Kareem Rahma of @SubwayTakes Made Ten Memes This Morning
Public transit is a mythologized space. It’s romantic and solitary, until the dream of self-reflection is cut short by a stray waft of piss or a 45-minute delay. Comedian Kareem Rahma captures this ridiculous contradiction as the host of video series @subwaytakes, chatting with New Yorkers thinking big thoughts on the train, whether about Donald Trump, astrology, or the preferable penis size (their hot take: less is more). For this week’s SEARCH HISTORY, we slid into Kareem’s DMs on the release date of his new single, “Meet Me Halfway,” to talk Williamsburg wings, Bushwick heartbreakers, and what he’s googling on incognito mode. Naturally, we finished by asking Rahma, once and for all, for his subway take.
EMMA SCHARTZ: Hey Kareem, this is Interview Mag!
KAREEM RAHMA: Bonjourno!
SCHARTZ: First question: A/S/L?
RAHMA: Yes, please! I will have a little bit of each.
SCHARTZ: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
RAHMA: I usually have a little celebration and then I give myself a little pinch to make sure that I am actually alive and then I look at my phone like a loser.
SCHARTZ: What’s in your system currently?
RAHMA: One black cup of coffee, a few milligrams of pharmaceuticals, and a bit of nicotine. I am getting hungry, though. Oh, I’ve also had a lot of water today. And a piece of chocolate.
SCHARTZ: Breakfast of champions. What’s a good NYC lunch spot not enough people know about?
RAHMA: That’s such a good question. I’m a creature of habit, so I literally eat the same lunch every day which is a smoothie and spicy plantain patty from Brooklyn Blend in Bedstuy. But if I were to invite a friend to have lunch with me this week, I would likely ask them to join me at Northern Bell in Williamsburg for some bomb ass wings. Are you a real person?
SCHARTZ: Don’t make me get existential but… yes.
RAHMA: Ok. I’ll take your word for it.
SCHARTZ: What’s the most acceptable thing to eat while riding public transit?
RAHMA: Anything that is odorless and silent. I think that bananas are a good choice because they come with a peel which is a great way to keep the banana clean but can also be used to deter and sabotage enemies who are tailing you.
SCHARTZ: Where do you spend the most time online?
RAHMA: I spend more of my time online on Instagram, TikTok, and Reddit. It’s a great way to live!!!!
SCHARTZ: What were your last three Google searches? Feel free to send a screenshot as proof…
RAHMA: Hold on. Let me find out how to do this. LOL.
SCHARTZ: What’s the strangest DM you’ve received?
RAHMA: You know, it’s really not something I want to make public. But I want to be truthful. So let’s just say it involved sexual random acts of kindness.
SCHARTZ: What does your TikTok FYP look like?
RAHMA: Mostly weird freaks doing alt surrealist comedy, some explainer videos on how to get rich, and then old music video archive clips or movie clips and then a bunch of cats. I like cats. Cats are awesome.
SCHARTZ: Send a fit pic.
RAHMA: Curious little freak.
SCHARTZ: Send your favorite meme rn.
RAHMA: I am going to use this opportunity to promote my own meme that I made this morning. I just released a song about the “NYC long distance relationship” which is when you date someone in a different borough. It’s doomed to fail. I have 9 more memes about this if you want to see them all. LMAO. I made 10 memes this morning.
SCHARTZ: Send em!
RAHMA: UNRELEASED FRESH HEAT BRUH!!!!!! MEMES MAKE ME FUCKIN EXCITED AND MANIC. I think I am the first musical artist in the world to use memes to promote my singles. Ok brb.
SCHARTZ: Shoutout to squiggly tattoo Bushwick baddies.
RAHMA: They’ll shatter your heart into a thousand squiggly pieces.
SCHARTZ: Let’s do some rapid fire MTA questions.
RAHMA: Ok, let’s do it.
SCHARTZ: Fuck, marry, kill: N/Q/R, A/C/E, 1/2/3.
RAHMA: F: A/C/E, M: N/Q/R, K: 1/2/3
SCHARTZ: Best seat on a subway car?
RAHMA: The little corner one by the door at the end of the car but only if no one else is sitting next to you. Or the conductors seat 😈
SCHARTZ: Do you tap your phone or swipe your Metrocard?
RAHMA: I prefer to ride white electric Citi Bikes everywhere I got but if I must take the train I tap (no shame).
SCHARTZ: Dream @subwaytakes guest.
RAHMA: OH SHIT!!!! lol fuck it, Julian Casablancas LMAO. He would never do it, tho. Jerry Seinfeld, maybe he would do it.
SCHARTZ: A boy can dream! Who are you betting on in a fight: subway rat or MTA worker?
RAHMA: MTA worker, for sure.
SCHARTZ: How many unread texts do you have right now?
RAHMA: None 🙁
SCHARTZ: Choose one: money or clout.
RAHMA: 100% money. Money can buy clout. Clout cannot buy money.
SCHARTZ: What’s your password?
RAHMA: What’s yours? You tell me first.
SCHARTZ: Who’s doing the interviewing here?
RAHMA: I’ll give you a clue, mine is the title of a book. You have 3 guesses. If you get it right, I will truthfully reveal. And will be forced to change my password.
SCHARTZ: Three guesses, with password formatting: MobyD1ck, Bibleluvr123, pRideandpRejudice
RAHMA: LOL. Nope but I do like the formatting skills.
SCHARTZ: Thank you. Last, but certainly not least. What’s your take?
RAHMA: Airbnb sucks! Get a hotel room! This all started because I stayed in a place in Miami once and they said I had to bring my own toilet paper because they would only provide 1-roll per stay.