ONE37pm Chops It Up With Rising 'NBA 2K' Content Creator, RipItRandy

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Randy Jimenez (RipItRandy)

The pandemic trapped everyone in their houses, which forced some of those secluded folks to find a creative outlet to get their minds off the world's current predicament.

One of those individuals is Randy Jimenez aka "RipItRandy," a young up-and-coming NBA 2K content creator hailing from Coral Springs, Florida. Over the course of 2020, Randy racked up a ton of followers across his YouTube and TikTok channels. And in its current stage, he's managed to gain 75K+ subscribers on YouTube and 60K+ followers on TikTok.

We caught up with the rising NBA 2K YouTuber and TikToker to have a chat about his upbringing, the type of videos he makes, his advice for other content creators in the making, and more.

Randy Jimenez (RipItRandy)

ONE37pm: Do you remember the very first basketball game you ever played?

RipItRandy: The very first basketball game that I played was NBA Live 06 on the GameCube with Dwyane Wade on the cover back when I was five years old. In 2012, I decided to get NBA 2K9 on the PS3 because I didn't have enough money in my piggy bank to buy the latest NBA 2K game that was out. I played that game until Christmas of 2013 when my parents got me a PS4 along with NBA 2K14.

ONE37pm: What made you decide to become an NBA 2K content creator?

RipItRandy: So basically, I've lived in Coral Springs, Florida for my entire life. I moved to Georgia in 2006 for a year, and then in 2012 again for another year for my dad's job. When I wasn't living in Georgia, I was living in Coral Springs.

One day in 2014, in the summer after 8th grade, my dad took me and my family out to dinner and told us that we were moving to Georgia once again for a longer period of time. We ended up moving to Marietta, Georgia in the summer of 2015. I had no friends in Georgia and I felt the only way to keep myself happy in a new place was by playing video games. NBA 2K15 was the current 2K game that was out at that time. Every day in the summer, I would stay inside and play the "MyTeam" mode on NBA 2K15 from the time that I woke up until I went to sleep.

I became so invested in the game that I began to watch different YouTubers play the game, such as Jesser, ThatKiddKuda, StaxMontana CashNasty, NickTheBullsFan, and many more people. I watched their videos so much to the point where I would say their catchphrases whenever I would play the game. When I caught myself doing this after a few times, I thought to myself, "if these guys are making a living doing the same thing I'm doing, then I might as well give it a shot."

I began recording gameplay footage on my PlayStation whenever I played NBA 2K16 MyCareer and posted the raw footage to my YouTube, but then I realized that I need to start editing my videos. When I first started out, I used a school flash drive to transfer my gameplay footage from my PlayStation to my mom's 2009 MacBook Pro to edit the videos. I published my first serious YouTube video on Jan 21, 2016, which is still on my channel today. I went around telling my neighbors and all of my friends to subscribe to my channel, which is how I got my first 100 subscribers.

From that point on, until I hit 1,000 subscribers, I went around messaging a bunch of members of the 2K community on Twitter, asking them to subscribe to my channel which helped me gain at least 20 subscribers per day, which was a lot to me at the time. On my 16th birthday, I reached out to one of my YouTube inspirations, StaxMontana, and asked him if we could play a few games of NBA 2K16 MyPark for a video.

At the beginning of that day, I was at 800 subscribers and continued to upload videos almost daily. Luckily, Stax replied pretty quickly and said he would play with me and upload a video of the gameplay on his channel as well, which had over 500,000 subscribers at the time. He was nice enough to shout me out in the video, which helped me achieve my first big goal and hit 1,000 subscribers on my 16th birthday, which was December 29, 2016.

On that day, I received a LOT of happy birthday messages and a lot of kind messages, which made me realize that I wanted to work hard and take content creation as seriously as possible, due to all of the kind messages and support I was receiving and the fact that I can have a positive impact on people's lives, like StaxMontana and other NBA 2K creators have had on mine.

ONE37pm: What type of NBA 2K videos do you enjoy making the most?

RipItRandy: Usually, there are 2 types of NBA 2K videos that I try to make -

  • Tutorial Videos: Whenever a new NBA 2K game comes out, I try to make tutorial-based videos for about the first week or two weeks of the game being out, because everybody is searching for different ways to improve at the game right when it comes out. My two most popular videos are tutorials explaining how to get different types of face scans in NBA 2K. I personally don't enjoy making these types of videos. I just do these tutorial videos because they get the most views, which brings my channel the most exposure. The exposure brings in more subscribers which eventually gets more people to watch my challenge videos, which are my favorite types of videos to make. 
  • Challenge Videos: After I finish making tutorial videos on the new NBA 2K game, I love to dive straight into the more entertaining type of content. My favorite type of content that I make is the challenge videos, where I basically try to win games of NBA 2K while putting myself at a disadvantage. For example, I have a video where I play NBA 2K blindfolded, where I remove every badge from my player and try to win games. I even did a video where I tried to win games as soon as I got home from major ear surgery. I love creating this type of content because it really just shows how me and my friends have fun on the game, just with a camera on us. I really enjoy editing my videos as well, and I have found a way to perfect my editing to the point where it's as enjoyable as possible for the viewer. I have this unorthodox way of editing my videos where I just get creative and include the most random things in my videos that come to mind. People seem to enjoy it which I really appreciate.

