Return of the Nob: On the Resurgence of the Three Six Classic

Lawrence Neil explains the everlasting relevance of "Slob On My Knob."
By    October 27, 2017

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Lawrence Neil goes to the mall when he knows it’s going down.

Last month, we woke up to unexpected news:

Three 6 Mafia’s “Slob on my Nob” jumped to top of trending searches on Apple Music. Juicy J, a member of Three 6, was elated. Most people were confused.

It turns out that a Miami-based DJ (Tommy Madera) tweeted out a short video of her transitioning from an A$AP Ferg song that references “S on my N” into the original track. She’s not a superstar — 10.5k followers — but boom, with a little internet magic, a track from the late 90s hits the streaming charts.

Of course, it’s not the first time this has happened — in 2013, a woman quitting her job made a dancing compilation to Kanye’s relative deep cut from Late Registration, “Gone.” Within days of the video, “Gone” rocketed to number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, and into the top five (top five top five top five) of the streaming charts. When it dropped back in ’05, it didn’t even chart!

Similarly, AWOLNation’s “Sail” made a moderate splash when it dropped in 2010, but hustled up to #17 on the Billboards after it was featured in a popular… cat video two years later. You know the one.

And we can’t forget Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo,” the 1996 R&B jam that soundtracked the viral #RunningManChallenge of 2016.  With participants from Kyrie Irving to the entire Dodgers squad to DJ Mustard, the track shot to #29 on the Billboard Hot 100—two spots ahead of its peak when it came out twenty years ago.  Flume and Vince Staples even put out a cover.

 These dance videos did more than a full-on Ciara interpolation of the track in her 2013 hit, ‘Body Party.’  Like, Instagram video snippets have more of a material impact than a major label released cover.  It’s wild.

This is, well, pretty cool in a way. The upended industry doesn’t really control distribution or output in the way it once did, so any song can be accessed — and, therefore, become popular at any time with a couple of clicks. It’s how Kylie can make a new artist pop, like Khalid and 6LACK, or a silly, misogynistic Youtube vid can blow up a Cousin Stizz track, a Beyonce instagram can turn a run-of-the-mill Yo Gotti song into a Billboard Top Ten hit.

Will the newfound viral success start a trend of marketing pushes behind musical deep cuts? Will labels start looking at their discography and think, “That Yung Joc track from ’08 didn’t get nearly the traction we thought it would—maybe if we got it into a funny lemur video, it could really do numbers?”

Maybe. Maybe it’s already in the works — keep this in mind when Pretty Ricky makes their comeback via the next Spongebob meme.

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