New York is a very special place, and because of the city’s idiosyncratic attributes there have been many odes made in its honor. Jazz legend Frank Sinatra created an entire theme song for the big apple with New York, New York, inspiring Jay-Z to honor New York in the new millennium with Empire State of Mind.
The love for NY continues, and those who are native to the city hold the most reverence for it’s wondrousness. Sidetalk, a YouTube channel that showcases the true essence of what it means to an authentic New Yorker, is doing its due diligence to pay homage to NY through their videos.
Sidetalk’s viral video of New Yorkers celebrating a New York Knicks victory back in October, which exploded in-part because of one enthusiastic fan yelling “bing-bong” in the mic, has spawned a plethora of memes. Now identifiable by the “bing-bong” intro, an onomatopoeia for NY subway doors closing, Sidetalk is evolving into an entire movement, spearheaded by the show’s charismatic host Nems—who is also a rapper.
The eccentric yet energetic guests that are interviewed, and hyped up by Nems, have impacted Gen Z culture so much that every other TikTok video is a recreation of a Sidetalk interview. On Sony Music’s latest TikTok, music superstars have all linked up to reenact Sidetalk’s Coney Island Ski Club episode, bringing more attention to the influence of the series on internet culture.
What has really gotten everyone in a frenzy about Sidetalk is their new viral “BYRON” interview that features a Coney Island native that is the self-proclaimed Coney Island “boardwalk king.” The “boardwalk king” responding emphatically to Nems’ question about who’s president with “BYRON” has become a heavily circulated meme, making Sidetalk the newest YouTube series sensation.
Striking three-for-three, the boardwalk king’s famous line “I am the boardwalk king,” and “what’s up baby? Take me out to dinner”—his statement to President Biden—has made Sidetalk even more mainstream. Filled with quotables like “f**k your life, bing-bong!,” Sidetalk is on the verge of becoming the average Joe version of Nardwuar—since many Nardwuar interviews have viral quotables from various celebrities.