ONE37pm: Is it tough juggling your duties as a student at Florida State University and your content creation work?

RipItRandy: In my freshman year at FSU, it was pretty easy to balance school with content creation because I was taking prerequisite classes that included the stuff that I was used to seeing in high school. My sophomore year was a bit harder to balance content creation with school, because of the fact that we converted to completely online classes due to the COVID lockdown.

This was my first time having all of my classes online, which I wasn't used to. This was around the time when my channel started to rapidly increase in subscribers, causing me to put all of my time into YouTube and almost forget about school to the point where I was only putting in enough work to pass my classes, no matter what grades I got. I am currently in my junior year, and I'm finally back to having all of my classes in person.

This has made it a lot easier to balance content creation with YouTube because I get all of my note-taking and classwork done in class, which allows me to have a lot more free time when I am at home to create more content.

ONE37pm: What would you attribute to your rapid rise in followers back in 2020?

RipItRandy: I would attribute my rapid rise in followers back in 2020 to the fact that COVID forced everyone to stay inside the house, which caused more people to play video games and watch more content on the internet.

Right before the COVID lockdown, I had a job as a video editor for the sports media company Overtime. Spending so much time working for Overtime caused me to only upload once every two weeks, which I wasn't used to at all. When lockdown began, I was still in contract with Overtime. After posting about 3 videos during the lockdown, I noticed that my views and engagement were increasing pretty rapidly but I wasn't sure why. I decided to bet on myself and quit my job with Overtime to pursue working on my own content, which was the best decision I could've made.

I continued posting a lot of challenge videos, and in my videos, I would imitate people who try very hard while playing NBA 2K rather than having fun. While doing this, I exaggerated the phrase "No cap" and slurred it, which gave me my new catchphrase, "No Cayuppp." A lot of people randomly began to message me voice messages of them saying my phrase.

Once I saw that people were really entertained by my catchphrase, I noticed that I was growing at a rate that I have never grown before, where I began to gain at least 1,000 new subscribers per day. The fact that people really began to like my catchphrase caused me to create my own clothing with my catchphrase on it, and it was very successful for my first merch drop!

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Randy Jimenez (RipItRandy)

ONE37pm: We gotta know the origins behind your online moniker, "RipItRandy."

RipItRandy: The way I came up with my name is a bit strange but quite interesting. I used to play baseball throughout my whole life, up until 10th grade when we found out my mom got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which she would later pass away from in 2018.

Whenever I used to play baseball and get up to bat, my mom would always scream "Rip it!" to me, which basically means to hit the ball hard. I loved when she used to say this to me because it was something she would do when I was a toddler playing baseball up until my last days of playing baseball. I quit playing baseball in late 2017 to be closer to my mom and spend as much time with her because I was very uncertain about our future with her.

When I was starting up my YouTube channel, I couldn't think of a name - all I knew was that I wanted to have my actual name in my channel's name. I used to play Rocket League with my friends when it became popular, so one name I was thinking of was "RocketRandy," but my friends told me not to choose that name because it was very generic.

Another name I had in mind was "RabbitRandy" because I can jump high, but I also thought that was a corny name. I was so desperate to find a name that I resorted to an online name generator. The formula behind the name generator was to insert your real name and then choose a term that resonates with you or sounds cool.

This is when I thought to myself: "My name is Randy, and my mom always told me to "Rip it" whenever I played baseball, so why not go with RipItRandy?" and I decided to choose that name. Six years later, I couldn't be happier with the name that I came up with because it honors my mom. When she was alive, she always taught me to be nice to everybody and to always work hard at whatever I do, and to not worry about what anybody else thinks of me, which is essentially the meaning behind my name and the message that I try to spread with my content.

ONE37pm: Do you have a wishlist of features you'd love to see the next NBA 2K implement?

