This is the first ‘Where Are They Now?’ in awhile. I thought what better way to bring back this series than with one of my favorite YouTube personalities from when I was in high school, hotdamnirock. Kain Carter AKA hotdamnirock was one of the bigger names in comedy when it came to YouTube. He wasn’t massive like Fred but he was doing numbers and I mean fucking big numbers at a time where it was uncommon to get a million views on a video. This was before the time of Vloggers buying million dollar houses and makeup tutorials getting millions of views in a day. This was old school YouTube.
When getting ready to write this I just watched his very first video that is on his channel and it brought back memories. He asks for people to sub in the top right and to rate the video 5 stars. Do you guys remember that janky ass layout they had back in 2009? What great timing by me because his first video was uploaded almost exactly 11 years ago.
Do you see that quality kids? That was some elite shit back in the day if you didn’t have a legit team back then. Maybe it is nostalgia but that is my favorite part about Kain, it wasn’t about a super high quality video or a big budget. This dude would talk into a camera for a few minutes and just be himself. Yeah he would make some jokes but he was just himself and everyone liked him.
Now I’m not sure which of his videos hit one million views first. I’m not sure how long it took for this video to hit one million either but if you just look from when he first started making videos, the success was there immediately. 3ish months to his YouTube career is where we see our first 7 digit view counter. His 12th video. Regardless of how long it actually took for that video to get over a million it is impressive to get those amount of views, during that time on YouTube and it only took a few months.
Still a little rough around the edges but give the guy a break it was 2009 for fucks sake. It didn’t take him much longer to make one of his biggest videos ever. About two and a half years he went from the last video to this next one. This video is how a lot of people found out about hotdamnirock and you see a very big up in the production for this sketch. Kain illustrates to us the struggles of family and relationships. He shows us that sometimes you have to draw a line and sometimes you need to not only stand your ground but do whats right. He did all of that by enlisting the help of maybe the two most famous brothers of all time.
Before moving completely on I feel like I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t include his most viewed video. Even watching it now, almost 6 years later, I’m still like “ooh what the fuck is happening”. I just can’t tell who is in on the prank and who isn’t. This was when prank videos were MASSIVE on the internet but they usually didn’t result in gunplay.
He kept making videos and they kept doing well. He would do a little vlogging, more sketches, he made a work out channel and of course his trademark bathroom videos. He would just stand in his bathroom and talk to the camera for 5 minutes. I talked about it before but Kain made it feel like he was just one of the boys and was talking to you. Not his thousands of subscribers. He was gracious enough to breakdown the bottom bitch theory for us. He had merch and he was growing, if he was able to keep up the pace he would be just like all of the other YouTubers today.
Unfortunately, there was an accident. About four years ago his cousin passed away from lupus. I’ll post the video so you can hear it from him but he didn’t answer his dads phone calls, assumed that it was some tech problem that he could fix in the morning and woke up to over 100 missed calls. The doctors were having people come and say goodbye and he didn’t get to go and see her. Something that would fuck most people up, he has to deal with all of those emotions and was still expected to make these funny videos. I can’t imagine those videos were at the top of his to do list.
It was like Kain vanished. One day he was uploading videos like normal and then poof. No videos at all and there was no explanation as to why. Obviously now we know why and it’s understandable. After his cousin died things just kept happening…
About a year after his last video Kain uploads this. Just him describing what has been going on and why he hasn’t been around. He gets into an accident towards the end of 2015, he doesn’t get to say goodbye to his cousin, his dog nearly dies, he gets wildly sick and is hospitalized multiple times and then to top it all off his best friend dies. What a year. That is some shit that over a few years would be tough for someone to handle he had all of those awful things happen in the span of 15ish months.
That is when everything was different. Again, it is to be expected but I have this thought. I know it isn’t a good way to look at things but its like the butterfly effect. What would of become of his channel if none of that happened? Would he have continued to upload and grow his channel? There is some dimension or universe where none of those shitty things happen to him and he is a massive star. Whether he is on TV or doing music or even just being a YouTuber. There is somewhere that his life continued on a totally different path and things like are what I think about the most. I’m a big “what if” guy.
He’s uploaded 13 videos since that one. Things have changed. He’s changed. When I say he has changed I don’t mean it in a negative way. I feel like when people say that it has a negative connotation. He isn’t the same person today that he was in 2009. Hopefully none of us are. If you’re the same person you were a decade ago things have gone poorly. Growth is important. He looks different, he sounds different and if I didn’t know better I wouldn’t think that the person from 3 years ago who just lost his best friend was the same person posting on his channel now. This is his most recent video, it is a lot newer than I thought it would be when I started writing this.