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The Kings of Myspace – Myspace Rap Video
In 2006, Myspace was the hottest thing out. If you were born in 1995 or earlier, there’s a good chance that you created an account soon after the school year started in 2006. I was 12 then, which in retrospect makes my presence on the site pretty absurd, but it was the thing to do.
Myspace was similar to an early Facebook except there was way more going on. You had music, you had videos, you had fully-customizable pages with top friends and a comment section. There was basically no privacy and you could view the majority of profiles without befriending people. It’s worth mentioning that there was also no news feed or one that was very primitive. So to digest what your friends were doing, it was common to visit profiles and photos and see who was commenting on what. Or at least that’s what I did.
By 2006, nobody had described Myspace. Like, the generation that was engrossed in the world of Myspace didn’t have a David Foster Wallace to immortalize the experience. Sometimes, I fear that the essence of many parts of the early internet will be lost forever, and that’s why I write.
Along came three unknown creatives.
Pedro D. Flores directed and edited the video. He now has over 300k subscribers on Youtube.
Tim Chantarangsu wrote the video. Formerly known as Timothy DeLaGhetto, he’s achieved mainstream success and on Television and has over four million subscribers on Youtube.
Eric Ochoa acted in the video. He achieved early success on Youtube and has over three million subscribers.
Within the first 10 seconds, we have an incredible introduction. A title page and then a gradual panning of a Kings-of-Myspace Myspace page that transitions to the opening video sequence. Why is this significant?
This was 2006 and Pedro Flores had mastered the Adobe Creative Suite. For five years after this video was made, many creators would get by with filming on potatoes and splicing things together in Windows Movie Maker. Having experience with this software myself, the learning curve is steep and his attention to detail is downright masterful. Today, the Kings of Myspace would be considered a “well-edited” video. Fourteen years ago… you’ve got to be kidding me! This was probably the best-edited independently-created streaming-only video available on the internet for several years. If anyone reading this can find an older video showcasing better production skills, message me and I’ll donate $100 to a charity of your choice.
To start, we have Ochoa slightly hunched in a chair eagerly browsing the internet. This is a classic characterization of the early internet user, back when people who had high-speed internet and spent time on the computer were universally classified as nerds.
Pedro and Tim have a memorable entrance, where they do a little jig then ask what type of porn Ochoa is watching. Because he has a high-back computer chair and seems engrossed by what’s on his screen, this is a trope that doesn’t really get old.
When Ochoa reluctantly admits that he’s actually browsing Myspace, his energetic friends seem even more enthused.
“Myspace? You gotta add us right now man!”
This exchange captures the Big Bang of the internet as we know it. No longer was it used by nerds and solitary pornography viewers–there was a social aspect. Even for those who were confounded by early Myspace, the magnetism of the platform was undeniable.
Pedro and Tim then reveal that they are, in fact, the Kings of Myspace. Pedro, who I already regard as a genius, swoops in with another classic gesture as he motions for Eric to move away from the keyboard so that he can type. Kids these days really will never know what that feels like. Sitting around someone’s family computer, waiting for your turn to show something that the other kids genuinely haven’t already seen…
The beat drops and we’ve got a look at a genuine early Myspace default layout with some wonderful special effects.
First, some context. This is really how the pages looked before people jacked them up with CSS styling. Everyone had a song, which auto-played as soon as you entered their page. The blogs feature was uncomfortably prominent, seeing as most people didn’t use them or just re-posted things like chain messages. Right below the About Me you have Who I’d Like to Meet. This was just a classic icebreaker line that you can find on other sites like Yelp, having been subconsciously copied. A lot of people used to fill in this field. Then you’ve got the Top 8…
Myspace.com … a place for friends
Take it away, kings.
“We the kings of Myspace, just check the friend list//I got, asks for dates, that shit is endless”
The camera pans to the friend count of the page, which, if not endless, seems to be a number with at least two hundred digits.
This is the earliest form of social proof on the internet. Imagine bragging about your Facebook friend count. But that’s exactly what people did on Myspace. I remember when I started learning HTML and faked my friend count–that was a big deal and people commented on it. It’s also important to note that Tila Tequila’s original claim to fame was being the most popular person on Myspace.
Right after, we have an outfit change and the line “Not a Myspace Whore, I’m a Myspace pimp // My views keep rising like the Goodyear Blimp.”
The trajectory of the Goodyear Blimp as it flies across the screen serves as a transition to yet another frame. This is incredible. I know guys who have literally graduated from film school and have never edited a sequence as airtight as this one.
