DETROIT - A comedian and rapper boasted on Twitter Monday that he purchased Hell, Mich. and renamed it "Gay Hell."
Elijah Daniel (@elijahdaniel), who previously served a stint as Hell's "mayor," said the move was sparked by U.S. embassies not being allowed to fly pride flags during Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community.
Daniel tweeted: "ahead of pride month Trump's administration put a ban on embassy's flying pride flags. so as of today, I am now the owner of Hell, Michigan. I bought the whole town. And my first act as owner, I have renamed my town to Gay Hell, MI. The only flags allowed to fly are pride." The tweet racked up more than 90,000 likes in just a few hours.
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Hell is an unincorporated hamlet in Putnam Township, located about 15 miles south of Howell. Its devilish name has made it a popular tourist attraction.
It was not immediately clear whether the announcement involved a legitimate business transaction or was just a publicity stunt, but the latter seems likely. Daniel told Newsweek that he decided to take over the town "for a bit."
Daniel, who raps under the name Lil Phag, and John Colone, who owns several businesses in Hell including a wedding chapel and souvenir shop and is considered its unofficial mayor, could not be reached for comment.
The Livingston Daily reported in 2016 that Colone was searching for a buyer for his holdings in Hell, which included five acres of prime commercial property and the rights to merchandise and Hell-themed slogans. A planned sale to a Detroit arts group fell through a year earlier.
Daniel tweeted Monday what looked like a photo of himself signing a piece of paper as he sat at a picnic table with Colone. Another tweet featured a picture of Daniel and Colone standing with their arms around each other's shoulders. Daniel wrote: "THIS IS JOHN. HES THE BEST. THANK YOU FOR TRUSTING ME TO CARRY THE TORCH OF GAY HELL."
Among the people to notice Daniel's announcement was popular YouTube-famous cosmetics guru Jeffree Star.
"As a part time Michigan resident myself, I'd love to buy some land in Gay Hell!" Star wrote. "A cute pink mansion on a hill, nothing too fancy?"
Contributing: Noe Hernandez, The Livingston Daily
Follow Ann Zaniewski on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Rapper Elijah Daniel says he bought Hell, Mich., turned it into 'Gay Hell'