Brandon Moore — better known as Young Busco, the creator of the “WHAT ARE THOSE?” meme — dead at 31
Moore went viral in the summer of 2015 after addressing a police officers unflattering footwear
It was no secret Moore had a love/hate relationship with his viral fame
Despite requests Moore had no motivation in profiting off the viral video and instead wanted people to remix it
The cause of Moore’s death is unknown at this time
On Monday it was announced that 31-year-old Brandon Moore — better known as Young Busco, the creator of the “WHAT ARE THOSE?” meme — had passed away. The cause of death was not released, but Moore had posted on his Instagram account on Sunday.
@YoungBusco, the East Bay social media comic behind the #Whatarethose meme has passed away, according to his friends. According to a 2015 @vice article, his real name was Brandon Moore and he was a father of 5. #YoungBusco @nbcbayarea
@YoungBusco, the East Bay social media comic behind the #Whatarethose meme has passed away, according to his friends. According to a 2015 @vice article, his real name was Brandon Moore and he was a father of 5. #YoungBusco @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/LNX1JX1exO
— Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) November 26, 2018
In a 2015 interview with VICE from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, Moore went into a bit more detail on his viral video of calling out a police officer for his unflattering shoes. The video was unintentionally recorded at Ashby BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station in the city of Berkeley, California while hanging out with his friend Myesha.
Moore said Myesha was arrested for drinking in public. While his friend was being arrested, Moore was recording the arrest. It was as Myesha was being placed in the back of a cop car that Moore asked a question his friends had said all their lives. “What are those?”
The video was viewed over 38 million times on the Vine app alone over the summer of 2015. Of course from Vine, it spread to other social media networks. The short video has held up over the years and was even featured in the Black Panther movie earlier this year. Moore told the HuffPost he was less than thrilled about being in the film.
When I saw [the scene], my girl was trying to record it,I slapped the phone out of her hand, because I was like, ‘I don’t want to fucking be a part of this.’ For real, every time I see that shit, I get depressed. … I feel good I created something that’ll be with the world forever, but then I feel bad because I didn’t handle my business part correctly.
Just one month after Moore found viral fame, he was placed in jail for a narcotics charge and probation violation, which is why he was in jail when interviewed by VICE. Even before going to jail, Moore was already sick of the viral fame “What are those” was receiving in the weeks following its creation. In a tweet from July 5, 2015, Moore wrote, “I’m ready to let #whatarethose burn in hell.”
It’s official, I’m ready to let #whatarethose burn in hell, it’s old now. Bout to come up with some new shit and let yall wear that out
— young busco (@YoungBusco) July 5, 2015
It’s official, I’m ready to let #whatarethose burn in hell, it’s old now. Bout to come up with some new shit and let yall wear that out.
Regardless of loving it or hating it, Moore gave “What are those?” to the people. Moore had people reaching out telling him to copyright it, and he was simply not interested. “I made a public statement saying, ‘I want you to copy and remix [What are those?!] a million times.'”