A bout two years ago, while Vine was healthy -- before the internet celebrities it germinated outgrew it and ultimately turned against it -- three of the bigger names on the platform teamed up with some better-known YouTube personalities for a rap battle to determine which crew’s content reigned superior.
Meant as a tongue-in-cheek, real-recognize-real roast, the faux battle pitted Vine's DeStorm Power, King Bach, and Logan Paul against the YouTube trio of Superwoman, Timothy DeLaGhetto, and D-trix. All were and remain popular social media personalities with millions of devoted fans across various platforms, and for five minutes and 36 seconds (or five minutes and 30 seconds longer than Vine could have accommodated), they fired a handful of good-natured if obvious disses at one another. The YouTubers made cracks about how "six seconds ain’t talent bro" and "we make art, you make GIFs." The Viners lobbed lines that seemed tethered to the stereotypical millennial ADD worldview that helped make Vine popular in the first place: "If you ask if I'll see the video to this song, don't be silly, Lilly, the ads are too long."
As battles go, it wasn't exactly Supernatural vs. Juice. But it turned out to be prescient, with the biggest blow landed by Superwoman – née Lilly Singh: "They call us weed whackers, 'cause we kill vines." She couldn't have realized it at the time, but two years later – and barely a month removed from Vine shuttering its digital doors -- her boast bears out.
So what happens to Superwoman's former adversaries? When Vine was healthy, its top-tier creators thrived, using their mastery of the medium to turn personal brands into real money. Lots of it, even. "There ain't a Vine star out there who isn't a millionaire," Alx James bragged to Mic.com during the app's late-October funeral. He might have been exaggerating, but maybe not by much. While Vine didn't pay its stars directly, it was an indirect conduit to cash through three primary paths: brand endorsements, appearance fees, and merchandise. It's easy enough to drop a McDonald's hamburger into a Vine or spend some time on Snapchat promoting shampoo in exchange for money. Or attend a Wild Turkey party and guzzle bourbon for money. Or stamp your face or some random words onto a T-shirt. Also for money. But all of that is dependent on relevance, which is dependent on eyeballs, which were previously furnished in large part by Vine. So now what?
Over the last few weeks, I talked to quite a few former Vine stars to see what they were doing now. Some told me they’re on a quest to keep the good times good. Others are panicking. All are learning hard lessons about fame. Alx James told Mic, "we'll be fine." Maybe. But some will likely be more fine than others.
King Bach, right, with fellow internet celebrity Casey Neistat | Franzer Harrison/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Logan Paul | Greg Doherty/Contributor/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Sarah Hopkins | sayhop/Vine
Miel Bredouw | mielmonster
Brittany Furlan | Brittany Furlan/Instagram


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