The Untold Truth Of RiceGum

While the world was busy making other plans, YouTube fame became big business. For a living example of this phenomenon, look no further than the curious case of YouTube personality RiceGum (real name: Bryan Le.) Born in Las Vegas, the self-professed "troll," vlogger, and influencer has quickly managed to rake in millions of subscribers. He spends most of his time holed up in a formidable house in Los Angeles, creating content that's deliberately primed to outrage, offend, annoy, and cause millions of trigger-happy internet dwellers to compulsively click. He also does a brisk business in diss tracks, tirelessly cultivating trumped-up online beefs with fellow YouTube personalities. 

In fact, he actively courts all manner of drama, alchemically turning these skirmishes into cash. In a tweet, RiceGum claims he "turned down a full ride scholarship to Harvard" so he could focus on monetizing his YouTube notoriety. Perhaps that was wise: According to Wealthy Gorilla, his net worth was $2.5 million as of March 2018. Regardless of what you might think of his particular brand of celebrity, RiceGum has inarguably found a circuitous route to mainstream success. His career highlights include starring in a Super Bowl ad and dropping a single that went platinum

Let's take a deeper look at some of his countless controversies, coups, quirks, and (theoretical) beefs over the years. This is the untold truth of RiceGum.

​His stunts in Hong Kong were harshly criticized

RiceGum published a YouTube clip that (spoiler alert!) offended lots of people in June 2018. The since-removed vlog featured him wandering through Hong Kong and antagonizing random passerby with questions such as, "You guys have thots here?" and "Hey, where are the b****es at?" He also asked total strangers where he could track down dogs and cats: "I'm always open to try new things." He also rankled viewers by asking a woman about "happy endings." According to BuzzFeed, the vid quickly racked up 3 million views and spawned a raft of reaction videos.

Many Twitter denizens were displeased and compared the video to Logan Paul's notorious January 2018 vlog, where Paul similarly taunted random pedestrians in Japan. "This is a pretty disappointing display from you," opined one disgruntled RiceGum viewer. "Asian kids look up to you because of your influence." Another disapproving Twitter commentator called his public persona "disrespectful, ignorant, borderline racist, & shameful to all creators, especially Asians." 

RiceGum further stoked the controversy in a followup YouTube clip entitled, "Why Everyone In China Hates Me...." Although he issues a shruggy apology to "all the Chinese people," he felt well within his rights to make the video "I thought since I was Asian I was allowed to make these Asian stereotype jokes," he says.

​His Jake Paul-inspired diss track went platinum

In May 2017, maligned YouTuber Jake Paul (brother of Logan Paul) released a truly soul-bending music video for his ostensible hip-hop song "It's Everyday Bro." It features Paul and his jiggly minions rapping in front of their McMansion, doing everything they can to make you avoid Los Angeles like the mumps. (Sample lyric: "It's every day, bro / with the Disney Channel flow...") As of this writing, the track has attracted approximately 3.7 million dislikes.

Purported rival RiceGum habitually "disses" Jake whenever the opportunity arises (which is quite often.) He subsequently released "Its EveryNight Sis," a parody that features RiceGum tooling around Los Angeles with Jake's ex-girlfriend, Alissa Violet, and making digs at his sexual prowess, purported wealth, and history of bullying. (Sample lyric: "Cheated on a good girl, Tessa's hideous / And then you went and got a big head like you Phineas.")

In a beguiling twist, "Its EveryNight Sis" debuted at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually went platinum. This wrinkle even stymied the song's producer, Youssef Ali of Syft Records: "When the song went platinum I was astounded," he told the Daily Beast, "because I've never seen a diss track rise so fast on the charts." 

RiceGum said the stunt was carefully orchestrated: "I'm here trying to make videos to get views up," he told the Daily Beast. "If there's a scandal under your name more people are likely to check you out."

​His online feuds are not what they seem

So RiceGum gets into beefs. Lots of beefs. In March 2018, The Daily Dot charted his many online spats with Danielle Bregoli, aka the "Cash Me Outside" girl (pictured right). Ricegum relishes insulting Bregoli's musical acumen (or lack thereof), which she demonstrates under the stage name Bhad Bhabie. He even wrote and performed "Bitcoin," a diss track that aspires to take "rat looking" Bregoli down a few pegs. Bregoli hasn't exactly taken the high road herself, alternately calling RiceGum names like, erm, "RiceDumb," "RiceBum," "LiceGum," and, most promisingly, "a**hole." (Bonus diss: "His face looks like a toenail!") 

That's to say nothing of RiceGum's other online foes — a long list that includes YouTubers iDubbbzTaylor Caniff, and Little Tay (a rapper who is 9 years old as of this writing.) Before we all weep about these enterprising influencers who just can't get along, please note that RiceGum freely admits the obvious: most of these beefs are for the sake of the clicks. In May 2018, he told the Daily Beast that he regularly scours YouTube for influencers that might be worth beefing with: "I will see if they have a lot of following," he says. If numbers look promising, he'll "make a video or a song." It's all part of his master scheme: "To grow my brand."

