Illustrations by Bria Gladney

Words by Zach Witness

Between 2006-2010 Dallas Boogie would infiltrate every club in the south, but before it did, the laid back southern rap tunes of Houston and the street anthems of Dallas' D.S.R. dominated street corners and airwaves alike. The majority of club music was either from Atlanta, Louisiana, or the West Coast, yet that would soon change when Dallas native Lil Joe released his club anthem “Watch Me Do This”. Add in the influence of Atlanta's "Snap" movement and Baton Rouge's "Jigga" movement and Dallas was officially on to something. Through a number of key songs, clubs, dance crews, and viral videos, Dallas Boogie would soon become a nationally recognized movement.

2006: THE BEGINNING

Between 2006-2010 Dallas Boogie would infiltrate every club in the south, but before it did, the laid back southern rap tunes of Houston and the street anthems of Dallas' D.S.R. dominated street corners and airwaves alike. The majority of club music was either from Atlanta, Louisiana, or the West Coast, yet that would soon change when Dallas native Lil Joe released his club anthem “Watch Me Do This”. Add in the influence of Atlanta's "Snap" movement and Baton Rouge's "Jigga" movement and Dallas was officially on to something. Through a number of key songs, clubs, dance crews, and viral videos, Dallas Boogie would soon become a nationally recognized movement.

GAME CHANGERS:

Lil Joe - 'Watch Me Do This'

2007: WORLDS COLLIDE

The influence of “Watch Me Do This” along with Atlanta’s Snap movement, Baton Rouge’s Jigga movement, and New Orleans Bounce further influenced Dallas club culture.

It's 2010. You're surfing Youtube and discover a viral video of a toddler doing the "Stanky Legg." You then switch on NBC to find Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres doing the "Dougie". You think to yourself, "has America finally legalized weed?!" No, in most states, you'd still be arrested for holding a joint committee meeting. What you're witnessing is the infectious energy of a Texas dance movement known as Dallas Boogie. While famous for its dances, it was essentially a lifestyle with its own music, dances, lingo, and fashion. Dallas Boogie is the classic story of an oppressed community coming together to escape everyday struggles and simply... have fun. Through the explosion of numerous dance crazes, a pivotal mixtape, and an arsenal of DJs, Boogie would infiltrate club culture across the globe. Within the pages below, we'll journey through the key aspects of Boogie culture. Sources are based on interviews (see references at bottom) and my own experiences as a DJ at the forefront of it all. 

So let's get this thang started, ya digg?!

 

– Zach Witness (fka DJ White Chocolate)

INTRO

THE HISTORY

THE YEARS

Between 2006 - 2010 Dallas Boogie would infiltrate every club in the south, but before it did, the laid back southern rap tunes of Houston and the street anthems of Dallas' D.S.R. dominated Dallas street corners and airwaves alike. The majority of club music pre-Boogie was either from Atlanta, Louisiana, Miami, or the West Coast, yet as we'll see below, that would soon change.

2006: GENESIS

The starting point of Dallas Boogie is often traced back to Lil Joe's "Watch Dis". Though essentially a fight song, it helped popularize a dance Oak Cliff thugs would do before fighting. As it set clubs ablaze, "Watch Dis" would help initiate Dallas' transition from street anthems to dance anthems.

The influence of “Watch Dis” along with Atlanta’s Snap movement, Baton Rouge’s Jigga movement, and New Orleans' Bounce movement further added to the musical gumbo that would become Boogie. The success of Soulja Boy's "Crank Dat" particularly showed Dallasites that anyone with a catchy dance song and an internet connection could find glory. Add in the prosperity of Tum Tum's "Caprice Musik" and the city was buzzing more than a drunk bumble bee.

Key Releases:

Lil Joe - Watch Dis

2007: WORLDS COLLIDE

Key Releases:

Tum Tum - Caprice Musik

Lil Peace - Hit The Dance Floor

Dion - I Jump Judy

Teflon & T-Real - Da Boot

2008: TAKEOVER

'08 was the year groundwork would be laid for Boogie's ascension. Lil Wil’s “My Dougie” became a hit and its influence would prove so strong that dance records all over Dallas started popping up. Back door that with GS Boyz's "Stanky Legg", Fat Pimp's "Rack Daddy", B-Hamp's "Do the Ricky Bobby", along with Billboard chartings and Boogie's rise was inevitable.

Key Releases:

Lil Wil - My Dougie

GS Boyz - Stanky Legg

Lil Shine - Check Out My Lean

MVR - Hit The Bobby B

Dorrough - Walk That Walk

Big Tuck - Not A Stain

B-Hamp - Do The Ricky Bobby

2009: GOLDEN YEAR

By '09, Dallas Boogie went from being a fad to a realized movement. Everything from boogie dances to music, fashion, and lingo was in full swing. Anything was possible. And with the release of DJ White Chocolate's "Ahead of the Class" mixtape, plus the support of major label deals and big budget music videos, Boogie would infiltrate clubs and computer screens across the globe.

