DALLAS — Like a few million other fans out there, Snoop Dogg and Ciara have been caught up in the next big hip-hop movement: Dallas' "D-Town Boogie," which includes that "Stanky Legg" dance the two were doing on Snoop's "Dogg After Dark" talk show. The new move originated right in Dallas with members of the rap group the
GS' Southside and his partner Prince Charming (there are three other members in GS Boyz) had just finished a hearty meal of pork chops and corn last summer, when they were fueled to mastermind this year's hip-hop dance sensation.
"He started doing his leg, like that," Southside said, explaining the motion where his partner Prince started rotating his leg in front of him, the way you would twist your foot to put out cigarette, except using the whole leg. "I was like, 'Hey, that looks stanky.'" And the Stanky Legg was born.
First came the dance, then the group produced the song themselves, followed by a homemade video they uploaded to YouTube. In nine months, they had over 5 million views, a contract with Yung Joc's imprint Swagg Team and a record contract with Jive Records. The fivesome have become the poster children for the D-Town Boogie, especially since their record has been expanding in regional airplay and the video is becoming a hit on BET's music series "106 & Park." Much like crunk, though, the D-Town is more than music: It's a whole state of mind and being.
"The D-Town Boogie is all about swag," said Dallas radio legend Skip Cheatham, who hosts K104's morning show. "They put a dance to it — a lot of the different dances got that bass to it. It's about the swag and the attitude. You gotta come to the D and feel it."
The Dallas swag that's such an integral part of their D-Town Boogie is something to behold. In Dallas, a lot of locals have been sporting the same shag mullets as Kanye West, and some have tails with their fade haircuts, while others pay tribute to the '80s with their Gumby slope tops. Some people rock leather shorts, and a lot of the kids love to keep the tags on their clothes — word to Bell Biv DeVoe.
"We keep it Coogi down, Miskeen, Ed Hardy, that's how we rock it down here," Sliz of the GS Boyz explains about the fashion.
"Some people don't got what you got," Marc D of the Boyz elaborated about why they keep the tags on their clothes. "So when you see that price tag, when they see that price tag, they gonna want that."
"Some people might think it's fake, but check out that tag," Southside jumped in.
Musically, the D-Town Boogie has a slower tempo of song, light on sharp lyrics, heavy on steps, sometimes inspired by pop-culture icons like wrestling great Nature Boy Ric Flair (wait until you see the "Nature Walk Dance").
"It can look crazy," Dallas producer Play of Play N Skillz says of the dances, such as Lil' Will's "My Dougie" and B-Hamp's "Do the Ricky Bobby," that the genre has spawned. "Soulja Boy [Tell'em] is doing a lot of D-Town Boogie dances. I seen Bow Wow, I seen Nelly. A lot of people are doing the D-Town Boogie dances."
"Every new [D-Town Boogie] song will take a little part of 'My Dougie' and use it in their dances," Play's brother Skillz offered.
"The 'Ricky Bobby' is a very popular song," Play declared. "If that record gets played in the club, everybody is doing it. I don't care who it is, even if you're a gangster, you'll be doing it."
B-Hamp's song, and accompanying step routine, seems like it will indeed be the next record to blow from Dallas, especially since it has over a million hits on YouTube already.
"The 'Ricky Bobby' was originated from the movie 'Talladega Nights [The Ballad of Ricky Bobby']," Hamp explained. "Just watching the movie, laughing, having fun with my homeboys, I said, 'Let's come up with a song.' They actually say my song's hook in the movie. All the moves from the dance are moves from the movie."
The stir the D-Town Boogie has created on the Net has caused radio programmers as well as label A&Rs to take notice of Dallas, paving the way for the hip-hop hub that's famous for supporting artists from other regions to finally make their mark on the rap map. And with eyes on the city, the homegrown artists plan to take full advantage.
"I got love and friends all over the country," Cheatham said. "It's just Dallas' turn to shine. We got our music game up, our unity is going, we got the Dallas Boogie poppin' off and getting love on the radio. A lot of the artists are bleeding from the streets and clubs to the radio. A&Rs are all calling me. They're peeping the BDS, they ask me, 'Wow, you played that record 30 times, 40 times last week?' "
"It's going down," said Atlanta singer Bobby Valentino, who frequently visits Dallas. "Texas [has] got a lot of things going. It's almost like the new A-Town, where they got their own movement. I think in every state, they got their own movements, but Texas is the next state to have it going on and really get it poppin'."