A media gaffe spurred a chart topping hip hop song, a potential TikTok ban, merchandise, and global participation in public chants of political dissent. The meme “Let’s Go Brandon” is a serious parody on someone, and his name is not Brandon. Hip hop artist Loza Alexander, known for his agile words on political topics, created a song riffing on the meme, and was surprised as it skyrocketed to #1 on iTunes.
A brief explainer
So, it’s a little circuitous. Let’s Go Brandon refers to a media faux pas that became a meme, which was then fashioned into Alexander’s track before topping #1 on the iTunes Hip Hop charts. One Tea-Party aligned aggregator calls the meme, “A jocular but embarrassing slight against the Biden administration that has been ongoing for several weeks.”
Andy Meek with BGR clued readers in, putting it into perspective, “It’s 2021’s version of that viral clip from last year of a CNN reporter insisting to viewers that protests taking place in the frame behind him were peaceful (even though a building was clearly on fire).”
How did it all begin? Depending on your source, NBC anchor Kelli Stavast either misheard a chanting crowd at Talladega’s NASCAR event earlier this month or, perhaps more likely, attempted to cover up something occurring while the live camera rolled.
It may help to explain by way of preface that crowds at sports events have recently taken to chanting obscenities at the sitting U.S. president. One month before the Talladega incident, journalists were already noting the trend. Such an event was occurring en masse in the background as Stavast attempted to interview NASCAR champion Brandon Brown.
“Dad, we did it, let’s go!” Brown shouted into the camera on a live feed right after being declared the winner of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Race. A show-stealing scene was engulfing the assembled fans, however, who were estactically chanting something slightly out of place. The celebratory fans were indeed chanting the F-word repeatedly, together with the object of their gleeful expression, and it wasn’t Brandon.
According to a related AP “fact check,” when interviewing Brown, Stavast “said on air that fans behind him were chanting ‘Let’s go Brandon.’”
AP confirmed, “Video footage indicates the actual chant was ‘F— Joe Biden.’”
According to some reactions, Stavast may have been attempting damage control when she framed the chant as, “Brandon…as you can hear the chants from the crowd: ‘Let’s go Brandon!’”
Thus began a mockery of Stavast’s spin on Twitter and other social media. Brown himself, according to one netizen, can be seen in the NBC interview with a “priceless” expression after realizing what the crowd is really chanting.
Now, the phrase “Let’s go Brandon!” has taken on a life all its own. According to Heavy, “The phrase has popped up on a billboard, over the Chicago airport intercom, and at college and professional sporting events.” BGR contributed: “And at the recent Georgia-Auburn game, someone actually rented a plane to fly a banner with ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’ written on it.”
Another netizen quipped, “Biden did say he would unite America.”
Art imitates life, but draws censor’s threats
“Everybody hated Trump and now they out to catch a body,” chanted Alexander as he strikes several hilarious poses conveying his opinion of the moment when Stavast tried to cover up for the chanting crowd.
“Tried to cover up and tell the people ‘Go Brandon!’ — we know what they sayin’ tho’. You can hear the chant in every post. Don’t nobody want this commie because we are not in China,” rapped Alexander.
“That’s what they get for treatin’ us like we in Squid Game.”
The rap, titled Let’s Go Brandon Theme Song, with its nimble and humorous delivery, began to spread online. His videos usually garner about 50,000 impressions, yet views topped half a million on video-based social influencing app TikTok, netting the new star the threat of a ban.
The clip has garnered almost 2.5 million views on YouTube since it was posted on Oct. 10.
Apparently, making fun of a sitting President can be considered bullying.
On the evening of Oct. 13, Alexander posted the following together with a screenshot of an appeal message on a content violation from TikTok: “TikTok is planning on removing the Let’s Go Brandon record from TikTok they sent me the ban info!!!!”