Atlanta based American crunk rap duo Ying Yang Twins, comprising of two close friends Kaine and D-Roc, first came to prominence with their debut single, “Whistle While You Twurk” (2000), which gained nationwide airplay on urban and crossover radio stations. The song reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs and made the Top 20 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It also marked their first single to enter the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 74. Their debut album, “Thug Walkin’,” followed in April 2000. The duo's breakthrough album, “Me & My Brother” (2003), rose to No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum in the US. It featured the successful single “Salt Shaker” (featuring Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz), the group's first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The group scored another platinum record with the follow up “U.S.A. (United State of Atlanta)” (2005), which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. So far, Ying Yang Twins has released six studio albums, in addition to two remix albums, two compilation albums and one mixtapes. Their late studio album, “Ying Yang Forever,” was released in 2009 through Deep Entertainment.
Childhood and Family:
“At the time we were doing this other project called True Dawgs but the record company didn't know what to do with us or our style of music.” Kaine (about the forming of the Ying Yang Twins)
Met in 1996, Kaine (born Eric Jackson on December 16, 1978) and D-Roc (born De'Angelo Holmes on February 23, 1979) decided to perform together in a group a year later, after the suggestion of Kaine. They named the group Ying Yang Twins, despite the fact that they are not really twins. Both of the boys grew up in a rough neighborhood with violence and poverty.
Whistle While You Twurk
The Ying Yang Twins had their early recording experience in 1998 when the boys were invited by DJ Smurf (aka. Mr. Collipark) to appear in his third album, “Dead Crunk,” performing “One on One.” The same year, they also were featured in Lil Jon's “So So Def Bass All-Stars Compilation, Volume III.” The song “True City Thugs” was a hit on the streets and in local strip clubs.
In 2000, Ying Yang Twins released their debut single, “Whistle While You Twurk,” which was played on urban and pop radio stations. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs, No. 16 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 74 in the Billboard Hot 100. Through the song, the group gained a loyal following specially located in the South. Their participation in the “King Me” tour along with Juz tha King, Kat Nu and Demo Dil would give the group further popularity. Commenting about “Whistle While You Twurk,” D-Roc said, “We really just put that song out for the strip clubs in the ATL. We didn't plan on that song getting Universal's attention 'cause everybody don't know what Magic City, Blue Flame or Foxy Lady was.”
Their debut album, “Thug Walkin’”, followed later that year. The album was initially released as an independent album and sold over 100,000 copies. However, when it was released through Universal Records, it was only a murmur album, and failed to enter the Billboard 200. “Thug Walkin’” peaked at No. 54 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 15 on the Top Heatseekers. In addition to the hit single “Whistle While You Twurk,” the album also produced a single called “Ying Yang in This Thang” (featuring Hoodratz), which peaked at No. 107 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
The sophomore effort “Alley: The Return of the Ying Yang Twins” was released on March 26, 2002 via Koch International. Produced by Beat-N-Azz and Lil Jon, the same persons who produced their debut, the album opened at No. 79 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at No. 58 two weeks later. It reached No. 8 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 2 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart. The album sold more than 400,000 units in the US. The first single “Say I Yi Yi” (2002) peaked at No. 56 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 22 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs. The follow up “By Myself” reached No. 40 and No. 25 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the Billboard Hot Rap Songs, respectively, but failed to enter the Hot 100.
Still in 2002, Ying Yang Twins was featured on Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz's huge club and radio hit, “Get Low,” from the 2002 album “Kings of Crunk.” Released in February 2003, the song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, and No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks.
Impressed with their work on “Get Low,” TVT Records then recruited Ying Yang Twins as its roster. The third studio album, “Me & My Brother,” the group's debut with TVT Records, hit the music stores on September 16, 2003. The album debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 with about 62,000 pieces sold in its first week of release, and remained on the chart for 54 weeks. The album also charted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 1 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart. “Me & My Brother” was certified platinum by the RIAA in April 2005. The album produced three hit singles. The first single “Naggin'” peaked at No. 87 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 43 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 21 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs. The follow up “Slat Shaker” (featuring Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz) became the most successful single from the album. It debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the post for two weeks. The song also reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks. The third single “Whats Happ'nin!” (featuring Trick Daddy) charted at No. 30, No. 24 and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks, respectively.
Also in 2003, Ying Yang Twins appeared on Britney Spears' song “I Got That (Boom Boom),” from her album “In the Zone,” as well as on her television special.
On November 2, 2004, TVT released the group's first remix album, “My Brother & Me,” consisting of remixes of former hits by both Ying Yang Twins and other rappers. It was a successful hit. The album reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, No. 4 on the Top Rap Albums and No. 1 on the Independent Albums. The album also charted in the United Kingdom at No. 68.
The group returned with a new album, “U.nited S.tate of A.tlanta,” on June 28, 2005, with Mr. Collipark as producer. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, marking the duo's highest charting album to date, and reached the top spot on both the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and the Top Rap Albums. The album eventually received platinum certification from the RIAA. Released on March 1, 2005, the single “Wait (The Whisper Song)” emerged as a hit by peaking at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 47 on the UK Singles Chart. It also was a the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (#3) and Billboard Hot Rap Tracks (#2). The album also produced two more hit singles with “Badd (featuring Mike Jones and Mr. Collipark) (# 29 US, #16 US R&B, #6 US Rap) and “Shake” (featuring Pitbull) (#41 US, #37 US R&B, #12 US Rap).
“U.S.A. (Still United),” a collection of outtakes, remixes, and collaborations similar to “My Brother & Me” followed on December 27, 2005. Produced by Lil Jon, the album peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard 200, No. 16 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 8 on the Top Rap Albums. Also in 2005, D-Roc formed the group Da Muzicianz with his younger brothers, Mr. Weeny, and Da Birthday Boy. The group released a debut single, “Camera Phone,” which was followed by self-titled album in February 2006.
“We renamed it that because we're totally opposite, we are never on the same page but we wind up in the same place. It has everything to do with chemistry and how we interact with each other- individually we are inbalanced but together we equal each other out.” Kaine (about their album “Chemically Inbalanced”)
Ying Yang Twins' fifth studio album, “Chemically Imbalanced,” was released on November 28, 2006, with Mr. Collipark, Wyclef Jean and Jerry Wonda as producers. It debuted at No. 40 on the Billboard 200 and made the top 10 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (#8) and the Top Rap Albums (#6). The first single “Dangerous” (featuring Wyclef Jean) peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard 100 chart and No. 84 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It was followed by “1st Booty on Duty” and “Jigglin'” but both failed to chart.
On September 1, 2009, the duo released the sixth studio album “Ying Yang Forever” via Deep Entertainment. All the tracks in the album were Produced by Joe Traxx. It was supported by a tour of the same name. On November 3, 2009, TVT released the duo's first greatest hits album called “Legendary Status: Ying Yang Twins Greatest Hits”. It produced a single named “Drop.”
In 2010, the group released the compilation albums “Gumbo Vol. 1” (June 22, 2010) and “Gumbo Vol. 2” (November 3, 2010) on Punnn!!! Ent Records.
On April 14, 2011, The Ying Yang Twins made their returned by performing at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.