Behind the Meme: People’s Champion

SMC alum Alex Leavitt posted this fantastic documentary on his Tumblr. It’s a behind-the-scenes breakdown of the infamous Eli Porter rap battle, which got like 4 million YouTube hits and has been referenced by Kanye West and T-Pain, among others.

People’s Champion: Behind the Battle from Trent Babbington on Vimeo.

As Alex wisely says:

“I could say a lot about this documentary, about race, class, school life, discrimination, subculture, celebrity. And about the power of the internet as a network for recontextualization. But it really boils down to this: “There’s so much about it that’s dope, in a non-laughing-at-him kind of way. There’s something about him that I really want to listen to, regardless.”

My fascination with internet celebrity is well-documented and I’m pumped to see more stuff like this. What’s it like when something you’ve made, or been in, has the visibility of a network television show? What is it like when people know you, but you have none of the traditional trappings of fame to protect you?

Anyway, this is excellent procrastination fodder as it’s only 30 minutes long and very funny. The producers are trying to Kickstart Part II.