​He was featured in a Super Bowl LII commercial

Just when you thought it was safe to dismiss YouTube stars, one of them winds up splashed all over a glitzy Super Bowl commercial. In February 2018, RiceGum took time out from his busy trolling schedule to appear with Australian "Fancy" rapper Iggy Azalea in a spot for Monster.

The high-profile ad finds RiceGum portraying Monster founder Noel Lee. It begins with RiceGum trapped inside a packed subway. Suddenly, he hears Azalea busking her heart out. His eyes dilate, so enchanting is her flow. RiceGum/Lee proceeds to build a headset and tries peddling his invention to various companies — alas, to no avail. Then! Azalea waltzes out of a nightclub, puts on the headset, and the whole world is suddenly extremely hip and wearing those amazing headphones. It doesn't entirely make sense, but... Super Bowl.

RiceGum promoted the spot in a 10-minute clip of his own, slapping it with the admirably deceiving clickbait title: "YouTuber Super Bowl Commercial Exposed." Slashing through supermarket aisles and grabbing game day snacks, he cries: "I don't even care about the game. I just wanna see my own commercial because today's my day." 

Although plenty of Twitter commentators voiced their displeasure at RiceGum's star turn ("Why is this wash up rice gum on my tv,") the Internet personality was clearly proud of the coup. "I feel so good right now," he blathered after watching the ad. "I feel on top of the world."

Twitch suspended him

In February 2018, a mere two weeks after his Super Bowl commercial premiered, RiceGum was reportedly banned from the video game streaming platform Twitch. According to Dexerto, he got the proverbial boot for talking about Paul "ICE_POSEIDON" Denino, a gamer also banned from Twitch after — get this — being escorted off a plane following a bomb threat allegedly made in his name. (It's a demented online prank called "swatting" that you can learn all about on Motherboard, but we digress.)

Plenty of other streamers have reportedly been ousted from Twitch for mentioning Denino's name, and RiceGum was treated no differently. While streaming Fortnite, RiceGum says, "The fool's irrelevant." Dexerto reports that the offending clip was removed, but footage was subsequently featured on the YouTube show DramaAlert, hosted by Keemstar. That particular broadcast also includes a clip of ICE_POSEIDON commenting on RiceGum's diss: "What a d**k. Why is he saying that? That's just out of nowhere." 

As Gamebyte reports, this wasn't the only time RiceGum was banned from Twitch. In 2016, he allegedly landed in hot water after flashing a realistic-looking BB gun while streaming. 

​His lurid 'Kim K' stunt ticked off fans

Want a crash course in writing foolproof clickbait headlines? Look no further than this shining beacon of media manipulation posted by RiceGum on Feb. 21, 2018: "1 Kill = Remove 1 Clothing Piece Fortnite w/ Kim Kardashian!! (Insane Ending)."

As Life & Style reports, YouTube viewers became jolly cross, particularly since the video doesn't feature Kim Kardashian (and it certainly doesn't feature Kim Kardashian removing her clothing.) In lieu of the Keeping up with the Kardashians star, RiceGum enlisted the help of a lookalike named Kami Osman. The comments section features an endlessly unfurling collection of furious Kim K fans. "SOMEONE is forgetting that people have eyessss," wrote one commentator. "Jesus this is pathetic on so many levels," said another. 

However staged the video might be  — and it's probably entirely staged — the whole concept is sketchy. RiceGum pretends he's never played the video game Fortnite, and he appears to coerce Osman into taking off an item of clothing each time he kills a player. Osman seems hesitant at first, but then goes along with the plan. You can guess what happens next: RiceGum trounces the competition and wins the game. As of this writing, the YouTube clip has been viewed more than 13 million times. No word on what the real Kim Kardashian thinks of it.

Blink-182's Travis Barker despises him

It's generally considered inappropriate to make fun of a 10-year-old girl, but RiceGum may not have received that particular memo. In June 2016, he posted a video mocking Alabama Luella Barker, the daughter of Blink-182's drummer Travis Barker. 

"They just keep getting younger and younger," RiceGum exclaims in the clip, pausing to note how the young girl arches her back. According to Spin, Travis Barker allegedly had the video successfully removed from YouTube. He also posted a since-deleted photo of RiceGum to his Instagram page, writing: "This lame is about to take the biggest f****n L in history. I'll make sure to video tape it so he can post it on his YouTube. Any leads on where this #pedafile lives please DM me." 

