Hip Hop's Hand In Viral Challenges And Dance Competitions

It’s safe to say that no matter your age, location or orientation, almost everyone is guilty of participating in a fun, quirky online challenge usually centered around a hip hop song. Hip Hop has been accredited with influencing various trends from its very beginning, whether it be fashion, other musical genres, political views, hair, you name it. So it’s no wonder the rhythmic beats and catchy lyrics incite children, parents and news anchors far and wide to get up out of their seats and dance manically or even…just stand still.

Michelle Obama x Cleveland Cavaliers holding mannequin challange poses

Michelle Obama x Cleveland Cavaliers holding mannequin challange poses

Mask Off Challenge - 2017

Future's double album release this year seems like the gift that just keeps on giving. The single 'Mask Off' on his self titled album 'Future' picked up heat and brought out a lot of talented black musicians. 

Mannequin Challenge - 2016

Many people believe Rae Sremmurd came up with the challenge that had people freezing in place mid stride because their song 'Black Beetles' is most widely used when doing it. However, it was already in existence before the affiliation. Needless to say, the two things helped each other gain popularity. 

TZ Anthem Challenge - 2016

Zay Hilfiger sat down with NY Magazine to discuss the dance craze that swept the internet the summer of 2016. Not everyone could get all the moves down on the first try, all that matters is that everyone gave it their best effort.

You Name It Challenge - 2016

Shirley Caesar might’ve been the most shocked about her song inciting an internet frenzy but she was grateful for it. However when a video by DJ Suede surfaced that gospel singer didn't like there were rumors of a lawsuit.

TZ Anthem Challenge - 2016

Zay Hilfiger sat down with NY Magazine to discuss the dance craze that swept the internet summer 2016. Not everyone could get all the moves down on the first try all that matters is everyone gave it their best effort.

So Gone Challenge - 2016

Encouraged celebrities and social media alike to freestyle over Monica's "So Gone" instrumental. It went viral after Chance the Rapper posted his version and even led to Monica and Missy reuniting for a remix of their own.

Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) - 2015

Was created by a company called DanceOn who reached out to make the unofficial dance for the artist Silentó. This then led to 250 million views on YouTube in just a few months. The 2015 dance craze took off from there and solidified their spot on this list.

Sausage Rap - 2015

Although the origins of this rap challenge are still unknown, it became an internet sensation that made being a teacher a little more interesting. Lil Mama didn't miss out on an opportunity to make a kid friendly jingle, so she joined in on the #sausagemovement with a highly criticized single.

Hit the Quan - 2015

Was inspired by Rich Homie Quan's dance in his "Flex" video. Getting down low to swing your arms seems easy enough but we're willing to bet there's still a few people that still can't.  

Do it Like Me Challenge - 2015

Is a viral competition that incorporates moves from multiple other dances such as: hit the quan, the whip and the milly rock. This song is DLow's rendition D4L's "Betcha Can't Do it Like Me."

Look at My Dab - 2015

The dance that led to a distraught mom penning an open letter to the NFL still doesn't have a definitive founder. However, the move spread like wildfire, can be done anywhere and by anyone. 

Right Thurr Chingy Challenge - 2014

Chris Brown started a dance challenge to Chingy's "Right Thur"to kick off holiday season. Fellow celebrities and dancers worldwide hopped on social media to upload dances of their own.

Milly Rock - 2014

Is a two step accompanied by customized and repeated swinging hand motions that originated in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Rapper 2 Milly created this dance move for his hit single and three years later it's still a go-to dance for some.

Shmoney Dance - 2014

Was created by Bobby Shmurda and showcased in his viral video "Hot N*gga" the entire 2014 summer was marked by this song and there wasn't a venue, cookout or kickback that didn't lead to somebody shmoney dancing.

Red Nose - 2013

Is best done with a partner although it is not a requirement. It came about from Sage the Gemini's Red Nose video which including a woman sliding and twerking on her partner.