Key Releases:

Dorrough - Ice Cream Paint Job

Treal Lee & Prince Rick - Mr. Hit Dat Hoe

Party Boyz - Flex

Supastarr/ Hurricane Chris - Halle Berry

Paper Chaserz - Franky

K-Tee - iRobot

K-Tee - Boogie Thru The Doe

2010: MAINSTREAM

As GS Boyz' "Stanky Legg" and Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How To Dougie" became viral hits, Boogie infiltrated the consciousness of mainstream America, but while Michelle Obama and NFL players hit Boogie moves, Dallas was preparing for it's real defining moment: the NBA All-Star Game. With a flood of upper echelon out-of-towners coming to the city, it had the potential to make-or-break Dallas.

Key Releases:

Yung Nation - Club Rock

Yung Nation - Shawty Wassup

T-Wayne - South Dallas Swag

Treal Lee & Prince Rick - Throwed Off

2011+: DNA

Like any great movement, it has its peak and its plunge. By 2011, things had become formulaic and washed up. A stirring sense of pride mixed with greed and resentment set upon the scene and the misrepresentation of "the Dougie" being a Cali invention due to the popularity of "Teach Me How To Dougie" only added to the fire. It seemed the party was over for Dallas, but sometimes the best way to move forward is to burn it down and start fresh. From Boogie's ashes, styles branched off into new forms such as Skitzing and artists like Yung Nation became its new torch bearers. Boogie's DNA would in turn be passed on to a whole new generation, mutating into new styles. 

Key Releases:

Bone - Homegurl

Cali Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie

THE SCENE

Dallas Boogie is well... from Dallas, but surrounding cities like Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin, along with states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and California would go on to adopt Boogie as their own.

 

Dallas-wise there were two sides to the Boogie scene: the teen scene and the 21+ scene. While both worked together, they had notable differences. The teen scene was more experimental, pioneering the bulk of new dancesMuch of the terminology and styles within the teen scene were set by a collective known as Thug Boss Nation. TBN was part music collective, part street gang. They were essentially the Wu-Tang of Boogie. The Skatium was the teen scene's epicenter for new moves and music. When school was out, thousands of kids would gather on the infamous "Super Sundays" to showcase moves and get down to the sounds of DJ White Chocolate. On the 21+ side, things naturally had more infrastructure. Essentially a hit in the teen scene would create a tsunami of youtube videos, but a hit in the 21+ scene would create record sales. Club Cirque, under the direction of promoter J Roc, became the 21+ scene's epicenter, holding legendary nights on a weekly basis. Boogie mascots like 'Mr. Hit Dat' would captivate Cirque's crowds, often inspiring others to follow in step.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of both scenes along with an arsenal of DJs, DJ crews, producers, radio stations, clubs, mixtapes, publications, and record labels, Dallas created its own self-sustaining machine to bring Boogie to the masses.

Artists:

2Live Click

AB

B. Reed

B-Hamp

Beatking

Big Chief

Big Doughski G

Big Tuck

Bone

Bo Kane

Candi Redd

CSB

DJ Chose

Dorrough

Dion

Da Blockboi

Fat B

Fat Pimp

Foolie D

GC Da Prince

GS Boyz

Gutta Twins

Head B

Juci 9

Juice

JB

JT

K-Tee

Kbzo

Law

Lil Faime

Lil Joe

Lil Man

Lil Ron

Lil Ronny

Lil Spain

Lil Shine

Lil Peace

Lil Tony

Lil Trae

Lil Wil

Lil Woo

Lil Zac

M.E.

MVR

Nike Nation

Party Boyz

Paper Chaserz

Ricochet

Skyhigh

T-Cash

T-Real

T-Wayne

T Willz

Teflon

Tony Montana

Treal Lee & Prince Rick

Trai D

Trapstarz

Thug Boss Nation

Tum Tum

YG's

YG Rippa

Young Black

Young T

Yung Donz

Yung Nation

Yung Thuggin

DJ Crews:

Definition DJs

Hustle Squad DJs

Go DJs

Core DJs

DJs:

Bay Bay

Big Bink

Cap

De2ce

D Money

Drama Boi

Drop

Elz

Hollywood

Hustle

K-Rock

KiKi J

Lil E

Merk

Mr. Rogers

Papa Ron

Q

Quick Mixx Rick

Teflon

White Chocolate

Clubs:

