Why I Love Ezra Koenig (And Why You Should Too)

tumblr_static_ezra-koenigby Rachel Dickerman

You probably know Ezra as Vampire Weekend’s preppy-chic lead singer. Clad in Polo button-ups, a nice pair of slacks, and loafers, he’s the new kind of indie dreamboat that embraces prep and is sort of enigmatic in the fact that he’s totally not enigmatic at all.

Yeah, that band “Vampire Weekend” is pretty cool, but L’Homme Run, his college rap project with Andrew Kalaidjian and Chris Tomson, is, as Ezra himself might put it, off the hook. Having produced such gems as “Interracial Dating” and “Pizza Party,” L’Homme Run’s nonsensical but brilliant lyrics range from “From here to Texas / Girls call me sexist / ‘Cause I airbrushed your breasts on the top of my Lexus / But it’s just ‘cause I fell in love with your solar plexus, your ribcage, and your beaded necklace” to “I’m at the pizza party, and I’m eatin’ hearty / It could be mighty meaty or with Havarti / Man I don’t want no ziti or chicken parm / I’m-a heat up this slice like Don Giovanni.” Any man who sings about Havarti is a man after my own heart. Plus, Vampire Weekend’s hit “Giving Up The Gun” was originally “Giving Up Da Dun” by L’Homme Run. He’s adaptive and recycles!

His sense of irony and whimsical seriousness extends beyond lyrics and into the next reason why you should be completely enamored: his blog, Internet Vibes. Back in 2006 before the days of reblogging gifs, Blogspot was The Place To Be—and home to Ezra’s analyses and commentary on topics like “ghost shoez” (New Balance sneakers’ ability to glow), preppy clothes, and Vampire Weekend (Ezra’s and friends’ [including Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot] film from which the band derived its name). His selection of subject matter is hilarious in its bizarreness and is further aided by his signature intellectual humor. For example, a post begins, “My life has been both supremely mellow and intensely hectic this semester. I’m not even talking about a bi-polar kind of oscillation either. I’m talking BOTH at the SAME TIME. Anyone familiar with the Buddhist concept of NON-DUALITY? Me neither…” He also tends to capitalize full words within the text, which sometimes seems to serve a purpose and other times seems to be random whimsy.

Wes Miles (left) and Ezra (right) in Vampire Weekend.

Wes Miles (left) and Ezra (right) in Vampire Weekend (film).

Perhaps the best argument I could make for this case is what a lot of people already love him for—@arzE.

Ezra’s Twitter is sort of indescribable—not because I can’t find the right adjectives or because it’s so gosh darn mysterious or something, but because there’s so much to say about it, so many ways to say it, and perhaps even more ways to interpret it—and at the same time, seems self-explanatory. The same ironic but intensely impassioned type of content found in both his blog and lyrics is just as prevalent in his tweets, used as a vehicle to condense pop culture references and bits of knowledge into Chatspeak bites of hilarity. Some gems include: “shout-out 2 all sentient beings !” “I’m not trying 2 break my neck off some errant avocado or get goji berries on my Keds,” and “i’m a modern guy – my favorite genres of music are hip-hop, k-pop and topshop.” And just to imbue this article with more credibility, Ezra has even replied to me two whole times (once about John Kerry and once about pizza bagels)!

ezra chaos

These are, of course, just a few of many reasons to love him, especially considering that we’re mere fans observing his internet persona and there are actual people out there who know him and, you know, actually love him. He’s just a genuinely clever dude whose portrayal of funny thoughts is done in the internet’s chatspeaky ironic style often appreciated by our generation. I think part of the appeal is that he makes himself so relatable—he’s a Real Life Person like us rather than an ultra-famous celeb whose idolatry stems from this sense of the unknown about their private life or their real thoughts. What are they feeling behind that self-promo they just tweeted? What are their thoughts on sweaters in this newly developing post-hip era?

Ezra will tell you—all while commenting on coffee culture and Ralph Lauren socks.

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