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Minecraft YouTuber Dream rose to popularity swiftly in 2020 and encountered controversy just as fast. His career has been tumultuous, but Dream’s legions of fans still stick by him, watching his new uploads and backing him up in online disputes. Now, with the help of his fans, Dream is a multimillionaire with a bright future ahead of him. But how did he get so popular? The answer is simple: hard work and a bit of luck.

In a now deleted tweet, Dream explained "I worked my a** off learning about youtube and the algorithm. I studied Youtubers. I made a plan. I studied reddit." By learning the algorithms of popular social media platforms, Dream managed to optimize his uploads in order to reach the widest audience. Now, Dream has over 18.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, not including other social media platforms.

But who is Dream and why should gamers care about him? The answer might not be as simple as you might think. Dream has been involved in controversies, struggled with personal matters, created music, and spoken his mind — all while hiding his face from the world. This enterprising Minecraft streamer navigates the game’s harsh cube world, all while stirring up a bit of drama of his own.

Dream loves fanart, but not all fanart

Dream's avatar

Dream encourages his fans to produce art of him and enjoys displaying that art around his home. On Jan. 13, 2021 Dream tweeted a short video of a room in his home, where he had established shelving units to display the art fans kindly sent him.

Later that month, Dream announced a fanart contest to find a profile picture for one of his accounts. The contest had a $2,000 prize and asked for "a variety of creative art! It should be realistic-looking, but that’s about it." Fans responded in droves, and Dream shared some of his favorite entries.

Although, all fanart isn’t acceptable in Dream’s world. Dream has spoken about his discomfort with shipping and fanfiction, tweeting, "I’ve said this before but don’t ship creators that are uncomfortable with it, and especially not minors." While many might think it’s obvious not to include minors in sexualized fanfiction, Dream compared the situation to criminals. "I mean it’s like telling criminals to stop committing crimes," he tweeted. "It does nothing and shouldn’t have to be said, everyone knows it’s bad." Despite Dream’s attempt to police his fanbase, shippers still frequently write fanfiction about him.

Dream struggles with ADHD

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Dream has spoken about his struggles with ADHD and how it affected his performance in school. In response to a fan during a Q&A session on Twitter, Dream shared: "depends on why I’m listening, but a lot of times I just end up listening to a song on repeat until I find another one to listen to on repeat, pretty sure it has to do with my ADHD, I can be looping for hours even days and I’m genuinely listening to every loop." That lack of focus also translated to Dream’s schoolwork, where he frequently ditched his school duties to code websites and imagine games.

Dream discussed his teenaged experience with ADHD in a video with Hbomb. During the discussion, while talking about how learning code was easy for him, Dream confessed that he has ADHD, which made it hard for him to concentrate in class. Dream described notebooks from his school days that contained all sorts of drawings and ideas for websites and games, which had nothing to do with his classes.

In one notebook he wrote Minecraft diss tracks, where he’d imagine mobs "rap battling each other." Dream described these notebooks as "cringey," but shared a good laugh with Hbomb over the content.

Dream has deep lyrics

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Dream released a single and lyric video in early February 2021, surprising fans with his musical ability. To celebrate the song’s release, Dream held a Q&A session on Twitter where he answered some questions about the lyrics to "Road Trip." Dream stated that "Road Trip" is about "remembering the good things from your past even if things have changed since then, trying to remember the good experiences because those are the important ones to hold on to." He also shared that much of the song was inspired by road trips his family took around Christmas. It ultimately reflects on change and the struggle to hold on to a past that doesn’t exist anymore.

PmBata, or Parker, helped Dream create the song. In a tweet, Dream explained that "Parker formed the lyrics into ‘song format’ and then I went through with him and changed a couple things that were either slightly misinterpreted or didn’t fit how I think or talk. I helped minimally with the production but actually did in a few cases." While the ideas represented in the song are all Dream’s, Parker assisted in making the song more cohesive musically and lyrically.

Dream isn’t the first YouTuber to release music, though his lyrical taste is quite different from others. Corpse Husband also has a relatively successful set of singles that have been used heavily on Tik Tok.

Dream almost lost his privacy

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Once on stream, Dream claimed that he didn’t show his face because he likes his privacy and he’s not ready to give that up just yet. He called being able to live a private life a "luxury," and speculated that "time will tell" whether he chooses to reveal himself or not. However, he almost lost the luxury of privacy after being doxxed in early 2021.

Fan @defnoodles tweeted on Jan. 1 that Dream had been doxxed, and revealed the account that allegedly leaked Dream’s private information. The account apparently deleted everything it had posted, changing its profile name to "ok ok im done." The alleged doxxing led to a rumor that Dream had died by suicide after the event, which ultimately proved untrue.

Dream posted a long explanation of the incident via TwitLonger, confirming that he had indeed been doxxed by a group of individuals who saw him as "egotistical." Dream explained that the group attempted to leak information about him and his family, some of which was false. Thankfully, they were ultimately unsuccessful and Dream was able to maintain his privacy.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Dream had a terrible breakup

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Dream has posted publicly about a bad breakup he experienced with his girlfriend of three years. In his statement, he accused his girlfriend of spreading false information about him as a result of her struggles with mental health. Though he credited his ex for helping him "pursue my passion and work as hard as I did when I first started," he stated that "she started to get abusive and she cheated on me on various occasions." While Dream didn’t go into specifics about the abuse, he said it was one of the most difficult times in his life.

Dream said his ex allegedly began spreading differing tales about him to the world, including "that I raped her, that I beat her, and that I starved her. She has admitted since then that all of these things are false, and as far as I’m aware she has told every person personally that these things are absolutely not true." Dream posted about these allegations in relation to his doxxing because, he said, "she has recently been in contact with people that want to do harm to me or my family."

Overall, Dream expressed his support for his ex and pleaded with fans to leave her alone if they see her online, noting that she’s going through a hard time in her life. He still has faith that the "real her" will return one day.