Hip-hop stars get younger and younger. While current rap legends Jay-Z and Nas were influenced by the likes of Rakim and Big Daddy Kane, the wave after them — such as Young Jeezy and Rick Ross — loved listening to Esco and Jigga coming up. The New Boyz — 17-year-olds Legacy and Ben J — are so young, they said that a major influence was Bow Wow.
"I've been rapping all my life, since I was 8," Legacy said. "I saw a Bow Wow music video, and all them little girls chasing him, and I wanted that lifestyle."
"I've been rapping for a long time too, but that wasn't my priority," Ben J added. "I wanted to go to college and play football. I still want to go to college, San Diego State! But I found out [Legacy] was rapping, and was like, I have to do it. And we've been New Boyz."
Formerly known as the Swagger Boyz, the two friends have been together for just a year (the duo was formed officially July 4, 2008) but are already getting love across the country for bringing the Los Angeles dance style jerkin' to the forefront with their single, "You're a Jerk."
"Jerkin' came from L.A.," Ben explained. "It's an inner-city dance; the teenagers brought it back. They used to breakdance, the Roger Rabbit, but we swagged it out. We got involved in it because we seen it and we liked it."
"People were making jerkin' music, but nobody was like doing anything with it," Legacy said. "We wanted to make it worldwide. This dance is crazy, and it got potential, so we wanted to make it worldwide. We made a jerkin' song. We made 'You're a Jerk,' which is like a double meaning. Jerkin' is just having a good time, you just grooving. Some people ain't capable of crumping. Their body can't do all that. Everybody can jerk, my grandma be jerkin'. His 4-year-old brother be jerkin'. It's just groovin'. It's positive."
"You're a Jerk" was made at Ben's house, and his mother even contributed to the track. The two laid their vocals in a closet and posted the song and a video of themselves dancing on YouTube.
The track is already so big, you see even Chris Brown jerkin' on the Internet. The pair say that they've become so popular because people see themselves when they look at the New Boyz.
"Honestly, we're not separated from the pack," Legacy surmised. "That's why so many people connect with us, because we're so much like everybody else. We don't try to go places and be flossin' on everybody and be all Hollywood."
But speaking of Hollywood, the teens are gearing up to make a motion picture.
"We've got movies," Ben revealed. "We're about to start a film in August called '818.' We play two of the lead roles. It's basically like a street film, like an L.A. gangster/ police film. We've got our album dropping August 18. We have a mockumentary on jerking. It's about the lifestyle of jerking. We're gonna try to get our whole business situated. We're going to move forward. Success is the point."
"We got our next single called 'Dot Com,' " Legacy said of the next release from their debut album, Skinny Jeans and a Mic. "And 'Tie Me Down.' We do music besides jerkin' music. We were artists before. Now we got jerkin', and they think that's the only thing we got. We're going to surprise a lot of people."