Every circle has one. I'm talking about that guy in your group of friends who isn't too bright but has a giant heart and is just an all-around awesome fucking person. When your stupid cunt of a whore ex-girlfriend broke up with you he hung around and he never called you a pussy for crying. He's been with you since first grade—you've been bullied together, shot down by the hot girl at school together, arrested for being drunk in public together and he will be there until his untimely death when he inevitably slips and falls into a wood chipper. He has terrible social timing, absolutely no luck with women and he won't be the best man at your wedding. But when you get old and you look back at your life you'll laugh when you remember him and he will leave his mark on you as the most loyal friend you ever had.
When Krispy Kreme first emerged on our computer screens six months ago, we all sat back and watched as this seemingly oblivious teenage kid with an atrocious haircut jumped around his basement and rapped about having "400 mouses in 400 houses". There was something about Krispy Kreme, and his respective sidekick Money Maker Mike, that drew us all in and kept us engaged. His lyrics were absurd and his videos were hilariously bad but there was an intriguing side to his story that resonated inside of us. On the exterior Krispy Kreme was interpreted as just another internet meme; a kid who was unable to differentiate between delusion and reality and did in front of a camera what most of us wouldn't have the courage to do in our bedrooms. He rapped in a tree, his basement and in front of a mic with a runny nose. He pointed replica guns at the camera and proclaimed that he "Balls so hard record labels wanna sign him" while sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by trophies.
But what Krispy Kreme resembled for us was that unbelievably vapid friend of ours who's dreams were so far out of reach that we couldn't help but love and encourage him. Almost overnight he rose from being just another Internet meme to ultimate underdog status and instead of laughing at him we were rooting for him. We made video blogs about him and we shared his videos with our friends as if to say, "this shit's fucking ridiculous but I hope something good happens to him". He reminded us that at some point in our lives we all wanted to be a professional ghostbuster (*raises hand*) or a racecar driver or a spaceman but as we got older we realized that the probability of it actually happening was nil. Sure, Krispy Kreme was perhaps a little mentally underdeveloped for his age but that's what made him so incredibly addictive. While we all hung up our ghostbuster costumes and space suits as puberty hit, he kept going and dreaming even bigger than he did before.
Krispy Kreme's first two, and now legendary videos, were "The Baddest" and "Haters Wanna Be Me". Shot in what appears to be his basement and a local park, Krispy stumbled his way into infamy with lines like, "I bet you sleep with a night light/cuz you're scared of the dark cuz you stink like a fart" and "I'll cut holes in your tires/I'll put poop on your porch and I'll light it on fire."
Both videos raced across the Internet at rapid speed and at present time have accrued almost 15 million views combined. The low budget production of both the songs and videos, coupled with his boasts of beating people up who have infinity knives and his strange choice in visual settings, left us all scratching our heads wondering what the fuck just happened. And yes, we watched it again and again and again while trying to figure it out.
Then, two weeks later, Krispy Kreme returned with yet another piece of candy for the eyes and ears. This time around he told the story of his best friend, and hardcore Mac Miller fan, Money Maker Mike's kidnapping by his evil arch-nemesis, James.
Musically, "Best Friends" was a huge step up for Krispy Kreme. The recording was cleaner, production was better and it sounded like he was getting sharper as a lyricist. Although he was nowhere near the likes of Nas or Slick Rick, the story was coherent and Krispy's flow was falling into the beat rather than standing out like a nagging neck cramp. The video itself was also stronger than his previous efforts and was relevant to the song.
Four days after the successful release of, "Best Friends", and as his popularity continued to grow, Krispy Kreme appeared in a video blog entitled, "Fight For Your Dreams". Strangely, this video was a stark contrast to what we had come to expect from him. In his previous blog entries Krispy seemed to be optimistic about the future, almost blindingly ignorant to what lay ahead of him, but in this video blog he took an entirely different tone.
As I wrote in a previous article, this is the one that really tugged at my heartstrings. For a brief moment in time, Krispy Kreme had clicked into reality and saw all that he had to sacrifice in order to achieve his goals. He recounted instances in his life when people told him he couldn't be a famous rapper and that he'd never be successful in his endless pursuit of a career in Rap music. His tearful plea to the world to fight and crawl until we had nothing left to give revealed the human behind the Internet oddity and for the first time we all perceived Krispy Kreme as a real person. It was this video that launched Krispy Kreme into the collective consciousness of those who love to see the underdog win.
Never one to accept defeat, Krispy hit us with a new video a few weeks later. This video lets us know that he was not just back on his feet, but he was coming out swinging as well.
"Girl Work It" was a bit of a departure from the usual Krispy Kreme we all came to know and love. On this song, he enticed the fairer sex with lines like, "I see you on that dance floor, just do it/I wanna see you dance more, just move it" and experimented with vocal melodies on the hook as well.
