‘Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),’ ‘Hit the Quan’ and Other 2015 Viral Dances That Turned Into Hits

Wanted a hit in 2015? All it took was a dance step

Pandas. Kids. Clintons. In 2015, everyone and their ­grandmother made videos dancing to rapper-singer Silento’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” The song, which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, led a wave of top 20 tracks from indie-rap unknowns (ILoveMemphis’ “Hit the Quan,” T. Wayne’s “Nasty “) powered by user-made online clips. “Before it was even a song, it was an a cappella on Instagram — I got 200 comments,” says Silento. “It’s called ‘Watch Me,’ but I made it so everyone would think it’s talking to them, telling them to dance.” Now the question is: Can he and his peers parlay viral hits into careers? After signing with Capitol this summer, Silento is about to find out. “I know how to go viral, but I want people to see another side of me — I don’t want to be ‘the dance kid,’ ” says the 17-year-old, who recently released a more traditional R&B track, “All About You.” “But if one of my regular songs doesn’t get ­popping? I’m going to make another dance song.”

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 19 issue of Billboard.

10 Workout Songs That Spawned Dance Crazes

Corbis Images

Launching a dance craze is surely a mixed blessing. On one hand, the artist responsible almost always winds up a one-hit wonder (like those on this playlist of 10 Breakthrough Songs to Sweat To). On the other, there’s a brief window when dancefloors the world over are full of folks breaking out your signatures moves-which makes you a member of a rather exclusive club.

In tribute to these trendsetters, we’ve compiled a look at the last ten year’s worth of club classics. The list kicks off with a trio of hits from 2006 by Unk, Yung Joc, and-the rare perennial-Lil Jon. It concludes with a Rej3ctz track popularized by supermodel Kate Upton and this year’s two-headed pop culture phenomenon: “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” In the middle, you’ll find remixes that provide fresh takes on cranking, popping, locking, and dropping.

The list below plays out chronologically, providing a quick history of recent dance tracks. In terms of working out, everything below was specifically designed to make you move. So if you’re unfamiliar with anything below-or just want to polish your form-fire up YouTube, get yourself a mirror, and maybe call a friend. This mix will get you in motion, break up your usual routine, and leave you well-equipped next time the siren’s call of one of these tracks lures you to the dancefloor. Here’s the full list…

Unk, Outkast & Jim Jones – Walk It Out (Remix) – 80 BPM

Yung Joc & Nitti – It’s Goin’ Down – 84 BPM

Lil Jon, E40 & Sean Paul of Youngbloodz – Snap Yo Fingers – 82 BPM

Huey, Bow Wow & T-Pain – Pop, Lock & Drop It (Remix) – 72 BPM

GS Boyz – Stanky Legg – 77 BPM

Soulja Boy Tell’Em – Crank That (Travis Barker Remix) – 141 BPM

New Boyz – You’re a Jerk – 100 BPM

Cali Swag District – Teach Me How to Dougie – 86 BPM

Rej3ctz – Cat Daddy – 103 BPM

Silento – Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) – 70 BPM

To find more workout songs, check out the free database at Run Hundred. You can browse by genre, tempo, and era to find the best songs to rock your workout.

  • By Chris Lawhorn

It pays to have a solid dance move.

TMZ is reporting that “Watch Me” rapper Silentó has made $100,000 for his hit single through a deal with Capitol Records that he signed, which also includes provisions for four subsequent albums.

The song, which both solidified and pushed the “Whip/Nae Nae” dance craze to mainstream America, has racked up over 500 million views on YouTube since being released in June of this year. Proving just how much a dance craze can be worth, Silentó is slated to net $50,000 for his debut project and up to $500,000 for every subsequent release.

We don’t often get such a clear line from internet fame to cold hard cash, and while we don’t know what exactly that $100,000 figure covers – is that money purely from YouTube streams? Publishing? What about live shows? – it’ll certainly more than enough to get the 17-year-old going.

