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READING for June 4, 2011

  • Our Favorite YouTube Videos This Week: The Unexpected Rapper Edition

    This week, we asked YouTube NextUp participant Josh Sundquist to curate our YouTube Roundup, the theme of which is: Unexpected Rappers.

    Sundquist is a 26-year-old motivational speaker. At age 9, he was diagnosed with cancer, and doctors told him that he had a 50% chance to live. He lost his leg, but beat the cancer and started ski racing. In March 2006, he joined the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team. In addition to being a YouTube celeb, he’s also the author of national bestseller Just Don’t Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain.

    Check out our Q&A with Sundquist below, and then scroll on down to our rap-filled roundup.

    How and why did you get started on YouTube?
    About three years ago I started posting video samples of my motivational speeches on YouTube. Then last year I made a video called “The Amputee Rap” [see above] that went viral, and ever since then I’ve been pretty much addicted to creating video blogs and music videos.

    What effect has YouTube had on your life?
    I’ve always enjoyed being on camera and connecting with people through videos, and for a long time I had this dream of someday hosting a television show. But thanks to YouTube, I’ve realized that I don’t need television to live my dream of being a broadcaster. YouTube gives me total creative control and an instantly available worldwide audience to watch my videos. That’s pretty cool.

    What does this theme mean, personally, to you?
    I love YouTube videos that take the attitude and swagger of mainstream hip-hop videos and combine it with a topic that’s totally unexpected, like a disability or an illness. I think that juxtaposition is not only a comic gold mine, it’s also a way to make a fresh statement about your topic.

    "Life in Quarantine," The Fully Sick Rapper

    This is Josh's pick.

    Rapping Flight Attendant

    Amy-Mae Elliott: This video went viral -- what great PR for the airline.

    "Arlington: The Rap"

    Brian Dresher: Mashable DC Bureau representing! This local musician created "Arlington - The Rap" in the style of "Lazy Sunday" poking fun at the suburban lifestyle (yes, where I live!). If nothing else, I believe you'll greatly enjoy his Starbucks montage beginning at the 3:35 mark.

    Jeff Goldblum, Jimmy Fallon, Biz Markie

    Todd Wasserman: Jeff Goldlum & Biz Markie: Together again for the first time!

    7 Year Old Raps Ke$ha

    Brian Hernandez: It's 8-year-old Matty B, yo! The boy rapper, who has nearly 65,000 Twitter followers, was 7 when he remixed Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" (above). He has also covered or parodied songs from rap heavyweights Diddy and Eminem as well as pop divas Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

    Vanilla Ice Ninja Rap

    Radhika Marya: One word: Why?

    "I Don't Wanna be a Crappy Housewife," Tonje Langeteig

    Brenna Ehrlich: It's insane how much I relate to this song.

    More About: favorite-youtube-videos, Josh Sundquist, video, viral video, youtube, YouTube NextUp

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