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My Internet: Tyler R. Tynes
The GQ sportswriter wants a front-row seat for your public meltdown.
Every Friday, we quiz a “very online” person for their essential guide to what’s good on the internet.
Today we welcome Tyler R. Tynes, an award-winning journalist at GQ, where he is the magazine’s first-ever sportswriter. Tyler watches TikToks of random dudes from North Philly failing at regular tasks, drinks ginger tea and smokes loud bleezys while tuned into CNN at 5am, and might send you 100 handshake emojis. —Nick
What's a recent meme or other post that made you laugh?
Here is a video of the Biggest Boss, Rick Ross, who is angry that someone tried to charge him for cutting down trees in his yard. “Them BIG trees. Them BIG OAK TREES, Rozay” the people allegedly told Ross. The people wanted $1,000 a tree to remove them. He wanted 10 trees cut down in total. Ross starts his IG story with the caption “Good business??” He’s clearly upset, but he doesn’t grimace. Instead of being mad at the fact that he thinks he’s being fucked with on the price (which, kudos to whoever tried to grab 10 bands off Ricky Rozay), he tells us, the viewers, that he’s going to cut them motherfuckers down instead.
He’s so adamant, he told his homie to go to Home Depot to “get me the biggest motherfuckin saw there is with a BIG chain and you crank that motherfucker! I’ma cut the trees down.”
It’s not just that, on it’s face, this is funny as shit. Rick Ross has made his living for years off being unintentionally hilarious. Pls allow me to pull out some of my fave moments in an Oscar worthy performance:
“Them [trees] fuckin up the vibe right there”
**Rick Ross appears, 40 seconds later, in a cowboy hat**
Now in the cowboy hat: “Y’all musta forgot who THE FUCK I am” he followed that with, “You can’t charge DA BOSS…” he followed that with… “I gotta make room for my ANIMALS”
The next image is Rozay, in a tie dye hoodie, cowboy hat removed, with a humongous electric saw cutting down a tree taller than God. He yells. “Woooooooo!” And then leans his big frame back with the saw still rotating like he’s a horror villain and then runs toward the camera person with said saw.
All of this happened in one minute time. Give him a Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.
What type of videos do you watch on YouTube?
A lot of dumb, random shit, mostly (videos of Jack Harlow pulling pranks on people, Colors Studios performances, any footage of British Rappers with Pooh Shiesty masks on doing simple tasks like shopping for groceries or toting fake finger guns to the camera, white fathers reacting to hearing old Kanye for the first time, every Chappelle Show skit out of order, 20 hour loops of Drake laughing in drop tops somewhere in the world in the middle of the night).
But, I also use it to catch up on any sports I’ve missed. If I don’t feel like watching two hours of, I don’t know, the Orlando Magic vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, when I can get 9-15 minute Supercuts of it instead. If I need to see every BEEFY LINEMAN in the NFL Draft run the 40, that’s an option, too. I’ll watch the Georgia 4x400 team beat Florida for the indoor college track championships or I can catch Gable Stevenson winning Olympic gold in an unreal fashion because I couldn’t see it live since Peacock’s only goal as a streamer is to inconvenience me.
So, yeah, 95% ridiculous shit. 5% work.
Do you use TikTok? What shows up on your For You page?
Any goofy thing my girlfriend has recently uploaded, Black teenagers making odd anime jokes, random dudes from Norf Philly attempting regular tasks but fuckin them up because they don’t know better, 100 different yet oddly similar videos of Kofie Yeboah just laughing endlessly, white children earnestly trying very hard to have rhythm.
You know, absolutely normal things.
What do you use Instagram for?
Vibe curation, fit ideas, annoying my friends, @LuxurySimpsons, looking good, and so my mom knows I’m not dead because I refuse to keep using Facebook.
Do you tweet? Why?
Mf, you asked me to do this shit over twitter.
Have you ever had a post go viral? What was that experience like?
I grew up on the internet for the most part and curated a presence (if you wanna call it that, I know white people are big on “Branding” these days) on Twitter that’s been fairly consistent for the last 10 years. And when you work within any sports space, it usually has a good mixture of Dumb Ass Jokes and Some Loose Reporting.
When you exist between those two poles as a writer (between lunacy and reality) there’s not an unfair expectation at this point for you to offer something to the good, insane people who follow you and have for way too long. I mostly keep my notifications off because 1) I don’t really care for the racists who hang out in my mentions and 2) I have a habit of tweeting shit and not looking at it for an hour only to find out (a lot of times through a text someone I don’t know has sent a friend, who then sends it to me, often something like “YO DO YOU KNOW TYLER HE’S FUNNY AS SHIT,” meanwhile all I did was post a video of James Harden dunking a basketball to a BabyTron song) that it’s gone viral.
Before technology got better, if a post went viral it would fuck up my phone for a day. I couldn’t work or lurk. So it has always a pain in the ass. Now, it’s still a pain in the ass, but at least I don’t have to worry about my phone exploding in my hand.
Who's the coolest person who follows you?
I don’t fuckin’ know. A list of possible cool people who do:
The filmmaker Barry Jenkins
The OG’s David Aldridge & Elliot Wilson
Some hoopers: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Baron Davis
Some musicians: Topaz Jones, Flea, Jason Isbell
Some folks on TV: Rachel Lindsay from The Bachelorette, Josh Denzel from Love Island
And some political folks from a past life: The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, professor Kimberlé Crenshaw
Who's someone more people should follow?
Here’s some Good Black People to follow
Jewel Wicker, Julia Craven, Alana Wise, Lex Pryor, Jonathan Kermah, Rhiannon Walker, Aaron Morrison, Maya King, Nerisha Penrose, Kayla Grey, Vikkie Walker, Josh Jamerson, Justin Walters, Charles McDonald, Richard Johnson, Harry Lyles Jr., Tosin Makinde (aka Nigerian Scams), Aaron West, Monica McNutt, Katie Barnes, Jamal Collier, Marcel Louis-Jacques, Cameron Wolfe, Taryn Finley, Emmanuel Dzosi, Jordan Ligons, Joe Ali, Zo Jones (Tweets By Zo), Dmay706
Which big celebrity has your favorite internet presence, and why?
Steve Harvey. The suits are, just, LAVISH AND GODLY
Where do you tend to get your news?
Truthfully, everywhere. I consume a lot of news, and not only in the traditional sense. At 5 am everyday, I wake up, make tea, stretch and smoke the LOUDEST bleezy I have while I turn on CNN. I watch CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, ESPN (I love the upside down, soap opera style theatrics of First Take and Get Up) and some local news. All for about 15-30 minutes each.
I’ll then open the New York Times on my doorstep (depending on what time of year it is) and skim through that. I’ll read Apple News on a tablet so I can see whatever Peggy Noonan or Jason Riley are lying about in the Wall Street Journal. I’ll also go through a few main places for headlines and news of the day as my morning gets rolling: ESPN, WaPo, The New Yorker, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and some dumb sports blogs. And then I’ll get on Instagram, eventually, to, like, scroll through PHILLY SCOOP HALL or DEUXMOI depending on the day. There’s nothing like reading FILTH over ginger tea.
What's one positive trend you see in media right now? What's one negative trend?
That Black people keep getting hired because white people are afraid of them. And, a negative trend? Probably Black people getting fired or pushed out of newsrooms because white people are afraid of them.
What does "cancel culture" mean to you?
Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What are your favorites?
Are you into any podcasts right now? How and when do you usually listen?
not consistently, most of them are boring
Do you use Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse? What for?
One of the beauties of covering athletics in any way is to be able to, in real time, watch another person’s brain explode for pleasure or pain. When the Nets traded James Harden to the Sixers, I think I went between 800 different Spaces just to hear fans cry. I’m not using any of these things for, like, real reasons. I’m using them to understand the person across from me no matter how demented they may be. I want to know what led them to such grandeur among their fellow fan. How did you go from a well-meaning, God-fearing man, to the motherfucker who yells at the top of his lungs because Dabo Swinney couldn’t get Clemson a title this year? Or because the Raptors made a move you didn’t understand?
I live for all of that shit. Give me a front row seat for your public meltdown. I’ve got nothing else better to do.
Have you ever been heavily into Snapchat? Around what age?
I was into Snapchat until Rihanna told America we off that shit.
When was the last time you browsed Pinterest? What for?
Tattoo Ideas and Interior Design
Are you nostalgic for Vine or Tumblr? Why?
I miss Vine everyday.
Are you in any groups on Reddit, Slack, Discord, or Facebook? What's the most useful or entertaining one?
r/RapBattles, think that should be pretty self-explanatory
Are you playing any games right now?
I’m playing the first Horizon: Zero Dawn game and it’s so beautiful.
What's something you might want to do in the metaverse? What's something you wouldn't want to do?
What the fuck is the metaverse
What purpose do you see in NFTs?
What the fuck are NFTs
Do you think Web3 will mean a better internet?
y’all just making shit up now
Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?
I like to believe I have a pretty diverse group of friends, in terms of communication styles. I have one buddy, who’s from Uptown New York and he almost exclusively sends me voice memos in a singsong dialect that makes me feel like The Lox are about to kick in my front door. But, I also have plenty of friends who think voice notes are dumb as hell and refuse to answer any that I send to them.
So, nice to have a healthy balance. Keeps you humble.
Do any of your group chats have a name that you're willing to share? What's something that recently inspired debate in the chat?
I did not know I was being interviewed by a police officer
What's your go-to emoji, and what does it mean to you?
It changes by the day. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a moody Drake video and just send people random Owl emojis. Other days, I won’t respond with words, I’ll just send handshake emojis. Sometimes one. Sometimes one hundred. And then some days I’m just really fuckin with a lightning bolt, man. Gotta keep it fresh. Gotta have some fun. Life is too short to only be usin one emoji
What's a playlist, song, album, or style of music you’ve listened to a lot lately?
Some Gewd Chunes:
“Bob and Weave” by Bfb Da Packman and Zack Fox. Something about Bfb saying, “Santorini, Greece, Sneaky Link, Me And Karen Civil” or Fox spittin “I Ain’t Fresh? What The Hell U Mean? Nigga I Can Probably Fuck Rihanna In This LL Bean” makes me believe in God.
Any playlist Cory Townes puts together
“Law N Order” by the Detroit rapper Veeze. It uses a beat made from the original Law And Order theme song and augments it with drums and weird keyboards. It includes an absolutely wonderful, silly bar that makes me smile every time I hear it, “My lil nigga Black and Ugly but he shoot like Tony Snell”
Albums always in rotation right now: Whack World, College Dropout, Championships, Certified Lover Boi, DS4EVER, For Broken Ears, Culture III, Intimidated, The House Is Burning, We’re All Alone In This Together, Vince Staples EP, Shiesty Season, Circles, Philadelphia Freeway, Black Messiah
I’m listening to a lot of dumb British drill music, a lot of jazz and a lot of rap young NBA players make
Do you pay for a music streaming service, and if so, which one? When was the last time you bought a music download or vinyl record, CD, or tape?
I think this interview is just an elaborate way to steal my identity
If you could only keep Netflix, Disney, HBO Max, or one other streaming service, which would it be, and why?
What's your favorite non-social media app?
Grailed, End, SSENSE, shit like that. I’m always shopping for something one way or another
What's the most basic internet thing that you love?
I like getting onto the internet to see who has become the Villain of the Day for, usually, the dumbest possible reason
Is there any content you want that you can't seem to find anywhere online?
Do you regularly use eBay, Depop, or other shopping platforms? What's a recent thing you've bought or sold?
I bought this VERY LOUD, bright yellow (perhaps bulletproof???) Supreme coat. It was so DELIGHTFULLY CLAMOROUS, so BRILLIANTLY BLUNT, that Bomani Jones, who I saw while wearing it, had to do a double take as he was walking by. I got these AUDACIOUS jeans from this small brand I love—More Love Love More—that come with unique patches that remixed some vintage Dickies jeans that are one of one. I’ve been really getting into (and have always had a love for) what a recent Tommy Hilfiger spring drop would call “Modern Prep.” In that spirit: there’s a stack of velour shirts that I got from Todd Snyder that’s great for stepping out, an emerald double-breasted Ralph Lauren suit I wore during Super Bowl week that I think made some people faint (???), a few gorgeous jackets from Kenzo that made me feel like a millionaire, a gaggle of trinkets from Aime Leon Dore, which is becoming a fave of mine, a bunch of gold (rings, chains, grillz) and way too many pairs of boots to count. Menswear is back, baby.
Have you recently read an article, book, or social media post about the internet that you’ve found particularly insightful?
Just go back and re-read whatever Jason Parham has written about for the last five years or so
What's the last thing that brought you joy online?
Watching a bunch of white kids and adults cry because Coach K got his ass whipped on his last day on the job, playing POELTL every morning, man on the street updates of James Harden leaving back alley clubs in Philly, any videos of DJ Khaled doing anything, Calvin Ridley tweeting thru his NFL suspension and this picture of the Jamaican Prince, Raheem Sterling
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