Friday, July 10, 2015

"When Will The English Version Come Out" Comments & Their Responses In YouTube Hip-Hop Comment Threads

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part* series on racist comments in YouTube Hip-Hop videos comment threads. Part I focuses on the internet meme "When will the English version come out?". This post includes information about that meme, my editorial comment, and recent examples of that meme from the discussion threads of three Hip-Hop (or Hip-Hop/Pop) videos: Soulja Boy - "Crank That Soulja Boy", Roscoe Dash - "All The Way Turnt Up ft. Soulja Boy", and Silento - "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).

Part II focuses on the "Not a single white person [in Hip Hop videos]. That's racism" comments that I found in the discussion threads of certain Hip Hop videos.

*I had initially planned to publish a third post in this series on Tube Hip-Hop video's comment thread about rappers wearing baggy clothes. However, I've decided to focus on the subject of baggy clothes in general without an emphasis on racist comments about that clothing style. A link to that projected pancocojams post will be included in a Related Links section on the posts in this series.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric and cultural documentation.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

From "When does the English version come out?" by Niseru, 2012.
“When does the English version come out?” Originally a question for video games/cartoons/anime/songs that have not yet been dubbed in English, is a trend of YouTube comments used to humorously indicate that (usually a singers singing/rappers rapping) although in English/Ebonics english, is hard to understand, usually do to a strong country accent, loud yelling or screaming, heavy use of auto-tune, or a mix of those. It seems to target the voice of the singer/rapper more than the way they speak.

The question/phrase can be asked or said in various ways, such as
“When does this come out in English?”
“Waiting for the English version”
“Cant wait for the English version to come out”
“Where can I find the English version?”
But with “When does the English version come out?” being the most common."

It should come as no surprise to people who read YouTube video comment threads that Black music video's discussion threads usually includes lots of racist comments. But, perhaps because I don't often watch Hip-Hop videos, and therefore don't read those discussion threads, it wasn't until three days ago that I became aware of the proliferation of "When does the English language version come out" and- to a lesser extent- the repeated number of "Not a single white person[in Hip Hop videos]. That's racism" comments in those videos.

Actually, the videos that I visited -and whose comment threads I read- are examples of Hip-Hop Pop music. That sub-set of Hip-Hop is also known as "club music" (with "club" meaning "nightclub"), "dance music", "party music", "crunk music", and the more recent category label "turn up" music. "Turn up" in this context mostly means "music that gets you hyped (pumped up, energized). "Turn up" music is music that you dance to. Note that the term "turn up" or "turnt up" has other (earlier?) meanings. Read visitor submitted enties for "turnt up" in [Warning: Some of these entries include profanity.] Also, read this 2014 article about the term "turn up"/"turnt up":

After reading all of the comments that were posted to date [July 9, 2015) on the three YouTube video discussion threads which I identified above, I've concluded that a considerable number of those comments are either covertly or overtly racist against Black people. I've also concluded that many of these racist comments are posted by trolls. A 2002 urban dictionary definition of "trolls" is "One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument" (by Alien Entity September 22, 2002). Trolls also post deliberately provocative comments "just for fun". The deep seated virulent racism that still exists in the United States and elsewhere are exemplified by these discussion threads direct (openly/ overtly) racist comments, and the discussion threads covertly racist comments that are couched in seemingly innocent, concerned language which sometimes comes across as "throwing shade"*. Just because something is written as a joke doesn't mean it is funny, and doesn't mean it's not racist.

These types of questions or statements on YouTube discussion threads are examples of microaggressions. Here's a definition of microaggression from
"Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. In many cases, these hidden messages may invalidate the group identity or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment."
-end of quote-
People who post such comments on Hip-Hop music discussion threads came to those social internet spaces where Black people and non-Black people who are interested in and fans of that music congregate to relax, enjoy that music, and discuss that music. That social experience is diminished by openly racist remarks or remarks that are couched in fake concern or questions.

Bloggers who re-post "When will the English version come out" or "Not a single white person.[in Hip Hop videos] That's racism." comments or versions of those comments aren't asking those questions or posting those comments to receive serious responses. At the very least, they may be unaware of the racism that fuels those questions or comments. However, that doesn't make those questions or comments less racist.

