Tag Team (group)

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Tag Team
OriginDenver, Colorado
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
GenresHip hop, pop-rap, Miami bass
Years active1990–present
LabelsBellmark Records
Life Records
Hamtastic Records
MembersDC the Brain Supreme
Steve Rolln

Tag Team is an American hip hop/pop rap duo from Atlanta, Georgia. Best known for their 1993 multiplatinum single, "Whoomp! (There It Is)", which has been featured in a number of advertisements, films, and TV shows, Tag Team now performs for audiences nostalgic about music from the 90s.[1][2] The duo is made up of Cecil Glenn (DC the Brain Supreme) and Steve Gibson (Steve Rolln). The group performs regularly at corporate events, charity fundraisers, 90s tours, casinos, and halftime shows for collegiate and professional sporting events.[1]

In the early 90s, Tag Team broke stereotypes about the hip-hop genre by demonstrating that there is more to hip-hop than inflammatory lyrics. The success of "Whoomp! (There It Is)" represented a milestone in the history of hip-hop because it has been enjoyed by culturally and generationally diverse audiences, and the interactive, participatory nature of the music gives it an appeal that has lasted over the years.[1][3][4]

History and legacy[edit]

Formation of Tag Team[edit]

DC Glenn was born in Chicago, IL, and Steve Gibson was born in Omaha, NE. Both moved to Denver, CO, as young children. They met at Manual High School in 1982, where both pursued their musical interests.[3][5] Gibson played drums in the jazz band and attended audio engineering classes at an early college education program, while Glenn sang as a tenor in Manual High School’s Bolt Vibrations Chorus. [6][7]

They began to develop as hip-hop artists in their youth, but the musical style of Tag Team originated with an alchemy of influences that took place after they moved to Georgia and were exposed to Southern Bass.[3] In 1988, Gibson enrolled in the Art Institute of Atlanta to study studio engineering. Glenn followed shortly after, leaving Sacramento, CA, where he had been attending Sacramento State University.[6] It was in the South that the two were inspired by artists such as Success N Effect and Kilo Ali as they explored the roots of the Southern hip-hop genre.[3] In 1990, Gibson and Glenn released their first 12-inch single, “Strictly Political,” as Tag Team Crew.[8]

"Whoomp! (There It Is)"[edit]

In August of 1992, Tag Team recorded “Whoomp! (There It Is)”. At that time, Glenn was working as the main DJ at a gentlemen’s club in Atlanta called Magic City which would later become recognized as a hub of Atlanta Hip-Hop and rap music.[3][7] Glenn played the track in the club on the same day it was mixed. “Whoomp!” received the biggest crowd response he had ever seen as a DJ. In the following months, people requested it so often that it became clear the song had the potential to become a hit. The single was shopped to and rejected by multiple record labels because executives were unfamiliar with Southern Bass and were unsure if the sound would sell well around the country. Glenn instead borrowed $2,500 from his parents to press 800 records. The singles quickly sold out in Atlanta on word of mouth alone.[3]

A representative from Mercury Records ultimately pointed them in the right direction, suggesting that the best person to promote music from the Southern Bass genre was Staxx Record mogul, Al Bell. Glenn reached out to Bell. Bell agreed to sign Tag Team without even hearing the song. Bell reportedly told Glenn, “I don’t need to hear the record. I hear it in your spirit.”[9]

Within months, “Whoomp!” reached the top position on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and Hot 100 Single Sales chart.[10][11] The record held the #2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks straight and reached platinum status, a distinction bestowed on artists who have sold at least a million copies. In February 1994, it received its fourth platinum certification.[12] The song resonated with a variety of audience types, and for that reason, it has been used at sports events and in motion picture productions, such as Elf, Shark Tale, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and D2: The Mighty Ducks.[13]

