Slim Jesus is going viral. His video “Drill Time,” released on August 18, had humble beginnings, garnering a touch under 3,000 YouTube views in its first two weeks of life. It gained some modest traction the first week of September, and now it has absolutely exploded, skyrocketing from less than 15,000 views to over 600,000 in the last 24 hours. 

The 18-year old Slim Jesus is a curious figure. A white kid who fully wraps himself in the musical and cultural conventions of drill music, he has been celebrated by some for producing such an audacious banger and seen as an agent of cultural appropriation by most. It is this tension that is primarily responsible for his dizzying rise to internet prominence. Whether it’s his 15 minutes of fame or the beginning of an illustrious career remains to be seen.


He makes drill music because that’s the music he likes

Going Viral: 5 Things We Know About Slim Jesus

“Got a couple shooters and they ride with me/
And they down to shoot when it’s drill time”

Slim’s choice of genre may seem curious, but to him drill music was a natural choice. “That’s just the music I fuck with,” he told Complex, citing Chief Keef, Lil Bibby, and Lil Herb as a few of his favorite artists.

Though Slim says he’s only been taking rapping seriously for a couple months, he’s been making music for a while — for example, he dropped a song called “Pockets” in March and a video called “Rice” in January — but he’s scrubbed the internet of his older tracks. His Soundcloud comprises of three songs, the oldest of which was released in June, and “Drill Time” is the only video on his YouTube channel.

He’s from Hamilton, OH

Going Viral: 5 Things We Know About Slim Jesus

“You can find me posted up on Frank Block with my fuckin’ gang”

Despite Slim Jesus’ distinctly drill aesthetic, he hails from Hamilton, a suburb of Cincinnati, about four and half hours from Chicago by car.

A sleepy, predominately white, working-class town Hamilton is a baseball incubator, having produced multiple major leaguers and routinely sending their little league team to the LLWS.

FRANK BLOCK.

He originally went by Swag Jesus

Going Viral: 5 Things We Know About Slim Jesus

“Copped a Ferragamo when I was up at Saks/
But my True Religion’s still off my ass”

The catchiness of Slim Jesus as a rap moniker is undeniable. But it wasn’t always that way. Before Slim Jesus was Slim Jesus, he was Swag Jesus. Although that might have been an even better name, Swag Jesus was ultimately phased out. “We flipped it and made it Slim, for obvious reasons, I’m skinny as hell,” he said. “But uh, yeah I just kind of stuck with it. It made people mad for shock value. The name worked.”

His Twitter is ridiculous

Going Viral: 5 Things We Know About Slim Jesus

“A lot of y’ll just Twitter flex but this shit ain’t just a fuckin’ rap.”

With no Instagram to his name, Slim relies on Twitter as his primary means of self-expression via social media. His bio reads “Young & Ignorant,” a succinct summary of his timeline. Read some of his best work below:

He’s received co-signs from Diplo and Lil Bibby 

Going Viral: 5 Things We Know About Slim Jesus

“Keep a bank roll on me at all times, rolled up with a rubber band/
Off the lean, that Promethazine got me walking around like a kick stand”

The viral tsnumani that is Slim Jesus has caught the attention of some big names, with Diplo and Bibby taking to Twitter to voice their approval. Diplo is internet savvy and is known for his eclectic taste in music, and Bibby is a rising star out of Chicago. It wouldn’t be surprising to see someone of their stature reach out to Slim for a collaboration. To collab with Slim Jesus is to capitalize on his internet buzz. To collab with Slim Jesus is to help him solidify his place in the drill scene.