Jake Paul — Vine star, turned YouTuber, turned nightmare neighbor who once lit a fire in his empty swimming pool — loaded up his truck today in California and is on his way to Texas. (He’s accompanied by three other members of Team 10, Paul’s social-media-star incubator.) “We have the chance to save thousands of lives and show everyone the power of social media,” Paul explained in an 18-minute video documenting his, uh, brave decision to drive into an active hurricane. “The city needs us. We cannot get there fast enough.” He also films himself going to a camera store to purchase waterproof equipment because of said active hurricane. “It’s not about vlogging,” Paul says, also noting that he’ll be “recording everything,” but might not be able to post a video every day. (A direct violation of his mantra, “It’s every day, bro.”) Weirdly, Paul’s standard brand of manic body comedy and semi-screaming tone doesn’t hold up when he’s shouting things like, “[People in Houston] they’re dying, they’re dying!”
Other highlights include a bit where Paul calls a friend looking to find a boat he can use to rescue people. (He edits in a clip from a judge in Harris County asking for people in the area with boats to help save others still in danger. Because the judge definitely didn’t mean to direct that to people currently in the area, but rather as a call to YouTubers hundreds of miles away. As though emergency-services personnel in the Houston area don’t already have enough people to worry about without the addition of several tone-deaf social-media stars.) He also calls his mother and father and visits with friends for final farewells: “This is seriously a dangerous mission. Time to say my good-byes.” Again, not a great look, given that Harvey’s death toll continues to rise. “I’m going to stop a hurricane,” Paul told his mother.
When Jake Paul dropped his diss track — I’m sorry, I’m so sorry — many of its lyrics centered around the many “good things” Paul had done, but that the media hadn’t reported. “Where was y’all at when I was on email tryna stop depressed fans from killing themselves.” (I said I was sorry!) With this trip to Houston, it seems as though Paul is trying, misguidedly, to write his own good press. To his credit, Paul is currently donating 100 percent of merchandise profits to Harvey relief. Well, 100 percent of the profits from his Harvey-specific shirt. If you buy regular merchandise, the money just goes to Paul, as usual. He’s also raising money via a GoFundMe campaign, though he’s not particularly specific — “all the money will be going to the families, to getting supplies” — about how those funds will be allocated.