Arlington Skatium

Ché

Cirque

G G's

Club G

Karma

Level 5/ DMX

Lotus

Flow

Mist

Rhythm City

Pure

Purgatory

Teen World

Labels:

Clout

NGenius

Sko-N-Go

T-Town

Top 5 Ent

Producers:

2 Much

AB

Big E

Choco

D. Hall

DJ Black

DSS

Dangerous MCs

Hollywood

Money Boys

Mr. Rogers

Play-N-Skillz

Recka

Ryan Hitz

Q. Smith

Taz Green

Todd Hamburger

Trap On The Beat

White Chocolate

Young Black

Young Starr

 
 

THE SOUND

Boogie music is all about making your body move. Musically it's comprised of a mix of 808 drums, soaring European synth lines, tribal-esque chants, and vocals delivered in a frantic twang that can at times sound more akin to death metal than to hip hop. It’s also inevitable to hear the signature “boogie lead”, which is a synthesized sine wave that sounds like a gangster cowboy whistling on his front porch. In its prime, nowhere else did such slow paced, high energy music exist. It’s as if Dallas took the screwed tempos of Houston, the steelo of Atlanta, and the energy of New Orleans, then flipped them on their heads. Vocally and lyrically rappers often had no care to sound suave. Everything from voice cracks to even rapping ahead of the beat was fair game. As long as it made you hit the floor, it was deemed worthy.

DALLANTA

Dallas and Atlanta have always had a symbiotic relationship. Early on, much of the Dallas Boogie sound was influenced by ATL super-producers like Nitti & Zaytoven. Yet, similar to the UK’s interpretation of American blues music, Dallas would eat up Atlanta’s styles and spit them out as mutated high energy anthems.

Menace’s "Don't Blow My High" —> Lil Wil's "My Dougie

 

Gorilla Zoe's "Waddle" —> K-Tee's "Boogie Thru The Doe

 

Plies "Got Em Hatin" —> Kbzo's "Swag On Deck"

On the flip side, Atlanta also took cues from Dallas...

Lil Wil's "My Dougie" —> Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag

 

Yung Nation —> Rae Sremmurd, Migos

BOOGIE BIBLE

In 2009, a 16 year old named DJ White Chocolate released what became a stepping stone for Boogie in the form of "Ahead of the Class Vol. 1". For many, it was their introduction to Boogie music and as a result, it gained a mythical status becoming known as the "bible of boogie". If there was ever a definitive Dallas Boogie mixtape, A.O.T.C. is the holy grail.

PRODUCER PACK

An exclusive download for beat makers and producers containing the original sounds used in classic Boogie songs.

 

THE DANCE

It's said that Boogie moves had been brewing in Dallas as early as 2002, but most will tell you that the prototype came with the release of Lil Joe’s “Watch Dis”. Though essentially a fight song, it featured a dance Oak Cliff thugs would do before fighting, thus creating the foundation for all Boogie dances. Lil Spain would then coin what became known as the "Dougie”, Teflon & T-Real would introduce "dipping" with "Da Boot," and dancers like YG Rippa and Mr. Hit Dat, along with dance crews like Gig Squad would introduce complex combinations of spins and acting out lyrics, adding up to what we now call “Boogie-ing”. Dance videos were typically shot on lo-fi phone cameras then uploaded to MySpace or Youtube. Most of the time it was all about having fun, but the air of competition was undeniable. With each video uploaded, dancers and dance crews claimed their stake at holding the throne.

DANCERS:

A. Will

Bio

Boo Boo

Bydie Blast

C. Fields

C. Slide

C. Smoove

Casper

Chubb

Deuce D

D. Hawk

D. Fields

D. Moore

D. Tatum

Fat Al (RIP)

KB

Lil Ced

Lil Live

Lil Quin

Lil Spain

Lil Sparrow

Mr. Cirque

Mr. Hit Dat Hoe

Mr. Live

Nasti

Nemo

Noodles

Reggie B

Rockmore

T Jones

Sean B

Sloppy Joe

YG Rippa

YN Blast

White Boy Boogie

Bobby B

C. Smoove Kick

Da Boot

Daddy Stroke

Dougie

Durtty Booty / Booty Dew

Flex

Franky

Gig Squad Strut

Grove Side Rock

Halle Berry

Mr. Hit Dat

Nature Walk

Rack Daddy

Ricky Bobby

Skitz

Stanky Legg

South Dallas Swag

DANCES:

CREWS:

DHD

Eat Greedy Gang

Gig Squad

JSG

Money Vault Gang

Trampoline Team

WeWurkk

 

THE LOOK

In full drip, Boogie fashion was like a mix between the vibrance of New Jack Swing and the tall tee’s of Houston. On the teen side, LRG was king, while on the 21+ side, Coogi, Miskeen, Ed Hardy and Yums were ubiquitous. The haircuts were often formed into 80s-esque geometrical shapes with a plethora of highlighted swirls and designs carved into them. There was the infamous "Booty" shag, the "Bald Fade", the "Southside Fade", and the ever classic "Gumby" cut. The clothes were loose fitting, with pants like Red Monkey jeans starched, creased, and cuffed according to the area you were

from. G Nikes (aka Air Force 1’s), Jordans, or Adidas with crew socks were the foot embellishments of choice. And if you wanted to show out, rocking a leather baseball cap with a gold grill would have 'em choosin'.

