Sunday 27 May 2018

Nerd Church - Reactive

My new favourite thing* is YouTube reaction videos.

Not of the clickbait-y type. (Y'know, where either the original video or the reaction is like 'you'll never guess what happened next!' or has some sort of cheap/misleading title? Those ain't my thing.)

video 'play' symbol in black against a red background

*Well... one of my favourite things, I'm a complex person dammit!

I like reactions to music videos. Specifically rap videos.

Rap has never been much of a part of my musical tastes - (in my defence, a lot of rap has a weird affect on my synaesthesia) - but thanks to these videos, I've found rap that I totally love.

(In case you're interested, my favourite channel for reaction vids is BucketHeadNation.)

I love Joyner Lucas.

I mean, like, I have spent days on end listening to Joyner Lucas on Spotify. (That's not a sponsored thing - that's just how I listen to music a lot! Lol.)

His albums, videos, singles, everything; if it's got Joyner Lucas, it's going in a watch or listen queue.

I should probably mention at this point that the videos I mention from here on out are pretty hard-hitting and often violent and/or address racism.

So, I'm gonna link to them. But if you're under 18, and/or feel that you can't watch videos containing gun violence, racial violence, or racism, then I do NOT recommend them.

They also probably have flashing images.

I had never heard of Joyner Lucas before the end of last year, when I randomly clicked a reaction vid to his video for 'I'm Not Racist.'

I don't even remember what reaction vid it was or what enticed me to click it. I didn't even realise it was reacting to a music video. Maybe it was in a list or rec'd or something? I don't know.

Several YouTube holes and many, many, hours of view-time, later, and I was totally hooked. (And I still flinch at the shots in Ross Capicchioni - the timing of that just hits me in the gut every time!)

But it's not just the chance to discover a new musical love that has me constantly drawn back to the reaction vids - it's the discussions.

The discussions of lyrics, symbolism, and how art interacts with society, that just make me so very happy inside.

Take, for example, the discussions surrounding the video for This Is America by Childish Gambino.

If you haven't seen that video, then I'll just tell you that it's proper shocking. It's v. graphic, and includes execution-style shootings.
And no, I'm sure I haven't understood even a quarter of it. But that's where the reaction vids come in.

Childish Gambino This Is America video section with Donald Glover staggering/dancing, and being joined by back-up dancers
Part of the 'This is America' video.
Via @childishgambino on Giphy.

Because through hearing what black American YouTubers in particular thought of it, I have a context I can place it in.

I'm a white Welsh chick. I have limited knowledge of wtf was going on in that video.

It's through listening to people who have an understanding of the culture that I can begin to form an understanding of my own - based on information I wouldn't have had if I had just watched the video. 

The internet - and more specifically YouTube - has infinite possibilities for allowing us to better understand each other and the world around us.

Yes, I know that there's a lot of bad sh** on YouTube too - and I totally think that anything promoting hatred or beheading videos, child porn, etc. needs to BE PULLED THE HELL DOWN.

But... we can learn so much from listening to other people. Perspectives we'd never get otherwise. And that's kind of beautiful.

What do you think of reaction videos? Have you seen This Is America or Joyner Lucas' vids? Talk to me! 😃💬

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  1. Rap has a weird effect on your synaesthesia? Gotta tell me more! (I just don't like rap cause it's rap xD although as an exception, I did listen to Eminem when I was 16 and very angry at everything xD solid excuse)

    I have also not ever heard of the Joyner dude :D

    1. Yeah... some of it tastes damn weird, for a start!

      And then a lot of the time there's this... disconnect between the layers of music? ...and I find it hard to listen to songs where the layers don't... interact. Like, with some music, I literally can't hear half the song because I can only hear a layer or two. It also looks a bit... I don't see rap much; and then there's like one blob just sort of... there. Music isn't blobby, it's like... tendrils or waves... but a lot of rap is blobby.

      Sorry if that made v. little sense - I know you understand that explaining this to people is not easy sometimes! XD

  2. It’s great that you are learning more about rap and it’s symbolism, Cee! I found that reaction videos helped me a lot when I watched the movie Get Out for the first time. It was really informative when I didn’t understand some of the signs!

  3. I haven't not seen or heard any of the things that you mention. I do not consider myself a fan of rap and actually don't listen to music all that often anymore...I usually listen to audiobooks if I have time to listen to anything.

    1. Fair enough! If you're not into it, then you're not into it. :)

  4. I am totally fascinated by your description of what rap music looks like! But anyway, Idk if I've ever watched a reaction video. But I never thought of it as a way to understand certain videos better, so I love that idea and may have to try it!

    1. *whispers* Come to the reaction vid side Kristen - we're awesome! ;)

      And thanks, lol! Also I wasn't aware that people read my replies to other people... but I'm kind of happy about that! XD

  5. oh wow I had never encounter that kinda content in you tube [hatred, beheading videos, child porn!!!???] I have in other internet venues but not you tube. I was convinced they had policies against and that's why I never ran into them. Now I wonder if it is because we have so many filters at home! I totally agree about better understand each other and the world around us. So even though it comes with the bad as well I think it does forces us to think more as global citizens instead of staying withing the cultural limits of our environments. You got me really curious now! LOL I'll have to explore the reaction vid waters some now! getting my bathing AND diver suit in case I need to go deeeeeeep :)
    And yes I always read your replies to other people too :) I'm that snoopy :)

    1. They do have policies against it... but that doesn't mean it stops getting uploaded. ISIS often release their beheading videos via YouTube. The alt-right have waaaay too many supportive channels on YouTube, despite the rules. There's been media reports here about the child porn issue - often the channels are designed to look innocent, but there's an undercurrent of things which are just awful.

      Be careful if you have loads of filters - YouTube filters notoriously block LGBTQ+ content and creators for being 'mature,' even when there's nothing explicit in the vids.

      Check out reaction vids! They're amazing! (You may get stuck in a YouTube hole though.)

      Ha, ok, no pressure then! ;)

  6. I don't really watch/do reaction videos on Youtube but that's just personal taste and I get that it's just not me. I do love rap music though :D And yes, I saw that video and it came as a shock to some people! I am glad you've been able to find a way to learn more about it and contexualise through youtube videos ^.^

    1. Ha, it's certainly a striking video! I love reaction vids, I can't help it, they're awesome!


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