Photo courtesy of SheLovesMeechie
Rap music was birthed to inspire dance, and there has always been a lane in hip-hop for those who work on their feet rather than a mic. Whether it’s kids jerkin in L.A., bopping in Chicago, or hitting the whip dance and the nae nae in Atlanta, the last few years have been especially kind to the fleet of foot. With platforms like Instagram, Vine, Worldstar Hip-Hop, and YouTube accessible to the masses, if someone is dancing, someone else is more than likely recording. 20-year-old Atlanta-based dancer SheLovesMeechie amassed attention in recent months as his skillful interpretations of rap songs found a perfect home on Vine. A typical performance finds him freestyling moves alongside the rapper’s lyrics, like in his take on Chief Keef's “Earned It”, where Keef says “You motherfucking frog, little Kermit,” and Meechie takes a Frogger-like hop.
Meechie's videos reach hundreds of thousands, sometimes even eclipsing the views of the artists’ official visuals, but lately his biggest successes are instead dedicated to specific dances like the whip, yeet, and even the still-regional “Hit Dem Folks” dance, which mimics a basketball player dunking. His talent and personality have opened up opporunities to perform with fellow turnt-up stars Rae Sremmurd and even guest in the video for Future's "Commas," so I called up the dancer, who spoke to me with contagious enthusiasm, to find out what it’s like to go from recording in his garage to building up over 200 hundred million views on Vine.
Noisey: How did you get started dancing?
SheLovesMeechie: I really just used to be in the crib a lot watching YouTube. I used to watch videos of other people dancing. I’d watch Chris Brown or [Beyoncé backup dancers] Les Twins.
What got you thinking: "Hey, maybe I can try to do this myself"?
Like I said, the videos I was watching of Les Twins. Every time I seen them dance and move they bodies, I was like, "O my God, that’s fire" and I would try to do that, so I started learning how to body wave and move my body to the beat in different ways and just really learned off of that.
When you were doing your first videos were you recording yourself, or did you have a friend help?
My first video, I was out in the garage. I was just playing some music, and my friend just started recording me. In my head I really didn’t feel like, "Man I was moving," but when he played it back to me, and I’m hearing the song, I was like, "That’s kind of cool."
Once you hit YouTube how long did it take to getting the thousands of views you’re getting right now?
It really started for real when Vine came around cause I used to always make videos on YouTube and would always promote, like tweet the video a thousand times, and I’d only get a couple hundred views or a couple thousand views. But ever since I started putting the dancing on Vine, and it went viral on there, people started to pay attention: "Let me check him out on YouTube." That’s when I really started to get more views.
Who was one of the first artists to reach out to you like "Hey, I really like the stuff you’re doing"?
I really think that it was Soulja Boy, because when I came out to L.A. the first time I was on Fairfax just shopping and then I had walked past this car and he had rolled down his window and he had called my name like ‘Meechie’ and I was like that’s ‘Soulja Boy, that’s crazy I used to be like watching all of his videos way back then’. Then for him to see me and stop me to and be like ‘Yo Meech what’s up’. I was like ‘Dang that’s crazy’.
One of the other acts I know you’ve been working with recently has been Rae Sremmurd. How’d you connect with them?
They came in town to do a show at Georgia State, and my homie Curtis from Two-9 was like "Yo I need Meechie on stage to be turnt up..." I got on stage for a little bit of his set and a little bit of Rae Sremmurd’s set right afterwards, and after I started doing the whip dance they started vibing with it. Then after the show they were like "You was killing on that dancing level." We just kept in touch and the relationship grew.
You’ve been on the road and performing with them. What do you add to their set?
I get the crowd hype. While they rapping the crowd is just paying attention to their rapping, but when I come out—or me and my homies come out—on stage and they see the dancing it’s like, "O my God, he going crazy," and they get hype. So I always turn the crowd up. Once me and crew get on stage and start performing and dancing to the words, that always keeps the crowd momentum going crazy, and that’ll make the artist go even crazier because the crowd is going crazy.
Since you're used to creating on your own, what's it like going into other rappers' videos?
It’d be dope. My favorite video is the “Commas” video. My homie hit me up like Future finna shoot this “Commas” video and he wants you dancing and I was like, "Whoa, for real?" I was shocked. I was like, "I guess people must really like this dancing stuff" if he was going to reach out to me to be in his video. And once the video went, I was looking at the comments: "Meechie in there going hard," "Meechie going crazy," and it was crazy cause they only seen me for a split second when they did see me. The amount of comments people saying "Meechie going hard," "I came here to see Meechie"... I was like "This is really cool. I really like this." When I first started dancing I didn’t think it was going to be anything like this.
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