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."