Then suddenly on June 29, 2012, the Krispy Kreme myth was shattered. Somebody claiming to know Krispy personally exposed him as Tyler Cassidy—a high school graduate with a 3.95 GPA who also happened to be the valedictorian of his class and an aspiring MC. The unnamed source uploaded 3 songs from Tyler Cassidy to YouTube, (“Forever”, “Wasteland” and “ The Pain”) leaving it up to the people to investigate and find the true story behind the now infamous “Krispy Kreme” persona.
As the songs made their way across blogs, message boards, Facebook pages and Twitter, Krispy’s fans began to search for Tyler Cassidy and discovered that he had very thoroughly removed all traces of himself from the public forum. His Facebook account had gone private, school records disappeared and other traces of his identity had been deleted. A few pictures surfaced, including a yearbook photo of Tyler, and it became evident that Krispy Kreme was, in fact, Tyler Cassidy—a resident of Flint, Michigan and not Hicktown, Alabama.
As a response to the Tyler Cassidy fiasco, Krispy Kreme decided not to address the issue directly but instead released two more videos.
On “Stolen Bikes” Krispy continued the “James” narrative and delved further into the character. It was now apparent that he more than a mere kidnapper- he was also a bike stealing, drug dealing deviant. James was not somebody to be trifled with. “Coolest Guys” brought Krispy Kreme back to basics. Horribly produced, the video was more in the vein of “The Baddest” than the juvenile mastery he displayed on “Best Friends.”
In an effort keep the attention away from Tyler Cassidy, Krispy Kreme then released yet another video, but with this song, something was very noticeably different.
That’s right. Whether it was through hard work or a hidden talent, Krispy Kreme’s flow was now tighter and on point completely. The content and visual aesthetic were still in line with the Krispy Kreme brand, but the flow was a huge leap from “Coolest Guys”. Was Tyler Cassidy slowly starting to shine through the Krispy Kreme moniker? I believe so.
As the months rolled by Krispy Kreme continued to flood the Internet with new videos and also appeared as a guest on the viral video-based show, Tosh.0. For the time being, Tyler Cassidy was but a minor dent in the Krispy Kreme machine.
On “Denzel Washington” Krispy Kreme cleverly rapped his way through a handful of his favorite actor’s movies and completed the “James” trilogy on “Halloween”. His interview with Daniel Tosh was an instant classic and he even let Money Maker Mike punch him in the head on camera as retribution for insinuating that Daniel Tosh was his new best friend. If Krispy Kreme really was Tyler Cassidy he was doing a damn good job of disguising who he truly was.
Finally, Krispy Kreme released a song and video dedicated to everybody’s favorite holiday—Christmas.
Once again, Tyler Cassidy is poking his head out from behind the Krispy Kreme distraction. Krispy Kreme’s flow is undeniably dope and this song has actually been on regular rotation in my iPod. As always, the subject matter is complicit with the Krispy Kreme character but his flow and delivery are a far cry from anything else he’s put out. Personally, I think what we are about to witness is the end of Krispy Kreme and the arrival of Tyler Cassidy. Especially considering that he recently posted a video blog stating that due to “legal reasons” he has to change his rap name. While it is totally believable that the Krispy Kreme Corporation may be threatening to sue the rapper Krispy Kreme for trademark infringement, it also provides the perfect lane for Krispy Kreme to become Tyler Cassidy.
So what’s really going on? Is Krispy Kreme his own man or his he a fictitious court jester dreamed up and actualized by Tyler Cassidy?
Here’s my theory:
Tyler Cassidy is an aspiring MC who like most other MC’s imagined that his rise to fortune and fame in the music industry would occur almost immediately once he actually applied himself. Sometime after he realized that the music industry is a cold bitch of a place to be, he became frustrated with his lack movement up the Hip Hop ladder and probably tried a number of strategies that ultimately failed. Judging by the content of the three songs available on YouTube, Tyler is a more than capable artist and somebody who was frustrated with his place in the world so he decided to go a different route and create “Krispy Kreme”- the lovable, underdeveloped backwoods teenager from Alabama. From what we know thus far, Tyler Cassidy is a highly intelligent person and somebody who could execute a clever rouse like Krispy Kreme to a tee.
If this is the case then I say we, as in Hip Hop writers, artists, and listeners, need to tip our hat to Tyler and support his efforts as a serious artist. Whether it be underground or mainstream, this kid deserves his spot. What he has accomplished is unprecedented and I am interested in hearing more from Tyler Cassidy the genius actor and strategist. In less than a year, he’s taken the beautiful moron that is Krispy Kreme and turned him into a merchandising and all around revenue-generating monster. With over 20 million hits on YouTube, t-shirts, cd’s and digital sales, I wouldn’t be surprised if Krispy Kreme made Tyler Cassidy more money than you and I combined in 2012.
So I think I speak for all of us when I say, Tyler Cassidy, we’re ready when you are. And if you choose to keep this Krispy Kreme thing going for a little while longer, we’re cool with that too. Just be sure to hit us with a new song for Easter.