Chicken noodle soup used to be Campbell's pride, but now it's much more popular because of the Harlem, N.Y., song and dance craze Youtube.com recently made famous.
Chicken noodle soup used to be Campbell's pride, but now it's much more popular because of the Harlem, N.Y., song and dance craze Youtube.com recently made famous. Produced by 19-year-old Troy "DJ Webstar" Ryan and written by his friend, 16-year-old Bianca "Young B" Dupree, the song "Chicken Noodle Soup" seeped into New York's teen scene around Easter.
Now the song's dance, a combination of pumping your arms and wobbling side to side, has become a YouTube phenomenon and garnered Webstar a deal with Universal Records.
"I started out DJing and throwing parties in Harlem," Webstar says. "And I met Young B through my parties. She came home one day just messing around and singing, "Chicken noodle soup," and it sounded good. So we recorded it, and somehow it leaked out. So I just started playing it at my parties, and the kids made up the dance."
Webstar made the neighborhood rounds in May, throwing parties and spinning "Chicken Noodle Soup" at various Harlem teen venues like Skate Key. Then one June day, "Chicken Noodle Soup" played in the background while rhythmic top 40 WQHT New York DJ Enuff was recording his show live from Harlem's Rucker basketball court. Seeing the crowd's visceral reaction to the song, Enuff asked Webstar for the record.
Enuff began playing the song on his radio mix show in June. By July other urban stations like WHTA Atlanta and KKDA Houston picked up the track. Now "Chicken Noodle Soup" has garnered 1,086 spins nationally and is No. 41 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Its steady rise up the chart is also directly linked to the YouTube dance frenzy the song inspired.
Teens across the country are filming their impressions of the dance and posting the clips on YouTube -- at deadline, there were 1,903 videos. Even Diddy has jumped on the bandwagon, encouraging fans to film their own dances to his next single "Get Off" and post them on MySpace and YouTube.
"The first week we played the song, the kids came to my party and put the song on YouTube," Webstar says. "Over 40,000 people put it on MySpace, YouTube and other video sites, and I guess that's how the song spread, because Universal just went for radio adds a few days ago. And we came in No. 2 for songs added to radio just behind Beyonce."
In early August, Universal Republic Records president Monte Lipman signed Webstar to an artist deal for himself and Young B as well as a label deal for his Scrilla Hill Records. "Webstar Presents ... Caught in the Web," an entire album pulled together in the last few weeks, drops Sept. 26. Meanwhile, Young B's solo project is slated for first-quarter 2007.
And aside from an upcoming "Chicken Noodle Soup" remix featuring Chris Brown and Ludacris, companies like Campbell's and Pepsi have reached out for branding deals with the young producer. But Webstar is just happy people are listening.
"People are scared of teenagers these days, and I don't know why," Webstar says. "When I went to the VMAs, I really knew I was accepted when people like Hulk Hogan ask me to perform at his daughter's birthday party. I've watched this guy since I was in Pampers!"