Fire Starter: The New Boyz
Word to Navin R. Johnson. Thirty years ago, Steve Martin made the word "jerk" iconic — and now pair of kids from Cali called the New Boyz are trying to make "jerk" a movement. Dominic "Legacy" Thomas and his partner Ben J (born Earl Benjamin) have one of the hottest records on the West Coast right now, "You're a Jerk."
The bass on the record is undeniable. It sounds like something tailor-made for Compton's the Game to display his guerilla gangsta-rap tactics, or even Crooked I to throw his acclaimed abstract poetics against. But the bass-laden track was inspired by the duo getting dissed, and they aren't ashamed to tell the story on the song — sped-up vocals of somebody saying "You're a jerk" are looped throughout the record.
"The jerk movement is big. It's about to be worldwide. The jerk is a dance that came from the '90s or something. The old people used to do it — just groove," Ben J said, surrounded by the young dance crew called the Power Rangers.
The duo have remixed the dance and put their own stank on it — thus, you have "jerkin'."
" 'Jerkin' is a swagged-out fun dance," Ben declared.
"People used to go to parties gangbanging," Legacy said. "Parties would get shot up. But now people go to parties to jerk. It's something positive. People think we made the dance [but] we didn't make the dance. It came from out here in L.A. It was a gangbanging dance, but people started seeing it and swagging it out.
"Everybody used to make jerkin' songs," Legacy said of the song. "Instead of coming in and making songs about jerkin', we called ourselves jerks. And the girl on the record is trippin' on us. She's like, 'You're a jerk,' on our head — but at the same time, it's a dance too."
Who's next and who dominates — right here, all week long!.
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The duo came together in high school. Their birthdays are just one day apart, so they used to pool the money their friends and family gave them to buy studio equipment. In October, both kids were grounded and, while serving out their punishment, they snuck and recorded the song. It built up organically through YouTube and reached the top slot of Power 106 and KIIS-FM radio in Los Angeles. Their debut, Skinny Jeans and a Mic, is due for release later this year on Asylum Records.
"We're pretty much trying to make jerkin' a genre of music, so everybody could be doing it," Legacy said. "It's a lot of smart creative kids out there doing it." Just check YouTube — you can see Puff Daddy's son Christian Combs and his cousin Roxy dancing to the record just like thousands of other kids.
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
DJ Whoo Kid says a 50 Cent mixtape is right around the corner. While Fif has been holed up in the lab working with Dr. Dre on Before I Self Destruct, he's found time to devote some records to the streets.
"Fifty's done 10 freestyles," Whoo Kid revealed. "I'm waiting on like, two more. I guess he's trying to figure out the tile. And I've been a doing a lot of those Radio Planet videos, so I'm gonna put together a radioplanet.tv 50 Cent video. Those are my video mixtapes I've been putting out, killing the Web waves."
Whoo Kid also said that the tape won't be devoted to 50's squabbling with Rick Ross — that's a done deal.
"The Rick Ross sh-- is outta here," Whoo Kid described. "It's over, he's done his promo — 50 promoted his album very well, so Rick Ross is outta here. Now he's worried about his own sh--. They got the Tia book out there. That should be the last level of anything that has anything to do with Rick Ross."
Whoo Kid is also working on mixtapes by Tony Yayo, Gucci Mane, Yung LA, Juvenile, Snoop Dogg, and Soulja Boy.