How feuds, pranks, and controversies turned former Uber Eats driver JiDion into a YouTube star with 6 million subscribers

A picture of Adams.
Jidon Adams is one of YouTube's most controversial creators.JiDion Adams via YouTube.
  • Jidon Adams, aka JiDion, has become one of YouTube's most explosively controversial creators.

  • Boasting 6 million followers, he is known for pranking and trolling strangers in public.

  • Backlash against his viral videos has landed him in feuds and arguments with other influencers.

Jidon Adams is YouTube's king of controversy.

A picture of Adams.
Jidon Adams has 6 million YouTube subscribers.JiDion Adams via YouTube

"JiDion is bad," YouTube star Jidon Adams, who has 6 million subscribers, read aloud during a live stream in April.

It was the title of a commentary video in which a creator named AugustTheDuck shared his thoughts on Adams' rise to fame.

The video was highly critical of Adams, accusing him of "public harassment" in his content, which frequently involves interviewing and pranking strangers. "JiDion, a huge YouTuber who makes videos with the sole purpose of messing with people," a caption under the video read.

As Adams read the video's title aloud on his stream, his face immediately broke out into a smile.

"Hold up, do I have my first hate video?" he said, adding that he was "excited" to react to it.

Adams denied that he was a "public harasser" but also said he was happy to receive criticism, describing the recognition as a "W," internet slang for a win.

The YouTuber appears to thrive off of controversy, playing elaborate pranks that have ended up getting him kicked out of large events, and that have kickstarted explosive feuds with high-profile influencers. Over the course of his online career, Adams' pranks have only gotten more controversial.

As well as shooting him to YouTube fame with 6 million subscribers, Adams' antagonistic behavior and niche of online trolling have had significant consequences, as he was permanently banned from the streaming platform Twitch in January, and has previously had to publicly apologize to other influencers for his conduct.

Here's how the 21-year-old YouTube star rose to fame and gained a contentious reputation on the internet.

After joining YouTube, Adams built up a following with prank-style videos.

A picture of JiDion getting a haircut in a lecture.
Adams filmed a prank titled, "Getting A Haircut During College Lecture!" in October 2021.JiDion Adams via YouTube

In a September interview with pop culture publication Complex, Adams said that it took a while for him to get his YouTube career off the ground.

Though he had built up a following of 244,000 people from early 2019 to April 2020, he told the outlet that he was frustrated that his videos only received around 4,000 views each.

Adams told Complex that he worked as an Uber Eats driver while trying to build up his platform, delivering orders for seven to eight hours a day and filming during the rest of the day and night.

Over time, Adams, who also uses the moniker DeMarcus Cousins III, became known for posting outlandish pranks in public settings, like pretending to kidnap a child and encouraging people to say racial slurs.

In October 2021, a prank in which he snuck into a lecture hall and got a haircut during the class went viral on TikTok, introducing him to a new audience.

 

 

Adams became explosively controversial when one of Twitch's biggest female streamers blamed him for an influx of online hate she received.

A picture of Anys.
Imane Anys, also known as Pokimane, has 6.6 million YouTube subscribers.Pokimane via YouTube

Adams began streaming on Twitch regularly in August 2021, and built up a following of over 300,000 people, Sportskeeda reported. But it wasn't long before he became embroiled in online drama involving accusations of misogyny.

On January 12, popular Twitch streamer Imane Anys, known as Pokimane, received an influx of negative comments on a live stream.

As Insider previously reported, a number of Anys' viewers said the commenters had come from Adams' Twitch channel.

On January 14, Anys called out misogyny on the platform, tweeting that it has become "normalized" for women in gaming to receive hate, adding, "it is absolutely not okay." A number of other Twitch creators tweeted in support of Anys.

Adam defended himself on Twitter that same day, writing, "My dislike for her has nothing to do with her gender but her as a person."

 

The incident led to Adams receiving a permanent ban from Twitch.

A picture of JiDion.
Adams initially received a 14 day ban from Twitch.JiDon Adams via YouTube

Adams revealed in a tweet on January 13 that the online drama with Anys led to him getting banned from Twitch for 14 days. He shared a video statement four days later saying the platform made the ban permanent after receiving a number of complaints from users about the punishment "not being severe enough."

He said that he thought he deserved a two-week suspension for breaking the platform's terms of service relating to prohibited conduct, but added that a permanent ban seemed unfair to him.

"How am I supposed to do better next time, if I can never get a next time?" he said.

In a statement to Insider at the time, a spokesperson for Twitch said, "Our Community Guidelines are clear that we do not tolerate hateful or harassing behavior, or conduct that encourages or incites hate or harassment in any way. Our priority is to foster a safe, inclusive community, and we reserve the right to suspend any account for conduct that violates our rules, or that we determine to be inappropriate, harmful, or that puts our community at risk."

Things got even more heated Twitch's biggest creator, Ninja, got involved in the feud between Adams and Anys.

A picture of Ninja.
YouTube gaming star "Ninja" appeared to defend Adams during the feud.Ninja via YouTube.