On the other hand, considering that “Whip/Nae Nae” was the biggest craze and cultural phenomenon of 2015, everyone from elementary school students to cartoon characters were doing it, $100K alone doesn’t seem like much, even with a larger record deal in tow. It appears he had this deal in place before the track was released, which raises the question of how much money the song actually netted overall as well. Someone’s getting very rich off this song, it just might not be Silentó. Welcome to the music industry.

Regardless, “Watch Me” doesn’t appear to be losing steam anytime soon. The song has battled The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” on the top of the charts for a good chunk of the last few months. Money is one thing, but dude certainly has cultural capital to boot. Now we’ll have to wait and see if he can do it again in 2016.

13 Of The Most Viral Hip-Hop Dance Crazes Of All Time

11 October 2018, 06:00 | Updated: 11 October 2018, 06:01

Promoted by ITV2 Drake Dancing/In My Feelings Music Video. Picture: YouTube

Drake, Beyonce, Migos, Soulja Boy and more have sparked some unforgettable dance moves…

Hip-Hop is currently the biggest musical genre in the world and is also responsible for some of the most viral dance moves.

Throughout the years, Drake, Beyonce, Migos, Soulja Boy and more have coupled their hit singles with viral dance trends that have lasted the test of time.

From the “the dab” to the “crank dat”, fans have been showing off their moves and influencing pop culture, since the start of the Internet!

Check out some of Hip-Hop’s most viral dance crazes below:

  1. Drake – ‘In My Feelings’

    Drake’s single ‘In My Feelings’ was responsible for arguably the biggest dance craze of 2018 so far. Instagram comedian Shiggy helped the ‘Scorpion’ song to reach new heights with a dance known as the “Kiki Challenge” or the “In My Feelings Challenge”.

  2. Beyoncé – ‘Single Ladies’

    Beyonce is one of the biggest artists ever, so it was only a matter of time until she created a dance move that would transcend Hip-Hop culture. In 2008 the former Destiny’s Child singer showed off her now famous hand twist move during her ‘Single Ladies’ music video. The rest is history.

  3. Terror Squad Feat. Fat Joe & Remy Ma – ‘Lean Back’

    New York rapper Fat Joe was one of the first rappers to benefit from incorporating a popular dance move into a Hip-Hop music video. His now iconic ‘Lean Back’ chorus accompanied by his shoulder dance move, is still one of the biggest moves in the culture – despite being released in 2004!

  4. Bobby Shmurda – ‘Hot Boy’

    Bobby Shmurda took over the internet with his infectious ‘Hot Boy’ dance in 2014. Starting off as a clip on Vine, the popular dance took on a life of its own and saw celebrities, politicians and more, make reference to the unforgettable move.

  5. Soulja Boy Tell’ Em – ‘Crank Dat’

    Soulja Boy was one of the pioneers of the viral Hip-Hop dance move. Back in 2009, the rapper used his early social media influence to introduce the world to his ‘Crank Dat’ dance move, which led to endless videos of dancers replicating his moves.

  6. Migos – ‘Look At My Dab’

    Prior to their huge commercial success, Migos introduced the world to one of the most viral Hip-Hop dance moves of all time. The Atlanta trio showed the world how to “dab” by raising their arms to their face. Since their official ‘Look At My Dab’ music video was released in 2015, most music fans have attempted the move.

  7. Silento – ‘Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)’

    Silentó had the world attempting to “whip” and “nae nae” with his infectious dance moves in 2015. The rapper even released a YouTube tutorial for his fans that racked up millions of views!

  8. 2 Milly – ‘Milly Rock’

    Rapper 2 Milly burst onto the Hip-Hop scene in 2014 with his viral Hip-Hop dance move, the “milly rock”. The infectious move involves doing a simple two-step, combined with an arm swinging and hip swaying movement. A number of sports star continue to use the popular dance as a celebration in 2018.

  9. New Boyz – ‘You’re a Jerk’

    Los Angeles Hip-Hop duo New Boyz took over social media by incorporating local dance craze “Jerkin” into their catchy 2009 single ‘You’re A Jerk’.

  10. Drake – ‘Hotline Bling’

    Drake sparked his own Hip-Hop dance craze when he released the anticipated footage for 2015 single ‘Hotline Bling’. The OVO rapper showed off his now-iconic dad dancing in a variety of different outfits. The official music video currently has over 1 billion views on YouTube.

  11. GS Boyz – ‘Stanky Legg’

    In 2009, Texas-based rappers GS Boyz kickstarted their own creative Hip-Hop dance move called the ‘Stanky Legg’. The viral move went viral for its simplicity and helped the song reach no.17 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart.

  12. Cali Swag District – ‘Teach Me How to Dougie’

    Cali Swag District literally taught fans how to “dougie” with their infectious 2010 crossover single ‘Teach Me How To Dougie’. The dance went on to dominate the Internet and become one of the biggest Hip-Hop dance crazes ever.

  13. iLoveMemphis (formerly iHeartMemphis) – ‘Hit the Quan’

    Tennessee rapper iLoveMemphis kicked off the viral dance craze ‘Hit The Quan’ in 2015. However the dance move really became popular when rapper Rich Homie Quan did the move in his ‘Flex’ music video. The craze involves swinging your hips and your arms.

17 Other Viral Hip-Hop Dance Hits Before ‘Juju on That Beat’

The ascent of Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall’s breakout track “Juju on that Beat (TZ Anthem)” to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 after entering the list just four weeks ago is the latest example of an online smash that crossed over from Internet fandom into mainstream success.

Earlier this month, Hilfigerr and McCall also made the top three of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, which followed their official signing to Atlantic Records. A viral dance phenomenon is nothing new in hip-hop. From Soulja Boy’s “Crank Dat” dance to Bobby Shmurda’s Shmoney dance, here are 14 other hip-hop dance crazes that made their way around the Web throughout the years below.

Bobby Shmurda, “Hot N—a”

“Hot N—a” found chart success thanks to the viral Shmurda (a.k.a. Shmoney) dance courtesy of 22-year-old Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda. Its viral music video racked up nearly 261,000,000 views on YouTube since August 2014. Shmurda’s breakout success was short-lived as the promising rhymer was brought up on a variety of gang-related charges that December and is still sitting in jail thanks to a seven-year prison sentence.

Finatticz, “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun”

It’s the summer of 2013. President Obama is six months into his second term in office, Iron Man 3 is a box office hit and Finatticz are at the center of the latest viral craze thanks to their infectious track “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun.” Actually recorded years prior, the Los Angeles-based group propelled into hip-hop infamy largely thanks to a Vine posted that July that featured some provocative twerking to “Thun Thun.”

Silento, “Watch Me (Whip /Nae Nae)”

Unlike most of the other acts included on this list, Atlanta native Silento was actually signed to Capitol Records before his breakout track went viral. One of the most ubiquitous songs of the summer of 2015, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” — which peaked at No. 3 — included all the components for a viral smash: catchy melody, simple lyrics, and a custom dance that took off thanks to the video’s success on YouTube, which currently clocks in with over a billion plays and counting.

Drake, “Hotline Bling”

That chunky sweater. Those weird stairs. The dad-inspired moves. Drake’s already incredible career reached new heights last year thanks to the smash success of “Hotline Bling,” which, at No. two, was the highest charting single of his career at the time (Drizzy later hit No. 1 with “One Dance.”) The song’s success can be credited to its inventive video, which is currently creeping toward the billion mark, and the onslaught of fan videos and memes that followed.

iLoveMemphis (formerly iHeartMemphis), “Hit the Quan” and “Lean and Dabb”

If there’s anyone who surely owes their entire career to going viral, it’s iLoveMemphis. The Tennessee native hit the charts with a one-two punch over the course of a year thanks to two viral videos for “Hit the Quan” and “Lean and Dabb.” A video by fellow rapper Rich Homie Quan doing the Quan dance, also turned “Hit the Quan” into a Vine sensation. Nevertheless, iLoveMemphis’ pair of viral victories makes it apparent that lightning can indeed strike twice in the same place.