Baauer's "Harlem Shake"- 2012

The Harlem shake originated in 1981 in Harlem, NY. We saw a modified resurgence of the dance that have many people thinking, "they should've just left it alone." Now the dance more closely resembles wild fish-like flailing mixed with the equally popular planking or parkour but it was entertaining nonetheless. 

Cat Daddy - 2011

Was created by The Rej3ctz and features Chris Brown in the video and on the song. The video was filmed on Venice Beach and although not the most visually appealing it caught on in Hollywood.

The Cooking Dance - 2010

Lil B created this dance to go along with his self titled "cooking music" and it involves pretending to stir a pot, pick out seasonings, flip burgers, etc. The clinical definition of this dance may make you raise an eyebrow but it's actually a lot of fun, fit for a plethora of songs and is still relevant to this day.

Whip My Hair - 2010

Willow Smith was inadvertently the cause of many girls allegedly suffering whiplash trying to “whip their hair back and forth.” This was her first single and it became an internet sensation due to its simple yet exciting call to action.

Crank That (Soulja Boy) - 2009

Longevity is an understatement when it comes to Soulja Boy's smash hit. To this day adolescent school kids flock to YouTube to learn the now nearly decade old dance. This is the one instance Soulja Boy displayed leadership and true visionary potential.

Swag Surf - 2009

Whether you like it or not when this song comes on at a function you will succumb to the swag surf. The dance involves grabbing the shoulder of the two people nearest you and swaying from side to side.

Chicken Noodle Soup - 2009

This was Young B's only hit and although most dear to Harlem, NY it quickly caught on across the country because of it's interactive crowd shuffle. The most memorable lyric being, "chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side."

Pop Lock & Drop It - 2009

Huey's hit single landed him at #6 on Billboard Hot 100 and nominated for BET's 2007 Best Hip Hop Dance. The firm pop, lock then quick drop was a dance every teen girl wanted to have down pact. 

Wobble Baby - 2009

Is another cookout and family favorite. The line dance skips calling out each move so you had to commit this one to memory.

Stanky Leg - 2009

Besides its attention grabbing name this dance incorporates a dougie head rub mixed with a dip. During the dip you stick your leg out making a circular motion as if trying to keep that smelly leg away from the rest of your body.

Teach Me How to Jerk - 2009

The New Boyz not only made skinny jeans and vans popular, they led the resurgence of the age old jerk. Any kid that was in high school during this era can vouch for the hallways being filled with kids trying out this Cali swag.

My Dougie - 2008

Involves sweeping hand and body motions from side to side which made it perfect for competing face to face with an opp. "Bust it wide open and I tell her bring it back," is bar that rings off in many rap songs but it was originally heard here.

Walk it Out - 2007

DJ Unk earned himself the #10 spot on billboard with this smash single. The song was featured in a few movies and the dance spread throughout middle school hallways and neighborhoods alike. 

Cupid Shuffle - 2007

Originally created by Cha Cha Slide's Dj Casper and similar to the electric slide, this is a family friendly line dance that is guaranteed to get people out of their seats.

Shoulder Lean - 2006

Written by Young Dro, DJ Drama and featuring T.I. this record went #10 on Billboard HOT 100, #1 on Hip Hop charts and is RIAA certified double plat. The simple "bounce right to left shoulder lean" is a hiphop staple and still being mentioned by today's hottest artists.

Crank That: It's Going Down - 2006

Is a hit brought to us by a now well known Love and Hip Hop reality star that received a Grammy nod for it. Under Def Jam Yung Joc capitalized on the single with a dance resembling cranking motorcycle gears.

Looking back at these 31 time capsules, one can’t help but feel a little nostalgic. There’s been some really fun times at the hands of Hip Hop throughout the years. The craziest part about this reflection is that some of these will be coming up on their 10-year anniversary soon. Ahh, it feels like just yesterday…Hope this doesn’t make you feel too old!