The Story Behind the Most Viral Song on Vine

George Tinari

“I’ve been watching you / At night, I think of you / I want to be your lady, baby.” How many times have you heard those lyrics on Vine or playing on repeat in your head? Probably dozens. Maybe hundreds. The lyrics are all over the social networking and video service, but it’s hard to pinpoint why or how. If you’ve been searching for the original song and how this viral masterpiece came to life, look no further.

This '90s jam suddenly took the Internet world by storm. | Photo: GongTo / Shutterstock.com
This ’90s jam suddenly took the Internet world by storm | Photo: GongTo / Shutterstock

Those catchy lyrics come from the song “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs. It originally debuted on a compilation album of various artists back in 1996 under Jermaine Dupri’s record label, So So Def Recordings. The album’s name is So So Def Bass All-Stars.

“My Boo” actually the only song to ever be released by Ghost Town DJs. The chorus is what you’re hearing in so many Vine videos.

Viral Videos Revive the ’90s

That’s all well and nice, but how exactly did a song from 1996 suddenly achieve mainstream relevance 20 years later? In fairness, the song did peak at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of Oct. 12, 1996, so it achieved moderate success in its day. Still, “My Boo” out-peaked itself decades later when it eventually reached number 27 on the same chart this year.

This very rare success story comes from an equally rare opportunity to go viral. Two high school students, Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall, innocently posted a video to Vine of themselves dancing to the popular song after class one day. They made up a dance that resembled running to the beat of the music. The simple, innocent video spread and attracted others to get on board. It quickly became the viral sensation now known as the Running Man Challenge.

‘My Boo’ actually the only song to ever be released by Ghost Town DJs.

If you search Vine for “running man challenge” you’ll find thousands of results with people doing their own interpretations of the dance and even adding their own comedic spins to it. Many of the videos individually have millions of loops. And yes, all of them are playing Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo” in the background — it wouldn’t be a Running Man Challenge otherwise.

The Origin of ‘My Boo’

It started out as a collaborative idea with rapper Lil Jon.

Billboard interviewed manager of Ghost Town DJs Rodney Terry as well as two of the members of the group to discuss the history of the song.

According to Terry, it started out as a collaborative idea with rapper Lil Jon. They wanted to mix together a fast dance beat with slower vocals so the two were at odds with each other.

“My concept was soft on the top and hard on the bottom. Me being originally from the West Coast, the pop kids had been making those kinds of records forever,” Terry told Billboard. “The Latin kids had been making those kinds of records that were pop records — but nobody had approached it on an R&B side, like we did.”

In honor of the 1996 track and the Running Man Challenge sensation that’s sweeping the nation, check out a great compilation on YouTube of some creative and hilarious interpretations.

ALSO READ: 3 Interesting Tools to Take Full Advantage of Vine for iPhone

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George Tinari

Written By

George Tinari

George Tinari has written about technology for over seven years: guides, how-tos, news, reviews and more. He's usually sitting in front of his laptop, eating, listening to music or singing along loudly to said music. You can also follow him on Twitter @gtinari if you need more complaints and sarcasm in your timeline.