The creativity of humans beings has unlimited potential. We need a reason and something to focus on without having our socially conditioned blockades in our own minds. Forcing creativity is always a bad system, unfortunately. Recently, my youtube algorithm is taken over by a certain fellow trying to spread his message, Lamar Davis. The message in question is arguably not the most positive one as he is roasting his best friend Franklin. How do these ideas get executed properly? Let’s find out how this meme evolved!
Note: This article contains swear words.
Another Lamar Davis Production
It’s a fictional character from Grand Theft Auto V so not actual feelings are hurt. The writers at Rockstar definetely know what they are doing when making characters with a lasting impressions. Lamar Davis is one of those lovely fellows. Early on in the singleplayer mode of GTAV, there is a small scene between Lamar Davis and Franklin. Lamar asks Franklin the simple question of “can a loc hang up in your crib?” While an innocent question by itself, Franklin gave a not so positive answer. “Fuck you, i’ll see you at work” A simple and concise answer that brought up quite the hurricane in Lamar. What continues is Lamar giving a complete Roast of Franklin.
Now, that we have the setup of what happened, we can dive deeper into the creative hive that is the internet. The scene itself is a simple one that has existed for as long as the game was released 17 september of 2013. It has existed for a long time but it’s only recently at the end of 2020 that the seed of the scene is evolving. GTAV is the most succesful entertainment product ever so it’s not like the game was a hidden gem waiting to be discovered in the same way Among Us did. Millions of players have seen the scene but are not enjoying the meme. Let’s explore how this meme has become an idea generation machine.
Ideas are formed on a simple premise. You take 2 things and you add them together. A simple recipe. This recipe can become quite advanced whereby somebody might add 10 things, mix them all up together, to have the ultimate idea come to fruition. The more things you make into the mix, the proportionally harder the execution will become. An idea in its very essence is a meaningless and fleeting idea. The same way that I had the idea to write an article exploring how ideas are made through the evolution of the meme “Lamar Davis Roasts Franklin.”
We humans are extremely good at generating ideas. Most people had an idea for a new product only to see it a few years later appear on the store shelves. Everybody has ideas going in their head at all times. Mostly these are simple and the creative minds are better trained than people who have to follow strict procedures such as surgeons and lawyers. That doesn’t mean these occupations can’t be creative, it simply means they need to be a little bit more mindful. The ability to creativity can open up opportunities left and right. Simply putting 2 things together creates a new aha moment in your brain. A light bulb starts flashing and Eureka! will be shouted. He needed to prove to the king that his newly made crown wasn’t made out of pure gold. He sought a way to prove that the weight. When bath time arrived, he filled it up to the top. After he submerged himself into it and discovered that the water spilled over the edges. A meaningless observation in our time but a very meaningful one in ancient Greece. The water that spilled over was caused by the weight of his body. Thus by submerging crowns into the water, the crowns could be measured by weight. When the light bulb went off inside his head, Archimedes went down naked through the streets but I don’t recommend that you go that far. The Ancient Greeks were less shameful, they didn’t look down upon naked people the same way we did. The story is a good old-fashioned lesson whereby Archimedes put buoyant force together by weighing the crown. 2 things put together to form a new idea.
That’s why the Lamar Davis productions on the very same scene or dialogue, can be categorized into a few different sections, each branching the idea. In its essence, anything that the meme evolves around stems from the same seed, the original scene. It branches off in different sections because other people have other ideas with the same material to work with. A blank canvas is needed to start any idea with a painting. Creativity will always be easier when it has a direction to go in instead of all over the place. In the next part, we explore some creative ways the meme evolves into those different branches.
These categories aren’t meant to be known beforehand. It’s better to first get an idea and even execute it before you start wondering about what trivial thing it’s broader categorization is. Ideas are fleeting in nature. If you have a bunch of ideas written down, then it’s a fantastic idea to structurize your ideas. For the “Lamar roasts Franklin” meme, however, we explore all kinds of branches where ideas materialize. The following are meant to give you how our base ingredient is combined with other ingredients from different categories. this will give a better understanding of how you can cook up your ideas.
- In-game Character Swaps – Simple things that might be funny but in the end won’t result in much fitting. Whether it’s Michael or Simeon, it’s out of place and their own version of the roasting Franklin, should the occasion arise.
- The Alternative Endings – What would happen if Franklin just said yes? Well, Lamar would have hung up in Franklin’s Crib.
- Distortions – Another simple way of exploring ideas as they harder to make work and tend to more as accidents when creating the other ideas. These generally are often glitches and bugs but can also be slowmotion version or other type of distortions such as Lamar a 100 times.
- A different feel by a different telling – this category is simply the same scene in a different way. If the scene happened during the pandemic, Lamar might have simply roasted him on Zoom. Again, in this case, making it sound as if it was through bad laptop microphones adds to the execution of the idea. It can be something on how different games would portray the same scene in their style. It can also be transformed to form for example an existential mood.
