If you don’t know him by name, you definitely know his memes. Justin Laboy is a professional basketball player turned social media sensation who has provided tons of entertainment and laughs during quarantine. One of his Instagram creations “Demon Time” was name dropped by Beyoncé, who is well-known to be selective about what she puts her co-sign on. He’s also gotten artists like O.T. Genasis, Kash Doll, and Casanova join him on IG for some fun.
In honor of the star speaking in the “Navigating 2020” panel at REVOLT Summit x AT&T this weekend, here are some facts about Laboy, the social media genius making the internet more lit every day.
1. Prior to his internet fame, Laboy was a professional basketball player.
While attending ASA College in Brooklyn, New York, Laboy secured a spot on the school’s basketball team. Standing tall at 6’4,” he went on to play professional basketball for the Pelister Bitola Basketball Club in Macedonia before changing careers and working as a nightlife promoter.
2. He and Justin Combs teamed up to make strip clubs a virtual experience during the pandemic.
If you’ve ever heard of or used the term “Demon Time,” thank Laboy and Combs for creating the wave. Together, they started the late night Instagram Live experience named that, where exotic dancers performed and received tips from viewers via CashApp. Laboy, said it was created as an opportunity for dancers whose job closed down during Coronavirus to get some steady cash flow. Celebrities like YG, Meek Mill and Kevin Durant have all tuned in. “We all need to be making money right now, especially if you’re what the world considers a ‘non-essential worker’ and you lost your job,” Laboy told Complex in an interview. “These women shouldn’t do this for free. The rest was history. The women who went live made nothing less than $1,000 that night with one woman leaving with $4,000… The next time I went live, the stars started to come out and I thought to myself, ‘Oh, shit! I might have something special here.’”
3. Eventually, Combs and Laboy scored Demon Time a partnership with OnlyFans.
Because of its policy against nudity, Instagram wasn’t fond of Demon Time and kept shutting down every page they created for each event. In May 2020, Laboy and Combs took their talents — and dancers — over to OnlyFans, who partnered with them to create the first-ever paid virtual night club. When they launched that week, so many visitors flocked to the site to get their late night fix that the website crashed. “Thank you to everyone who signed on for #DemonTime’s premiere live stream show. The show broke all records and we experienced some technical difficulties. We are actively working to increase capacity for the next show. All viewers from last night will also be issued a refund,” read a follow-up tweet from OnlyFans.
4. He was hype to find out Beyoncé name dropped “Demon Time” in a song.
When Queen Bey puts her stamp on something, you know you’ve struck gold. So we can’t blame Laboy for being turnt when Beyoncé rapped it in her “Savage (Remix)” verse, “On that Demon Time, she might start an OnlyFans.” Speaking with TMZ, Laboy says he heard the song after waking up from a nap. “I go on Twitter and people are like, ‘Beyonce mentioned you on a new song.’ I figured it was some type of prank,” he said.
5. Laboy’s got a cult-like social media following.
If you’re not already following Justin Laboy’s Instagram page, it’s likely that some of your friends do. He has 1 million followers and counting. People seem to get a kick out of how accurately his memes portray everyday life, whether they’re about waking up after getting too drunk the night before or the games people in relationships play. It’s all relatable and hilarious.
6. He coined the hashtag #respectfully.
Laboy popularized the hashtag #respectfully, and it’s appropriate for just about any scenario. Whether its a subtweet about your ex or a hilarious meme about sex, Laboy’s hashtag is the cherry on top of the perfect joke. He even sells merch like t-shirts, hoodies and hats donning his #respectfully — and they’re quick to sell out.
7. He predicts virtual clubs are here to stay.
After building a name for himself following his Demon Time shenanigans, Laboy told TMZ that he’s betting his model for late night entertainment is here to stay. “It has to be at this point,” he said. “Just because we’re allowed to go outside doesn’t mean [these dancers] feel comfortable going outside. Plus under new circumstances, they don’t want to pay house fees to go work at these strip clubs and take a risk, when you can go on social media in the comfort of your own home.”