Most people would never have predicted that a video shot outside the main doors of Penrhyn Road campus would become an overnight YouTube sensation, but with over 20,000 hits, the Kingston Exposed video has done just that. RiverOnline talks to the artist behind the video, J2O, aka KU student Jesse Olunloye.
There’s no denying it, the ‘Kingston Exposed’ PDF is definitely something of a sore subject around university at the moment, not least with Jesse Olunloye who was one of its victims.
The document, which was created anonymously, received an enormous amount of attention since its publication and world-wide circulation in February, even making it into the top five Twitter hash tags, a status normally reserved for celebrities and world events.
“The PDF tarnished the names of many, including my own,” explains Mr Olunloye. “Whoever spent the time sitting down making malicious attacks to others really needs to get a life.”
The 20-year-old computing studies student, who has been rapping since his early teens, made the video in protest not just at the PDF but also because The River’s published a story about it.
“I don’t agree with The River publishing the news because that meant that ‘Kingston Exposed’ is no longer within the university circuit, but now the everyday person could read about it and know what’s going on – which a lot of people wanted to avoid.”
But he added: “I felt that the topic was revived again so I thought I should take advantage of all this exposure and buzz around ‘Kingston Exposed’ by trying to turn a negative situation into a positive one.”
Mr Olunloye’s video has faced some harsh criticism and he has now disabled the comments thread on his video.
“I never take criticism to heart all I can do is listen and learn to do things better. I don’t pay YouTube and twitter comments any mind to be honest, the negativity they express usually has nothing to do with the video or song and it’s people like these that help you get even more publicity.
“I can’t be angry because it’s a controversial issue and not many people will agree with what I’ve done but at the same time I’ve noticed that people complaining and expressing their negative views have no connection or relationship with Kingston University.”
But the video has confused some watchers, because while J2O appears to criticise The River for drawing attention to the poison pen PDF, by making the video he draws even more attention to it, even reiterating some of the words in it.
“When making this video I had no intent to harm any individuals, I simply saw that this topic was generating a lot of interest and hype and tried to benefit from it musically by creating a song and video, I only expressed my opinions on the video and not supporting or glamorising anything that the PDF author did. I have reacted to me being a victim on the list in a different way and the best way I know how.”
“It was supposed to be a bit fun at the same time get people’s attention that I’m a musician.”
Criticism also came from a Swear Down TV video called J2O’s Kingston Exposed Fail, who call his video “crap”. But Mr Olunloye is undeterred. “I can’t really blame them, on their YouTube channel they have no video over 10,000 views so whoever is in charge probably told them to do it to get up their channel views.”
Mr Olunloye made his video with the help of London-based talents Acen and Double M and together they shot the film in just 3 takes.
Although he is currently not very well-known, the rapper is confident about his future, saying “right now it’s very hard to judge or predict, but if everything goes right then I expect to be well known in the UK.”