Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two weeks, my guess is that you’ve heard of Tay Zonday. The video of him performing a song called “Chocolate Rain” is probably the most popular video on YouTube right now, which would probably put it in the running for the most popular song out right now, right up there with “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston.
If, by some bizarre confluence of circumstances, you’ve yet to see this shit,
I heard BET would like you to pitch a series you can check it out here:
In an interview yesterday with one of these other hip-hop sites, a guy asked Tay Zonday what his background is. Tay Zonday responded that he’s Martian. Later on in the interview, he refers to himself as a “young black man,” so obviously he’s not that hung up on issues of race, but the real issue seems to be just how black he is. In general, he seems really evasive when it comes to anything having to do with his ethnic background or his sexual orientation.
As Zonday himself put it:
As long as I talk about myself in fiction that someone else wrote, I might as well write my own fiction: I’m from Mars. Most believe the story that I’m a black mulatto.
Of course he isn’t willing to confirm or deny whether or not he is indeed a mulatto.
The thing is, he may have already given himself up. I’m sure many of you will beg to differ with my detective work, but think about it: If you’re half black and half white, and your “Christian” name is “Tay,” then obviously your mother was the one who was black. See, if he had a first name that was actually, you know, a real name, but then his last name was something you see fairly often in the black community, like Williams, then we’d know it was the daddy who was black.
Granted the surname Zonday doesn’t sound like anyone’s last name that I ever heard of, and Tay Zonday could very well be a stage name, but still. Again I’m sure plenty of you will disagree with how I came to my conclusion here, but let’s face it. If his daddy was black and his momma was white, which is the case more often than not with mulattos in this country, my guess is that he’d be somewhat better-adjusted than he is.
Speaking of which, what’s wrong with Tay Zonday anyway? On his profile page on YouTube it says, “Yes, I look young. I am 25 years old.” Which isn’t much of an explanation, as far as I’m concerned. Tay Zonday doesn’t just look young, he looks fucked up, like he’s got some kind of weird disease. I’ve got a brother who’s 25 who looks young for his age (last year they gave him a free t-shirt at Busch Stadium because they thought he was 14), but he doesn’t look nearly that young.
I’m only 26 myself, but I’ve got the opposite problem. I could pass for 35, if not even older, just because I’ve spent the past several years living the life I sing about in my songs, so to speak. Just like the old negro spiritual. But still, my guess is that Tay Zonday’s issues stem from some sort of medical condition rather than whatever lifestlye choices he’s made. If anything, I can’t help but be reminded of the situation with Andy Milonakis a few years ago.
You’ll recall that Andy Milonakis was also a twenty-something guy who looked like a kid and made goofy web videos. The thing is, Milonakis played up his youthful appearance to the point where people just assumed he was the world’s most foul-mouthed, culturally literate (remember he was really into Big L) 12 year-old. Then, once his MTV series began to take off, it was revealed that he was really 29 or whatever and suffered from some sort of medical condition.
On my own site, I speculated that the condition might be more severe than he’d like us to think, and that he might end up dead of some liver condition before he reaches middle age, which tends to be the case fairly often with midgets. Of course he didn’t take too kindly to my speculation and retaliated by having all of umpteen thousands MySpace friends call my house (where I haven’t lived since 1999, mind you) to warn me not to talk shit about Andy Milonakis.
My guess is that once the fascination with Tay Zonday does reach critical mass, assuming he does go on to be more than your average flavor of the month on YouTube, we’re going to find out the truth about the truth about things like his ethnic background, his sexual orientation, and why it is he looks like he a little boy despite the fact that he’s supposedly roughly the same age as myself, and my guess is that it’s going to be some really disturbing shit, which I’m sure is why he’s so hesitant to discuss these issues in the first place.