Back to the lyrics–the song is actually hot. It flows, the voices aren’t annoying, they nailed the concept. The “Myspace Whore” aspect isn’t something that should be overlooked. This was a commonly-used term to describe someone who spent a lot of time on Myspace, especially someone who had a lot of friends that they didn’t know (Urban Dictionary backs me up here). It’s worth drilling into this Urban Dictionary definition more:
– myspace whores are mostly girls..
usually have new pics of them selves daily… have a million friends and dont know half of them… think myspace is some kind of popularity contest… they usually post bulletins saying comment my pics or im hungry for comments. go on my space every 2 mins to check if they have new comments.. take pictures of themselves in the mirror … have a need to be on everyones top eight… need to keep commenting everyone just to be someones last comment… say things like im soo cool , im raddd … usuallyy write all of there friends names under who id like too meett… basically there insecure annoying bitches that want to seem cool 😉 ; every scene person has oneyour all such myspace whores!by jadeee January 24, 2006
Is this song on Genius? It’s HOT.
“25/8 I check the Myspace // It makes life great when I check the Myspace”
“25/8 I check the Myspace // It’s how I get dates, I check the Myspace”
Not invalid! I actually went on one date as a 13-year-old as a result of Myspace. She was in high school while I was in middle school, which was pretty cool.
Eric Ochoa comes back into the picture and the dude isn’t feeling good: “I have no friends, so what do I do?”
“It’s okay, we were once losers just like you! No girls on my list, I didn’t have one groupie. I had zero friends, not even Tom would approve me!”
Tom Anderson was the “automatic” friend that everyone gained upon signing up. He remains a folk hero, and apparently is a phenomenal photographer now.
Next we have the crucial advice. The revelation of how the Kings became the Kings.
Pedro became the Emo Guy, Timothy DeLaGhetto became the “Wannabe Thug.”
The camera zooms out and we see that Tim is now the “Thug” in the Hit The Thug game. Believe it or not, this was a real ad back in the day where you could get a “free” ringtone (aka probably a virus). This has been lost to time as I don’t think anyone has dedicated the time to capturing early internet advertisements, which is a shame.
“But on a backwards cap, stunner shades and chapstick, added a Tupac song; started hitting up black chicks.”
Coming from someone of Asian descent, this line could be… cringy. But, in retrospect, it’s incredible. Tim ended up being a founding member of Wild ‘n Out. Not only that, but he did end up marrying a black girl.
“Grew my hair long, put on Dashboard Confessional. Put on tight jeans that smashed on my testicles.”
We’ll skip the next few lines–they didn’t age well. The point is that they change themselves to fit into specific stereotypes and that was the secret for Myspace success. During this time in America, teenagers were using Myspace to showcase identity. And a lot of people overdid it. The emo people had a lot of makeup, the thugs were posting gang-related stuff, the jocks I knew posted a constant stream of Underarmor products. It was before people learned to be subtle.
Into the chorus, the men dance through their top 8 and interact with them in the frames. Still–brilliant. Again, there are people who graduate film schools who never reach this level of editing prowess or creative vision.
“You can be the metrosexual guy in the sweater vest. And just like that, bam, you’ve got friend requests.”
The camera pans out to a Myspace page featuring Ochoa rebranded as “The Metrosexual.”
Somehow, the crew manages to blend social realities with the more geeky realities of the platform. For example, to edit your page or leave formatted comments on your friends’ pages, you needed to know some HTML and CSS. Seems absurd today, but not a joke. IMG SRC is a way to place an image in a webpage. If you spent enough time on Myspace, you’d learn a little web development.
“All the fly chicks will show you e-love. Don’t even ask for the digits, just get the three dubs…”
Before smartphones (there’s a flip-phone pictured), the concept of asking for someone’s myspace URL seemed absurd. But… what ended up happening? Yeah, into adulthood I was meeting people in real life and–in certain cases–requesting them on social media platforms before texting them. I throw around the word “genius” a lot, but these guys nailed it. 2006! Come on!
“It’s addicting, like how a crackhead feels. And though the pics might be fake, the love is all real. And just when you thought that it’s come to an end, press the refresh button and do it again!”
Then, we get to the only bad part of the video, the fact that the credits last 80 seconds. There might–might–have been some benefit to making the video longer than five minutes way back then, but I can’t think of why. Not to say that credits are boring. In fact, I’ve watched them all the way through several times. Looking for something additional to analyze, enjoy, remember.
After The Video
The guys reunited to watch the original video 10 years later. This was really nice of them to do. Even though I regard them as heroes of the early internet, they’ve each found success in their own right, and it would have been easy for this original collaboration to be forgotten.
Two years later, they made The Kings of Youtube, which is a perfect encapsulation of Youtube circa 2008. Somehow, it has less than two million views.
Thank you for this gem which impresses and inspires me to this day. It is one of the best pictures we’ll have of Myspace and the early internet.