Advertisement
VICE News

Meet Big Man Tyrone, the president of Kekistan (not a real country)

Big Man Tyrone, president of the fictional country Kekistan, makes custom video messages that reflect the raw and dark corridors of the internet.

by Zeke Spector
Nov 3 2017, 10:17am

Big Man Tyrone is the online persona of Gordon Hurd, a Cameroonian-born YouTuber living in the U.K., who runs a business that makes custom web video messages. Many of those messages are downright silly or inside jokes, but most of Hurd’s fans are denizens of the online forums like 4Chan and Reddit.

Hurd has quickly become one of the unlikely faces of Kekistan, a fictional land adopted by the alt-right and white nationalists. This past June, Tyrone declared himself the president of Kekistan in a video he intended to be humorous.

While Kekistanis claim to troll the identity politics of the left and right, the Southern Poverty Law Center has called the religion of Kekistan “the semi-ironic ‘religion’ the white nationalist movement has created for itself online.” Citizens of Kekistan, Kekistanis or Keks, have created a “history” that dates back thousands of years and a religion that portrays Pepe the Frog as a prophet. The ironic tone and alternative political narratives pushed by the group have been considered a gateway to the more extreme ideological groups of the alt-right.

Though Hurd says he’s not an ideologue and doesn’t try to keep up with the trolls, he’s happy to take the money of Kekistan fans. In addition to all of the Kekistan-themed videos his fans request, Hurd sells half of his T-shirt inventory to Keks every month.