RiceGum took Barker's animosity in stride, tweeting: "If they age is on the clock they too young for social media." In a series of follow-up tweets, RiceGum insisted that he "wasn't even that mean!" He argues that Alabama was to blame because "her Instagram was public and I just added commentary to her pictures!" RiceGum also wondered if Barker could get into trouble for publicly threatening him, adding that "he'll never find me cause I'm a ninja." 

RiceGum did voice some regret: He was very annoyed that the video had been taken down.

Did he actually hit YouTuber Gabbie Hanna?

This is grim. On March 28, 2017, popular YouTuber Gabbie Hanna accused RiceGum of assaulting her at a party. According to Hollywood Life, Hanna tried starting a live "rap battle" on Snapchat with RiceGum, and footage suggests he really didn't want to play along. "Rice doesn't have his ghostwriter today," Hanna crows.

According to Hanna, RiceGum allegedly responded to that comment by twisting her arm, pinning her to the floor, and breaking her phone: "The screen is broken, the back camera is broken," she cries in a subsequent video. "I don't have any photo evidence... just, like, eyewitnesses." 

RiceGum responded to Hanna's accusations in a tweet: "I did not hit a girl lmao this b***h is tripping." He added, "We're talking about a person who has built a career off over exaggerating & lying." A since-deleted video (that Hanna archived) features RiceGum openly mocking her. This prompted Hanna to tweet: "That's right. Teach everyone that if you try to speak out, you'll be called a liar." RiceGum then posted a video for a diss track titled "I Didn't Hit Her." (Sample lyric: "Big nose tried to lie on me like Pinocchio.") 

​His most unpleasant beef?

In October 2017, The Daily Dot breathlessly recounted an ongoing beef between RiceGum and rival influencer iDubbbz. This online spat reportedly involved all manner of insidiousness from both parties, including racist jokes, rape jokes, and the n-word. 

In his popular "Content Cop" series, iDubbbz sharply criticizes the exploits of fellow YouTube stars, and he posted an episode centered around RiceGum on Oct. 3, 2017. The clip features iDubbbz seemingly making fun of Asians — included footage from a 2016 livestream that appears to depict RiceGum taunting a rape survivor with jokes like "Did it feel good?" iDubbbz also produced an obligatory diss track about RiceGum for the segment, calling him a "whiny Vietnamese wannabe gangster" and "borderline sex offender."

In his 22-minute response video, RiceGum calls the rape jokes "old news," adding: "I literally cringe every time I watch" that controversial footage." In the past, RiceGum has apologized for those comments, tweeting in July 2016: "Sorry to anyone I let down. This will never happen again." To retaliate against his YouTube nemesis, RiceGum presents an old screenshot that appears to show iDubbbz invoking the N-word and using a homophobic slur. 

He made his name playing video games

They grow up fast, and so strange. RiceGum uploaded his first YouTube clip at the age of 15 on Oct. 2, 2012. The 9-minute clip consists entirely of RiceGum playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. As he drones on in the background, RiceGum calls himself "your boy Rice... Rice-Flavored Gum... you can call me Bryan." Having not yet honed his self-promotional skills, he artlessly states: "If you're here just to have fun, I'm really funny, I think. I like to troll people." 

As he dispassionately plays the first-person shooter, the teenage RiceGum decides to share his "life story," which consists entirely of an interminable anecdote about babysitting. There's nothing in the vlog to suggest internet fame is imminent, but it's worth watching for a taste RiceGum's humble beginnings and to see what his life was like back when he had "hardly any subscribers." 

According to the Daily Beast, RiceGum eventually launched a popular video series called "These Kids Must Be Stopped," where he dissed internet personalities such these arguably misguided entertainers on

Clout Gang: Are you in or out?

In August 2017, Dolly answered a question that we didn't even know we should be asking: "Who are #CloutGang" and "why exactly are they fighting with Team 10?" In the dark about who or what Team 10 is? According to People, the self-professed "talent incubator" is a motley militia of social media influencers led by Jake Paul, and they all reportedly shack up together in a Los Angeles McMansion to make viral YouTube clips. Yet they still find time to upset the neighbors: In July 2017, Team 10 made headlines by setting furniture on fire in an empty swimming pool. 

Clout Gang has reportedly been trying to establish itself as a Team 10 competitor. The gang used to count RiceGum among its members, but on June 2, 2018, he filmed himself seemingly moving out of Clout House, the clan's mansion in the Hollywood Hills. RiceGum cagily claims the reason he's theoretically leaving is because he's "just not feeling their vibe." Fans wondered if RiceGum was serious or just pulling another prank. As one observant YouTuber noted: "It's hard to tell sometimes when he's trolling and when he's joking."

While you're here, we should probably mention all the Clout Gang merchandize that's available to purchase. Right now, you can own your very own RiceGum travel mug for a svelte $25, unless it's the "Clout Gang or No Gang" drawstring bag you truly crave. Why not both? Or neither?