We noticed guitars on the Good Mythical Morning YouTube set with Rhett & Link and wondered, “Are they musicians?”
They’re best known for their YouTube channels, Good Mythical Morning (GMM), Good Mythical More (GMMore), and their podcast Ear Biscuits.
But before they started appearing on phones and screens everywhere, they tried other ways to make it big. Could one of those have been in music?
Let’s talk about that!
Rhett McLaughlin and Charles “Link” Neal met on their first day of school in 1984. They were first-graders at Buies Creek Elementary in North Carolina. Class clowns from the beginning, they were kept in from recess for writing swear words on their desks. Their teacher, Ms. Locklear, gave them coloring books full of mythical creatures to use instead.
At 14, they wrote a screenplay called Gutless Wonders and filmed a few scenes. High school saw them parodying Oedipus Rex and playing in a Christian punk band, The Wax Paper Dogz.
Rhett & Link were both engineering students in college and spent a few years working. In college, they formed a relationship with the Christian organization Cru. They left their jobs after a few years to pursue work with Cru. As YouTube grew, they decided to continue their comedy and music without religion as the focus.
At the beginning of 2011, Good Mythical Morning debuted as Good Morning Chia Lincoln. Named after a chia pet, the show ended when half of the chia pet died. The following year they rebooted as Good Mythical Morning.
Over the years, the two have kept developing their flagship show into one of the most popular on YouTube. They have over 17 million subscribers who tune in for taste tests, ranking items, and blindfold challenges.
But beyond that, Rhett & Link go on tour, write books, and collaborate with other YouTube stars. And they still create music, although without the Christian punk label.
If you’re a fan of Weird Al, you’ll probably enjoy Red & Link’s work as musicians. Technically they write musical comedy and have released two albums since 2001. Rhett plays the guitar, and Link plays the recorder and harmonica. And while they have a musical pedigree, as evidenced by their punk rock past, they’re not great musicians.
But, we aren’t saying that their music is ineffective. Partly because of their history as members of Cru, they have a vibe reminiscent of worship leaders. Their two albums, Up to this Point and Rhett & Link’s Buddy System, have succeeded primarily because of their YouTube channel.
Their most vital selling point is their ridiculous wordplay. They won 3rd place in the TurboTax RapContest, judged by Vanilla Ice. They showcased their rapping skills again in 2013 on their track Nerd v. Geek, which had over 50 million streams on YouTube.
In 2015 they released an album called Song Biscuits: Vol. 1, featuring original songs written with guests of their podcast. The idea behind the album is that they write and record a song within an hour.
Their YouTube Red show, Rhett & Link’s Buddy System, inspired their second album. It features one song from each episode of the series. While we don’t measure their success by traditional measures of music, Billboard, etc., we do see their success online.
And as the music industry changes, things like streams and views have become the new album and single sales. By that measure, they’re hugely successful.
Rhett & Link are musicians and visual storytellers, so when they release a new song, there’s usually a video to go with it. The videos drive the streams, although their 17 million followers listen without the videos too.
The video for My OCD sets up Link as an OCD sufferer tortured by a doctor. The song itself calls back to the Backstreet Boys in style. Lyrically, the song acceptably tells the story. However, no one would accuse the pair of being overly poetic.
Of their most popular tracks, this song is more listenable than the rap battles. But with over four million streams on Spotify and over 59 million views, the public speaks on this one.
Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs Geek
If you remember the famous Epic Rap Battles of History and maybe have watched them obsessively, you know the format. Two figures from history and culture face off against each other in a takedown. Rhett & Link follow the pattern and have a nerd and geek face off.
Their audience usually falls into one of the two categories, and the video was a huge success. Over 50 million views have made this one of their most popular songs. Memesters have also had fun with this one creating the “Yes, I am a nerd” and “Yeah, nerd?” memes.
What is Mythical Creator Accelerator?
Like many other media magnates, Rhett & Link created a fund to give back to their community. Leveraging 17 million followers and $5 million, the Mythical Creator Accelerator helps startups get off the ground. In this case, the startups are comedians and influencers who already have a significant following online and need some capital.
With their own experience building a multi-platform brand from scratch, they feel like helping others is the next step. Jarvis Johnson is their first investment. He’s known for his investigative videos and his podcast Sad Boyz.
Johnson wants to build his Sad Boyz brand into a cross-platform media company, much like the Mythical brand. Rhett & Link see this as an essential step in giving back to the community of creatives.
Subscribers are not the only measure of success for YouTube content. The Streamy Awards honor streaming content and recognize online shows. GMM has won several Streamy Awards and was even nominated for an Emmy in the talk show category.
They’ve also won awards at The Shorty Awards, the International Academy of Web Television Awards, and Rhett & Link have made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
After many years of food-related content on GMM, Rhett & Link’s company Mythical Entertainment released Mythical Kitchen on YouTube. Chef Josh Scherer is the irreverent host of the show. Mythical Kitchen has several types of episodes.
Fancy Fast Food takes popular fast food items to their expensive extreme. Snack Smash attempts to create a new snack from two unrelated snacks. Often the episodes are slightly less family-friendly than the typical GMM episode.
Rhett & Link have almost 30 years of collaboration behind them, and they don’t seem to be slowing down at all. Their media company has surpassed that of many other YouTube stars, and their daily show is the most-watched on YouTube by far.
Their music is an outgrowth of their media presence. You may not seek out their songs by themselves, but you already love them if you’re a fan of GMM.
Never seen Rhett & Link before? Give them a shot on their YouTube channel. You won’t be able to get them out of your head. Nerd.
What’s your favorite Rhett & Link tune? Let us know in the comments!