While aimlessly scrolling through Twitter sometime in June, I ran across a video of a rapper named YRN Duke Deuce dancing to a song I later found out to be titled “Yeh.” I’ll admit, I didn’t click on the video initially, but after incessantly seeing this big guy in a blue windbreaker suit dance about like a drum-less Nick Cannon from the movie Drumline, I finally opened one of the tweets and was exposed to “Yeh” in all its glory. As a result, “Yeh” is a mandatory listen on my personal playlist.
Right now, there is #StylenChallenge going on and Duke even put together a tutorial for those wanting to get in on the craze. Not only that, in less than a month, the video for “Yeh” hit over 1M Youtube views and Cardi B gave him a shout out during one of her Instagram live streams.
“All he need is for people to listen,” Cardi said. “Listen. Give a n*gga a chance. That’s all a n*gga need…all they need is a stream, all they need is for you to check out they page. Period!”
The last viral rapper-dance sensation to make a major wave was Bobby Shmurda and his soaring Knicks hat with the “Shmoney Dance” in 2014. This moment with Duke Deuce, “Yeh” and his “Style Dance,” feels eerily similar. Uproxx recently tapped in with 27-year-old Memphis native to learn more about the rising popularity of “Yeh,” the origins of the “Style Dance,” and what fans, old and new, can expect next.
The first time I heard “Yeh” was on Twitter and people were geeking out over the “Style Dance.” How did you find out the song was going crazy like that?
When a lot of people started tagging me in the dance, that’s when I knew it was over it. Especially, when the popular dancers started dancing to it. Once they do it, it’s like everybody else want to do it too.
Where did the “Style Dance” come from?
It’s really a dance move that had already been around for a long time. It’s a dance that’s part of Memphis jookin. We just took a simple step out of jookin and just made it pop and simple because we knew everybody could do it.
How did it feel when you saw “Yeh” hit a million on Youtube?
It was great, man. It’s a blessing. I kind of already knew it was happening. I knew it was going to eventually happen, but for people to wake up and actually tune in to me, that’s crazy. I love it.
How long did it take for it to hit a million after you released it?
Wow, that’s crazy! Were you even expecting that?
Yeah, I knew, off top. I know how to go viral. It’s my second time going viral. I know how to do it.
What’s the secret?
It’s all about timing, man. Also, knowing what people want to see. You got to have fun in your videos. All that tough-ass sh*t, that sh*t dead. You got to have fun in your videos, that’s what people want to see.
I want to ask you about the line “Daddy found out I was GD damn near knock my chest off.” Did that really happen?
Yeah, for real, for real. A little incident happened at school and the school called my dad and told him what was up. I came home and he was like, “So you doing this and doing that?” Next thing you know, boom, he on my ass. My daddy was a gangsta too so that’s what makes it crazy but I guess he just didn’t want me to follow them footsteps.
It seems you’ve been making music for a while now. I saw on your Apple Music profile that you have a tape called Memphis Massacre. Would you say that you’re well-known out Memphis already and “Yeh” it’s just everybody else’s first time hearing you?
Yeah, pretty much. I’m already hot in the city, it’s just getting worse now.
Tell me a little bit more about your musical background. You got Memphis Massacre out but how long have you been making music?
Well first, I grew up in the studio with my pops because he was doing music. He was rapping, making music, and producing. When I got a little older I would try to rap. I used to get on the keyboard and beat pad with my pops at a young age. I didn’t really start rapping until high school. I started taking it seriously after I graduated and that’s when I started going crazy with it.
I noticed that you are part of YRN. How were you able to tap in with Migos and Quality Control?
I’m signed to QC. Offset found me. I had dropped “Whole Lotta” a year ago and that joint went crazy. Next thing you know, Offset hit me in my DM. It’s been on over since then.
What’s next for you?
I should be dropping a new project real soon. Me, Pee and Coach K [of Quality Control], we’re getting a lot of stuff set up. We are really just about to press and go crazy with this record. Don’t be surprised if you catch me on the charts soon.