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February 28, 2011 - 11:39pm

University students spread 'Jap' awareness in viral video


Three University students achieved their 15 minutes of fame — or four minutes and 24 seconds, to be exact — after uploading their mock rap video “Pursuit of Jappiness” to YouTube this weekend. Performed to the tune of Kid Cudi’s 2009 single “Pursuit of Happiness,” the clip has collected over 107,000 hits on YouTube since its posting on Feb. 10 — more than quadruple the number of undergraduates at the University and nearing the number of seats in Michigan stadium.

“The intention is for all of us to be able to look at it and laugh at it, whether you are in Jewish Greek life or whether you’re not in Jewish Greek life,” said LSA sophomore Skyler Fulton, who won second place in the last MI Favorite Comic competition. Skyler himself is Jewish, and some of the Jewish fraternities in the video are ones its makers themselves belong to.

“Pursuit of Jappiness” features male students dressing up in football jerseys with leggings and acting out other stereotypes of the “Jewish American Princess” on campus. Filming locations included Zaragon Place and the Ross School of Business. The song’s lyrics directly take on those of Kid Cudi’s original track: “Tell me watcha know about chipati / Tell me whatcha know about not doing your own laundry.”

Fulton said he and fellow viral satirizers Devin Rossinsky and Lucas Brody have made mock raps before “Pursuit of Jappiness” and plan to continue; up next is one on the Central Campus Recreational Building to the tune of “P.I.M.P.” by rapper 50 Cent.

Reactions to the video are mixed but tend toward the positive, with 62 “dislikes” on YouTube compared to 410 “likes.” “Pursuit of Jappiness” appears to be spreading quickly through the campus community as well, both via Facebook posts and word-of-mouth.

Kaitlin Williams contributed to this report.