Family of Young Busco, Man Behind 'What Are Those?' Meme, Speaks Out After His Sudden Death at 31
The family of the man behind the "What are those?" meme tells PEOPLE exclusively that Brandon impacted millions of lives from his comedy
Days after Young Busco, the Internet comedian behind the “What are those?” meme, was found dead, his family is opening up about the man who they say “had big dreams” and made an impact in the lives of millions.
“Busco lived, and the world knows he lived,” his mother, Valerie Cooper, told PEOPLE. “He left something for everybody. His Instagram, pictures, and stories and skits and raps, all of that is there forever. He left something for all of us and I’m proud.”
Busco, 31, whose real name was Brandon Moore, died in his sleep on Sunday morning, sometime after 10 a.m. A cause of death is currently unknown and his mother says an autopsy report has not yet been conducted.
The Berkeley, California native broke onto the scene in 2015 when he jokingly mocked a police officer’s shoes. As the cop was mid-arrest, Busco recorded himself asking “What are those?” in reference to his chunky boots. The clip, originally shared on Vine, went viral and has been shared on several social media platforms since.
“I know he’s looking down and he’s seeing the fruits of his labor,” Cooper said of her only son. “It wasn’t labor to him, it was love. Brandon was love. He was the center of our family.”
“He was always a happy baby, always wanted to be the center of attention, always wanted to be funny, always wanted to be known,” Cooper added.
“Mischevious” from the time he was young, Cooper says her son always made an impression and social media gave him the outlet to be himself.
“People always remember him, fondly or not fondly,” she said. “He was a troublemaker, he was mischevious and would bother people on purpose in an irritating way… He always had big dreams but would lose focus.”
“He was allowed to be himself unadulterated, unedited, and let people know who he really was,” Cooper added. “They loved him and ate it up, and he capitalized on it.”
His girlfriend of three years, Radelle “Noonie” Martin, added: “He turned a whole lot of frowns to smiles every single day with no effort, it was just natural.”
While bringing laughter was effortless, it sometimes also came unexpectedly. His cousin Letitia Mays, who was more like a sister to the comedian, remembered one particular instance where Busco got a tattoo of her name on his back because she “always had his back.”
“I said, ‘That was so nice but you spelled my name wrong!'” she told PEOPLE through laughter. “That meant so much to me, like, he is my baby. He was so loving, I don’t think he had a bad bone in his body.”
Adds Letitia: “There will never be another one like him.”
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In addition to comedy, Busco had also been making a living by selling and delivering homemade food to his followers. His passion for cooking was also a way to provide for his nine children, who range from ages 2 to 13 and are “absolutely devasted” by the loss of their “fantastic father,” according to Cooper.
A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for Busco, set to be held on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in his hometown of Berkeley. His mother says services are currently tentative.
The family is requesting that anyone interested in showing their support donate flowers to Fullers Funeral in Oakland, California.