Cali Swag District, “Teach Me How to Dougie”

The Dougie dominated the Internet thanks to three then-teen MCs from Inglewood, Calif. named Chante “Yung” Glee, Cahron “JayAre” Childs, MC/DJ Corey “C-Smoove” Fowler and Montae “M-Bone” Talbert (the latter was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2011). In 2010, the track sold 1.6 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It also peaked at No. 9 on Hot Hip-Hop/R&B Songs and No. 28 on the Hot 100.

Webstar & Young B feat. AG, “Chicken Noodle Soup”

Female rapper Young B turned her favorite meal while feeling sick — chicken noodle soup and ginger ale — into an Internet-wide smash for the hook of producer Webstar’s 2006 offering. Paired with a club-ready dance imitating rain drops for its other big hook — “Let it rain/Clear it out,” there was enough “Chicken Noodle Soup” to go around.

Unk, “Walk It Out”

While the actual dance involved more than just putting one foot in front of the other, Atlanta DJ Unk’s 2006 hit “Walk It Out” peaked at No. 10 on the Hot 100 and had many hitting the dancefloor.

GS Boyz, “Stanky Legg”

The Texas-bred rap crew not only released an explosive visual but jumpstarted a leggy new dance with the 2009 release “Stanky Legg.” The track kicked it at No. 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

New Boyz, “You’re a Jerk”

Who knew writing off someone could make for a viral hit? In 2009, the skinny jean-clad rap duo from Los Angeles capitalized on the local dance craze, jerkin’, for the crossover pop hit that reached No. 24 on the Hot 100.

Huey, “Pop, Lock & Drop It”

This crunk gem from St. Louis rapper Huey popped, locked and dropped it at No. 6 on the Hot 100 in 2007. The Baby Huey hit also honed in on the popular street dance move, popping.

2 Milly, “Milly Rock”

Maino, A$AP Ferg and Rick Ross remixes aside, 2 Milly’s breakout hit “Milly Rock” was also paired with the simple two-step, hip-swaying and arm-swinging routine that kept hip-hop heads rocking from left to right.

iAmDLOW “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me”

The #DoItLikeMe challenge spread across timelines when the Chicago rapper followed up 2014’s “Party” with the viral 2015 jam “Do It Like Me.” The iAmDLOW hit danced on the Hot 100 as well, peaking at No. 45.

Soulja Boy, “Crank That”

Soulja Boy was crowned the pioneer of viral hip-hop dances thanks to his 2009 hit “Crank Dat,” which spawned many Internet videos of dancers “Superman-ing that ho” and yelling, “Yooooouuuuuuuuuuu.”

Migos, “Look at My Dab”

Before 2 Chainz raked in dough with Dabbing Santa sweaters and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton incorporated it into his touch down dance, Atlanta rap trio Migos had the Internet hitting the Dab with their 2015 hit. Even Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had to get in on the action.

The Ghost Town DJs, “My Boo”

The Ghost Town DJs’ classic “My Boo” returned to the Hot 100 two decades after its release thanks to Jaylen Brantley and Jared Nickens, the University of Maryland basketball players who used the song as the soundtrack to the viral dance the #RunningManChallenge.

10 Unforgettable Dance Fads That Took Over the Internet

ILLUSTRATOR War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) There was a time when everyone knew the fierce dance moves of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.” We’ve come a long way since then—and lately, there’s been no shortage of trendy new dance crazes that take over the Internet. And so, we list down 10 dance moves that made waves and had everyone doing challenges. Some of these might take you back a couple of years, but you’ve definitely seen them all on your feed at one point or another.

