Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)
I’ve been planning to a post on the #NaeNae dance for a while, but what do you know last night Billboard did a story on the dance craze. I got scooped by one of the biggest magazines around, lol. If you haven’t heard about the Atlanta-based dance, then go read that story to get idea about the dance that’s been hard to miss the last few months.
Originally, I just gonna to post the song “Drop That Nae Nae,” which Billboard has pointed out has started gaining more traction on Rap/R&B radio stations. And at least based on my own radio listening patterns, I’ve certainly heard the song quite a bit the last few weeks, and not just in DJ mixes. The WeAreToonz song has a Post-Snap minimalism that sounds like any number of “Crank That” derivative songs from 2007 and 2008 and one of the rappers even sounds a bit like Soulja Boy. Though not as memorable as “Crank That” or even a track like “Crank That Batman” or “Crank That SpongeBob,” “Drop That Nae Nae” is certainly a nice compliment to the goofy dance that people love performing. Will #NaeNae get to that level of mainstream cultural popularity? I dream. *Rubs Martin Luther King Jr. poster*
But #NaeNae as a dance already kind of had its own theme song. Young Thug’s “Stoner” was the song that kept appearing on Vines for the dance when I saw it a few months ago. The drugged out song appeared to have been the original Vine soundtrack song for the dance by WeAreToonz, before that group and others started writing songs for the dance. “Stoner” ended up becoming the Young Thug song that finally broke him through to a wider audience, as the Vine hit kept acquiring Youtube views and now at this point consistent radio play.
I also wanted to note that if “Drop That Nae Nae” is Post-Snap, then it’s only fair a group made a Post-Futuristic anthem for the #NaeNae crowd. TheyCallMeN8’s “Nae Nae (Hold Up, Show Nuff)” is just a generation away from Atlanta late 2000s Futuristic style of J. Futuristic, J. Money and Travis Porter back when “swag” was the wave to catch with cracked digital horns and multiple melodies stacked on each other. This style is the same sonic DNA as any Chicago Bop song, just a different region, dance and slightly more obnoxious colors of denim. The more rap changes the more it stays the same.