If you've watched enough of the Mannequin Challenge videos on the internet to have the song featured in them stuck in your head for the next century, you are undoubtedly wondering, "What is the Mannequin Challenge song?" The reason you might not know it is that it's actually fairly new — hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles," the song featured in the challenges, came out on Sept. 22. That being said, it's already racked up a whopping 40 million views on YouTube, and will probably be shattering that number as the viral attraction of the Mannequin Challenge sends even more listeners its way. If you didn't know the song before, you're about to in a big way.
For anyone who needs a brush-up on the origins of the Mannequin Challenge, it is a new meme that started in late October, where teens are freezing in dramatic positions and filming themselves as "Black Beatles plays in the background. The first documented video, one of many now on Twitter using the hashtag #MannequinChallenge, comes by way of Twitter user pvrity___, who posted a group of students frozen in place and so committed to it that another student even carried them out, still frozen.
Here's the first video, posted Oct. 26:
Almost all of the #MannequinChallenges are backed up by "Black Beatles" playing in the background. This is the original music video for the song, posted about a month before the challenge began:
Specifically, most videos start with the song's hook:
That girl is a real crowd pleaserSmall world, all her friends know of meYoung bull living like an old geezerQuick release the cash, watch it fall slowlyFrat girls still tryna get evenHaters mad for whatever reasonSmoke in the air, binge drinkingThey lose it when the DJ drops the needle
The connection of the challenge to the song, however, is perhaps the internet's greatest mystery. Nowhere in the music video is anybody freezing, and nothing in the actual song would seem to inspire it either. We might just have to chalk this one down to another one of those "Alex from Target" situations — a great popularity that will never quite fully be explained.
Rae Sremmurd, made up of brothers Khalif "Swae Lee" Brown and Aaquil "Slim Jxmmi" Brown, on the other hand, has enjoyed popularity for quite some time. The pair had two Billboard 100 hits, "No Flex Zone" and "No Type," off of their 2015 debut album SremmLife, which also earned them a "Best Group" win at the BET awards, as well as a nomination for "Top Rap Artist" at the Billboard Music Awards.
And yes, to answer your next burning question, the brothers are absolutely aware of the internet hype of the #MannequinChallenge. At their Nov. 3 concert in Denver, they did one of their own.
If that's not an excuse to go out there and live out your #MannequinChallenge dreams, then I don't know what is. If you need some more inspo, check out a round up of the best ones here.