It's important to note that few of those commenters identify themselves by race, although I believe that people participating in those exchanges assumed that the bloggers who were writing (or copying) those memes were White. That said, it's important to note that as demonstrated below, some of the commenters who speak out against those types of comments/questions identify themselves as White. But, at the very least, repeatedly reading such questions and comments on YouTube discussion threads can be annoying and disgusting. Black participants and/or readers of these discussions and participants of other races could also feel disdainful, bitter, angry, and prejudiced towards those people writing such direct and indirect racist comments/ questions. Black people and others could also feel sadness that racism is quite strong, inspite of pronouncements that we are now are in a post-racial society.

The comments that are included in this post are examples of those memes. This is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all the examples in those discussion threads of those memes or that subject matter.

I'm publishing the selected examples of those comments and of some responses to those comments for cultural and folkloric documentation. In Part I and Part II of this series I've provided links to the videos from which these discussion threads come.

*My definition of "throwing shade" from What "Reading Someone", "Throwing Shade", & "No Tea No Shade" Mean.


WARNING: These discussion threads contain racist, homophobic, sexually explicit content, and profanity. Examples with that content aren't included below, with the exception of a limited number of comments that have the curse word/s deleted or not fully spelled out. Also, in this post what is commonly known as the n word is given in place of that fully spelled out racial referent.

I. Soulja Boy Tell'em - Crank That (Soulja Boy)
SouljaBoyTellemVEVO, Uploaded on Nov 22, 2009

1. Matt Mayuiers, 2014
"Sounds great, I can't wait for the English version to come out!!!"
A number of comments with this same wording are found in this discussion thread posted by bloggers with other names than the name given above.

2. PepeJuventino, 2014
"I remeber when I first heard this I thought it was Japanese"

3. Grrizly, 2014
"Can someone tell me in what language is this song?"

4. Fantasy, 2013
"we dont need english when we got this"

5. Nobody, 2013
"Still waiting for the English version to come out..."

6. Oliver Proctor, 2013
"Sadly Soulja Boy has denied his loyal fans an english translation to the song :("

7. JJoh4040, 2013
in reply to Oliver Proctor
"its written in ebonics"

8. barzy qasim, 2015
"Is this even entirely English?"

9. afdgafdghjk, 2015
"[Profanity deleted] these [n word]s cannot speak english"
What is commonly known as “the n word” was fully spelled out in this comment.

10. thepretenda, 2015
"When is there going to be a version in English?"

11. Johnathon Gaudet, 2015
"There's always that one guy^^^^^^^"

12. Dom1nateRK, 2015
"It's not that hard to understand what he's saying..."

13. William Reid, 2015
"It's a joke."

14. DigitalRealm, 2015

15. Hi I'm Lightning, 2015
"+thepretenda its english dummy"

16. DaQuan J, 2015
"You don't get the joke. Whites have a hard time understanding Ebonics."

17. king keffel, 2015
"+DaQuan J im white I understand it perfectly"

18. Maya Moe, 2015
"Lol I'm not sure probably never going to happen, he needs to learn the language first."

19. JeffA- 22, 2015
"This is clear English 😒"

20. kendall Campbell, 2015
"+JeffA- 22 they just bein white"

21. krm1263 mc, 2015
"For [profanity deleted] sake I'm white and I understand everything that's they're saying it's not hard to understand anyone or even get a understanding of what they're saying"

