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MC Smook: With souped-up top comments among popular YouTube videos for 500,000 views

How can you, as a comparatively little-known rapper with not exactly mass-compatible humor and without a label with the appropriate marketing power behind you, generate attention for your own music at all? The German MC Smook has apparently recently received a clear push via YouTube's comment column. Among the music videos of international music stars, top comments, some of which were liked a thousand times, referred to the track “Wasser ohne Sprudel” by the Lower Rhine rapper. Is there a targeted marketing strategy behind this? OMR spoke to MC Smook.

"Someone tell me why this is being mentioned on every single music video", writes a user in the comment column under MC Smook's video "Wasser ohne Sprudel", which currently has a good half a million views on Youtube. "Francis Neil Mapoy" is apparently not the only one who asks this question: "Why are all the Americans celebrating this all at once?", Another YouTube user wonders at the same point. His questioning comment has more than 2,000 likes.

Youtube top comments can draw tremendous attention

Top comments on March 10 under the Youtube video "Oprah’s Bank Account" by Lil Yachty, Drake and Da Baby (screenshot: Instagram user einkarl)

Both questioners (if their comments are not fake) may have noticed MC Smook in the comment columns of YouTube videos of international hip-hop hits. Anyone who has browsed the comments under the hottest national and international music videos on YouTube in the past weeks and months has repeatedly come across references to the German rapper among the top comments.

A screenshot sent to us by an OMR Daily reader shows that a week ago three top comments under the video for “Oprah's Bank Account” by US rappers Lil Yachty, Drake and Da Baby revolved around MC Smooks . The joint music clip of the three genre heavyweights has been part of the “Trending Videos” since it was released about a week ago on YouTube in the USA and is attracting extreme attention. In nine days, the video garnered nearly ten million views.

Do US hip-hop superstars celebrate MC Smook in their video?

After the comment received many likes and ranked among the top comments, the user has edited the text

All three comments under “Oprah’s Bank Account” that refer to “Water without sparkling water” each have several hundred likes and are marked as “processed”. One day after the screenshot was sent to us, we found another comment from one of the three users under "Oprah’s Bank Account" - but unedited. The apparently female user simply quotes a punch line from the video clip and thus records many "likes", so that the comment quickly rises to the top comments. When we reload the comment a few hours later, it was processed - and refers to the similar humor known from memes on MC Smook.

For less skeptical contemporaries, the edited comments may give the impression that they are naming the three US rappers in the music video for "Oprah’s Bank Account" MC Smook. If you are gullible and do not have the leisure to watch the nine-minute video in full, you may immediately enter “mc smook” in YouTube's search slot. So has the rapper possibly artificially pushed YouTube comments with reference to his music in order to draw hip-hop fans' attention to his music?

"My supporters thought I deserved more views"

In a telephone conversation with OMR, Marc Tophoven, MC Smook's real name, explains that he himself has nothing to do with the edited comments. "I know about the people who do it," says Tophoven. “There was a time when my videos didn't perform as well. Some of my supporters then probably thought I deserved more views. "

Some time ago he set up his own fan group on Facebook, "back when the boomers had not yet completely taken over the platform". In this group, some of his followers would have come up with the plan to push MC Smook via YouTube comments. These started with comments under German rap videos, but then there were also comments under US videos.

5,000 new views every day through a Billie Eilish hoax

A comment suggesting that Billie Eilish is a fan of MC Smook has more than 2,000 likes on Youtube (screenshot)

How exactly his "supporters" push their comments under the top comments over and over again, Tophoven cannot say either. “It was explained to me that those with five or six accounts like each other, but that the entire process also takes a lot of time and you have to change the comments at the right moment.” He knows whether bots also like the respective comments not, but it could be. Like many other “vanity metrics”, likes on YouTube comments can also be purchased in many places on the Internet, as shown by a Google search.

It can hardly be denied that the strategy of generating attention via YouTube comments can work very well. For a while, the MC Smook fans have apparently spread the rumor very successfully under Billie Eilish's Carpool karaoke video (almost 50 million views) in the top comments that the singer (currently one of the greatest pop stars on the planet) had in the Video said that MC Smook's “Water” was her “favorite song”. "That brought me 5,000 more views of 'water with sparkling water' every day," says Tophoven.

Six-digit visits via Youtube comments

Another example of how you can generate attention through YouTube comments is the affiliate website Immerfresh.de. The creators of the project compile which items of clothing rappers wear in their music videos and, above all, get visitors to their site via YouTube comments they have spread under the respective music videos. According to Similarweb estimates, Immerfresh.de has six-digit visits per month.

Tophoven is quite ambivalent about the comments posted and pushed by his followers: “That looks a bit strange when you read through the comments, especially among American songs. When they started, I also wrote to them that they should stop doing it. I was also happy when that stopped in between. But what should I do, they just see it as fun. And to be honest, I almost don't care what people think of me. After all, the clicks on my videos are not fake or bought, but ultimately organic. "

Between hip-hop realness and post-modern irony

So are the fake top comments more inside fun than a really serious marketing hack? That is very easy to imagine. That Marc Tophoven, with his musical alter ego, is not aiming for mass compatibility and a very large, commercially successful hip-hop career becomes clear when you look a little at his work.

The now 27-year-old first gained greater fame in 2014 after he released a remix with the Austrian rapper Money Boy and subsequently became part of his “Glo Up Dinero Gang”. Similar to Money Boy, MC Smook also acts like a kind of fictional character, with whom it is never quite clear where “hip-hop realness” ends and post-modern irony begins.

Homoerotic calendar instead of tough guy accessories

A few examples: While it is a tradition in US hip-hop to rap over high-proof, sometimes high-priced alcohol ("Pass the Courvoisier", "Gin and Juice"), and at a time when German-speaking rap stars had their own vodka Bringing brands onto the market, MC Smook, on the other hand, propagates the cheapest drink of all: “Water without sparkling water” (first line: “Not another drink song”). For a while, MC Smook copied the stories of the US rapper DJ Khaled on Snapchat - just not on a swanky property in Miami, but in the small town of Issum with 11,000 inhabitants.

And while some other rappers publish their albums in bundles with bizarre extras such as blood, credit cards and coke tubes or even a drug dealer cellphone as a “premium box” (on the one hand, to be able to sell something like “sound carriers” to the young target group, especially but, in order to manipulate the charts by pre-ordering the limited boxes), MC Smook brings an "erotic calendar" onto the market together with a mixtape download (which should be more or less irrelevant for the chart creation anyway), with photos, somewhere between absurdity and homo-eroticism. A few months ago, the music magazine Noizz described MC Smook as the "Satire King of German rap". The rapper himself thanked for the "crown" with an Instagram post.

"I also just make good music"

The comments pushed by his fans may have contributed to the fact that he was awarded this title, as they definitely increased MC Smook's visibility. After all, they continue the ambiguity of the character MC Smook in a somewhat charming way, because it is never clear whether they are meant ironically or a deliberate fake. “First and foremost, I just make good music, that's important. So it makes sense that the song had this wave of comments, ”says Tophoven on the phone, and at this point you don't really know how much self-irony you should hear from this statement.

Thanks to Instagram user "einkarl" for pointing out the topic!