Real-life meme ‘Scumbag Steve’ to come to Champaign on Friday


One of the most iconic memes on the Internet will be coming to Champaign on Friday. His name is Blake Boston, but he is more popularly known as Scumbag Steve — the popular meme featuring a “scumbag” standing in a doorway wearing a backwards, checkered Boston Red Sox hat and a fur coat. 

Too White Crew, an old-school hip-hop tribute band, will be playing for the opening of Wrigley Field on Saturday in Chicago, but on Friday, the band and their guest, Boston, will come to Fat City, located at 505 S. Chestnut St. in Champaign.

“Part of our show in Chicago is that we have an ‘extremely worthless posse’ which are three guys who sit at a card table and do nothing but drink Hennessey,” said John Cordogiannes, member of the Crew. “Nothing personifies this more than Scumbag Steve. I mean if they could draw a caricature of a person that would best represent the spirit of the posse, it would be Scumbag Steve.” 

To which Scumbag replied with a chuckle and said, “Hell yeah, hell yeah, son.”

The show in Champaign, however, will not include an “extremely worthless posse” due to stage size. Instead, Boston will perform some of his own work in-between sets, and he will join the Too White Crew for a song.

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    He was 16 when he uploaded his picture to Myspace, but four years later, it wound up on the front page of Reddit with more than 8,000 upvotes. Threads of his picture popped up with captions that reflect stereotypical “scumbag” behavior.

    He became the guy who says, “Don’t worry bro, I’ll pay you … next week” and the guy who pockets lighters.

    Soon, Boston joined the ranks of Grumpy Cat, Philosoraptor, Bad Luck Brian, Overly Attached Girlfriend and countless other memes. But at first, Boston didn’t like his internet fame and the 1,000-plus messages in his Facebook inbox.

    “You know, I was walking around with a chip on my shoulder ready to beat anybody up,” Boston said. “I was talking to a friend of mine and he said, ‘Listen, don’t you want to be an entertainer?’ and I go, ‘Yeah, what’s your point?’ And he says, ‘This might be your in.’ So I decided to embrace it.”

    Boston, a father, a student and an aspiring rapper, used the added fame to his advantage. He started going to Internet conventions, performing and talking to fans. Eventually, he even released a music video that is up to more than two million views. Then one day, he noticed a tweet from Too White Crew.

    The tweet offered up a bottle of Boone’s Farm to whoever could get Scumbag Steve on stage with them. @BlakeBoston617 tweeted back: “How the (expletive) is someone going to get me on stage???”

    From there, the group worked out a date with Boston to “scumbag it up” on stage.

    Austin can be reached at [email protected].