Being out of touch with the young, wild and free segment of youth culture means arriving at the party after the roof is ablaze, a few steps behind and no longer ahead of the curve. Due to the swift nature of virality on the internet, it’s hard to know if you’re late for the latest craze or just in time to watch the newest sensation implode.
There are currently over 30 million YouTube plays on Ayo & Teo’s “Rolex,” a single that first hit the web in mid-January and now sits at No. 34 on Billboard's Hot 100. I had no idea the song existed until yesterday, but after just one listen, my gut tells me this has the potential to be a huge smash this summer.
“Rolex” benefits from familiarity, the single is cut from the same cloth as Rae Sremmurd’s most infectious trap anthems. It could easily fit on SremmLife 2 as a bonus song and listeners would be none the wiser. It’s obvious the brothers Ayo & Teo are influenced by Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, an interesting source of inspiration when you consider the two are from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
With a similar sound and dynamic as Rae Sremmurd, “Rolex” is also filled with social media buzzwords―”dab of ranch,” “rollie,” “dat way”―taking some of Migos' most popular lingo and lyrics, a move reminiscent of Silentó using “Whip” and “Nae Nae” to make “Watch Me.” Taking elements from popular songs and crafting something equally as catchy and potent may be frowned upon in a creative sense, but kids are stitching together different characteristics and turning out hits.
Production-wise, “Rolex” isn’t a heart-stopping trap banger, but using a recorder/flute in the instrumental makes it fit seamlessly into a mix that also includes Kodak Black's "Tunnel Vision," Future’s “Mask Off” and Drake’s “Portland.” Timing is also on the side of "Rolex"—"Tunnel Vision" and "Mask Off" are currently No. 6 and No. 19 on the Hot 100, respectively, and "Portland" will hit the chart's next incarnation.
Catchy, familiar and simplistic are reasons why “Rolex” has mass appeal, but the reason why it could truly explode is the #RolexChallenge. If you been paying attention to how social media works, challenges like this have the power to resurrect old hits and send bubbling singles to the top of charts. Ayo & Teo must be aware of how “Black Beatles” was impacted by the Mannequin Challenge, they are following in the Sremm footsteps and it may lead them to the top.
What the challenges create are a sense of community for singles. Everyone wants to be a part of the discussion and a challenge brings the world into a moment―a catchy song attached to cute kids competing in dance can easily transcend into chart success. Imagine if Vine were still around, the duo would be dominating.
Just look at this kid, I could spend the rest of my life watching him dance and not complain. He has the Huey fro and a body made out of Flubber—he should dance to every song ever.
Ayo & Teo come from a dance background, for years their videos have flooded YouTube, and with acknowledgment from Chris Brown and Usher, the window is wide open for them. They have the co-signs, the contagious music of the moment, and a contract with Columbia Records, meaning they have the resources to take radio by storm.
I won’t deem Ayo & Teo as artists of the future, but their single “Rolex” is slowly taking the internet and the charts by storm, and soon, could be worldwide. The summer is coming, and with the fire of “Bad And Boujee” slowly dying down, there’s room for a new anthem to take over its position.
Kanye said listen to the kids, and the kids are listening to Ayo & Teo.
By Yoh, aka #YohlexChallenge, aka @Yoh31
Photo Credit: Instagram