Corpse Husband gains an imageless online success

Photo courtesy of Corpse Husband, YouTube

Two months ago, I had never heard of Corpse Husband. Now, his songs are viral on TikTok, his tweets are trending daily and his video games streams are constantly being recommended to me on YouTube. The craziest part of it all: no one knows who this guy really is.

Yep, you read that right, an influencer with 1 million followers on Instagram has remained completely anonymous after years on the internet. The only point of identification his fans have is his baritone voice, which has contributed to some of the hype, but not close to all of it.

His fans, growing by the day, truly seem to have fallen for his personality without the opportunity to be swept up in good looks. On Instagram, he reposts pictures of fans getting his lyrics or his avatar tattooed on them nearly every day. 

Music wise, Corpse is hard to pin into one genre. Currently at the top of his Spotify ranks with over 15 million streams is his song “E-GIRLS ARE RUINING MY LIFE,” the cover art being a selfie of TikToker @emmalangevin. The song quickly went viral on TikTok, which may point to the source of his recent growth.

But Corpse is not new as an internet personality, not by a long shot. His YouTube channel has been around for five years, where he used to mainly post videos telling submitted horror stories. Now the channel, with 3.4 million subscribers, mostly consists of highlights from his video game streams.

Streaming has been another major source of success for him, where he’s best known for playing “Among Us” with famous gamers like Pewdiepie and penguinz0. The highlights are racking up millions of views in just a few weeks. Since gaining traction as a gamer, Corpse has been featured on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s first Twitch stream.

His most recent bout of exposure is coming from his winning of a Mr. Beast Twitter competition for $10,000. His tweet, simply “:),” pulled in 62,000 retweets and over 600,000 likes, beating out tweets from fans of BTS, an impressive feat on Twitter. He donated all the money evenly to three charities.

In response for major successes, fans have been asking for some hint at his identity. Just earlier this month he was thanking fans for 100,000 followers on Instagram by posting pictures of his hands. His tweet of the pictures was captioned “#onlyhands,” and it was trending in just a few hours.

Recently, he posted a song on his YouTube channel and SoundCloud for fans to enjoy. The song, “Agoraphobic,” goes off his usually heavy bass style to sing about his anxieties on a lo-fi beat.

One lyric, “Can’t go outside, I’m afraid they be finding me / paranoid ‘bout my privacy,” speaks directly to his choice to remain anonymous in his fame. The final lyric “I love when it rains, cause I’m agoraphobic,” points to the fear of large crowds and public spaces, which often leaves those experiencing it homebound.

User “Little Serendipity” commented on the video, “He doesn't show us his face. Instead he shows us things worth more below the surface. Corpse shows us his personality, his love, his gratefulness, his compassion, his thoughts, his humor, etc. He shows us the parts of himself that is the most raw and authentic. I love that about him.” The tone of this comment reflects the majority of the 42,000 comments the video received in just nine days.

Few internet personalities are awarded any semblance of privacy these days, but Corpse has managed not only to do so, but also gather a fan base who respect his decision. Sure, he receives comments asking for a face reveal, but fans comment overwhelmingly on his personality, humor and authenticity.

In an interview with Anthony Padilla, former co-owner of the famous YouTube channel Smosh, he spoke about how the prospect of sharing his identity is something he often considers, but turns away from.

“There’s no gradual build up, it’s not ‘oh, I have 50,000 and now I’m gonna get noticed outside sometimes,’” he said. “It’s opening that door and having all the build up from millions of people now all at once, so it would be a dramatic life change.”

The peace of anonymity to fans has its downsides, as Corpse says he doesn’t tell his friends what he does for a living, keeping his identity truly secret. “I think it’s way more stressful than it is beneficial,” he said.

Others who took the same route of facelessness say that it allows them to know people are treating them genuinely, not concerned with their online popularity, which Corpse echoed in his interview. With his popularity on the rise, his mainstream success will only become more prominent, but his identity will remain unknown.

 

vdamico@ramapo.edu