The great thing about the streaming video platform YouTube is the accessibility and chances it continues to give people with talent who may never get seen by the Hollywood machine. The bad thing about YouTube is that it made people like Jake Paul famous.
The Vine maker turned YouTube vlogger made a name for himself on the video service in the newly emerging category of young, rich pricks who somehow get to have a thriving music career regardless of their actual talent or even their likeability.
Pretty much everything Paul has done to make himself famous has moved society to give serious consideration to writing an apology letter to Spencer Pratt. Almost.
The former Disney Channel star somehow scored an invite to the White House, which he squandered by trying to stay overnight in a bathroom as part of a prank.
Paul turned his high priced Los Angeles neighborhood into a war zone by burning furniture in his backyard and attracting scores of hardcore "JakePaulers" to mob the block. Then he furthered his douche quotient by appearing on the local news and confirming for the cameras just how big of a conceited tool he can be. He crawled on news vans for his braying fans and his crew, which he calls "Team 10." He bragged about his fame before making fun of the reporter's fashion sense, a moment that cost him his role on Disney Channel's Bizaardvark. He's since been sued by his former landlord for trashing the massive house he rented.
He gets away with this and scores of other low moments he pulls for public attention simply because he's not his older brother Logan, who thought it would be funny to release a video featuring a dead body he and his giggly friends found in Japan's infamous "suicide forest."
Then there's Paul's "music" career. After hearing him live at the Toyota Music Factory in Irving on Thursday night before an almost capacity crowd of young kids and their very patient parents, it made me wish the venue offered some kind of mute button.
It appears that Paul and his five-deep Team 10 crew are performing music, but the majority of them let the electronic backup music, overused bass and the crowd reciting their super weak lyrics do all the work for them. When they jump to the beat, it's less than an inch from the ground. Their freestyles consist solely of phrases like "Let's go" and "Ho, ho."
The show opens with Team 10 member and singer Sunny Malouf. She's got some soul and rhythm and knows how to play the piano, so there's a semblance of musical talent there, but Paul's presence gets in the way of it. He can't resist inserting himself into her solo performance with photos of himself and his crew and the prank videos he's filmed with her flashing on the stage's giant screens. Any genuine feelings of appreciation for her talent are lost under layers of hate sediments that have started forming before Paul is physically on the stage.
Paul appears 30 minutes later asleep in a bed that's meant to represent the one in his native Ohio. He dreams of going to Hollywood when he suddenly wakes up and jumps out of bed dressed in his Zack Morris cosplay.
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He talks about wanting to leave dreary old Ohio where nothing happens (does he flip the script when he performs in Ohio?) and go to Los Angeles where he can make something of himself so he can go on tour to places like New York, Florida and Texas, wasting no time getting an obligatory, regional shout-out just one minute into his set, a surefire sign the show will suck.
Then his DJ introduces members of Team 10, or at least the ones who haven't quit yet because of bad business practices or outright abuse. The DJ calls Anthony Trujillo the guy who's "best known for pooping on Jake Paul's pillow" and Justin Roberts as "the youngest kid to ever buy a Ferrari."
Then they launch into their awful rap songs starting with "Ohio's Where I'm From" and the show quality starts its steep drop toward oblivion. Almost every subsequent song just brings the show lower and lower into some kind of mass enhanced interrogation session, as if the CIA is trying to get all of its information in one giant cram session. Paul made me want to apologize for everything I've ever said about Macklemore.
Paul's performance and weak lyrics in other songs like "Ohio Fried Chicken" and "Cartier Vision" produce as much electricity as a potato battery, but they could have been entertaining on an unintentionally funny level if he actually put in any effort into anything he did on stage. He barely moves when he dances and just recites lyrics rather than performs them. The sketches between the songs are straight out of a Bible summer camp variety show. Paul performs like he knows he doesn't have to do anything more than stand on a stage to please the JakePaulers in the room.