Twerk Pioneers the Ying Yang Twins Talk Twerking and Miley Cyrus (TWERK!)
It seems today everybody's twerking for the weekend. Now that America's at a point where even Miley Cyrus is twerking and Jay-Z is shouting it out, it's time to look back at the pioneers who paved the way for the twerk takeover. The Ying Yang Twins brought twerking to a national level with their breakthrough 2000 hit "Whistle While You Twurk" and, with the Twerkpocalypse upon us, have returned to take their rightful place on the Twerking throne with their new wonderfully titled mixtape Ass in Session. The Twins bring their all time twerking classics to the Gramercy Theater tomorrow, July 26th, and we had the tremendous (or is that twerk-mendous) fortune to speak with the Twins themselves, Kaine and D-Roc, on taking their twerk empire to the next level.
Congrats on Ass in Session, possibly the best named mixtape this year. Where did the title come from?
Kaine: We chose that title because when we came out we always made songs for the exotic clubs. Not only that, our songs are known to have high energy. Be that as it may, for the duration of time that we haven't come out with a project, we had to come back strong in the lane that we truly own and are a part of, which is the party club life.
D-Roc: We had to come back for dat ass!
Kaine: We went on back and did this Ass in Session project on our own. The Ying Yang Twins reunited with Mr. Collipark. It ain't never broke so we didn't have to fix it.
You both were the trailblazers for twerking going back to 13 years ago. Being you were so ahead of the curve, do you recall being first introduced to twerking?
Kaine: Twerking was actually originally started in New Orleans. Bass music came to Atlanta from Florida. Everything is a reenactment once it's been done before. What we did is we took the work "Twerk," which was a New Orleans word meaning, if you were going to "twerk something" you were going to bust a move or if you were going to see the girls "twerk," it means they were dancing in the club. What we did was take the word to the forefront.
D-Roc: Twerking has been going on in Atlanta since the beginning. We just gave it a name.
Kaine: The same thing that these street artists are doing with the credibility in Atlanta, and I'm being totally honest, the one thing they try to shy away from is--Atlanta is the home of booty shake music. That's that home, there's no way around that. A lot of the artists from Atlanta don't like these type of songs in their repertoire, but we don't care. It's all fun and love and war and, all together, it's a part of our culture whether artists want to acknowledge it or not. Those same clubs we talk about in "Whistle While You Twurk" were there when we were kids. It's always been in Atlanta. Atlanta's always had the no-top no-bottom everything showin' everything goin' strip clubs. We just put it on Front Street. While everybody talks about everything else in Atlanta, we talk about a true thing in Atlanta and twerking's been a true thing in Atlanta ever since Luke brought it up from Florida.
D-Roc: Whoop, there it is. Hahn!
At what point did you realize twerking became a national phenomenon?
Kaine: By the time "Salt Shaker" came out. It was a wrap man. Didn't nobody have no problems with hitting the dance floor and having fun. Everybody loves fun. If anybody's talking negatively about our Ass in Session project, it's because a whole generation has passed through. We haven't put a project out since right before TVT went out of business. In all fairness, we are the pioneers of that lane, and it is the female lane and it is the lane that we own. No-one can imitate or duplicate the Ying Yang Twins because we are a true original.
D-Roc: Origi-nal! I'm my momma's boy!