"Just a weird kid trying to make shit happen" sums up Kid Fury in one line. The Internet sensation, with more than 100,000 Instagram followers and millions of YouTube views for his vlog "Furious Thoughts," has been more focused than ever on bringing his act to the stage.
But he wants to be less Internet personality these days and more like, say, Dave Chappelle.
“Social media is just necessary when it comes to building any kind of brand," he said during a recent interview.
"When I started making videos on YouTube, I think people looked at it as more of a recreational thing, or something to do in their leisure time, just for fun or to connect with people and find a date," he continues. "Quickly it became clear that it has a lot to do with running a business."
And that’s exactly what Gregory Smith, the government name for the Florida-bred, New York-based Internet star who is no stranger to Houston audiences, has done. The Kid Fury brand (it's even copyrighted) is well known around the webs.
He’s taken a style of off-the-cuff ranting that used to be the stuff of overlong Wordpress blog posts and made them into viral must-listens.
Give a listen to the podcast he co-hosts with fellow podcast celeb Crissle called "The Read" and you get an idea of why Fury is so well-received. It's like hearing a friend who's not afraid to dish dirt and be petty, while still making a few solid points now and again. He lets loose on any and every thing, from discussing the chances of Beyoncé doing the upcoming Lion King movie (“It has to happen,” he says during a recent show) to talking about a recent kerfuffle he had on an airplane after literally spilling tea on himself during the flight.
A flight attendant who ignored him pushed his buttons when he was drying off and wanted to throw away the napkins he used.
“So, I threw them at her,” he says in the "Don’t Try Her" episode. “And she goes, ‘Ugh, that’s terrible.’ And I said, 'You’re right, it is terrible, just like you’re terrible and so is your mother.' And I put on my headphones and I went back to listening to Mike.Will Made It.”
Music is a big part of the show, and for Fury, Beyoncé is a recurring topic of discussion and usually the subject of praise. "Beyoncé? I don’t even know where to start," he says. "She’s inspirational and someone I admire as a performing artist, obviously. And she's somebody that people draw a lot of inspiration from and use it to express themselves artistically or through their work. It just goes to show how relatable the art is that she makes."
And when Fury stops in Houston this weekend, don't expect all the talk to be about Bey, although it's a given her name will come up. "I’m going to talk about the sociopolitical climate that we’re currently in as Americans. I think it’s something that’s on people’s minds all the time, so I’m going to just pick that apart. That’s kind of what 'Furious Thoughts' is, just random shit that I think of, whether it’s Donald Trump or the person who lives next door to me."
But the 29-year-old doesn't divulge the secret sauce that has helped his steady rise. "I mind my own business, and I read."
Kid Fury's Furious Thoughts Live! tour comes to UH-Downtown's Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium on Saturday, April 8. Doors open at 7 p.m.; tickets are $40.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.