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[courtesy @yingyangtwins] Ying Yang Twins Interview
Author: Adam Bernard

With twerking reaching new levels of popularity, thanks in part to Miley Cyrus continuing to be a proponent of the dance, it's important not to forget that Ying Yang Twins were telling people to "Whistle While You Twurk" all the way back in 2000. Knowing this, we caught up with D-Roc of Ying Yang Twins to discuss all things twerk, including their new single, titled "Miley Cyrus." D-Roc also told a story about the first time he and Kaine smoked with Snoop Dogg, and how the rest of that evening went.

Adam Bernard: When you first released "Whistle While You Twurk" it was a pretty big hit for you, but did you ever imagine that 13 years later the act of twerking would become a national phenomenon?

D-Roc: Yeah because twerking really never went nowhere. Twerking been going on since before Ying Yang, so the only thing that happened was twerking went over to the white people's side. The little white girls started twerking. Once Hannah Montana started twerking it was cool to twerk. {laughs}

AB: You named your new single after her, "Miley Cyrus." When Miley started twerking the internet exploded with criticisms of her actions being cultural appropriation, that it was another example of white people stealing black culture. Is that really what's going on here?

DR: Well, one thing about it is it's like it's the same way you got black people that act like white people, you got some white people that wanna be black, too. They want to dance like black people. So I feel that it's nothin wrong, it just finally came to the forefront. But last night (at the VMAs) Hannah Montana was dancing. Miley Cyrus was not dancing. {laughs} Miley Cyrus be twerkin. Hannah Montana didn't know what the hell she was doin last night. She gave twerkin a bad name last night.

AB: How do you respond to critics who say this is nothing more than girls demeaning themselves on YouTube?

DR: Mmm, not really. You're expressing yourself (by) how you want to dance, and that's been going on for a long time. Just because white girls started doing it, now it's a problem. Black girls been doing that since before I was born. A white girl in the strip club is cool, but a white girl twerking at school, she gets suspended.

AB: Yeah, and that actually happened. When you heard 33 high school seniors in San Diego were suspended for creating a twerk video, what was your first thought?

DR: A black girl has never gotten suspended for twerkin, so I felt that was wrong, (also) because the dude was still going to school. The guy that was shooting the video, they didn't suspend him. I feel like that was messed up, he shoulda been the one that got suspended first. The only thing that I'll say was wrong about the whole situation is they were doing it on school property. That's the only part where I can say alright, justice was served, but justice was supposed to be served to him, too, because he asked them to do it on school property. He shot the video on school property, so he shoulda got served, too. Personally, I feel like the dancing they was doing, it's been going on since before I was born, so I'm used to it, so I can't say that was wrong. It was wrong where they were doing it. You're not supposed to go to church and do dancing like that. That's how I feel about schools. You don't go to school and dance like that. You go to school to learn. You go to church for God.

Kaine (in the background): Preach brother!

AB: When you look at the fact that this craze is happening, do you think it shows the staying power of crunk music, which was once thought of us simply a passing fad?

DR: To us crunk music ain't never went nowhere, because we get crunk to the songs, and the whole thing about it is twerkin been going on since forever, so it didn't do nothin but just get bigger. That's the only thing that happened with that. It's worldwide now.

AB: "Miley Cyrus" is off of your new mixtape, Ass In Session, which was released last month, and you have your first album in four years, All Around The World, due out this fall. What inspired the album?

DR: We kinda inspire ourselves to make good music, and the music that we like to make, and we just put it together. Whatever the concept is, we make the concept like a book, so everything will go together in the songs, and will compliment the next song. That's basically how we put our albums together.

AB: Looking at your entire career, what's been the wildest thing you've seen, or experienced, while on the road?

DR: Just the energy from the crowd, because you get a different response from each crowd, but the energy be so impactful, I like it, I love it. To see somebody get crunk with you, it really keeps you in there, because if don't nobody get crunk, you done lost it. If they ain't jumpin then you ain't doin somethin.

