We’ve all been there. A joke that you casually tossed out went over like gangbusters. You didn’t think much of it at first, it really wasn’t even a fully formed idea, but now that it’s out there and doing so well, the only thing to do is ride the wave and see where it takes you.
That’s where “melodic comedy rapper” Hovey Benjamin found himself when he first shared a taste of his music video for “Sweet 16.” Built around the Hillary Duff track that served as the theme song for MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 — and documenting the struggles of an up-and-coming drug dealer as he tries to comprehend the metric system — the track is airy and funny. But that’s not what MTV or the numerous pop culture sites that got duped into thinking that Hovey’s track was a legitimate new theme song for a reboot of the beloved reality show thought.
Watching the video now, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could watch this fictional family of three hoovering drugs in an empty backyard and think it was reality. But the video didn’t exist in a vacuum when Hovey first shared it. You see, Benjamin might have made a fake press release for the song. And that release definitely directed to a fake press site. And that site might have claimed that the drug-filled song and clip were from a My Super Sweet 16 reboot.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s ask the same question that folks in the Viacom offices were no doubt asking when his teaser clip went viral: Who the hell is Hovey Benjamin?