Things changed drastically for Florida-based hip-hop artist J. Dash last Thursday, March 21, as his hit “WOP” from his 2012 release “Tabloid Truth” was vaulted from obscurity and went viral with the help of none other than Miley Cyrus, who uploaded a video of her twerkin’ to the song on Facebook. Pharrell, LeBron James, Amber Rose and will.i.am are just a few of the celebrities who spread the word and helped launch the track to a No. 82 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.
But J. Dash isn’t a new artist, and “WOP” has seen continued success since its 2012 debut, accumulating over 500,000 in sales and becoming J. Dash’s first gold record. After Miley’s #MCTWERKTEAM video, the single shot to the front page of iTunes and YouTube, and was featured on "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," E! News and BBC.
J. Dash spoke with Billboard about his sudden re-invigorated success, and what’s next on the horizon.
Billboard: How did you first hear about "WOP" taking off?
I was bedridden with a stomach virus and all of a sudden my phone just starts buzzin' from a friend of mine asking "Have you seen it? Have you seen it?" I get a message on Twitter from Miley asking "did you check my page yet?" I went and looked and saw the video, and it had been up there for about an hour at this point and it had about 12,000 likes. I told her I loved it. We joked about getting matching unicorn tattoos. (Cyrus wears a unicorn costume in the clip.)
Had you and Miley previously met?
She actually was a fan of my record, and she reached out to me a while back saying she loved the Wop and we should make a video, but that was a while ago so I never thought it would happen for real. We've never actually met in person.
How did "WOP" come to be?
When I made the record, me and friends of mine would do this particular dance to other people's music and it started to catch on. People would ask what it's called and we came up with "WOP," because that's what you thought of when you saw it.
The song is just you, but the music video is you and Flo Rida. How did that collaboration happen?
I’ve been in the circuit for a while in the South East region, and way back in the day I used to do shows in Gainesville, Florida and I remember I would open a show, followed by Brisco, Flo Rida, then Rick Ross. Back then, nobody had a name like that other than Ross, so we were all scratching and scrounging trying to make it. I reached out to him when I was shooting the music video in Miami and he came through and showed up.
Is this the moment that twerkin' went mainstream?
Without a doubt. From not a lot of people knowing what twerking was, to now receiving news reports from Bollywood, from people making twerk videos in Australia. It's insane, and to have it all attached to the "WOP" is amazing. Had Miley not made that video it would not be as mainstream as it is right now.
What's next for you?
The video has brought a lot of attention, and a lot of people looking at more of the records I have now. "Tabloid Truth”"has been accumulating traction on the radio on the west coast, and we just finished my latest album and we’re going to drop a single from that featuring T-Pain that’s called “Wednesday.” So more to come, I promise!