A similar song, "Whoot, There It Is," was released by the Miami-based group 95 South a month prior to Tag Team's "Whoomp!"[14] Both groups' record companies maintained that the similarities were a coincidence, as the phrase, "Whoomp (or whoot), there it is," was a common expression used by dancers in Atlanta and Miami nightclubs where members from both groups spent a lot of time.[14] Arsenio Hall hosted both groups on his show to perform their versions of the songs and let viewers vote on their favorite by calling a 900 number to donate money to the relief effort for the 1993 Midwest Floods.[15]

Lyrically and musically, critics and listeners have pointed out the song’s positive and uplifting vibe.[4] The phrase “Whoomp! There it is!” has come to mean something similar to “Look at that!” It is intended to encourage “positive partying”.[16][14] In interviews, Glenn and Gibson have discussed the conversation in which they decided to use the phrase. Glenn said, “Oh, man, we need to do a song called, ‘Whoomp, there it is’”. Gibson was on board immediately, replying simply, “How do you spell it?”[7] Tag Team has explained that the phrase is about “anything that one agrees with on a positive level”.[14]

“Whoomp! (There it is!)” also has a unique beat and baseline that fans sometimes refer to as "whoomping."[3] “Whoomp” has been called “Da bomb party song” of the 90s by Atlanta Magazine and “among the country’s most commercially successful singles of all time.”[2][6]

Hiatus[edit]

Tag Team's album, "Whoomp! (There It Is)", from which the eponymous single came, was certified gold, and two more singles were released from it.[6] However, neither could recapture the popularity of the four-times platinum "Whoomp!" single. Tag Team's 1995 followup album, Audio Entertainment, sold poorly, in part as a consequence of their label's looming legal and financial troubles.[6]

In 1997, Tag Team's record label, Bellmark Records, filed for bankruptcy after paying out a settlement in a lawsuit claiming that Tag Team had sampled Kano's "I'm Ready" without permission.[6] When Bellmark's assets were split up, the ownership rights to "Whoomp!" were in question. For 24 years, a long and contentious dispute regarding the song's ownership rights and related copyright infringement damages was finally settled in bankruptcy court.[17] Tag Team retained 100 percent of the writers' share and received a portion of the publisher's income derived from the exploitation and any future sale of the rights to “Whoomp!” They were also granted the right to recover performance royalties from third parties.[6][17]

In the midst of these circumstances, Glenn returned to DJing in Atlanta clubs.[6] Though they never formally ended their partnership and intended to take only a brief hiatus in the mid-90s, Glenn and Gibson stopped recording and performing as Tag Team for nearly a decade.[6] "Whoomp! (There It Is)," and by extension, Tag Team itself, began to see a resurgence in 2003 when the song was featured in Elf.[6] Over the next couple of years, it turned up in other movies and TV shows, as well. Glenn and Gibson were invited to a number of corporate events to perform their hit as it experienced its renaissance, but neither had plans to revive Tag Team.[6] It would be yet another decade and the solidification of "Whoomp!"'s permanence in pop culture before the duo would begin regularly performing as Tag Team again.

Present day[edit]

Now in its third decade, Tag Team continues to perform around the world, introducing a new generation of audiences to their classic hit. Notable performances include the San Francisco 49ers Halftime Show, Super Bowl Live by Verizon Wireless, and the 2019 Hammer House Party Tour.[18][19][20] The band’s website also lists several smaller venues where they performed in 2018 and 2019, such as 90s themed concerts, casinos, festivals, athletic events, and international venues.

