Ying Yang Twins On “Telling All The Miley Cyruses To Twerk” And Reclaiming “Hanh!” From French Montana
XXL: Twerking is back in the headlines these days—on your new mixtape, Ass In Session, you even have a song called “Miley Cyrus.”
D-Roc: The one thing about it is, all the kids that was growing up and their parents was listening to us, now they grown. And they like you know, “Where that twerk music at?” So the kids twerking now, they off the chain.
The reason we named [that song] “Miley Cyrus” is because she is the biggest name that started twerking and it caught you off guard. So we’re saying “Miley Cyrus with it.” We ain’t telling Miley Cyrus to get out there and do it because if you listen to the lyrics, it’s a little too much for Ol’ Miley.
Kaine: Twerking has become a true mainstream thing—it’s not just in the urban community now. All communities are in on it now simply by the relevance of Miley Cyrus. Basically, we are telling all the Miley Cyruses to twerk.
What’s your opinion about that aspect of the culture crossing over into the mainstream? One of your earliest hits was “Whistle While You Twurk.” How do you feel about young women like Miley Cyrus adopting it?
D-Roc: There’s nothing wrong with it. No harm, no foul. Dancing is dancing. Now, however, all the little, young girls’ parents look at it that’s something they have to deal with when they are at home. We didn’t initiate that. The little girls at the high school that got suspended initiated the twerk phenomenon. There were girls on their hands, upside down, got suspended from school. They set off this twerk thing to where they [went] over to Miley Cyrus. Now, she’s twerking and now everybody wants to pay attention.
D-Roc: Well, everything is full circle, too. Really what they doing actually came out of New Orleans. New Orleans was doing that first.
Kaine: They don’t call it “twerk,” they call it “bounce.” They got this little typical beat like [Imitates pounding, bass-heavy beat] So down there in urban communities, they teaching little girls as young as six, seven years old how to p-pop. The mothers are teaching it to their daughters. It’s not a bad thing. It’s the perception your mind gets when you see them do it. It starts out as just having fun dancing. It’s like the 2013 dirty dancing. I guess this is how they trying to make it. And it’s not really dirty. It’s just shaking the lot o’ the bottom end. Making it double to the beat. Maybe slow or faster.
D-Roc: Really it is dirty. You don’t want your six-year-old [doing it], but where we from it’s all good. But in the white community, it’s like “GOT DAMN, HUH? You’re not focusing in school anymore!” (Laughs)
Kaine: And there is nothing wrong. We have kids ourselves but there is nothing wrong with our kids. This twerk thing is something that we’ve been a part of since we were introduced to the game. We thought it already had surfaced but I guess since we kind of brought up the new era with Ying Yang making the music…what we’re doing is nothing short of what the 2 Live Crew [did]. We have over ten years worth of hits and if you think about it, if kids 18 or 19 now, ten years ago, they were eight. And that’s how they know the rhythms of the songs now like “Salt Shaker.” [Laughs]
D-Roc: All the producers we were working with were like, “you guys gotta change your image,” and then right up under our nose, shit, twerk came right back. I had always said, “nah, we used to do what we used to do, and do a little bit of that.” You know, had to take it back to the originators, the innovators— we got back with Mr. Collipark.
Kaine: The innovators of the twerkin.’ The innovators of the “hanh.”