STOCKTON, Calif. - For some unknown reason, the hashtag #InStockton took off on Twitter.
It's filled with no shortage of slams on the city that include some unfortunate facts, "#InStockton there's been 69 homicides" and several jokes about the city.
"'#InStockton, if you eat the fish in the Delta you'll grow an extra body part.' That's not true," said Stockton rap artist Ren Da Heat Monsta, who laughs at some of the jokes he and friends posted about Stockton.
Ren, whose Twitter handle is @DojaClik, raps about Stockton and has done well in the regional music scene, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his #InStockton Tweets.
"'#InStockton, Santa only makes stops in Brookside;' '#InStockton, they'll steal from you and then try to sell it back to you.' Now that's some truth right there," Ren said.
Ren said the jokes are actually a positive thing for Stockton and most are Tweeted by people who have grown up and still live in Stockton.
"There's bad stuff going on here in Stockton, but it's OK to be funny with it sometimes," said Ren. "There's some truth with some humor."
The Stockton bashing had also inspired others to tweet the positives, like Michael Tubbs on his Twitter account, @MichaelDTubbs. He was just elected to the city council and came across the Tweets late last night.
"I saw all of my high school mentees Tweeting negative stuff about Stockton, so I jumped in and started posting like '#InStockton, flowers grow out of concrete' and "#InStockton, I learned everything to be successful.'"
The origin of the hashtag remains a mystery at the moment. Not all Tweets take sides and some highlight the random quirks of the city.
For example, "#InStockton we call the freeway that connects I-5 and 99 as the Crosstown Freeway;" "#InStockton we have two malls across the street from each other."
Some feel all this new found attention can't hurt, but help the city. The rap artist cracking jokes and the politician spreading positivity agree the Tweets can do good things for Stockton and hopefully will continue trending.
"We need attention out here, because the more attention Stockton gets maybe people will come here and help us fix things," said Ren. "And on the negative stuff, that's just real. It's real stuff."
"When a group of Stockton citizens, young people, organize and communicate, the whole world notices," said Tubbs. "If we can do that about crime and education, we can really move the city forward. I'm excited for us."