Southern Rapper Wacka Flocka, who burst into pop culture with his 2011 anthem to debauchery, Grove St. Party (chorus: It's a party. It's a party. It's a paaarty!), released the music video for his latest track, Round of Applause featuring Drake, on Monday Feb. 27. The song features viral video sensations the Twerk Team as the subject of the song's lyrics and as dancers in the music video.
Making their music video debut, Lady Luscious and Mizz. TwerkSum (the two dancers who make up Twerk Team) are in prime form as they dance in the video briefly, doing what they do best and shaking their booties along with a number of other dancers. In Wack Flocka's own words, the girls bounce that a--, shake that a-- like the Twerk Team/ Hair long, a-- fat, short and mean. The song's chorus also references the dancers: Round of applause, baby make that hand clap/drop to the floor, baby make that a-- clap.
The 'uncut' music video, which is still not finished being edited, has made a relatively mild spash since its soft release on Monday, likely because Wacka Flocka is not actively promoting it yet. There is no clear release date for the finished product, which may or me not feature the Twerk Team more prominently, but until then freshen up on viral YouTube sensation with five questions (and answers) for the popular dancers.
1. What does Twerk even mean? You won't find the word in any official dictionary but the internet houses many unofficial, user generated dictionaries that can help answer this question. UrbanDictionary.com offers several similar definitions of the word. As a verb the word means, to work one's body, as in dancing, especially the rear end (example: she was twerking it on the dance floor). As a noun, the word is defined as a Hip hop dance move for female, shaking, jerking and twitching her buttocks in a sexually provocative manner. A conjunction of twitch and jerk, or twerk.
2. Who are the Twerk Team? The ensemble is composed of two girls, who go by the stage names Lady Luscious and Mizz. TwerkSum. According to their myspace.com account they are both 21 years old and hail from Atlanta. Their myspace profile reads, We are a dance crew based out of Georgia and are basically on a grind to make twerking an official movement!
3. What's the history of the group? The group was established in 2005 when the girls were just 14 or 15 years old. Mizz. TwerkSum's mother is also the manager of the girls (or at least she was back in 2009).
4. Are they a bad influence on young girls? Shaking one's booty suggestively on YouTube seems pretty harmless these days, especially considering the kind of inappropriate behavior that takes place every hour of every day online. However, one Matthew Richardson, a staff editor at Florida A&M's student newspaper, wrote a 2009 editorial titled, Team Twerk sets bad example for younger children.
The piece argues that the Twerk Team's work is disrespectful and tasteless. Not just to me, but for themselves and so many other black women. The author notes that he only watched two of the dancers' videos online before coming to his conclusion, stating that two was one was too many. He describes one of these videos, writing, the majority of the audience was black males cheering and yelling as if they were at an overcrowded bachelor party. One male attempted to get on the table with the girls until security stopped them. Worst part, it looked like a high school setting.
Richardson may be overreacting (and he received a pretty heavy backlash in the comments section), but just like the Twerk Team has the right to shake their booties in online videos and in person, this writer is free to express his opinions in an opinion piece. God bless America!
5. How can I see them perform live? You can follow the Twerk Team's Twitter account for news on upcoming live shows. The group is still based on Atlanta but tours frequently, and performed recently in Albany, NY on Saturday, Feb 25. You can also book them to dance at any performance venue or private party by emailing the Twerk Team at email@example.com.
I hope you enjoyed the article and keep twerking!