Sometimes when you hear a catchy tune, you can’t resist turning up the volume and maybe even singing along. If there’s a dance routine that goes with it, then things get even more fun: you can bust out those moves, blowing off steam and getting some exercise, too. Just think of some recent dance crazes like the “Cha Cha Slide,” “Cupid’s Shuffle,” the “Harlem Shake,” and dare we mention it, the “Macarena.” Since 2015, the world has been dancing to “Watch me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by the rapper Silento.
Ricky Lamar Hawk, better known as Silento, was all of 17 when his debut single “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” made its debut on his YouTube channel. The video racked up an impressive 2.5 million views in just its first week online. Within three months, Silento signed with Capitol Records and the song hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Two months after that, he was performing at the BET Awards. That’s a quick rise to stardom! Silento got even more coverage by performing at Times Square for New Year’s Eve 2017.
A big part of what’s made “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” so popular are the song’s accompanying dance moves. The whip comes from rhythm-and-blues and simply consists of raising your arm and swinging it back down as if you were cracking a whip. The nae nae is a hip-hop move. You plant your feet firmly in place and then sway your hips (including some shoulder movement). One hand goes up in the air while the other is pointed down: there’s plenty of room for improvisation and creativity.
One young lady set up a camera to record her dance moves for “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” If she was hoping for internet fame, she seems to have found it, although with help from an unlikely source: her dad — who was dressed up like a cowboy joins in and basically stole the show!