Over the weekend, music fans were exposed to a variety of hit records. Just last Friday, we got Tyler, the Creator’s highly anticipated Call Me If You Get Lost, H.E.R.’s soulful studio debut, Back of My Mind, and postman-turned-rapper BFB Da Packman’s featured-studded project, Fat N***as Need Love Too. But the one song that instantly implanted in our collective brain didn’t come from any of these albums.
Instead, it came in the form of a short video on Twitter, in which one Kenyatis Jones, a.k.a. Thatboy Funny, takes on the role of a rooftop DJ. Jones incredulously chants, “I ain’t never seen a big boy get on the roof!” until Aaron Turk, a.k.a. FatsDaBarber, shirtless except for an apron, emerges from a window onto the roof. The silent hero of the song, Turk dances his way towards a grill, hitting the running man, milly rock, and a modified crybaby in the process.
The impromptu-seeming rap is backed by an infectious flip of Eamon’s “On & On,” by Florida’s DJ Chipman, the same artist behind “Peanut Butter Jelly Time.” As the title “Never seen a Big Boy get on the roof !! 😂” suggests, it’s a short and joyful tune celebrating sights never seen before, such as a big boy getting on a roof.
Turk and Jones often collaborate on comedy videos documenting life in Atlanta, releasing videos on a near-weekly basis. Turk isn’t sure why their song is just now making the rounds on Twitter and Instagram—the clip is a year old.
“It's crazy how it's resurfacing again,” Turk told VICE, though he’s not sure what sparked the renewed interest. “[The first time around] Shaq had put it on TNT, when the NBA first came back.” In that version of the video, Shaq and Charles Barkley’s heads are Photoshopped onto Jones’s and Turk’s. By Turk’s estimation, they’ve made at least eight different “Big Boy on the ____” videos, including one where the big boy is on a boat, and another where he’s stuck in traffic.
VICE caught up with Turk to hear about the unexpected wave of praise they’ve gotten from celebrities for the song, their plans to release a studio version, and how he ended up on the roof in the first place.
VICE: Can you tell me what was happening when you recorded that video?
FatsDaBarber: I had just left the barber shop. I was working at a barber shop, this is when COVID got big and everybody had to shut down, [the owner] said we gotta pay [booth rent] for those weeks that the barbershop will be shut down. I'm like, "We're not working, how am I gonna pay you money?” I said, “No, I'm not doing that. That makes no sense. I'm good.” I left the barbershop.
Thatboy Funny, my brother, he said, “Let's do a video where the DJ talks about you, but you dance and you vibe, and you're having a good time.” I was like, “Cool. Let's do it.”
Do you remember what was on the grill?
I had some wood chips. I was going to cook, and [Thatboy Funny] was like, "Let's shoot the video right quick." This was when you weren't allowed to go outside [due to COVID restrictions], so you had no choice but to cook.
You made this song a while ago and it already went viral once. But now an entire new set of people are just discovering it for the first time.
The whole world didn't see it. You could have 200 million people see your video, but you still got [more than] a billion other people that have never seen it.
You mentioned that Anthony Anderson shared the video. Were you surprised by any other people who shared it?
DJ D-Nice shared it. Cynthia Bailey and her husband shared it. Spice Adams, he reached out to me. DL Hughley and Niecy Nash shared it. I don't even know where it came from. That video’s so old! How did it get surfaced again? You never know.
The guy from Luke Cage, the main actor, [Mike Colter], he commented on the video, "Big. Boy. Getting on the roof.” It's so crazy to have so many different actors that reached out. You normally just get a lot of rappers and people that's in your field repost your videos.
When you were growing up, what comedy inspired you?
Bernie Mac, Martin [Lawrence]. Will Smith. Thatboy Funny. The guy's actually funny. He'll think of something that will be so amazing, like, “How did you think of that?” He's so quick on his feet. He's just now getting the attention that he needs.
That really helps, right? Having someone else to bounce ideas off of.
We’re like the new yin and yang, Kenan and Kel. A lot of people doing comedy together—they've been doing it as long as we have—and they're not together anymore. A lot of people split up and went their own ways. We never broke up, we’ve always been in sync with each other.
Are you working on a studio version of the song?
Yeah, we're actually making a song for it. So many people were like, “Y’all need to make that a song.” I had people DMing me, “Please make that song. I want that as my ringtone.” We were already supposed to have made the song, but we never did. We actually just recorded it.
Do you know when that's gonna come out?
By the end of this week, hopefully.
I had to find the instrumental because it's such a good summer song. Where’d that come from?
The original song is by Eamon, a song called “On & On.” In Florida, they put their own twist to songs and speed it up [“fast music”], so DJ Chipman [took that song] and sped the beat up.
Have any artists asked if they can get on the song?
A lot of people don't know we're doing it. Once we do it, I'm pretty sure somebody big is gonna hop on it.
What can you tell us about the studio version that's coming out?
It's gonna be a dope version. I think it's gonna be catchier than the [original] itself. Because we actually have fun with it. Everybody can listen to it. There ain't no cussin' on it. Everybody can listen to it, your grandma can listen to it. Your momma, your kids. That's the best thing about it. We're gonna do a big music video as well.
Follow Ashwin Rodrigues on Twitter.