- The Impressions – People put their own spin on top of Lamar. This type of idea often comes from voice actors and character writers trying to give a version of the scene “how character X would say it?”. From White guy Lamar and Kermit The Frog to Shakespear and Harry Potter. Visually these characters are easily distinguished, in character probably too. It’s bonus points if you have the appropriate character model showing in-game instead of a simple dubb.
- The Multiverse – What happens if dimensions and the plain’s of reality intertwine? Well, this is the category for you. It’s a mix of different characters with how they talk in their own universe. Not mere impressions, simple roasting Franklin from another parallel universe. Whether Lamar is replaced from games such as Skryim’s Gaurd, Hitman 47, or the remix of Mark Hamill’s the Joker, they all have a knack for roasting Franklin. The last one has some nice additions to make the idea work extra hard. It doesn’t have to be purely gaming, it can be the cinematic universe. Woody from Toy Story and Spongebob joined in on the fun and Squidward’s depressing nature made him go for not one roast, but two. Maybe you can have some battle droids from Star Wars roast each other in the Los Santos inner city.
- Scene Switcheroo – Lamar’s voice line stays the same, the conversation does not, however. What would happen if instead Lamar would be in that scene? It can be a similar context but a different place. But a completely different context has to be fitted to make some more sense. Lamar starts to roasts Michael’s wife, Amanda, with the whole family reacting. Or how about every other scene in the game? Why pick one if you can pick them all? Lamar VS Everyone Part 1 and Part 2.
- The Weird Ones – The joke lies in their absurdity. 2 things that are so far apart that they actually can get it to work. Something simple as Lamar being replaced by his dog Chop or maybe a motorcycle roasting Franklin… Luckily, Lamar doesn’t roast his own dog. The idea behind such absurd ideas is again a matter of execution. If you can make the horn, engine, and barking sound as if they were actually trying to speak, that’s when it becomes a lot more fun.
Leveling Up The Lamar Roasts Franklin Meme
All these categories are simple explorations of how the first scene was the base ingredient of the idea. Franklin’s voice files in any of these are the same. One of the beauties with its lightning speed of spreading through minds everywhere and an algorithm that keeps you hooked once you see them all. It’s when you have multiple ideas combines that things get tricky and that you need to know what you are doing. If you don’t have the knowledge, your brain can’t connect the dots. It’s important to get started so your brain can collect some data. Multiple ideas into one bigger idea need to evolve and see the execution. Producing a Music Video Version with whatever Lamar is saying, will need some knowledge of video making, music, Lamar’s voice files. It’s enough to make the joke work.
One of which to combine multiple ideas is Silvartops version of “Lamar Roasting Frankling”. The words stay the same but the scene is completely different. The 2 that stand out the most is a version where Franklin goes parachuting and where Franklin goes scuba diving. By itself, these could be simple replacer ideas as we have seen above but what made me laugh out so much is the cinematography and the way the sound is edited. The voice file is the original but it’s edited to perfection. In both videos, Lamar isn’t perfectly audible to hear. In the parachute video, he is flying by and the tone in his voice follows based on the distant Lamar is from Franklin to perfection. The parachute one definetly made me laugh out loud sooo much. It’s something small like this that makes the whole picture so much more cohesive. The devil is in the details and that is something felt in the execution.
The most advanced level of execution has to be the Roastoalgy of Lamar by Merifish. The number of details and the ideas with his voice files from the entire game is executed flawlessly to create a masterpiece. One of the cool ideas in that video is a voice file from the single-player directed towards Jon Snow from Game Of Thrones. If you saw the show, you will get the reference in the video. Since every single fictional character is roasting Franklin nowadays, where do all these characters learn it? Oh, that’s right, Lamar Davis as the professor teaching at The Los Santos Institute of Roastology. The video is a great mix of Lamar’s original voice files, the ultimate mix of other people’s versions of the meme, a beautiful theme song, and a cohesive package standing connecting the multiverse. The sequel Everybody Roasts Franklin takes the whole school out for a trip to Franklin’s house to roast him. Again, it’s the execution that matters, from cinematography to building up tension to adding some classic music. I don’t think the developers saw this coming when they were making the game but that’s just the beauty about creativity on the loose. Truth is stranger than fiction and it’s absolutely hilarious. Let alone that a weirdo writes an article about it.
The whole scene of the meme has caused so much attention that even the actors Slink Johnson & Shawn Fontento recreated the scene in real life. That’s when you know the whole trend has gone full circle.
This is a vague and weird article in an essence, I don’t know what the punchline is other than the exploration of how ideas are formed and brought to fruition. I guess the idea is there and the execution is put in some serious effort. A bad idea executed greatly is better than a great idea executed badly. Sometimes, ideas only work in the imagination but don’t let that deter you. Only by trying you will find out. Hopefully, it will have given you some new insight on how to generate your ideas. Sometimes, you just have sparked your brain and wait a while for it to light up. As for Franklin, faking his death didn’t do the trick. He will try to get away from it all in an attempt to escape it but we can’t know for sure how his story will end. I can tell you one thing for certain, however, the next time one of my homies asks “Wassup, can a loc hang up in your crib?” I’m gonna think twice before I respond and how I respond.