like Eminem, LeBron James, Gisele Bündchen and more) to past presidents (like George Bush) to your next-door neighbor…. Everyone took part in the challenge.
But it was way bigger than just videos of people dumping buckets of ice water on themselves. The cause and foundation of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was real. It had a real meaning. Furthermore it has a bit of a connection to Boston and New England.
Peter Frates is a native of Beverly, Massachusetts and he also is a graduate of Boston College where he was a captain got the baseball team. Back in 2012, Peter was diagnosed with the ALS disease. The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis disease (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease). According to the National Library Of Medicine, ALS is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle wasting. Which makes everyday tasks like talking, breathing it swallowing difficult or impossible. In very cases. And by very rare, I mean 4% of the 5,600 that are diagnosed with the sickness annually, only 4% survive longer than ten years.
Since his diagnosis, Peter and family have dedicated most of their time, effort and energy into boosting awareness for ALS and raising funds which support research for a cure. Mr. Frates is the influence and inspiration behind the Ice Bucket Challenge movement that took over this summer. But very few people knew the challenge was this “deep”.
Millions of people worldwide took the challenge. This resulted into $140 million dollars being raised to continue to support research for a cure. $140,000,000. One hundred and fourty million smackeroos. Due to his efforts, Peter was recognized at the annual New England Council Dinner this year and presented with one of the New Englander Of The Year awards.
Due to his sickness, he wasn’t able to talk to deliver his acceptance speech but he was able to write something up and even though we only heard it through a computer voice it was still very very heartfelt. After thanking everyone who participated in the challenge. After thanking everyone who donated to the cause. After thanking everyone who helped raise awareness and after more kind words, Peter concluded his speech last night saying: “New England is my home, I love it here… Don’t be afraid to be great. Go Bruins!”
The Boy (@NateSaid)
Nathan Johnson is a music/lifestyle writer-journalist for numerous different sites and blogs from Massachusetts who can be reached on Twitter: @NateSaid.