AB: Certain crowds are like that, though. I'm in New York, and a lot of our crowds stand with their arms crossed, waiting to be impressed. Have you had an experience when you were going nuts and the crowd was just staring?

DR: Back in the day I could say New York used to be that way, but through the course of our career the South kind of took over the whole country, and you go to New York and they're bringing it now. Back in the day, yeah, I couldn't stand to go to a club in New York because everybody was on their Blackberrys, and their Sidekicks. It's like, we're at the club, not the office. You don't bring the meeting to the club.

AB: You've been in a lot of clubs all over the world. What's the most out of your element you've ever felt in a foreign country?

DR: Only thing with me is the food. I love soul food. Soul food and hot wings. When you go out the country you ain't got that over there. The food is different. That's what made me homesick. I love eatin. I might be skinny, but I do love eatin.

AB: Have you been in a country where you were starving because you couldn't find food you wanted?

DR: When I first went to Germany it was like that.

AB: You're not a fan of the brats and the sausages?

DR: Nah, I had to learn to love it. {*laughs*} We go over there so much I get that bratwurst now, but I take my own seasonings when I go out of the country. Me and Kaine get to the point where we'll ask them to bring our steak out there and we'll season it ourselves.

AB: Over the years, what has been your most memorable encounter as a fan?

DR: Snoop. I'm a big fan of Snoop. The reason why it's memorable to me is because I don't smoke right now, because I'm on vacation, so I can't smoke right now, but when I was smoking you couldn't tell me I ain't smoke like Snoop Dogg. I swore I smoked like Snoop Dogg, until I actually smoked with Snoop Dogg.

AB: Then you found out you were still in the rookie leagues?

DR: No no no, I'm a pro, but he a grandaddy. Know what I'm saying?

AB: What was the moment when you were smoking with Snoop when you realized "I can't quite hang?"

DR: I had to hang. You couldn't go nowhere. I'll tell you the story. He had like 21, or 22, people with him, and there were four of us, so you're talking about 26 people, and he said, "Everybody roll two blunts," and you fire em all up at one time, and you rotate. So you're talking about 50+ blunts that we had to smoke at one time. No, I can't do that. {laughs}

AB: What was the rest of your night like after that?

DR: It was eatin and sleepin. You smoke that much you're gonna eat and go to sleep, and it ain't no bullshit weed neither, it's the best of the best. Kaine tried to tap out. He said, "Uh uh, uh uh. Where little man at? Tell little man come on back." {laughs}

AB: That is a great story. Other than Snoop, who has floored you with their kindness?

DR: Really every artist that I have met always really been nice when we've met em, and that's on everything. I forgot which award it was, I think it was the VMA awards the first time we went, I got a blue jean jacket, and I wrote on a piece of paper "May I have your autograph please," and laminated it, and stuck it to the jacket, and just went up to every artist and turned my back and made em read it and sign the back of my jacket. Every artist that I did it to signed it and everything.

AB: Where is that jacket today?

DR: We gave it to a children's foundation to help the kids, and they auctioned it off.

AB: That's awesome. Finally, having a song titled "Miley Cyrus," and having done a remix of a Justin Bieber song, I have to ask, are you closet Top 40 music fans? What's currently in your iPod's playlist?

DR: Oh, man, I listen to everything, actually. My wife is half white, so she has me listening to everything, but I just found a favorite song that I just ran across, "Sail" by AWOLNATION. That thing go hard. That's one of my favorite favorite songs right now, and you know, in little undercover slick way I like Miley Cyrus' song. Her song, it go hard. She got down with it, but she destroyed the twerkin last night, though. The thing about it is if that's what you was gonna do, you're supposed to bring out all your tricks. MTV don't care. They'll let you go hard. She supposed to have brought out everything last night. She did not bring out everything. She held back a little bit too much. She was Hannah Montana last night. She did not bring Miley Cyrus with her.

"Miley Cyrus" is available now on Amazon! Find Ying Yang on the web at @yingyangtwins.
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Originally posted: September 3rd, 2013

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