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