Grimes Admits to Extortion, Hacking Music Blog

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Grimes might want to walk this one back.

The artist in a recent interview with Vanity Fair admitted to extorting and hacking the former popular music blog Hipster Runoff. Grimes bragged about doing so, too.

In the video interview below, Grimes was shown a series of images and asked to explain the stories behind them. One, from 2012, showed her kissing a woman with blonde hair.

Said Grimes upon seeing the photograph, “Oh yeah, ok, so this one’s funny, I’ve always wanted to tell the story about this one. Back in the day, before the ‘woke’ era, I actually got cancelled for this, which is so crazy. I was just at a party with my friends, someone took this photo, and it got leaked to this website called Hipster Runoff. And he ran this story. I was trying to be all integrity, and you know, start my career, and it was like ‘Grimes Gone Wild’ or something and it was just this super wack mean story, and it was this meme which was going all over the internet.”

The blog, Hipster Runoff, was run by the writer Carles from 2007 to 2013. It was a significant website during that time, credited with creating the term “chillwave.”

Carles, who is no saint himself, cynically targeting artists, often had Grimes in his sights. Past headlines on the blog include: “Grimes acts like insane woman in new video. Does she look HOT, KRAZIE, or BOTH?”, “Ohio school shooting teen TJ Lane listened to Grimes. Has fringe indie become the sound of teen angst?”, and of course, “Is Grimes the next BIG Indie Diva, or an overhyped product of the Corrupt Indie Machine?”

But when the same-sex kissing photo appeared, that pushed her too far. As a response, Grimes asked a friend to undertake a “Distributed Denial of Service” (DDoS) attack, which, essentially, overwhelms a system with too many page requests so that any legitimate request cannot be fulfilled. It crashes the sight, for all intents and purposes.

Explained Gimes, “My friend who worked for—I will not say which video game—had access to, OK, I don’t want to get him in trouble. But anyway, we were actually able to DDoS Hipster Runoff and basically blackmail them. We were like, ‘We’re not going to let you put your site back up until you take the story down.’ And he did, in fact, take the story down. It was my coolest hacker moment.”

Said Carles in 2012 in an interview with Motherboard, “My server disk has crashed and remote backups were sabotaged,” he said. And the perpetrator? “I have my suspicions, but I can’t confirm anything at this point… I can’t really name names, but I know that my site is frowned down upon in the indie community. All of the other sites hate me, and many artists and labels do not support my site. I am paying a price for not being part of the Corrupt Indie Machine.” He also hinted at the massive problem facing HRO. “Most likely site will be back, but at this point unsure if old posts will still exist,” he said.

Carles stopped posting on the site in 2013, selling it for $20,000 in 2015. That can’t all be attributed to Grimes, of course. The site’s audience was independently dwindling. But Grimes’ actions couldn’t have helped.

Now, with Grimes’ admission, the question has arisen: will Carles try to prove in court that the site’s downfall is her fault?

As of today, there is no statute of limitations on cybercrimes.

In other Grimes news, in the same Vanity Fair interview, she admitted that she and Elon Musk had a secret second child, named Y. Since then, the performer has been linked to Chelsea Manning.

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