Twitch's most followed creator, Richard Tyler Blevins, known by the username Ninja, was seen discussing the ongoing drama between Anys and Adams in one of his streams at the time.

The content is no longer available to view, but segments of it were reuploaded by Anys in a January 19 YouTube video.

Blevins could be heard telling his viewers that he was going to text his Twitch representative on Adams' behalf, to tell him that Adams was "sorry."

"I don't promise a goddamn thing," Blevins said.

Anys interpreted Blevins' words as him defending Adams and trying to get him un-banned by the platform. "Why would Ninja help someone evade a ban for harassing me? I have no idea," she said in her video.

Though Adams did not appear to publicly address Blevins' comments, he was continually implicated as several popular streamers spoke out in support of Anys on Twitter at the time.

Neither Anys, Blevins, nor Adams responded to Insider's request for comment at the time.

Adams resolved his feud with Anys, but his ban on Twitch remained.

A picture of Anys and Adams.
Adams and Anys posted a YouTube collaboration together in February.JiDion Adams via YouTube.

In a YouTube video titled "Dear Pokie," Adams apologized to Anys, saying, "I apologize, for you know, the Twitch stuff. I apologize for the Twitter stuff especially. I was wildin' on Twitter."

"It's up to her to accept or reject," he added, also urging his followers not to harass Anys on any social media platforms.

On February 3, Adams surprised fans by posting a picture of himself eating burgers with Anys on Twitter, given their previous fallout.

Adams posted a full YouTube collaboration with Anys on February 16, in which Adams said Anys decided to accept his apology after the pair had a private conversation about the situation.

"I wish we could have just been friends instead of starting off on that foot," Anys said.

Anys said she was willing to help Adams repair his online reputation, but Adams clarified that he does not want viewers to think he is filming with Anys solely as an attempt to "get back on Twitch."

Adams remains banned from Twitch.

Adams has since criticized Twitch for his permanent ban, accusing the platform of discrimination.

In a YouTube video posted on August 26, Adams criticized Twitch for maintaining his permanent ban, while another streamer, known by the username kimmika, who faced intense backlash as some believes she engaged in sexual activity while filming, was allowed to return to the platform after a seven-day ban.

Kimmika's temporary ban was widely reported by entertainment media outlets, and Adams reacted to the news in a YouTube live stream. 

"You're not supposed to see that stuff on Twitch," he said, adding, "Twitch is sexist, well, they're racist too, but they're sexist," saying he thought the platform was wrong to give the female creator a shorter ban than him.

Just one day earlier, Adams also accused YouTube of showing favoritism to white creators on the platform in a YouTube video.

"YouTube isn't only just white people," Adams said, after he watched two white creators interview the CEO of YouTube, and thought it was unfair that creators of color were not given the same opportunity.

Twitch, YouTube, and Kimmika did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Meanwhile, Adams' YouTube pranks became gradually more outrageous.

A screenshot from JiDion's Wimbledon video.
Adams blew an airhorn at a Wimbledon tennis match in a video.JiDion Adams via YouTube.

After his feud with Anys exploded in January, Adams began making headlines for a series of prank videos that saw him removed from notable venues.

In March, he said he was "kicked out" out of Harvard University after attending a lecture and performing a prank that involved typing loudly on a typewriter. (Harvard University did not respond to Insider's request for comment at the time.)

In July he was escorted out of a Wimbledon tennis match in London for disruptive behavior while filming a video. At the time, a spokesperson for Wimbledon told Insider in a statement, "On Tuesday 5th July, a member of the public was removed from Centre Court. He had been asked a number of times to sit down and refrain from shouting and using an air horn as it was causing a disturbance."

In September, Adams was featured on ESPN, USA Today, and a number of other outlets when he performed a prank at a US Open tennis match.

In a callback to his viral video "Getting A Haircut During College Lecture!" Adams could be seen getting his head shaved in the crowd during the match. USA Today reported that he was escorted away from the venue by security as a result.

The US Open did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Adams was accused of harassment by another YouTuber's fans, which he denied.

Despite being banned on Twitch, Adams revealed to fans in a YouTube comment that he was traveling to Amsterdam to attend the platform's annual European convention in July.

On July 17, Adams posted a YouTube live stream in which he said security at the event kicked him out of the venue after he'd been there for around four hours.

Dexerto reported that on the day of the event, a now-deleted tweet accused a man of "harassing" people who were queuing to meet a British Minecraft YouTuber named Thomas Simons, known as TommyInnit.

The tweet did not name an individual, but various replies that are still visible on Twitter suggested the person was Adams. (Adams has since denied this.)

On July 20, Simons filmed a YouTube live stream, which has since been reuploaded by another user onto the platform, and spoke out about the accusations.

"During my meet and greet, this troll, dude, creator, shoved into the line and started being a dick to you lot, being super rude and just a fucking prick. First of all, I'm sorry I didn't see him earlier and sort him out," he said.

Simons also said he was "getting in touch with the creator" to ask him not to upload footage that he took from the event that featured Simons' fans, which he said was taken without their consent.