 

THE WORDS

Ah Yuh = yes

Agg Town = Arlington, TX (a satellite city of Dallas/ Fort Worth)

Awready = short for “You already know”; an indication of approval

Blast = to the fullest (ie. "statman blast”)

Bro = refers to a male or female

Boogie = 1) a genre of Dallas music 2) the dance performed to Dallas Boogie music

Body Rock = to dance

DDD/ Triple D = Dirty Dirty Dallas

D-Town = Dallas, TX

Dip = a boogie move where you dip down to the floor and bounce back up, similar to squats

Dougie = a Dallas dance originally created by Lil Spain based on moves done by Doug E. Fresh

Eatin' = synonymous with "gettin it"; used to indicated a dance well performed (ie. "he on the floor eatin!”)

Fall = 1) to attend 2) to be deemed acceptable (ie. “fall through tonight” or “you don’t fall at all”)

Feelin’ Like A Million = feeling great

Foolin' = 1) fooling around 2) impressive (ie. "we foolin', or "her booty foolin”)

Funky Town = Fort Worth, TX

G Nikes = Air Force 1's

Geeked = 1) high on marijuana 2) stylish (ie. “we geeked” or “geeked from head to toe”)

Geekmanship = the skill of smoking marijuana (ie. "they say that I'm a trip, I earned my geekmanship")

Get It Go = to dance (ie. "watch me get it get it go”)

Gig = boogie

Giggin' = to boogie

Giganometry = the sequence in which moves are performed while giggin'

Got Damn Me = do you understand me

Groovy = 1) a beat that makes you want to move 2) stylish clothes (ie. “that hoe groovy”)

Ham = synonymous with "crunk"; used to describe an exciting event (ie. "we bout to go ham")

Head Azz = 1) a stupid person 2) to indicate a joke (ie. "he a head azz for wearing his pants inside out" or  "I just smoked a blunt thru my nose… head azz”)

Hellyamean = what do you mean 

Hoe = a person, place, or thing (ie. "light dat hoe up", "dat hoe bad" or "dat hoe was live")

iYess = yes

Jiggin' = to boogie

Let Ya Stats Show = to showcase your skills

Loaded = high on ecstasy

Meat Rolling = when a girl grinds upon a guy's crotch (ie "bruh, i'm tryna get my meat rolled!" – coined by C Lott)

Muthaf*ckin Me = a variation of motherf*cking; used for emphasis (ie. "today I turned into a muthaf**kin me mummy")

Nupid = stupid; dope; crazy

Skitzing = a dance derived from Boogie-ing that focuses entirely on acting out lyrics, thus making a skit

Stats = 1) stature 2) statistics (ie. “stat-ed up, fool girl stats, or real stats”)

Stat Blast = of the highest stature

Statman = a person of stature

Statmanship = the skill of attaining stature

Strut = a dipping movement done while boogie-ing

Talmbout = talking about (ie. "what they talmbout?!")

The Cliff = short for Oak Cliff (an area of Dallas, TX)

The Grove/ Grove Side/ PG = short for Pleasant Grove (an East Dallas neighborhood)

Underdigg = combination of "understand" and "ya digg"

Wahdddeah = what it is (popularized by rapper K-Tee, often pronounced with a rolled “d” sound)

Wired = pronounced “wide”; synonymous with “lit”; maximum energy (“the club was wired to the t!”)

Wurk = dance

Ya Digg = do you understand

 

OUTRO

Boogie was and still is a hidden gem. It’s to Dallas what Hyphy is to the Bay, Footwork is to Chicago, Bounce is to New Orleans, and so on. It’s Dallas’ form of raw, black dance music. Before artists like Migos or Young Thug existed, Boogie was essentially the weird party side of trap music. It continues to appear in pop culture (ie. "Watch Me Whip", Ayo & Tao, MeechiLeon Bridges), yet like a hidden star constellation, only those who recognize it will notice its presence. It’s my hope that after reading this, you too will be able to point out it’s influences within today’s world and maybe, just maybe even hit a couple moves yourself. Now gone'n let ya stats show!

 

– Zach Witness