Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
Writer(s): Ricky Hawk, Timothy Mingo (see lyrics here)
Released: May 7, 2015
First Charted: March 14, 2015
Peak: 3 US, 110 ST, 17 RR, 2 RB, 19 UK, 11 CN, 9 AU, 11 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.4 UK, 7.04 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2305.43 video, 373.35 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Rapper Richard Lamar Hawk (aka “Silentó”) was born in 1998 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His only chart entry on the Billboard Hot 100 is his debut single, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” which was released when he was just 17 years old. He released four mixtapes from 2018 to 2021 but never put out an official studio album. In 2021 he was indicted in the shooting death of his cousin.
Songfacts.com called the song “the soundtrack to the biggest dance craze of 2015.” SF The song became a viral video because of the popularity of the accompanying dance – actually two dances. The Whip involved keeping one’s arms straight and swinging them in front of one’s face as if driving a car. The Nae Nae is a similar move, but involving an open hand. The latter is based on the character Sheneneh played by Martin Lawrence in his 1990s’ TV series Martin. When she got upset, she made exaggerated “talk to the hand” gestures, which the dance move replicates. SF
The video shows Silentó in a high school gym dancing with cheerleaders, fans, and others. Much of the success of the video can be attributed to DanceOn, a digital media company which tapped 50 creators to make instructional videos on how to dance to “Watch Me.” The videos garnered more than a quarter million views in less than three months. WK
The success of the video pushed the song to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it topped the streaming chart for 10 weeks. Critics, however, weren’t complimentary. Complex.com called “Watch Me” “one of the most annoying things to ever exist.” WK RapRadar.com’s Elliott Wilson rated it the second worst single, saying “Give me silence, Silento.” RR
First posted 8/15/2023.