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'My Boo' Lands On Billboard Hot 100 Chart Again

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Usually when old songs come back on the charts, it's because a musician has died and people are feeling nostalgic. Think Prince or David Bowie. That's not the case this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT TO BE YOUR LADY BABY")

GHOST TOWN DJS: (Singing) At night, I think of you. I want to be your lady, Baby.

SIEGEL: NPR's Andrew Limbong tells us how Ghost Town DJs' song "My Boo" is once again a hit.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT TO BE YOUR LADY BABY")

GHOST TOWN DJS: (Singing) At night...

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: This is an Instagram video of two teens from New Jersey - Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall - goofing off and dancing to a version of the running man to a song that's got a couple years on them. They gave it a hashtag - #RunningManChallenge. It spread fast, which, of course, landed the two kids to a spot on the "Ellen" show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ELLEN: THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW")

UNIDENTIFIED TEEN #1: Yeah, and we were sitting there, and the song "My Boo" just started playing in my head. So I was, like, I'm just going to sing it. So I started singing, and yeah...

UNIDENTIFIED TEEN #2: I started dancing, and so...

LIMBONG: Rodney Carmicheal is a senior writer with Creative Loafing in Atlanta. That's the alt weekly there, and it's also where Ghost Town DJs were based.

RODNEY CARMICHEAL: If there's any city that's going to put out a song that's still going to make you dance 20 years later, it would be something coming out of Atlanta.

LIMBONG: Back in '96, Atlanta was an especially interesting place. The Olympics were coming to the city. A little group called Outkast was about to release its second album. And Freaknik, the big party in Atlanta for black college students, was a national thing, says Carmichael.

CARMICHEAL: If you could imagine Daytona Beach but replace it with all black kids (laughter)...

LIMBONG: Or to put it another way from one of the Ghost Town DJs himself, Rodney Terry...

RODNEY TERRY: It was Mardi Gras in the streets pretty much.

LIMBONG: He says they premiered their record at Freaknik, and it became a national hit.

TERRY: The beat was Miami, and the singing was California.

LIMBONG: As for how he feels about its current resurgence...

TERRY: Overwhelming to a degree. But I'm just very, very grateful that this is going on. I don't understand it, you know, but it's not for me to understand.

LIMBONG: That's all right, Rodney. Just let the people dance. Andrew Limbong, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT TO BE YOUR LADY BABY")

GHOST TOWN DJS: (Singing) If your game is on, give me a call, Boo. If your love is strong... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.
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