Editor's note: An earlier version of this story, which also appeared on Page 28 of the Jan. 4 print edition, misspelled Durell Smylie's first name.
Durell Smylie's journey to Internet fame started by popping out of the hatch of a Honda CR-V.
The Honda salesman's impromptu rap got stuck in the heads of millions of people who watched the video he made to attract customers during the pandemic. In the weeks since, he has filed to trademark his signature phrase — "where the money reside" — and drawn global attention to himself and Richards Honda in Baton Rouge, La., where he's worked for less than a year.
Smylie, who uses the name Relly B on social media, made the video up as he went along.
"Boom, I just started doing it on my own," he told TV station WBRZ. "I would just, like, freestyle everything. Nothing is scripted. Nothing is planned."