You Better Have That Same Energy

Phoenix Williams
Apr 18, 2020 · 7 min read

Wild’n! Wild’n! Wild’n!

Man, I have loved Wild N’ Out for years! In fact, before Corona showed her ugly ass up, I had tickets to go to the live show. My favorite game is definitely Pick Up and Kill It, but Wildstyle is definitely a close second.

But, baby! The season fourteen finale that aired this week…the Wildstyle was the only focus.

Why?

Because it was all personal.

Now, if you’ve been off Twitter, IG, and YouTube for the last few days, then you may not know what is going on. The one take away I got from it was the people you see on your way up are the same people you’ll see on your way back down. So, you better come with that same energy when you see them again.

Now, let’s get to it.

The Background:

Let’s take it back to the early days of YouTube. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, black YouTube was on fire. This was the time when going viral still meant something. The first viral video I ever heard of was Asking All Them Questions by Emanuel Hudson.

Now the original video was just him, in front of his camera with a hoodie on…it was red, I believe. Per Emanuel, that video started gaining some traction. That was when fellow YouTuber, Spoken Reasons, reached out to him. At this time, Emanuel and SR had never worked together, and, according to Emanuel, he had never heard of SR before that call. SR was known during this period for his funny skits, while Emanuel was known for his comedic songs. This seemed like a match made in creative heaven.

To make a long story medium-sized, SR flew Emanuel out to Orlando to shoot an official video for Emanuel’s song, Questions. They do an interview, shoot the video, and Emanuel goes back home. In charge of editing the footage, SR tells Emanuel that they should drop the video in February for Valentine’s Day. At the time of this conversation, it was January.

Now, anyone who is a fulltime YouTuber will tell you that you cannot go a month without posting anything to your channel. The algorithms don’t like that. So, after reluctantly agreeing to SR’s plan, Emanuel decided to create another song during the one month gap. Ratchet Girl Anthem by Emanuel and Phillip Hudson damn near broke the internet. Everyone was singing it and using it in everyday conversation.

With millions of views within a matter of days, Emanuel states that SR called him that Friday and indicated that they needed to drop the video for Questions immediately. This makes perfect sense as you always want to capitalize on the momentum. So, they decided to release the video simultaneously on Sunday. All that was needed was for SR to send Emanuel the edited video. Well, according to Emanuel, the very next day, Saturday, he receives a text from a fan congratulating him on the collaboration with SR.

Confused about what was happening, he called SR and was told that he decided to drop the video early. He was to send Emanuel the edited version that night. The next day, with no video in his inbox, Emanuel tries to call SR, and, again, according to Emanuel, SR’s phone was off. There was some back and forth via Twitter and more excuses given by SR as to why Emanuel still didn’t have the video. Finally, one of Emanuel’s friends ripped the video and gave Emanuel the copy to post to his own page.

Unfortunately for Emanuel, and a lesson for all of us, at the time, the person who uploaded the video first to YouTube was deemed the originator by the company. SR received the lion’s share of the profits from the sixty-six million views. And, to add insult to injury, Emanuel tried to contact SR for over a year with no response. When SR finally responded, it was to tell Emanuel to be humble since he put him on his first flight. This response came after Emanuel posted a tweet about how SR was getting famous due to his song. A magazine had written about it, it was aired on BET, and SR had landed a role in The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.

Wild N’ Out

Emanuel airing out Spoken Reason’s dirt.

So, you may be asking, why would Spoken Reasons go on Wild N’ Out? They must have set him up.

Well, not exactly.

Last year, there was some buzz about SR coming at Nick Cannon, MTV, Emanuel Hudson, DC Young Fly, and many others. Now, there was beef between DC and SR a few years back due to an interview that SR did where he dragged DC after just chopping it up with him at the BET Awards.

Back to last year…

SR was coming at those listed above for various reasons. Still, the main one was that he had never been on the show though he had, according to him, birthed half the people on that stage. Well, anyone who knows how Wild N’ Out and Nick Cannon do things knows that once you call them out and make a big enough fuss, you get an invite to prove yourself on the stage. And that’s exactly what happened.

SR showed up to the place where he had beef with a plethora of people. Per Emanuel, he told the cast to not treat him any differently and that the beef between him and SR had nothing to do with them. Several games were played, per usual, but the ones that had the internet all a-flutter were Got Damned, where SR had to go up against DC, and Wildstyle, where Emanuel clapped at him so hard my jaw dropped.

According to multiple cast members, once the show was over, there was a brief verbal confrontation but nothing physical. Everyone went their separate ways, and it was squashed.

Until the episode a few days ago, almost a year later.

Next thing you know, there are live videos from SR accusing Emanuel of lying, and he had the receipts. Said receipts were a BMI report that he filed, stating that Emanuel owned the majority of the song. The issue with this? The song dropped two years before that document being filed. Where’s the money from that time? This document did nothing when all the hype, traction, and cash came in two years prior.

DC & Emanuel discussing what happened on IG Live.

The Lessons

Spoken Reasons is a YouTube legend. No one can take that from him. You’ll find plenty of people out there defending him and who have had ethical dealings with the man. And that can all be true.

Just because a person is good to you doesn’t mean they haven’t been wrong to someone else.

That’s lesson number one. Protect yourself.

I don’t care who it is, get everything in writing. When a contract is drawn up, nothing else matters outside of those pages. Your feeling. Your opinions. Your regrets. None of that is relevant.

That was where both Emanuel and Spoken Reasons messed up. If there had been a contract in place, we wouldn’t be talking about this now. Well, at least reasonable people wouldn’t be talking about it.

Lesson two: communication and decency are everything. Spoken Reasons did an interview not too long ago, where he stated that he uploaded the video first, so everyone saw it on his page. Right after that statement, the interviewer says, “So whatever money came from that from millions of views, he [Emanuel] he didn’t see any of that?”

SR answers, “Naw, because [stumbles over words] it was all new at the time.”

If SR had honestly talked to Emanuel about him not really knowing how to handle everything because it was all new instead of docking and dodging, I think they could have worked this out years ago. In business, whether it’s creative or traditional, you have to communicate effectively. You also have to be a decent person. Handle yourself with integrity and several dashes of empathy.

Had SR been able to put himself in Emanuel’s shoes, he would have understood why he felt the way did. Imagine watching a man not only bring in cash but also be in magazines, television shows, and movies, and all they mention is the song you wrote. You’d feel salty too.

Which leads to lesson number three. The people you see on the way up are the ones you see on the back down, so you better have that same energy.

People don’t disappear after you’ve done them wrong. Nope. They are right there, remembering how you made them feel. So, if you are bold enough to duck, dodge, and lecture, then you need to be brave enough to stand there and hear how the other person has experienced you.

You can’t tell anyone how to feel, but you can damn sure be objective, acknowledge your faults, and take responsibility.

Well, that’s it for today, y’all. Be safe out here and please, read over your contracts.

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