Tag Team's role in the popularization of Atlanta's version of Miami Bass, Southern Bass, contributed to the rise of Atlanta as a home for unique alternatives to the established "East Coast/West Coast" hip-hop identities.[6][21] DC Glenn and Steve Rolln still reside in Atlanta, a city that The New York Times has called "hip-hop’s center of gravity."[21] In addition to performing as Tag Team, Glenn is a voice-over artist and actor represented by the People Store Agency in Atlanta, GA.[22] Gibson is a music producer and CEO of Merciless Music.[6] They participate in speaking engagements and keynotes at conferences to share ideas about music, the entertainment industry, and life.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
positions
Certifications
(sales threshold)
US
[10]
US R&B
[11]
Whoomp! (There It Is) 39 28
  • US: Platinum
Audio Entertainment
  • Release date: August 4, 1995
  • Label: Bellmark/Life
  • Formats: CD, cassette
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details
The Best of Tag Team

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Album
US
[23]
US R&B
[24]
US Pop
[25]
AUS
[26]
UK
[27]
1993 "Whoomp! (There It Is)" 2 1 38 19 34 Whoomp (There It Is)
"U Go Girl" 85
1994 "Here It Is, Bam!" 75 Non-album song
1995 "Funkey Situation"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US
[23]
UK
[27]
1994 "Addams Family (Whoomp!)" 84 53 Non-album songs
"Whoomp! (There It Is)" (remix) 48
"Whoomp! (There It Went)"
(with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy)
97
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1993 "Whoomp! (There It Is)"[29] V.J. Beedles
1994 "Whoomp! (There It Went)" (with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald)
1995 "Pig Power in the House"

Awards and Nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Eveleth, Rose (June 7, 2013). "'Whoomp! (There It Is)' Still Makes $500,000 a Year". Smithsonian.com. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  2. ^ a b Burns, Rebecca (March 18, 2015). "Da bomb party song: "Whoomp! (There It Is)"". Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hunt, Dennis (July 21, 1993). "A Rap Hit Without Violence, Sex or Profanity? There It Is : Pop music: Tag Team breaks the rules with the No. 3 single 'Whoomp!' The duo's first album is released this week". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  4. ^ a b Herbert, Bob (July 25, 1993). "In America; There It Is!". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 547. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Sanchez, Robert (June 2013). "Whoomp! (There It Was)". 5280. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  7. ^ a b c "Tag Team". Colorado Music Experience. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  8. ^ "Tag Team Crew - Strictly Political". Discogs. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  9. ^ Haring, Bruce (September 21, 1993). "A Soul Man From the '60s Is Back in the Groove Again : Pop music: With the success of Bellmark Records' young rappers, founder Al Bell returns to the record biz big leagues". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  10. ^ a b "Tag Team Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Tag Team Album & Song Chart History - R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  12. ^ McAlone, Nathan (June 25, 2019). "The 11 top-selling music singles from one-hit wonders of all time, from Gotye to the 'Macarena'". Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  13. ^ "Cecil Glenn". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  14. ^ a b c d Due, Tananarive (September 8, 1993). "Whoomp of Whoot, There It Is- Both Are Equally Cool". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  15. ^ "Dueling Rappers". People Magazine. August 16, 1993. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  16. ^ Pemberton, Pat (June 12, 2012). "Whoomp! (There It Is)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  17. ^ a b O'Neill, Stephen; Alessandra Glorioso (October 13, 2017). "Whoomp! There It Is: A Copyright Judgment Creditor's Final Recovery". Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  18. ^ Inman, Cam (September 14, 2018). "49ers report: Top 5 things we learned Friday". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  19. ^ "Super Bowl Live Ready to Rock at Centennial Olympic Park". Georgia World Congress Center Authority. January 25, 2019. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  20. ^ Mandel, Aaron (March 1, 2019). "MC Hammer Headlines "Hammer's House Party" Tour w/ Stars from the 90s". VladTV. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  21. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (December 11, 2009). "Gucci Mane, No Holds Barred". Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  22. ^ "DC Glenn". The People Store. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  23. ^ a b "Tag Team Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  24. ^ "Tag Team Album & Song Chart History - R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  25. ^ "Tag Team Album & Song Chart History - Pop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  26. ^ Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  27. ^ a b "Official Charts > Tag Team". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  28. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". ARIA. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  29. ^ ""Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team". VH1. Retrieved September 30, 2011.