RipItRandy: In the next NBA 2K, I would like -

  • For them to make it cross-platform so that people on Xbox and PlayStation can play with each other.
  • I would also like for 2K Games to make the Next-Gen version of the game the same as the Current-Gen version of NBA 2K, but with better graphics. Ever since the release of the new Next-Gen consoles, the Current-Gen and Next-Gen versions of NBA 2K have been very similar, but not the exact same. I believe that if the two games aren't the exact same, the 2K community will be split, which decreases viewership for just about every NBA 2K content creator.
  • I would like for 2K Games to remove "The City" and revert back to the regular MyParks as they did up until NBA 2K21. In my opinion, The City is a waste of space due to the large number of buildings that you can't walk inside of. I feel like The City gives NBA 2K more of a Grand Theft Auto kind of vibe, which I don't like. All I want to do on NBA 2K is play basketball and have fun with my friends without having to skate across the entire map just to get to a basketball court.
  • I would like for the MyPlayer Builder to be the same on Current-Gen as it is on Next-Gen NBA 2K currently. So that way, there is a lot more diversity between the builds that different players use.

Randy Jimenez (RipItRandy)

ONE37pm: Are there any non-sports games you play as much as NBA 2K?

RipItRandy: I spend most of my time playing NBA 2K trying to upgrade my different players when I'm not making content. When I'm not playing NBA 2K, I usually play either Fortnite or GTA V. I've really been enjoying Fortnite again ever since they implemented the no-building mode into the game. I have also enjoyed playing GTA V "Roleplay" on my PC, as well as the new Next-Gen GTA V that has recently been added to Next-Gen consoles.

ONE37pm: What are some future aspirations you have for your career?

RipItRandy: In the future, I definitely want to get the opportunity to get scanned into an NBA 2K game because I have been playing their games since I was a kid. I've had the opportunity to develop relationships with NBA 2K employees and even that is a bit mind-blowing to me.

Also, I want to branch out with my content and make real-life videos while also keeping my channel basketball/sports-related for as long as I can. I have always been a big fan of the NBA, and now that I have a decent-sized platform, I feel like I have the perfect opportunity to reach out to different NBA players and teams in hopes of collaborating with them and featuring them in my content. I believe these types of collaborations can benefit both of our brands and would result in some entertaining content as well.

My favorite basketball team is the Miami Heat and creating content with their players has always been at the top of my bucket list since I began making videos. My favorite NBA player is Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat, whose journey I've been following since high school. He's my favorite player because he's been doubted all throughout his career - he has stayed motivated through it all and kept proving his haters wrong.

His journey resonates with me so much because I was in the same situation as him while I was trying to pursue content creation in high school. All throughout high school, I would continue to get laughed at and made fun of for my videos, which caused a lot of doubts to run through my head, almost resulting in me quitting content creation.

Seeing somebody else like Tyler deal with similar challenges and still continue to work hard and be successful makes me respect him a ton & serves as motivation for me & many other people who face these obstacles. The Miami Heat have provided me with a lot of entertainment, as well as inspiration, throughout my lifetime.

Another future aspiration that I have is to create content with players from the New York Yankees, who me and my entire family have been diehard fans of for decades. Baseball was the only sport that I played growing up and I think it would be bittersweet to have the opportunity to create some type of baseball content since I quit playing baseball to pursue content creation.

ONE37pm: What are some words of wisdom you think every up-and-coming gaming content creator should live by?

RipItRandy: Here is my message to every up-and-coming gaming content creator - make sure to always be yourself, be original, and don't try to copy other people. It's perfectly fine to take inspiration from others, but originality and creativity are the two things that will help you stand out and take you far in this industry. Because people are always looking for something new and refreshing to watch.

Also, the most important thing is to make the type of content that you truly enjoy making so you won't have to treat it like it's a job. People don't watch content to put money in creators' pockets - they watch the content because they're genuinely interested in what the creator is putting out. If you're not proud of the content you put out and you aren't enjoying yourself while making it, people will be able to realize that. Money is obviously a huge benefit of creating content, but it should not be the sole purpose of creating content.

A very important message that I have for anyone who is chasing their dreams, no matter what that may be - there will ALWAYS be people who doubt you and who try to bring you down on your path to accomplishing your goals. It's a very normal thing in today's society. People always try to bring others down because they're miserable and don't have anything going for themselves. I've dealt with it and so have many other people who are successful. All of these people that are successful have one thing in common: THEY NEVER QUIT.

If somebody says something negative to you, it'll obviously make you feel like the whole world is against you at first. That's how I felt when I first got bullied about my YouTube channel, and so have many other successful people. Instead of being sad about the negative things people say about you, use it as motivation to work harder and prove them wrong.

These people that put others down are the same ones who act friendly towards you when you prove them wrong. I've seen it with my own eyes several times. Focus on the multiple people who support what you do rather than that one person who throws negativity your way and I promise it will work out in your favor.

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