- "The Island Boys" are embroiled in a number of feuds with TikTokers, YouTubers, and celebrities.
- The Florida brothers rose to fame after their poolside rap went viral in October and became a meme.
- Most recently, a former representative for the brothers accused them of owing him $150,000.
Perhaps the most controversial figures to come out of TikTok are two twin brothers who call themselves "The Island Boys."
With numerous tattoos, distinct hairstyles, diamond teeth, and songs about being an "island boy," 20-year-olds Franky and Alex Venegas quickly went viral as "Kodiyakredd" and "Flyysoulja," respectively.
Today, they have a combined TikTok following of over 6.5 million and have feuded with social media's original controversial brothers, Jake and Logan Paul, TikTok star Bryce Hall, and even caught the attention of Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg, who mocked them on their comedy special "2021 and Done."
The brothers also made headlines in February after a childhood friend was arrested in connection with a murder, following a police raid on their home. (The brothers are not implicated in the case, according to local news outlet WPBF 25.) Most recently, the pair has come under fire from their former rep, who alleged that the brothers were struggling financially and owed him $150,000 on a podcast episode in June.
So who are the Island Boys? In an interview on the "No Jumper" podcast with Adam Grandmaison, the brothers said they had been raised by a single mother after their father died.
According to Franky, they got in trouble with the law growing up, including "burglaries, robberies, stolen cars." The twins said they were in jail for a time as teenagers, which is when they began to consider a career in rap.
"When I was locked up I had a lot of people were trying to be rappers, so I'm like, fuck it, I'm gonna dive into the game," Alex said. "The only thing that's good for me is robbing, which is not good, or rapping."
Here's how they went from relatively unknown to two of the most recognizable — and controversial — faces of TikTok.
The Island Boys' song went viral in October 2021 and became a meme
In October of last year, a short video of the Venegas brothers singing by a pool went viral. It was originally posted on October 12 to a TikTok account belonging to Franky where it has been viewed almost 20 million times. Two days later it was re-uploaded to Twitter with the caption "Florida ain't a real place," where it has received over 10 million views.
—Mowgli (@fbgwayno) October 14, 2021
In the 1-minute-long video, the brothers can be heard rapping, "'Cause I'm an island boy, and I've been trying to make it / Oh, I'm an island boy / Ayy, Imma just island boy, I'm just island boy."
This led to them being dubbed "The Island Boys" by viewers. The surprisingly catchy tune and the pair's distinctive appearance helped turn the video into a meme, and the original sound has now been used in over 100,000 TikTok videos.
—Nick Rosekrans+ (@nick_rosekrans) October 21, 2021
Another rendition of the song was posted to Alex's account on October 21 and has been viewed 55 million times.
According to LadBible, the virality of the song led to rapper Kodak Black offering to sign the duo to his record label. The brothers also released a full music video for the track on December 4 which has over 4 million views.
But their success was short-lived. On November 25, a clip appearing to show the brothers being booed and heckled while performing the song at a Miami club was posted on TikTok and quickly went viral, amassing 19.6 million views.
The caption read, "Some things are better left on TikTok."
The Island Boys start feuding with Jake and Logan Paul after storming off Logan's podcast in December 2021
On December 14, YouTuber Logan Paul posted episode 305 of his podcast "Impaulsive," titled "The Island Boys Interview."
About 30 minutes into the interview, the pair clashed with co-host George Janko, who suggested they invest their earnings in case their music career didn't work out. The brothers responded that they didn't need financial advice, with Alex saying, "I probably make more money than you."
The brothers walked out of the recording. Before leaving, Alex can be heard saying, "You know me from Island Boys but you know I'm thugging, bro, right?"
Paul, Janko, and co-host Mike Majlak continued their conversation. "It's a shtick, the whole thing's a fucking shtick," Paul said.
