When people think about the biggest influences of internet rap culture, and the way in which artists promote and create their music, style, and image now, Donald Glover, Lil B, and Wiz Khalifa are artists who immediately come to mind. All three of these artists really embodied what can happen if you grind and keep putting out quality content on the internet, hoping eventually the hard work will pay off. I bet modern rap listeners wouldn’t know about the five mixtapes Wiz put out before he ever had an album, and I know a lot of these kids would have no idea who Lil B is without the viral NBA internet curses he has been apart of. But an artist who have never even been mentioned when thinking about influences on rap culture is the New Boyz. The New Boyz have been in fact kind of clowned in recent years, with people only remembering negative aspects of their careers instead of remembering how big they were, and how they really helped propel hip hop to the top of the mainstream. So let’s talk about the New Boyz. I would hope if you are my age you remember the New Boyz. Y’all definitely remember the song “You’re a Jerk,” which was so huge and so viral. Everyone and their mom was doing the “jerk” dance. There has even been many remixes and songs that have come out in the recent years that have encorporates the jerk. An obvious way the New Boyz were influential is they showed how easy it is to blow up in an internet with a meme style rap song. Since the New Boyz did it, it’s seemed like there has been at least one viral rap dance craze a year. just a few I can think of are “John Wall,” “Cat Daddy,” “Watch me Whip,” “Milly Rock,” “Stanky Legg,” “Teach Me How to Dougie,” “Hit the Quan.” Even massive artists like Drake with “In my Feelings” and “Hotline Bling,” and Migos with “Look at my Dab.” A lot of these artists didn’t even have anything to do with the origin of the dances they were making songs about, they just saw a very smart way to blow up as an artist. The New Boyz have to be the first artist of the 2010’s to make a viral dance that you have to know how to do to be cool. The viral rap dance alone is enough to show how influential the New Boyz were to this day, but I think they had an even bigger influence than this. Some people would say it is Wiz Khalifa, which is fair, but I think the first newer rappers that changed the physical style of rap to tighter clothes and more of a skater look, with everyone wearing skinny jeans, was the New Boyz. Lil Wayne was doing it for a long time, and the New Boyz probably got the idea from him, but they were definitely the first artist who had a song in modern internet viral popularity who dresses that way. They totally supported and pushed a very punk and skater vibe, and almost every rapper today dresses that way. It honestly changed the culture and narrative of who a rapper was supposed to be and look like. For much of the 2000’s, being a trap star was like a right of passage to be a rapper. Every single rapper was a thug and dressed like one and acted like one. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of trap star rappers now, but there are also a lot of nerdy or just different mainstream rappers, and the New Boyz were the first in a long time to be so different but so popular in hip hop. Right after the New Boyz, artists like Wiz, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino, and Kid Cudi became four of the most influential rappers of recent rap culture memory. But I don’t think they would have broken out the way they did if the New Boyz didn’t do it first. Nowadays they are mainly remembered for that cringey ass song “Better with the Lights Off,” which honestly sounds mean as hell. Like hey babe u only look good when we have sex in the dark. The other thing they are remembered for is how they broke up because they both loved Tinashe. No worries dudes I love her too haha. I think that the New Boyz deserve more credit in how they were at the forefront of a lot of trends rap has taken in recent years, and I hope you agree with me a bit after reading this. If you want to feel some nostalgia and listen to their old stuff, check out their SPOTIFY below.