From YouTube to Hollywood to somewhere in Florida, in this season, multi-talented creative, Spoken Reasons, is all about protecting peace, family and solidifying a foundation for his legacy and others.
Chapter 1.0. – 2.0.
Millennials created this social media thing, so it’s only fitting we pay homage to one of its originators who contributed to making it the beast that it is today.
From the outside looking in, many people may not know John Baker, but you do know Spoken Reasons. If the age of social media influencers had a Mount Rushmore of goats, among the heads would be Souljah Boy aka Big Draco, and the first rapper on YouTube and this multitalented Royal Man we are spotlighting.
Over a decade before TikTok and quirky dance challenges, the 32-year-old was revolutionizing social media that made Hollywood pay attention, after breaking onto YouTube in 2008. He was paving opportunities while collecting checks and creating viral videos and music that garnered over 2 million subscribers.
Speaking of TikTok, you won’t find this goat (yes, we said it) under the #fyp hashtag with new videos. Although he has an account, Spoken Reasons treats it like most millennials- to be entertained.
“I’m only really on there to watch,” he jokingly confesses during our Zoom chat. “I only been on that thing three or four times and I’m gonna tell you why because every time I got on there I got stuck. I cannot be on that platform, I got shit to do.”
And after a respectful, overview of his catalog, he can do that because he has nothing else to prove honestly (shrug shoulder emoji here). He’s overpaid his dues if we’re just talking about creative work. Before anything he was a poet, writing and performing spoken word, hence the name.
“I was a poet first but that didn’t get enough recognition,” he shares with RoyalTee. “So, I knew I was gifted enough to get into comedy and that worked.”
And indeed, it did.
But the Bradenton, FL native has been putting in the work since he was six years old. As a kid, he created mixtapes on a karaoke machine he purchased from Walmart and recorded episodes of skits he kept on cassettes.
“I remember when my mom bought a computer and I used to put all kinds of spam and bullshit on her computer all the time,” he recalls when creating his earlier skits.
His YouTube content has left us with sayings that still stick with us today, the most popular one being, “I ain’t shit yet.” And if you have a Black Twitter account, we’re sure you’ve used the Spoken Reasons gif with him sitting and eating popcorn in a striped shirt at least once or twice.
“I was a poet first but that didn’t get enough recognition. So, I knew I was gifted enough to get into comedy and that worked.”
And who could forget videos such as the Haircut, Why You Lyin’ and Dirty Laundry with Jasmin Brown, who did skits with the goat (there’s that word again) in her early days. From there he went on to star in 2013’s The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy and went on to work with celebrities such as Russell Simmons and Kevin Hart. Needless to say, it’s a pretty good chapter to reflect on.
“You got me on that,” he tells RoyalTee, replying to the chapter reference. Back in the day, it was all about entertaining people.
“I do miss the consistency of how I used to do it. And how I used to upload videos to entertain people,” he says. “I do miss that consistency, but I don’t miss the amount of sleep and energy that I put into,” recalling the times he would lose sleep trying to upload videos.
Not to mention the short films he has written, directed and produced such as Relationship Games, Sex and Friendship and most recently, Deal With The Devil.
“I’m at a more mature state. At that time, I was trying to put my foot in the door and get in the door,” he reflects. “And although I had a purpose behind what I was doing that purpose never died. My purpose was just to really spread the message.”
Let’s put it out there that Spoken Reasons has never stopped working.
In his 3.0 chapter, he continues to make silent, but power moves behind the scenes. The drive to get in the door has changed to building new ones for others to follow, including creating his own streaming platform, Spoken Reasons TV.
Taking his lessons from Hollywood, he mentors up-and-coming influencers, and let’s not forget to mention one of his most important titles of all, a father, as he focuses on creating a foundational legacy for his son and future generations to come. Because we all desire generational wealth, of course, but how much focus do you put on generational morals and values?
On the road to self-fulfillment, there will be delays and some sidetracks. And if we’re transparent with ourselves like Spoken Reasons, we ain’t shit yet.
But through those moments, we find purpose, we find peace, we acquire wisdom, we become the shit.
Read more on our Spoken Reasons in our Fall/Winter edition. Click here to order.
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.