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Note: This installment has been adapted from a more extensive biographical piece I built slowly over several years. Due to social tensions in America, I don’t intend to ever release that article because of how easily my admiration for Cedric can be misconstrued as something subversively racist. Though the attention he initially received was due to his appearance and demeanor, his debut YouTube video helped launch his career, which is one of many reasons why I consider CeddyBu the Rap Sumo a gem of early YouTube.
CEDDYBU SO ICEY
Posted: February 8th, 2009
Creator: CeddyBu the Rap Sumo/Delwin the Krazy Man
Cedric Desmond Smith, known as CeddyBu the Rap Sumo, was a rapper from Plaquemine, Louisiana. The first video was posted to his channel on May 1st, 2008 which featured a freestyle called Shittin on Dem N****z. It was a spazzy, braggadocious, Lil-Wayne-inspired performance where the young Cedric displayed a solid grasp of Southern rap fundamentals.
Over the next year, the channel posted five videos, three of them simply named CEDDYBU. Many of the videos actually seem to have been filmed with a MySpace audience in mind. At that time, the rapper and his associates were active on MySpace, and actually browse the website in one of the videos. If you’re young and curious about what it looked like, this can be a unique look into the past. Based on past research, the team seemed to have maintained this presence into 2011, well past the heyday of MySpace Music.
The CEDDYBU SO ICEY was released at what might have been the most exciting time in the history of rap music: 2008. You had gangster rap, conscious rap, pop rap, so many distinct styles of rap were being exhibited brilliantly during that time. Many of my favorite albums and songs were released right around this time, and Cedric certainly had a style of his own.
CeddyBu’s career was cut short when he tragically died in a car accident in January 2014. He was a passenger in a Dodge Charger driven by his friend Wilbert Pryor. The car swerved off the road and crashed into a telephone pole. His death was covered by a number of rap music websites, but it always bothered me that there was never closure as to what happened.
Based on my research, this is the exact location where I believe the crash occurred. Though a police report was never released publically, my take on the accident is that the men were speeding on their way home from a nightclub. Neither was wearing a seatbelt, though Pryor survived.
My understanding has always been that CeddyBu’s YouTube channel was shared between him and close friend Delwin the Krazyman. After Cedric’s death, Delwin took full control of the channel, occasionally posting personal videos to just over 7,000 subscribers. In one of his videos posted in 2014 after Cedric’s death, Delwin speaks about having beef with CeddyBu’s brother and family. Delwin was also an aspiring rapper, and he injected himself as the primary artist on many of the videos on the page, even ones that featured CeddyBu after his death. Was this the right thing to do and does he have the legal right to earn scant YouTube revenue off his deceased friend’s content? I can’t pass judgment, but it’s understandable that there would be tension between CeddyBu’s heirs and Delwin.
The forty-six-second video starts with a 650lb CeddyBu affixing his earring in front of his friend’s house at the corner of Macarthur St and Johnson St in a low-income section of Plaquemine, Louisiana.
The video is striking not just because CeddyBu is gargantuan, but also because he is wearing a significant amount of oversized jewelry. From an ethnographic standpoint, he speaks in a dialect that can be difficult to understand. It doesn’t really require much analysis, this is a flex video. He’s on the block, iced out, with stacks on deck.
When this video first appeared, it was incredibly compelling to click. From the thumbnail, it seems it could go in any number of directions. Cedric is so large and with few features visible that it is plausible that he is adorning a sumo wrestler costume.
In a surprisingly high-pitched voice, he starts: “CeddyBu the mu-fuckin’ Rap Sumo–YouTube, Myspace…”
He then lifts up each of his crucifixes before delivering an impromptu sermon:
“Jesus piece around my neck cannot protect me from my haters who be hatin’//Donkey Rope//call me anything but broke–nugget”
The “donkey rope” is a large braided chain reminiscent of Mr. T’s style in the 1980s. All I know is that this amount of ice would break my neck if I tried to wear it.
The “nugget” line has been a source of much controversy over the years. This video has been re-uploaded by other accounts often with titles along the lines of “Fat rapper rapping about chicken nuggets.” In actuality, Ceddy is referring to his earrings, which contain so much gold that they resemble pure gold nuggets.
A woefully underrated portion of the video occurs next, when Cedric digs into his pocket. This builds a surprising amount of suspense, even ten years later. What is he going to pull out of his pocket?
As the camera jerks down, he exclaims “Yeah, we still got the stacks on deck. I mean, you know, that’s just how it go.”
Though he doesn’t seem to dig out an immense amount of money, it’s notable that he does have several other videos where he counts legitimate stacks. This is an integral part of his brand: a money-counting, money-getting rapper who is larger than life.
As the camera pans down to his shoes, which he describes as “geedy-weeties,” one of his ear nuggets falls out. This adds to the rawness of the video. Obviously they could have just filmed again where the earring didn’t fall out on camera, but this was a legitimate, off-the-cuff street flex that I will always remember fondly.
After the Video
Following the video going viral, CeddyBu and Delwin continued performing concerts and producing videos for several years. My understanding is that some of the videos were picked up and featured by other musicians, such as Ciara, helping grow Ceddy’s following. Many of the videos feature live performances, freestyles, or other intimate glimpses into Cedric’s life.
It is obvious that CeddyBu’s rap career never reached the heights he intended. Despite opening for Meek Mill back in 2012 and garnering coverage on a plethora of music websites, he never released a hit single or definitive project that matched his stature. In watching most of the 190+ videos remaining on his channel, what’s clear to me is that Cedric loved his craft and lifestyle, and I’ve found a lot of pleasure in watching him improve from his first release to what I’d consider his best work: Mr. Big Stuff.
The best way to pay respect to a legend is to periodically revisit their work and reflect on it, and that’s how I honor Cedric Smith.