Known globally for their viral dance track and accompanying video, 15-year-old Zay Hilfigerrr (Tyjuan Peoples) and 17-year-old Zayion McCall (James McMcall) released “Juju on That Beat (TZ Anthem)” on Soundcloud and YouTube in the summer of 2016. The track, which samples Crime Mob’s “Knuck if You Buck,” took social media by storm, spawning #TZAnthemChallenge and amassing 200 million views on the official music video alone. On Spotify they have had over 130 million streams of the song. Following its release on iTunes and across music retail in September, “Juju on That Beat” landed on 18 charts internationally including #3 on US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #5 on Hot 100. As the most influential dance record of the summer, “Juju on That Beat” garnered media attention and praise from the hip hop community and music industry alike, winning the 2016 Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Music Video against Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. The track is also nominated for a Billboard Music Award as Top Streaming Song and a Radio Disney Music Award for Best Song that Makes You Smile.
Originally from Detroit, the upbeat nature of Zay and Zayion’s music and positive outlook, belies two rough upbringings in one of America’s toughest cities. “‘Juju’ is like one of my personalities,” Zay remarks, “It’s when I’m happy and a fun person, living life as a kid.”
Despite chaotic home lives and the stresses of their respective neighborhoods, the duo carved out their own paths very early on, with unmatched creativity and drive. “I was different from all of the other rappers growing up in Detroit,” Zayion says of his hometown. “I had a separate mindset, because everybody only wants to drink and have fun. The city wasn’t trying to hear from me, but I wasn’t going to quit. Everyone’s trying to make it out of Detroit,” Zayion continues. “To know that we have fans singing and dancing to our song around the world is the most amazing feeling.”