Rap icons team up with dating app to recreate legendary hip-hop classic “Back That Thang Up” as a modern anthem to drive vaccinations
Collaborating with Atlanta-based creative agency Majority, the dating app urges more young adults to get vaccinated as the Covid-19 variant looms
Serving up one of the hottest and most iconic collaborations of the year, BLK, the largest dating app made for Black singles with over 5 million downloads to-date, has partnered with rap legends Juvenile, Mannie Fresh and Mia X, turning the iconic rap classic “Back That Thang Up” into the new vaccine anthem “Vax That Thang Up.” The comedic reboot centers around a clear message: dating is better in all the ways once you’re vaccinated.
This captivating and high-energy rendition features Cash Money Records’ legends Juvenile and Mannie Fresh, who were featured on the original track that first debuted in 1998, as well as No Limit Records star and “the mother of Southern gangster rap,” Mia X, who lends a fierce female energy to the track. This blockbuster reboot marks the first time in music history that artists from Cash Money and No Limit have collaborated in any official capacity. The electric trio each bring a unique energy and nostalgic vibe to the track, while celebrating Black culture and encouraging young Black singles to get vaccinated.
“I just wanted to do something positive for my people and to stand in the front to show that I’m willing to sacrifice my life not just for me but also for my family,” said Juvenile about the new project. “We don’t know what we’re facing right now but we really do all need to be vaccinated so we can continue to do our thing and survive.”
The track opens with the iconic head-nodding and booty-bouncing “Back That Thang Up” beat. Juvenile then effortlessly maneuvers through iconic bars with his signature Southern drawl, before Mannie Fresh pulls up with quotable and confident bars, punctuated by a clear call to action to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, Mia X’s magnetic and enticing hook instantly captivates listeners, as they are urged to get vaccinated before hooking up with “some dude named Scott.” The accompanying visual overflows with nostalgic New Orleans bounce energy as these three icons take over our screens with an important and powerful message…”Go, go, go, go get the shot!”
As the US continues to strive for herd immunity against Covid-19, and despite the new variant threat, the one demographic that has lagged most in getting vaccinated is young adults. Vaccine coverage among this 18-to-29 age range has been lower and increasing more slowly over time, compared to other age groups, according to a report published by the US Centers for Disease Control. Their intent to get vaccinated is also lower.
As states and organizations try a wide variety of tactics to incentivize young adults to get vaccinated, BLK chose a different approach. “We have a direct line to the audience that needs to internalize this message,” said Jonathan Kirkland, BLK Head of Brand & Marketing. “The song may be playful and fun, but the underlying message is as real as it gets.”
The campaign was created in partnership with Majority, the marketing agency co-founded by Shaquille O’Neal earlier this year that’s built upon a diversity-led talent model. Of the creative approach, Majority Founder Omid Farhang explains: “To be young is to feel invincible. BLK is uniquely positioned to meet this historic moment, not through an academic lecture or sober manifesto, but through pop cultural content that speaks directly to the benefits of dating IRL once you’re vaccinated.”
In addition to the video, BLK unveiled the “Vaxified” badge on its app, allowing singles to promote their vaccinated status to prospective matches. In less than a month, over 100,000 BLK users have added the “Vaxified” badge to their profiles. Adds Kirkland, “we want the Vaxified badge to be to dating what the blue checkmark is to Twitter – a status symbol.”