These are the early stages of an online crush;
of single-mindedly consuming someone’s work in awe, in this case, of their mastery in designing online presence, the way they create an arena and then perform subtle subversions within it, with perfectly self-reflective / powerful politics that sync their visual style with their take on the world –a take on the world that I really like, and I see others agree: there’s something here that we need. My.. arguably rather naff way of putting this in words is that it can help us think a little differently about political activism: that political activism might most significantly/effectively lay in the ritual act of ‘rendering things irrelevant,’ performing a kind of exorcism. This guy (actually a crew, although I’ll stick to the ‘he’ that describes the persona behind Gil Killed Hip Hop) is doing this regularly. He also knows well the significance of focusing on / of constantly replaying / reloading / vulnerably refantasising (with boyish* role-playing innocence) a single performative moment of emergence. Just as he knows the significance of sharing the moment of somberly choosing to fail in drinking all the milk. (There are good politics in this! Not irrelevant to yoga: it seems these days we’re discovering the value of teaching each other how to stop pushing before we get hurt).
Aren’t his twists on what we expect from youtube delightful?
The reason this kind of SWAG works so well, is because it doesn’t introduce intensely critical moments, nor a polemics, but rather.. just mixes bits of discourse up, adds SWAG , and then drops it onto the motherboard in a way, a celebration of the inherent irrelevance of contemporary materialism. I am reminded of HowToBasic’s eggs, except that with gmcfosho are no politics of despair. There is no need for confrontation (the confrontation is being transformed / exorcised, revealed as sets of empty behavourisms, discursively emptily mimicked, parodied, the impossibility of its adoption revealed). This also has to do with his extra-libidinal performance of rifle-philia
So he uses merciless, but sophisticatedly aestheticised neutralising repetition and keeps throwing us aback so that we observe ourselves indulging in this. He makes the politics of this kind of indulgence visible. But in the end this is does not have to be about the neutralising powers of repetition, it can be about constantly re-conceptualising re-emergence(s).
I can see a strategy in most of these videos: a tripartite structure, a dual subversion sandwiched by three parts, a thrice layered performance on discourse on a given topic.
They first seem to bring up possible points of offense, obvious reasons to dismiss the work, to not watch the rest of the video, and they go on to dilute these points of offense one by one (see , to open up other spheres of cultural reference, mix them up, and end up somewhere else entirely (culturebusting). In an entirely other, variously unprecedented, medium- & format-breaking aesthetic experience. Geekily, with reference to naivety, vulnerability, or to boyish trauma: he takes a form, a cannon and then breaks it, like my dog when he chewed up o Μέγας Ανατολικός by Andreas Embirikos. As an example of this I’m thinking of how boombadoom, 2016) works towards a de-sexualisation, an unraveling of zombie-ish booty-discourse.
[HEADING: on booty-discourse trauma] / for further comment on gmcfosho’s critiques on materialisms also look at his dissection of male-specific dress-related rites of passage in the hood in IM GROWN (2015) but why am I putting this in such words?]
This brings up things like.. a politics of ‘the innocuous.’ And a whole lot of other things, right? I’d love to discuss with someone — hello? — about the texture of gmcfosho’s articulations / emotive utterances in relation to the broader history of hip hop (ref here to Saul William’s Twice the First Time, 1997) and what may be considered its canon. Consider his use of faulty recordings, the too-close-to-the-mic graininess of I’M GROWN, and his corrupted shouts in Rifle Burs, and his nonsensical modal shifts in boombadoom.
gmcfosho is way ahead in deconstructing the media he is skilled in, the rules of the organism within which he functions. This is what a viral nature is, what a virus is. gmcfosho is a virus. It is also a crew of friends bent on critical unusual transcendence, a slick company of serious musicians and animators, and an anonymous / mysterious network of links with unexpected/ly subversive visual material.
So yea, gmcfosho has gotten very good at performing these deconstructive exorcisms. I suggest we learn from him. I can start immediately by naming my own medium-deconstructive path one of text-o-nihilism, and I follow his vulnerability-revealing linguistic tactics / moments of shrugging off conflict, of rising above language, in not worrying too much about how I came up with that and how ridiculous it sounds: text-o-nihilism. It’ll do: you could also learn from him by forgiving me all these unnecessary words, and going off to watch more videos of early youtube animation-SWAG.
“OR gmcfosho vulnerably effects a deconstruction of art writing into text-o-nihilism”
I wonder whether I squandered that ‘So yea’ as an easy opener, earlier. We can’t have too many, and even that has to be in relative distance from text like ‘the artist’s repetitive subversions…’ otherwise…
Oh but that’s clearly wrong– maybe we should have many ‘So yeas,’
I can indeed repeatedly indulge into a projected moment when gmcfosho really likes this text *gmcfosho really likes this! COMEUPOUTDAWAHTA and-and then he shares it SWAG* precisely because the text is disqualified from more formal art-critical circulation. This subtle virus has no need for that. Risking it, and surely in order to get rid of any remaining readers, I continue writing to speculate that gmcfosho might not mind this way of writing about his work: in the spirit of an animalistic / buffoonery-like re-centering of human experience, with its most oppressive cultural fantasies reconfigured into harmlessness (culturebusting), while defying canonical political categories, and being vulnerably boyish, childish, oh yea: animal about it. Being animal about it: focusing on one’s vulnerability in the moment of non-tactical, non-critical, non-polemic experience: the emergence from water, the moment of taking off a shirt or focusing on creating new sound, the stepping out in new clothes — I wonder where this is taking us, there’s more I haven’t watched.
From 2011! This was also the peak of the similarly-themed persona-driven youtube phenomenon Hennessy Youngman and his ART THOUGHTZ (another pseudonymous project, uncensored instance on Post-structuralism here).
Rifle Burs (original) disarms nigga/hater discourse / gun-fetishism / gun-related masculinisms and their sexualisations and ends with the beautifully meta-confrontational
… you can’t insult me with words I don’t know!
oh I haven’t fallen like this in a long time.