This morning, I almost broke my Complex-provided laptop. It happened after I saw an article on TMZ about Danielle Bregoli, aka the Cash Me Ousside girl, and her plans to cook up a "national tour" that will feature her "lip syncing and rapping to her fave songs," engaging in a "live Q&A with the audience," and inviting attendees "onstage to joke around." If everything pans out the way she wants, she could (allegedly) pull in $50,000 per show.
Why would that make me want to break my laptop? Because, at least over on Complex dot com, my byline is attached to most of the pieces on the infamous 14-year-old. And for that, I apologize.
My problem is I like to take these deep internets dives. I already knew that "Cash Me Ousside" was a major meme; I'm not going to not write about this phenomenon. And while I know in my heart of hearts that there's nothing funny about this little girl getting her 15 minutes of fame by putting on a blackcent, I can't tell if it's one of those "staring at a car wreck" situations or just my genuine interest in how actual human beings are turned into memes; I couldn't escape the lure of fuckery. As a consumer of internet culture, I'm a fan of everything from Auntie Fee's lit cooking segments to the Roll Safe meme, and I'm intrigued about getting the stories behind the likes of #StrandedBae and #UberBae. When it comes to investigating this internet shit, you gotta take the good with the bad, and helping turn Cash Me Ousside into a cash cow is definitely on the "bad" side.
Thing is, I could have left well-enough alone after that, right? Breaking down how this person became a meme could have truly been the end of the story, leaving me with more memes to enjoy and viral sensations to highlight. And we may not have gotten to the point where the Cash Me Ousside girl is recorded rapping on top of a car to a Kodak Black song, which is essentially the blueprint for a third of her "live show." Plus, with Kodak's own issues, that entire situation leaves one with a terrible taste in their mouth. First, she trolled us with a "social media hacking" and then there was word of her attempts at getting a reality show? Wise ploys, but even thinking about the words spent following her story has my acid reflux acting up. And it's for the same reason many were quick to pay her no mind: who is really trying to follow the exploitative journey of a teenage girl who's making bank doing things people with sense wouldn't bother doing? Not this guy.
And trust, the Cash Me Ousside girl doesn't need me; she's winning on her own. Homegirl is clocking 261K followers on Twitter, 1.6 million followers on Facebook, and an astounding 9.6 million followers on Instagram, with a growing audience of subscribers (265K at the time of this writing) on her YouTube page. While I have no doubt that she has actual fans (because this is 2017 and internet celebrity has been a thing), but how many of these people are just waiting for the Titanic that is the Cash Me Ousside phenomena to hit that iceberg and watch her demise?
And that's my main issue. I'm not a fan of blocking anyone's paper; if you're trying to get ahead, as long as you aren't hurting anyone, I'm with it. Hell, we all are trying to make it. But is it all worth it? Feeding the fire that is her celebrity can do one of two things: truly help her make a better life for herself, or consume her. The last thing I'd want to be a part of is the wicked flipside of being a celebrity, although that might be too late. I've already said too much.
All of that said, if clubs are going to book this teen to "perform" for a crowd of lurkers hoping to score a selfie with one of 2017's most infamous memes, be my guest. Just don't ask me to write about her.