Though Simons also did not name an individual creator in the stream, commenters under the reuploaded video said they thought he was talking about Adams.

Adams defended himself against growing criticism due to the accusations.

A picture of Adams.
"I would never bully anybody," Adams said.JiDion Adams via YouTube

Fans of Adams and Simons began feuding on Twitter in the days after TwitchCon, and Adams became the subject of a broadly negative opinion piece on Dexerto, titled, "Jidion's TwitchCon ban is the tip of a malicious iceberg."

In the piece, journalist Zackerie Fairfax wrote, "Jidion has turned it into his brand regularly harassing attendees at public events in hopes of making 'banger videos.'"

In an Instagram story from July 22, which is no longer available to view but was seen by Insider, Adams wrote, "It really sucks that there is an article and huge Twitch streamer going around saying I harassed and bullied kids in a meet and greet line. So far from the truth and if I didn't have the footage I would have no way to disprove all this."

On August 7, Adams uploaded a YouTube video in which he said the accusations were not true, and that he was going to show footage from the event to demonstrate that he did not bully any of the attendees.

"I do not like bullying and I would never bully anybody," he said.

In the rest of the video, Adam showed clips of him speaking to attendees and getting into a queue to meet Simons, saying he wanted to get a picture with him. "TommyInnit's the sexiest man alive," he could be heard saying while at the event.

Commenters under Adams' video were overwhelmingly supportive towards him, and on August 10, internet drama commentator Keemstar posted a video on Twitter taking Adams' side and saying he thought Simons owed Adams an apology since the footage did not appear to show any harassment.

Simons did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

When Adams filmed a YouTube video about visiting 'the most racist town in America,' he ended up feuding with high-profile influencers on the topic of racism.

A screenshot from Adams' video.
Adams visited Harrison, Arkansas for a YouTube video.JiDion via YouTube

Over the summer, Adams became involved in an online feud with multiple influencers who criticized one of his YouTube videos, titled, "I Went to the Most Racist Town in America!"

In the video, which was posted in May, Adams visited Harrison, Arkansas, a town that has become associated with Ku Klux Klan activity, and where other YouTubers have also filmed videos documenting racism.

In his video, Adams spoke to residents about whether they thought the town was really the most racist place in America, and also interviewed the town's mayor, Jerry Jackson. Adams told Jackson he'd received "a lot of love" from Harrison residents during his visit, which challenged his initial expectations about the town.

Political commentator and internet celebrity Hasan Piker reacted to Adams' video in a stream, in which he criticized Adams' positive words.

"Just because a fucking town is racist doesn't mean that they're going to be literally running around and doing hate crimes on every Black person that they see. I don't know why Americans have such a fucking twisted, broken understanding of what racism is," he said.

Piker then accused Adams of posting the video for views, rather than to make a point. "What he's always worried about is, you know, making fucking clickbait stuff and doing comedy or whatever."

Adams accused Piker of "patronizing" him in a stream posted the next day. "First, I'm a Black man. It doesn't matter how many followers I have, or what influence I have. First thing's first, I'm a Black man. I do care."

Adams got into a similar disagreement with internet commentator Ethan Klein, also known as h3h3productions, who also reacted to the video. Adams and Klein confronted one another over a call on Klein's podcast, in which Klein said that Adams gave racist figures a "platform to talk uncontested" in the video and was not critical enough of them.

Adams said he felt "patronized" by Klein's comments, calling it an example of "liberal racism," which he described as when "white people think they know better than Black people" about discrimination.

Klein and Piker did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Adams said he was evicted from his house after missing payment on his rent.

A picture of Adams.
Adams appeared on an episode of "Bradley Martyn's Raw Talk.""Bradley Martyn's Raw Talk" via YouTube

In late October, Adams appeared on an episode of the YouTube podcast "Bradley Martyn's Raw Talk," and said that he had recently been evicted from his home.

"I got lazy and I didn't pay my rent," he said, saying that he was traveling in the UK when he got a call explaining that he needed to return to the US and make a rent payment in person, which he was not able to do.

"I got to the point where they just kept on blowing up my phone and so I got bitter so I just bought a house," he said, though he did not state where his new house was.

The YouTuber had previously suggested that he'd like to move to the UK because he loves his UK fans while speaking on an episode of the "No Jumper" podcast.

 

Adams continues to gain popularity on YouTube.

A picture of JiDion.
Adams continues to post pranks on YouTube.Jidon Adams via YouTube

Although he has developed a highly controversial reputation in the US, Adams appears to have developed strong relationships with British influencers, having recently collaborated with YouTube collectives the Sidemen and Beta Squad.

The YouTuber continues to post prank-style content. His most recent uploads have involved dressing up in chains and attending a Civil War reenactment, and proposing to singer Lizzo with a prop ring during a concert. 

Adams' channel continues to grow, and he has received more than 20 million video views in the month of November so far, according to analytics tracker SocialBlade. 

Jidon Adams did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.

 

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