Let’s talk about “viral beatboxers” and the role they play in our community.
Here are a few videos we might recognize: father and daughter beatbox, Poolpo, Eklips, Rahzel, and the guy who beatboxed to Lion King on some local morning show.
They all champion the title of being an overnight viral hit with a mixed bag of responses from both the beatbox community and the casual viewer. In this piece, we'll be exploring the positive and negatives effects of viral videos for our community.
Before we start, I would like to note that I'm talking about truly viral videos with millions of hits, not clickbait videos, which is a discussion to be had another time.
Father and daughter beatbox
One of the most popular viral beatbox videos, father and daughter beatbox, has gathered hundreds of millions of hits on Facebook, Youtube, and even received some noteworthy news coverage. If you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen it yet, it’s a fun little video between a father and daughter battling it out on what seems like a dinner table.
Since the video, Nicole Paris and her dad made it big. Like really big.
They had the honor to take up the stage with legendary icons, Doug E Fresh and Rahzel at the BET awards and they continue to be recognized for their talent.
How the beatbox community reacted
However, just as when beatboxers like Poolpo and Eklips went viral, the beatbox community had a mixed bag of responses.
Some people believe that this exposure will lead to more people being curious about the art form, while others warn that videos like these do not represent beatbox in the right light.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be one thing or the other - we can find a middle ground.
You can’t just wake up one day wanting to produce a viral video - they’re fairly unpredictable. But they all have some things in common: they are interesting, provoke an emotional response, and are able to be understood by a wide audience.
When it comes down to it, people click on things that are interesting to them. A viral video may spark different behaviors, but generally the behavior after watching a viral video goes like this: the consumer gains awareness, then they take what they watched into consideration, then end with making a decision. This process is integral when understanding why a viral video is not such a big deal.
Most people don’t care as much as we do
Curious viewers may consider doing more research and end up making the decision to become a part of the community or take on beatbox themselves if they have the time, if their personal preferences align with the art form, or if they’re just generally curious.
However, MOST people leave a comment, give it a like or share, and click on the next cat video that’s recommended on YouTube.
The joy of beatbox
It is important to note why the father-daughter beatbox video went viral. It’s shallow to say it was strictly because of their respective beatboxing abilities. What made it more important was the message it sent: beatbox is creating relationships through the love of music.
In a quick interview with the father, he stated that he was inspired by old school beatboxers and beatboxed to his daughter since she was a baby with hopes that one day she would join him.
He also happily admitted that he finds joy in seeing her ability to push the envelope and develop her own beats and style. The daughter, Nicole, made it so big now that she is able to perform on stage with the very beatboxers who inspired her father in the first place.
To us, this video is a perfect example of what beatbox is all about. Here’s a father proud of his daughter for accomplishing things that he’s never dreamed of. He even mentioned in his interview that they’ve bonded over this relationship and do everything together while beatboxing - even cooking.
There’s beauty in that message that resonates with all of us.
Reflection of our community
What’s slightly more embarrassing and more telling is our community bashing our own artists. Our being tagged on Facebook in these videos goes to show how little the world knows about beatbox.
Beatbox is still on a journey of becoming a widely-known and respected art form. We’ve made great progress thus far, but a lot of work still needs to be done.
The general understanding of beatbox is still at a level of “boots and cats” and some basic hiphop beats and perhaps “the guy from Pentatonix,” which is part of why this video was so interesting to the general public.
In order to legitimize and communicate the intricacies of our art form, our approach must encompass support of our fellow beatboxers, driving of conversation, and the documentation of our history - all goals we seek to achieve here at HBB (article coming soon!).
Although a lot of new fans think Nicole and her father are the best beatboxers in the world, I too, once thought Poolpo was the best in the world. I stumbled upon Beatbox Battle TV, Beatbox Television, and Swissbeatbox later in the game once more videos started emerging.
What we would like to see is ‘’viral beatboxers like Nicole and her father pushing the scene by continually putting out great videos and enjoying the art form, but at the same time working together with us to nudge curious viewers about the growing and incredibly talented community today.
Wait...So are viral videos bad?
A viral video is viral because it sends a message in a way that is palatable to the masses. It’s not for nothing that there are rappers without much talent but with much more popularity than some incredibly talented underground artists.
We don’t stand by the negativity surrounding the successes of other beatboxers, especially if they are using it for good. In due time, with the right action, we too will be recognized as a community and we must take this long journey together.
Heck. At one point, Rahzel was a viral sensation and continues to stand as one of the most influential figures in our community. As long as the video paints our community and our art form in a positive light, there is really nothing to worry about.
What do you think?
Whether you agree or disagree - we want to hear what you have to say. Let us know in the comments below and let’s keep it civil! We’re a family 🙂
Thanks for liking, sharing, and commenting! Until next time.