Cole LaBrant’s road to fame and fortune began with Dem White Boyz, an online comedy troupe that he founded with his two best friends, Baylor Barnes and John Stephen Grice (above left and center). The Alabama teens made their first video together in 2013, entering a Vine competition out of sheer boredom. “We were all spending the night at John Stephen’s house, we see a dance contest,” LaBrant told filmmaker Zachary Fu. “It’s all girls entering the Vine contest, and we’re like, ‘This is so dumb … how funny would it be if we entered it, guys?'” They did just that, and the response changed LaBrant’s life forever.
“After one week we had 100,000 followers,” LaBrant recalled. “We did it as a complete joke, we really thought that it was gonna go nowhere, that it was just our fifteen seconds of fame with a couple of videos. We weren’t trying to get social media famous — we honestly didn’t even know that it was a possibility or that it was a thing.” Before long the boys were on a flight to Hollywood to meet their legions of teenage fans, but the appeal of internet stardom soon began to wear off for Barnes and Grice. In 2015, LaBrant’s two BFFs allowed him to “rebrand” their various socials under his name, and the rest is history.