Young Busco, the comedian behind the “What Are Those?” meme, died on Sunday, November 25, at age 31.
Busco’s mother, Valerie Cooper, confirmed the news in a series of Facebook posts. “My only child,” she wrote. “My faith will not falter!!!! Lord be my peace … I cant believe that the earth is still moving when I feel as though my world has stopped.”
The comedian became a viral star in 2015 after he filmed his friend Myesha’s arrest. In an Instagram clip from the arrest, Busco approached a police officer and told him he had one question. “What are those?!” he asked, panning the camera down to the officer’s chunky boots.
The quote quickly became a meme and popped up everywhere from a Michael Jordan Q&A to a scene in the blockbuster 2018 film Black Panther.
But Busco told HuffPost in March he was frustrated no one knew the face behind the meme. “I started seeing this s—t everywhere and I wasn’t getting [recognition] because I didn’t do it right,” he said.
“Me, I’m a real humble person, so when that s—t happen, everybody — like my childhood friends, everybody in the neighborhood — was like, ‘Oh, you’re a celebrity. You’re a celebrity,’” Busco elaborated. “Like, no, I’m not. I’m a regular person. I just got lucky and it went viral.”
At the time of the interview, Busco said he was creating art, running a nonprofit catering business and planning a comedy DVD.
Earlier on the day of his death, Busco shared an Instagram post decrying a pair of $1,645 sneakers designed to look like a hodgepodge of other sneakers. “Buy what you like,” he told his followers. “Not what they program you to like.”
Busco, born Brandon Moore, was the father of five children. The cause of his death is not yet known.
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