🎶 What's poppin'? Brand new whip just hopped in. 🎶
If you haven't been able to get these lyrics from Jack Harlow's "WHATS POPPIN" out of your head this year, you're definitely not alone. During quarantine, Callie Evans and Audri Williams, two teachers from Monroe High School in Albany, Georgia, created their very own version of the track (and the music video!) as a way to help get their students excited for the new school year.
"I'm on TikTok all the time, that's probably the app I watch 24/7, all day, and you can really see what song is poppin' by watching TikTok," Williams tells ET, of how they landed on the track. "One of the songs was 'WHATS POPPIN,' so when I'm listening to the beat I'm like, 'Ooh, yeah. Yeah, I've got to put a rap on this!' So I brought it to Mrs. Evans and the rest is history."
Despite still being in a pandemic, Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Williams are doing everything they can to still make learning fun. The two pulled out all the stops to create their "WHAT'S POPPIN (Teachers Edition)" music video, rocking outfits in the school's signature gold and green colors.
"What's poppin'? Mrs. Evans on the beat, so tap in. You got options but you betta pass my class, no floppin'," their version of the rap begins, with Evans busting through the hallway doors. "Gone log in, every day, every morning, I'm watching. Yeah, we virtual, and you know what's up, so we 'bout to take it up a notch."
"What's poppin'? Brand new year and I'm locked in," Williams later raps in her own verse. "Far as this teaching go I am unreachable, and I'm number one in your top 10. Mrs. Williams been poppin', 2020, new school year droppin'. No COVID-19, ain't worried about a thing, when it come to me, ain't no stoppin'."
The ladies told ET that they each wrote their own verses, "coaching" each other along the way. They then hit the studio together and later called on the Monroe cheerleaders to help choreograph the video.
"After we figured out what song we wanted to do, we got together and tried to figure out some lingo that the kids would gravitate toward," Evans explained. "Being that we were teachers, it already helps to know how [important] the diction in our voice is and the words that the kids are going to like. So we came up with our own verses and practiced in front of each other for, like, two or three days. Then, we went into the studio, and that's where all the magic happened!"
"The other girls in the video, those are our cheerleaders, a mixture of our JV and Varsity squads," Williams added. "As soon as we told them about the video that we were wanting to record, they were down to come up with the moves and to get it poppin'."
Of the project going viral, Williams said, "Did I ever think this would happen? Absolutely not!"
"But honestly, the only outcome that we wanted to get out of this was to really get the kids excited about going back to school virtually," she shared. "With everything going on with COVID-19, a lot of things being misplaced, families being lost, we just wanted to bring back some excitement into everyone's lives. Even the teachers' lives, because we were worried about how the school year would be too."
"To calm our nerves, we wanted to hype each other up," Evans added. "As well as the school, our children, the community. Just to get excited about virtual learning."
The original version of "WHATS POPPIN" was released in January as a single from Harlow's Sweet Action EP.The 22-year-old rapper from Louisville, Kentucky, also released a remix featuring Lil Wayne, DaBaby and Tory Lanez that reached No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
If you're wondering if Harlow has seen Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Williams' version... spoiler alert: he did. "Yeahhhhh miss Williams," he commented on one of their Instagram posts.
"He actually did respond, it was really exciting," Williams gushed. "To see all the celebrity support is just like, 'Ahh!' It's crazy."
"I'm just overwhelmed," Evans added. "I'm thankful for all of the love. I'm so appreciative of everyone, so I really want to thank everybody for the support."