Several days later, Logan's brother and YouTube star Jake Paul fought professional boxer Tyron Woodley in a boxing match in Tampa, Florida. It appeared the Island Boys and Jake were on good terms — the twins even sang a version of "Island Boy" called "Boxer Boy" in support of Jake.
But their attendance at the fight appeared to cause trouble. Online commentator Keemstar posted a tweet saying the pair were "kicked out for throwing shoes."
The brothers posted a response on TikTok on December 20, where they denied throwing shoes or getting thrown out. They said there was a lot of "commotion" and that a beer was thrown at a police officer, adding, "They thought that it came from us but it actually came from one of the guys we were hanging out with."
On the next "Impaulsive" episode, Jake Paul discussed the fight. Co-host Majlak said that when the Island Boys entered the boxing arena, they were "booed, getting stuff thrown at them, people were chasing them with their fists drawn back like 'how dare you walk off Impaulsive?'"
"I love to see the stupid shit that they say," Jake replied. "For you to have the audacity to stand up to George Janko, the nicest guy in the world, and say 'I am thugging,' you're a fucking punk. With the palm trees coming out of their head? Like, shut the fuck up."
Jake went on to say that if he'd been there during their episode, "I would have smacked the shit out of them," and added they needed to "humble" themselves.
And in response to people suggesting a possible fight between him and Jake, he said, "Why y'all put me in the same sentence as that man?"
The Island Boys began feuding with TikToker Bryce Hall, too
In a comment under Alex's video about Jake Paul, TikTok star Bryce hall replied, "guys... he's thuggin, chill out."
In response, the brothers made a TikTok video discussing their purported juvenile record before saying, "What did Bryce Hall do?" and laughing.
Hall is a popular TikToker with over 20 million followers on the app. In March 2021, he also fought in a boxing match against YouTuber Austin McBroom.
On January 10, YouTuber Daniel Keem, aka Keemstar, posted a video in which he interviewed the Venegas brothers via video call. Less than three minutes into the interview, Keem said he wanted the Island Boys' "biggest fan" to join the conversation, before introducing Hall.
For around 10 minutes, the brothers exchanged jibes and insults with Hall, who repeatedly tried to bait them into a boxing match. At one point, the brothers used homophobic and ableist slurs against Hall, before appearing to abruptly end the video call.
On January 13, Hall posted a YouTube video titled "I SCARED THE ISLAND BOYS..." He showed footage from the interview from his perspective and continued to mock the twins.
Snoop Dogg and Kevin Hart also made fun of the Venegas brothers in their December 2021 special
Also on December 28, TV streaming platform Peacock released "2021 and Done with Snoop Dogg & Kevin Hart," a 75-minute comedy special featuring the rapper and comedian discussing the most viral moments of the year.
While watching the Island Boys' original TikTok, Snoop Dogg can be seen with his head in his hands, saying, "I'm speechless. Two goofballs in a pool."
Hart then responds, "You know why I'm not speechless?" and goes on to sing the line, "Because I'm a island boy," a number of times while laughing.
On January 11, Alex posted the clip on TikTok, lipsyncing to Hart's rendition of their song.
The Island Boys were reportedly paid for a video where they appeared to promote Army recruitment
On January 25, NBC reported that the Venegas brothers had appeared in a video paid for via Cameo, a platform where celebrities can charge fans for short personalized clips.
The purported Cameo video was reposted on TikTok by Orlando Tamez, a Texas-based Army recruiter, the outlet reported. It's no longer available to view on TikTok, but was reposted on the subreddit r/Army. It shows brothers saying, "Big shoutout to Staff Sergeant Tamez, you're changing lives, giving out $50K," adding, "Giving out bonuses? Paid vacation? And free college, no money."
A representative for US Army Recruiting Command said in a statement to NBC, "The Island Boys Cameo was not reviewed, authorized, nor paid for by U.S. Army Recruiting Command as an official marketing tool," and added, "We are investigating the situation and requiring the individual recruiter to remove the TikTok account, as it is not authorized for official use at this time."