22. Ourworld Tutorials, 2015
"When am I going to stop seeing this comment on almost every music video?"

22. Oye S., 2015
"+thepretenda The same time these people realize what a joke is, most likely..."

23. DarkLord10951, 2015
"Your watching it"

24. Adrianne Johnson, 2015
"This is it"

25. Anderson Albritton, 2015
"Anyone in these comments get a sarcastic joke??I do.Hah.Funny.I grinned."

26. Doodle Bob, 2015
"When you get hearing aids."

27. PaiNExoTiC, 2015
"+thepretenda Be original."

28. Shaan Tahir, 2015
"Yall are racist. Its not because hes white. Its because hes thepretenda. Its in the name idiotss:

29. JeffA- 22, 2015
"When's there gonna be a english version of your comment!!!"

30. Pink Sunglasses, 2015
"+JeffA- 22 You mean it isn't African?
My whole life was a lie."

31. Neveah Worden, 2015
"I love this songs and
I don't care about the English
Version ..............."

32. ShadowCat Destroyer, 2015
"ummm...this an american song right?"

33. Rab John C. Blay
""Superman" and "you" are the only words that i can understand"

II. Roscoe Dash - "All The Way Turnt Up ft. Soulja Boy Tell'em"
Roscoe DashVevo, Uploaded on Feb 23, 2010

1. Taigacan, 2013
"can't wait till the english version comes out =D"

2. Bianca Brown, 2013
in reply to Taigacan
"it is already out u just dont understand it"

3. Taigacan, 2013
"can't wait till the english version comes out"

4. prince brown, 2013
in reply to Taigacan
"and im still waiting for that gay ass joke to be over"

5. ZizioGardo, 2013
in reply to Taigacan
"Why do you keep posting the same comment over and over again?
It was funny the first time, but now it's just annoying."

6. Taigacan, 2013
"it’s a joke obv"

7. Ryne, 2013
"When's the English version coming out?"

8. hellhound one, 2014
"Only the best get trolled by the worst. Keep hatin we'll keep makin MONEY!!"

9. Taigacan, 2014
"waiting for the english version"

10. dddwbtw, 2014
"Don't understand a word he say'n"

kanagye, 2015
11. "What language is this in? Doesnt appear to be english."

12. letthebutthurtbegin, 2015
"+kanagye You're a bigger buzz kill than buzz killington"

13. Mastero, 2015
"+kanagye shut up"

14. Musashi Kaneko, 2015
Go back to country music on a half broken radio [socially inappropriate homosexual referent deleted]

III. Silentó - "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) (Official)"
SilentoVEVO Published on Jun 25, 2015

[All of these comments are from 2015.]

1. Instagray
"Sounds great. Can't wait until the English version is out"

2. Shai Mitchell
"It is in English lol"

3. arman noor
"I don't understand the joke"

4. Edward Nelson (Eddie)
"+arman noor The joke is that the language used in the song is so shi&&y,* that it's not understandable because it's so stupid."
*This word is fully spelled out in this comment.

5. sarayelle98 soso
"+arman noor Bc these are not lyrics he is just saying words and putting them 2gether"

6. David Santiago
"This song doesn't make any sense! These people need English Classes"

7. Claire Martin
"Why is this getting so much hate? Sheesh"

8. Cirndie Joseph
"Why is the comment section a freaking war zone? Racists everywhere.... rude people hating 😰😰 and others bashing people's opinions. Can't we all just be happy like the people in this video?"

9. milknjuice
"for all those dissing this song for its lyrics, you guys are being overly critical. This song is suppose to be fun. I know little kids who love this song and I'm okay with that. It's fun, it's clean, and catchy …. and SMDH on the racist comments in here."

10. classystegosuarus
"Have you ever tried taking a moment to realize that language evolves and new words are formed to name things such as dance moves? Similar to how kids sometimes struggle when reading Shakespeare because it uses the lingo and slang from that period. Language progresses with each generation, it actually fascinating to see how it changes"

11. Michael Emerson-Quaynor
"To all you haters,this is a great song. Am sorry if you don't like it but I have a suggestion. DON'T WATCH WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE."

UPDATE: July 10, 2015
Here are selected comments that are part of an interesting exchange between bloggers on another Hip-Hop/Pop video's discussion thread. This exchange started with a blogger posting an overtly racist comment
From "GS Boyz - Stanky Legg
All of these comments are from 2015:

"So that's what my cotton field workers went to do."

Keliyah Clark
"Bruh if you're trying to be funny go back to the 1800s if was funny then we have something new thats funny not even close to this "joke". White people act like their better but there are some whites trying to be black. Black people know how to think. We know how to dance. The only thing whites know about is Starbucks."

Justin H
Your making white people amd southern people look bad

"+Keliyah Clark Why the [profnity deleted] are you condemning the whole white race based off one person? Ignorant [profanity deleted]."

Eric Johnston
"+Keliyah Clark just because he's being racist and immature doesn't mean you have to be like. MLK didn't say blacks are better than whites he said all men are equal. Be the bigger person, what you're saying just encourages them"

This concludes Part I of this series.

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