The artist behind the “Trapped in Ithaca” music video dominating local YouTube algorithms

ITHACA, NY—Ithaca locals were in for a surprise when they came across a strange advertisement on YouTube. If they stuck around to watch the whole video, they would’ve seen Raymond Xu’s “TRAPPED IN ITHACA,” a tongue-in-cheek music video about the oddities of Ithaca that’s been a steady presence in advertisements and recommendations on YouTube over the last several months.

Xu grew up in Ithaca and attended Cornell University until 2018, though he left after he graduated, he moved back to Ithaca at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. After spending a few years away from the town, he realized some things from his youth had changed when he returned and was inspired to write “TRAPPED IN ITHACA.”

Xu has been posting to his YouTube channel since 2013, but it wasn’t until he posted the music video that his account began to gain traction. The song has something every Ithaca resident can relate to, making playful digs at local attractions like the Grassroots Music Festival, trinket shops on The Commons and Moonies Bar and Nightclub.

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