A few years ago, memes were seen as little more than the work of bored teenagers with eccentric imaginations. Now it's become clear they're legit tools in the corporate world's marketing utility belt. Want proof? Look no further than Ka5sh, a professional meme maker who tells NBC he's survived off meme money for a whole year, with some of that dough being tossed to him by one of the biggest names in the music industry.

"So basically, I get hired by companies to make stuff," he explains. "Let's say like, Interscope wants me to make a pack of memes for a release for a certain rapper. And they want everyone to think that that rapper has a lot of like, buzz around them and that other people are making memes about them, but it's really just me making a whole bunch of them and then them being dispersed through different accounts."

While Ka5sh's claim sounds something like a conspiracy theory about music industry control, it definitely sounds very plausible—and effective. If you've been paying attention to the rap zeitgeist over the last few years, you already know memes have become a big part of hip-hop culture. At any given moment, you can see images of Gucci Mane, Drake or even Meryl Streep being turned into a viral sensation, thus giving them a new form of promotion. There's even a Playboi Carti meme shown in the NBC clip.

If meme-making hadn't already been elevated to an art form, Ka5sh brought it to that point this past February when he and a group of other famous meme makers hosted a meme art gallery in Los Angeles. It was called By Any Memes Necessary.

Ka5sh also makes music and writes other content for a plethora of companies besides Interscope. Learn more about his come-up in the video below. Check out some of his works in the Instagram posts beneath that.

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