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“In My Feelings” Challenge

Before it was called the “In My Feelings” or Kiki challenge, this dance craze was originally called the Do the Shiggy Challenge. It rose to fame when the comedian Shiggy posted a video of himself doing a little dance he made to Drake’s single, “In My Feelings.” Celebrities all over the world—from Will Smith to K-Pop group BTS and even our own local celebs—have joined in the fun and posted their own versions of the dance. Fun fact: Drake says the challenge hyped up his song so much that he invited Shiggy to guest star in the “In My Feelings” music video.

Whip and Nae Nae

It’s hard to meet anyone who hasn’t heard of the Whip and Nae Nae, especially since there was a point when Silento’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” could be heard playing anywhere and everywhere. While the dance moves have been around for some time, the Whip and Nae Nae found their ticket to fame after Silento released the dance-filled single, which also highlights other popular hip-hop dance moves like the Superman (a.k.a. the just-as-unforgettable move from Soulja Boy’s “Crank That”), the stanky leg, and the bop.

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Dougie

When it comes to the Dougie, it’s hard to tell which one stuck more: The dance move or the song that turned it into an international dance craze. When Cali Swag District came out with “Teach Me How to Dougie,” it had the Internet showing off their best take on the dougie. And even if dancing wasn’t your strong suit, just hearing the song made you want to groove to the beat.

Gangnam Style

Remember PSY and his song, “Gangnam Style?” Whether or not you’re a K-Pop fan, you’re bound to remember how widespread the track was. Besides, this dance craze didn’t only plague everyone with a case of Last Song Syndrome, but it also gave everyone the itch to get up and jump around doing the Gangnam Style. We don’t know about you, but it looked like a pretty good cardio workout.

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Fortnite Dance Challenge

Fortnite is a pretty popular video game these days, but just as infectious as the game itself are the countless funky moves that came along with it. (Fun fact: The moves in the game were originally inspired by other artists and dancers too—how many do you recognize?) And so the Internet exploded with “Fortnite Dances in Real Life” videos, ranging from the very talented takes down to the hilarious covers.

Party Rock Anthem Shuffle

“Every day, I’m shuffling”—and really, everyone was. Music duo LMFAO is known for the Party Rock Anthem Shuffle, which looks like a leveled-up version of the classic Running Man dance move. Admit it: It’s pretty hard to not want to get up and dance when you hear this song, and wearing just the right pair of shoes totally made you a master of the Party Rock Anthem Shuffle.

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My Boo Running Man Challenge

Not to be mistaken with the original Running Man-slash-shuffle dance move, the Running Man challenge rose to fame when two kids posted the original challenge of them dancing to Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo,” a track released in 1996. Since then, you’ve probably seen countless variations of the dance, as performed by celebrities, little kids, and even people’s pet dogs.

Dabbing

Dabbing is probably the easiest move to do on this list because it involves one move and one move alone. It’s been done as a staple in dance videos, but that doesn’t mean the Dab hasn’t crept up in everyday situations either—it has made its way as a signature pose in group photos. (Admit it, how many times have you and your friends Dabbed in your groufies?) Even big celebrities and sports icons have been seen doing it on TV.

Flossing

Anyone can do the straight-faced, arm-flailing, hip-swinging move that is Flossing. Made famous by an American teenager, immortalized only as “The Backpack Kid,” the move is all shades of silly, bizarre, but definitely fun. Backpack Kid even made it to SNL to perform the move live—he was accompanied by Katy Perry, no less.

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Harlem Shake

The Harlem Shake was a otally bizarre dance craze—there’s no other way to describe it. People would just be idly standing before doing multiple different (and chaotic) actions when the beat changes. The craze found its roots in 30-second meme videos, headed by college kids and YouTube comedians, but was made more famous by people all over the world doing their own original and creative spin on things. There was a plus side to the Harlem Shake, though: anyone could totally pull it off.

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