First, a preamble: we would like, if we can, to minimize the Grimes side of this particular Newswire. Which is tricky, because it’s on Grimes, but still: Please take as read any jokes you might need to see in this space about Elon Musk, secret babies, Azealia Banks’ hair curses, and more.
This story, instead, concerns an anecdote that Grimes told to vanity lounge very recently, as part of a broader profile of the musician in view of her next album, Book 1. As part of its “10 Moments” series, the publication showed Grimes a photo of her kissing an unnamed woman, and elicited an informal confession of apparent actual cybercrime in response.
Specifically, Grimes recounts how this particular photo (from 2012) was “leaked”, causing it to be “cancelled” “before the revival era”. Suffice to say it’s over hipster runoffa blog firmly set in that earlier era of the internet where a flair for brutal, nasty comedy, a dab of memecraft, and absolutely no concern for target selection could launch an anonymous, one-on-one outfit to success.
Grimes did not appreciate hipster runoff creator Carles’ perspective on the photo, or what it’s supposed to say about his career – or several other stories he had written about her at the start of the same – so she turned to a friend anonymous from a video game company to help him. Said friend proceeded, in Grimes’ words, to “DDOS” hipster runoff– i.e. launch a dedicated denial of service attack on the site, rendering it unusable. (An interview with Carles at this time, by VICE—which we found through this article by Jackie Singh – reveals that the attack was actually a bit more damaging than this description suggests, apparently destroying backups of most of the site’s posts in the process.) Grimes so, in the language that we I guess no lawyer agreed to, “essentially blackmailing” Carles into retracting the article about him.
The craziest thing about it – and this is where, tragically, an inevitable patina of Grimes-ishness cannot be prevented from furnishing – is the factual pride that Grimes exhibits about his “moment of coolest hacker”. This is clearly not, in the narrative, an admission of wrongdoing – although it is, even by a fairly vague reading of the various US cybercrime laws, likely a felony; it’s a story about Grimes using wits (and connections to someone in a video game company) to beat a bully at his own game. Acceptance of this story will, of course, depend on how you you may already be Grimesaphic. (And on your attitude to the “blind and wicked” style of pop culture satire hipster runoff once represented.) In all cases: hipster runoff is dead, and Grimes is still here. (Grimes’ secret baby is also still there.)