Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How The "Nae Nae" Dance Got Its Name

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part series on the Hip-Hop/Pop dance the "Nae Nae".

This post provides information and comments about and videos of the 2013 We Are Toonz' hit record "Drop That #NaeNae".

The Addendum of this post showcases a video of the 1991 Hip-Hop song "Doo Doo Brown". That dance is mentioned in the lyrics to We Are Toonz' Drop That #NaeNae".

Click for Part II of this series. Part II showcases various dances that are mentioned in Silento's 2014 mega-hit record "Watch Me" (Whip/Nae Nae").

The content of this post is presented for cultural and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to We Are Toonz for creating and performing the Nae Nae dance. Thanks also to all those quoted in this post, all those who are featured in these videos, and all the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

"Drop That NaeNae" (stylized as "Drop That #NaeNae") is a song by American hip hop group We Are Toonz. Released on November 29, 2013, the song gained popularity in early 2014 thanks to its accompanying dance, created by the group and based on the Martin character Sheneneh Jenkins...

The NaeNae dance became a viral hit, gaining traction on social media sites such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Vine.[3] Washington Wizards player John Wall broke into the dance after winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on February 15, 2014, leading to a 311% increase in Twitter mentions of the #NaeNae hashtag that day.[5]...

The popularity of the NaeNae dance led to radio and sales traction of "Drop That NaeNae",[9] and the song later debuted at numbers 20 and 38 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts, respectively.[5]"...

[Added July 14, 2015] "New Hip-Hop Dance Craze: 'Drop That #NaeNae'" By Rauly Ramirez, New York January 27, 2014 6:06 PM EST
"From Atlanta -- the city that taught you how to crank that Soulja Boy, shake that laffy taffy, lean with it, rock with it, and walk it out -- comes a new dance that’s spreading across the country: the Nae Nae...

Through the use of social media, the funny dance -- and its G-Cutz-produced anthem “Drop That #NaeNae” (VPP/Skunkfunk) -- has soared in popularity in high schools across America. The group has used Vine, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to “reach out to the kids because that’s what the kids and the teens are actually on, they’re active on those websites,” says CalLamar. Consequently, there have been more than 1.1 million mentions of the #NaeNae hashtag in the past 90 days, according to Twitter...

If you think the Nae Nae is only for the kids, however, you’d be wrong. The dance has become so popular that collegiate and professional athletes have adopted it for their on- and off-field celebrations. Following their Jan. 1 Rose Bowl victory over Stanford, the Michigan State locker room became ground zero for joyous Nae Nae-ing. New Orleans Saints’ wide receiver Lance Moore also broke out in the dance on Jan. 4 after scoring a playoff touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.

One of the song’s biggest supporters, literally, is 6’11” Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard. The perennial NBA All-Star shot a Nae Nae-themed skit with We Are Toonz [the group that created that dance]."...
That video is given as Example #1 below.

..."WeAreToonz invented the Nae Nae in their basement practice space, while preparing for a show. On Oct. 8, 2013, they released a YouTube video instructing people how do the Nae Nae dance. A couple days later, they released an official streaming video for the dance’s partner song, “Drop That #NaeNae.”

The dance is loosely inspired by Sheneneh Jenkins, the female character played by Martin Lawrence on his ‘90s sitcom, Martin. “It’s really just based on a ratchet girl in the club dancing kind of funny and the best girl to describe it is Sheneneh from Martin,” WeAreToonz member CalLamar explained in January....

The Nae Nae joins a short history of regional rap songs that have seeped into mainstream consciousness on the wings of an easy-to-learn dance move. When people shout “huuuahh” before raising their arm for a Nae Nae, it sounds a lot like when people yelled “yooouuu” before dancing to Soulja Boy’s 2007 song “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” an early YouTube hit.
"Ratchet" means "ghetto", i.e. "trashy" and "slutty". As a female impersonator, Martin Lawrence portrayed Sheneneh as a woman with a protruding butt who was always ready for a fight. When confronting the middle class Black women Pam and Gina, Sheneneh was quick to put her hand in their face. Sheneneh was also portrayed as a Black woman with a noticeable protruding big butt. Given this exaggerated characterization by a male impersonator, when Sheneneh's movements are converted to a Hip-Hop dance that is performed by males, to a lot of people they appear to be "effeminate".

Besides the numerous racist comments that are found on YouTube discussion threads about the Nae Nae dance, the largest number of comments in all of those threads including those that feature WeAreToonz's record and Silento's 2014 "Watch Me" (Whip and Nae Nae) record -are that the Nae Nae "looks gay" or that men who perform this dance are gay. Undoubtedly, some of the male dancers in Nae Nae videos may be homosexual. But, notwithstanding We Are Toonz' public comment that the Nae Nae dance movements are based on "ratchet girls in the club dancing funny", it seems to me that it's important to recognize that the WeAreToonz's Nae Nae dance (more than Silento's version of this dance) is meant to be a parody. And that parody isn't really of "ratchet girls in the club"- the Nae Nae dance it is meant to be a parody of how gay males dance.

The Buzzfeed article which is quoted above includes two vines (six second videos that repeat on a loop0 of Sheneneh dancing. Click "Martin - Seasons 1 & 2 - Intro". That brief shot of Sheneneh that is found in that introduction is the best one that I've come across of Sheneneh dancing with her hand in the air. Another clip of Sheneneh dancing (but not with her hand in the air, is found at "Martin - Variety Show- Shanaynay Sings".

However, it should be noted that waving your hand in the air is a gesture that is a core part of Hip Hop culture - in response to something that is appreciated, as part of song lyrics, and as a movement performed while you dance. Click for responses to the question "What is the first usage in a song of "wave your hands in the air, like you [just] don't care"?". (The commenters mention The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight" (1979)'s use of the vers "then ya throw your hands high in the air/ ya rockin to the rhythm, shake your derriere/ya rockin to the beat without a care". However, commenters also noted that there were probably other Hip-Hop artists who used phrases like that before that group.

Notice the "wave your hand in the air gesture in the "Doo Doo Brown" video that is featured in the Addendum.

Example #1: Dwight Howard WeAreToonz "Drop That Nae Nae"

ToonzWeAre, Published on Jan 11, 2014
Isaiah Canaan is the other professional basketball player who is featured in this video with Dwight Howard.
Click for the lyrics for We Are Toonz's "Drop That #NaeNae".

Those lyrics contain a small amount of mild profanity.

Example #2: Bam vs. Kodak Killa | NaeNae Dance Battle

BamTheCamera Published on Jan 28, 2014

Best NaeNae Dance Battle (Official)
Dancer: Bam (Orange shoes) vs. Kodak Killa (Dreads)

Example #3: Disney Characters | #NaeNae Dance | Super Sega Dragons

Dragon House Bam, Published on Dec 17, 2013

Example #4: Nae Nae Dance (JOJ vs LEE)

Rising Stars, Published on Feb 8, 2014

This video is about Nae Nae Dance (JOJ vs LEE)
This is a dance off [dance battle] between representatives of Johnson high school and Lee High School.

[Note: This 1991 dance is mentioned in WeAreToonz' "Drop That Nae Nae"].

WARNING - This is not the same video or song as Uncle Luke's "Doo Doo Brown". That song is x rated and that video contains very raunchy ["dirty"/"nasty"] scenes.

2 Hype Brothers And A Dog - Doo Doo Brown

Nina Brown, Uploaded on May 9, 2007

This is the 1st Doo Doo Brown video ever shot! Directed by a then unknown guy named Chris Robinson and starring the one and only Frank Ski!
Music” "Doo Doo Brown" by [1991]
Information about this record:
"2 Hype Brothers And A Dog was formed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1991.

Their masterpiece was an album entitled Ya Rollin' Doo Doo. It was a big hit in the early 1990s because of the monster hit, "Doo Doo Brown." This song combined hip-hop lyricism, a great beat, and comedy.

The song sampled from 2 Live Crew's raunchy song "C'mon Babe."

The song featured the catch phrase "Yeah boy!!!" which later became a hip-hop standard phrase."...
At the time that this record was released, Frank Ski was a popular radio dj in Baltimore. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Atlanta and hosted a radio show in that city.

The lyrics for that song are included in that article.

The nickname "Doo Doo Brown" refers to a Black man who knows that he is the sh-t" (He's the man./He's the coolest man around.)

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment