Whoomp! There It Is

Album: Whoomp! There It Is (1993)
Charted: 34 2
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Songfacts®:

  • The much raunchier "Whoot! There It Is" by the rap group 95 South was released about a month before Tag Team came out with their "Whoomp!" version. But before assuming Tag Team ripped it off, consider what David Watson at their record label told Songfacts: "According to the US Copyright Office, 95 South's 'Whoot...' was created in 1993 and Tag Team's 'Whoomp...' was created in 1992. Both singles were written and recorded in Atlanta and were released in the spring of 1993. The phrase, 'Whoomp! There It Is' was coined by strippers from Florida working in Atlanta, according to Cecil Glenn from Tag Team. Glenn was a DJ at an adult entertainment establishment during that time."

    The Tag Team version downplays the sexual element and omits the chant, "Fellas, where the booty at!" while adding a bridge of "Can you dig it?" (inspired by the movie The Warriors). While the title still refers to the sight of a woman's butt, the rest of the song creates more of general party atmosphere. Another difference is that Tag Team (Atlanta rappers DC The Brain Supreme (Cecil Glenn) and Steve Rolln (Steve Gibson)) articulated the lyrics to make them easier to understand. The result was a huge crossover hit as white audiences embraced the song.

    Members of 95 South claimed that "Whoomp!" was a blatant rip-off, and that DC heard the song when they brought it to his Atlanta strip club - Magic City - to play. "Whoot!" was recorded using Pro Tools, which means Tag Team could have gone to the same recording studio and re-created the song using the same tracks, an assertion that 95 South has since recanted.

    The two groups never had serious beef: They did a battle on The Arsenio Hall (won by 95 South), but didn't communicate again until 2021, when they met up on the app Clubhouse.
  • According to DC from Tag Team, the first song to use the "Whoop (or Whoomp, or Whoot) There It Is" chant was "Can You Feel It" by the Miami-based Disco Rick And The Wolf Pack, released in 1992. In 1993, the Atlanta group A-Town Players used it in their song "A-Town Drop."
  • When he appeared on the Songfacts Podcast, DC of Tag Team to the story behind this song, which they made while he was working at the strip club Magic City. "I was getting all these records and it was exposing me to every type of hip-hop and R&B, so I was becoming a seriously well-rounded DJ," he said. "Fast forward a couple years and I'm playing go-go, I'm playing reggae, and I know where to get all the records. But being in the Southeast, I was in the land of booty shake. Steve and I had been making music, but it was hip-hop inspired by different forms on the East and the West Coasts. I came to the realization that we needed to make an uptempo record. Not a bass record, but uptempo. I told Steve, 'Think 'Planet Rock' and Egyptian Lover.' Those were our favorite records. And we already knew we were going to use the Kano sample. He put together the beat, and I thought of 'Whoomp! There It Is' because it was a party saying in the club, and it fit perfect.

    I had a stack of rhyme books, so I started going through the rhyme books trying to match the beat with the lyrics. That's how I used to do it back then. I used to love to write. I had rhyme books and dictionaries and I'd really be university with it because that's how I started - I did it in class.

    'Whoomp! There It Is' was just another song of the hundreds we had done - there was no master scheme. We recorded it in August '92. I went to work that night, got set up, popped it in on cassette, and to this day, that is the biggest response on a record I have ever had, and I've been DJing for 34 years.

    I would always play our records in the club, because if a girl dances to it, that means you got two plays a night if she goes on stage twice. And when the guys see the girls booty-shaking to it, they'd say, 'I like that song, man!' Guys would come down from New York, see these girls dancing to these songs, and that was how I broke records.

    I stopped playing 'Whoomp! There It Is' after a month because we had other songs and they liked those too, but one of the girls was like, 'How come you don't play 'Whoomp!' no more?' I said, 'I'll play it for you baby,' and I played it again. And again it got the same response, but Allan Cole, a rep for Columbia, happened to be in the club and he was like, 'Man, what the hell is that? Give me that record!'

    He went to New York and worked his butt off to try to get us a deal with Columbia, but by then I really knew I had something, so I started shopping. This is like January of '93. I called Al Bell, who used to own Stax Records. He had a new label called Bellmark and put out 'Dazzey Duks' [by Duice], so he knew how to work a bass record. A week later, he hit me back. He's like, 'Hey brother, how you doing?' I said, 'You've got to hear this record. I've tested it at the biggest club in the country, and it's the biggest response I've ever gotten on a record.'

    He was like, 'All right.'

    'What? You haven't even heard the record yet.'

    I'll never forget what he said. He said, 'I don't have to hear the record, brother. I hear it in your spirit.'

    Those were the most beautiful words I ever heard. He said, 'Let's agree to agree,' and then I signed a messed-up record deal, gave my two weeks at Magic City, and in a month and a half, I was Platinum."
  • This samples an electro/disco song called "I'm Ready" by the Italian group Kano, which was a popular song in dance clubs and provided a clean, easily sampled intro. Tag Team built their song around this track, while 95 South's "Whoot!" used a sample of "Looking For The Perfect Beat" by Afrika Bambaataa.

    Tag Team didn't clear the sample, which made a mess when representatives from Kano took legal action. In 1997, Tag Team's label, Bellmark Records, went bankrupt.
  • This became a popular song as sporting events, especially at baseball games when the home team would get a key hit. The 1993 Philadelphia Phillies and 1995 Chicago White Sox both used it a great deal in their playoff runs. The song's popularity in sports led to its inclusion on the first Jock Jams compilation in 1995.
  • In an attempt to squeeze every last marketing drop from this song, Tag Team remade it as "Addams Family (Whoomp!)" for the 1993 film Addams Family Values.
  • The Tag Team rappers lived high on the hog when "Whoomp!" was killing it in 1993 and 1994, but their second album, released in 1995, stiffed, and they fell on hard times. DC Glenn went back to DJing at clubs, and Steve Rolln got mixed up in a drug operation - he was arrested in 1998 with 600 pounds of marijuana and went to jail until 2001.

    When "Whoomp!" made a comeback when it was used in the 2003 movie Elf and the 2004 films Shark Tale (2004) and Mr. 3000 (2004), but Tag Team signed away their publishing rights in their record deal with Bellmark, so they only got their writer's royalties (too bad, because that Elf money would be a great Christmas present every year).

    The duo got some gigs doing NBA halftime shows, but didn't get their marketing in sync until 2020, when they showed up in a wildly popular Geico commercial where they help plan dessert (they make ice cream, so the song becomes "Scoop, There It Is"). This earned them more gigs and better search engine placement - they were no longer buried under wresting link for the term "tag team."
  • In 2010, the music video for this song became the subject of controversy when several online blogs spotted a man in the video that bore a strong resemblance to president Barack Obama. The man appears in the video playing dominoes at 1:01.

    One of these blogs, Gawker, used clues that they deciphered (such as that Obama was living in Chicago while the extra resembling him is from Atlanta) to come to the conclusion that the man was not, in fact, Barack Obama. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alec Thorp - Yorktown Heights, NY
  • A Disney version of this song called "Whoomp! (There It Went)" was released in 1994. Credited to "Tag Team, Mickey, Minnie, & Goofy," it made #97 US and got lots of airplay on Radio Disney. In this song, the duo is joined by the voices of the Disney characters in a story about Donald Duck's birthday party.
  • In 2011, this song was part of a plot line in an AT&T/iPhone ad where a guy in a diner is arguing with his friend over they year this song was released. Using 4G technology, he is able to look it up on his phone (presumably on Songfacts:) while talking to his friend.
  • If you're wondering if someone thought to re-work this song as "Poop! There It Is," they did, and it wasn't Beavis and Butt-Head (they did it as "Whoomp! There's My Butt"). It was Luv's diapers that came up with a commercial with the song as "Poop! There It Is."
  • The Geico commercial with this song was conceived as "Soup! There It Is," but ended up being "Scoop!" with an ice cream theme. DC told Songfacts how it came together. "I wanted it to be so when children see this commercial, they go to their parents and say, 'I want to party like that!'" he said. "I'm thinking kids because two big, middle-aged dudes talking about ice cream? Come on now. I know how those Geico commercials work. It's the asinine little bit, but in context.

    I wanted a spinning scoop and tried to find a fabricator to make it. We had a production meeting the night before at our dress rehearsal, and I said, 'I want a spinning scoop but I can't get it made.' They were like, 'It'll be here tomorrow.'

    Then I wanted to do the LeBron James thing where he goes to the scorer's table and he does the chalk, but with sprinkles. And then there's a dance we do down South called The Yeet that everybody who loves bass does. So that's my ode to the Southeast and the culture of our music. Everyone who sees me dance will know that's what it is. So I co-signed that whole Southeast thing.

    I had like eight scenarios, and we shot all of them. The spinning scoop and the sprinkles at the end made the commercial. Then the other actors did their thing. Me and Steve, we always bring that energy to the stage, and it feeds through people.

    All this hit at a time when the world needed it. It hit on Christmas when there was a certain depression that creeped in and we needed a light.

    Our Geico commercial is #1 all time for artists. More than Little Richard, Ratt, Boyz II Men, Salt-N-Pepa, Ice-T... we surpassed them in a month."

Comments: 2

  • Donny Swift from 20009Who actually wrote the song...WHOOOMP THERE IT IS...!! Is Robert Meekins listed as a writer...producer...anything...?
  • John from Nashville, TnOne-hit wonders the Tag Team own the masters to this four-million selling recording.
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