The Island Boys' joint Cameo account charges $210 for personalized videos for individuals, discounted from $280, and a minimum of $600 for Cameos for businesses.
In February of 2022, the Island Boys' Florida home was reportedly raided by the police, and a murder suspect was arrested
In February of 2022, the Island Boys' Florida home was reportedly raided by the police, and a murder suspect was arrested
On February 8, TMZ reported that the Venegas brothers' Florida home was raided by police on February 7. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office told the outlet that an individual named Andrew James Thomas who was in the property at the time was arrested.
According to WPBF 25, a Florida-based ABC-affiliated virtual television station, the arrest was in connection to a drive-by shooting that killed an 8-year-old girl on February 4. The Venegas brothers are not implicated in the case.
Dovi Bezner, who represented the twins at the time, told the outlet that Thomas was a childhood friend of the brothers who had been staying in their home.
"We had no clue about any of these allegations towards him. We just knew him as a good person, someone that grew up with The Island Boys," he said. "If we knew something like this was going on we never would have allowed him on the property."
WPBF 25 reported that Thomas faces charges of first-degree murder with a firearm, attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. No additional updates on the case have been released.
The brothers were subjected to online speculation when a video appearing to show one of them crying during a confrontation with a woman circulated online
In late January, a video resurfaced online, which many viewers said they thought featured one of the brothers. The video showed two people — one of whom resembles the Venegas brothers, and one who appears to be a woman — shouting at each other in a car, when the woman punches the man. The man then hits the woman back, and he appears to be distressed in the video.
The twins have not addressed the clip nor confirmed or denied whether one of them is the person in the video.
The twins accepted a boxing match with Bryce Hall, reigniting their feud with the influencer
Though Bryce Hall had been trying to bait the Island Boys into fighting in a boxing match against him since the influencers first began feuding in late 2021, it initially seemed that nothing was going to come of Hall's challenge.
However, in April, Hall said in a vlog that the duo finally agreed to a fight, and a boxing match would soon be taking place with the twins fighting in a team against Hall.
Hall said he thought the duo were only now accepting the challenge because they "were falling into irrelevance," due to the dwindling success of their debut song.
"I am not only a killer, I revive people's careers. Island Boys, I can't wait to fight you," Hall said in the vlog.
Further details about the event have not yet been released. The Island Boys have not publicly confirmed their involvement in a boxing match with Hall.
Fans responded negatively when a clip appearing to show the brothers kissing two girls circulated online
On April 25, internet drama account Defnoodles uploaded a clip which was captioned to say it showed the Island Boys "make out with each other."
The video showed the two brothers on a boat, with two other women. The four individuals moved their heads towards one another, leading people in the comments section under the post and on Twitter to say they thought they were performing a group kiss.
Hall also showed a clip from the video in his April vlog, referring to it as a video of the twins "making out."
The Island Boys have previously filmed a TikTok together where they moved towards each other as if they were about to kiss, but then moved away from one another before making contact. They have addressed viewers who ask them to "kiss" in the comments section several times, saying they would never kiss each other because they are brothers.
In an interview on the show Steve-O's Wild Ride, posted on April 21, the twins said, "People like to like say that we kiss each other and stuff like that." The pair denied ever kissing each other but said they sometimes "play around with our heads" as though they were pretending to.
A former representative for the Island Boys said the twins are struggling financially and owe him money
On an episode of the "No Jumper" podcast posted on June 29, Dovi Bezner, who represented the twins in February when their home was raided, said that he no longer represents them and that they owe him $150,000.
Bezner said he was supposed to receive a percentage of the profits from the twins' Cameo earnings but was never paid. The Island Boys have not addressed Bezner's claims.
In the episode, Bezner also said the twins were struggling to make earnings from Cameo and their finances had "pretty much run dry." He added, "When I was with them, they were coming in hot. It was like two-three hours a night, straight into cameos. That's literally their only source of income. And it's pretty much over."
The Island Boys did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.