Step aside TikTok and Instagram stars, because you have a brand new dance to learn. You’ve tackled Old Town Road and The Git Up, now it’s time to make room for “The Woah Down.” From “Right Thurr” and “Holidae Inn” to a brand new genre-blending country-rap single, St. Louis rapper Chingy is back with a brand new single, “The Woah Down”. But this time, he’s bringing in Nashville country duo Meg & Tyler to take us all to a 2020 Holidae Inn.
Then 23-years-old, the St. Louis rapper rose to fame back in 2003 with “Right Thurr” which could be heard at school dances, proms, and bar/bat mitzvahs throughout the U.S. The reward was an ascension to the Billboard Hot 100 chart eight times with rapid mainstream success. But in the 2000s, millennials were in an entirely different era of music. If there’s one thing the industry can agree on, it’s that music today is nothing compared to what it used to be.
“I just wanted to make a great record,” Chingy shared. “I wasn’t thinking genres. Music is universal, and that was my goal–making a universal tune. When I did ‘Right Thurr,’ I didn’t have the intention of it being urban, pop or mainstream, but when it came out, it hit all those platforms. I never have the intention of categorizing my music. I always want to be different and authentic in what I do.”
A New ‘Woah Down’ for 2020?
The idea that “genre-blending” could actually captivate listeners seems new, but is it really? Think back to the early 2000s when Nelly’s Country Grammar came out. Today, we have Lil NasX and Billy Ray Cyrus’ Old Town Road and Banco Brown’s The Git Up, that revived the astronomical potential this type of mixing can have in the industry.
As for Nashville’s country duo, the new collaboration provides a 21st century take on an old-time hoedown, Chingy told The Tennessean. And the time couldn’t be better since the world has continued to sit quiet in self-isolation and practicing social distancing due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Getting people to do the dance while they’re in quarantine (is) making it this fun thing for everybody,” Meg Linsey said. “It’s just fun.” Linsey was one half of the CMA and ACM nominated duo, Steel Magnolia, signed to Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun’s Big Machine Label with labelmate Taylor Swift. In 2013, Linsey decided to part ways with Steel Magnolia and began her journey on her own personal brand and vocal identity, which took her national with her second place appearance on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2015.
Tyler Cain, a producer and songwriter who’s worked with Ashley Monroe, Darius Rucker, and Aloe Blacc added that “the collaboration felt so effortless, even though we’re coming from these different genres and different worlds.”
As for this summer’s soon to be hottest dance routine, Chingy and Meg & Tyler want you to put your best foot forward and share your “Woah Down” across your social media networks.
Off stage, Chingy’s acting chops include small screen roles in television comedy series “My Wife and Kids,” “One on One,” “George Lopez,” “Yo Momma,” as well as cameos in several films, including “Scary Movie 4” and “Speed Dating.” In 2002, Chingy toured as an opening act with Nelly and soon became a protégé of Ludacris and his manager, Chaka Zulu, who signed him to Disturbing Tha Peace (DTP) record label. Chingy’s 2003 summer debut single, “Right Thurr,” became a bonafide hit and shot to No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.
Chingy’s debut LP, Jackpot, embodied his fresh energy thanks to his unique slang like “thurr” and “herre,” as well as the dizzying synth-based melodies. Chingy quickly managed to build a global fanbase due to his accented, catchy hooks while men copied his style by rocking oversized colorful bandanas beneath their baseball caps. Crowds swooned over his handsome features and tried to perfect the popular ‘chicken head dance’ seen in the “Right Thurr” video.
Jackpot was a commercial blockbuster, birthing three singles — “Right Thurr” (which later scored a fiery remix with Trina and Jermaine Dupri), “Holidae In” featuring Snoop Dogg and Ludacris and “One Call Away” featuring J-Weav — that all peaked in the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Chingy’s second platinum album Powerballin’ featured Hot 100 hit “Balla Baby” as well as a collaboration with Janet Jackson on “Don’t Worry.”
Chingy followed up with another RIAA-certified Gold record, Hoodstar, which also reached the Billboard 200 all-genre Top 10 albums chart, and spawned Hot 100 singles “Pullin’ Me Back” featuring Tyrese and “Dem Jeans.” That same year Chingy was featured on Houston’s Hot 100 single “I Like That” featuring Nate Dogg and I-20.
For an exclusive look behind the scenes of the music video, take a look: