An Interview With the Producer Whose Song Inadvertently Created the Infectious, Idiotic “One Thicc Bih” Meme
If you’ve been on the internet at all in the last two or three weeks, you might have seen the “One Thicc Bih” meme. Each video begins with the same sunny, funky synths, before a weird robotic singing lady informs us that Mr. Krabs—or the Babadook, or former FBI director James Comey, or anything else—is “one thicc bih.” A rapper gets piped in for a moment, saying something about a good day. The robot lady sings “Lemme…,” and the rapper pops in again. Then she finishes with a portmanteau of the memed subject and the female genitalia: “…see that Krussy.” Infectious, and idiotic, in the way of all great internet memes.
The music is bizarrely catchy, especially for something that only lasts 15 seconds before it’s over. But where did it come from? We already know that the robot voice comes from Ditty, the app from which the unholy meme first sprung, which turns any text you type into a silly little synthesized tune. But everything else–the chords, the beat, the interjections from the rapper–was imported wholesale from an already-existing song, one that was created years ago, with no intention of ending up on an app. It’s called “Good Day,” by an Orlando rapper named Flash Garments, with music by a Raleigh-based producer named J-Mac. (The YouTube video below and several other uploaded versions of “Good Day” have been mistakenly tagged by fans with “4Qent100″–a reference to J-Mac’s record label that was misinterpreted as the artist name at some point along the way.)
Earlier this week, we tracked down J-Mac by phone in North Carolina. His real name is John McCall; in addition to doing music, he works full time as a financial services officer with a local credit union. Other than “Good Day,” his production credits include songs for Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch (“Pour the Martini“), CyHi the Prince (“The Open Letter“), Young Buck (“21 & Up“), and others. Thanks to the Krussy/Babussy meme and the YouTuber PewDiePie–who included a “God Day” Ditty in a video about “big fat anime titties“–“Good Day” itself has become a strange sort of hit. The comments sections for Ditty versions uploaded to YouTube are generally filled with listeners asking for the original song, and multiple versions of “Good Day” on the streaming service have racked up tens of thousands of plays each. Before the Krussy meme took off, it was featured in an episode of the ABC sitcom The Real O’Neals.
J-Mac told SPIN that he did not know his song had been included as a Ditty backing track until fans of the app and PewDiePie reached out to tell him about it.
Update (6:00 p.m.): Dean Serletic, Zya’s head of marketing and licensing, said that the company licensed “Good Day” via a music library, and that an employee of the company edited the track and added the topline melody that the robot voice sings in the Ditty version. “It’s certainly a top-used song. No matter where we put it in the app, people tend to find it,” he said. “We come across a lot of music in these music catalogs, and we don’t know the stories behind a lot of this stuff. This one ended up being up that perfect story, of a song that in its original form never found tremendous popularity, but really took off here. It’s awesome to see the response to it in the form of the app.”
A condensed and edited version of our conversation with J-Mac is below.
SPIN: When did you find out that “Good Day” was becoming this weird internet cultural phenomenon?
J-Mac: It’s only been a couple of months since I found out it was on Ditty. I got a comment on Instagram that said, “Hey did you produce a song called ‘Good Day’ from 4Qent100?” Well, that’s not the artist name, but I was like “Yeah.” My company is 4th Quarter Entertainment, and our YouTube channel is 4Qent100. And he’s like, “Well I’ve been working out to that song all day, and everybody loves this song. It’s on the Ditty app. So many people are asking about it. People have been looking for it for months and months.”
Then my manager checks the direct messages on Soundcloud, and it was like, “Hey, I just wanted you to know that I love your song ‘Good Day,’ and it was featured on this guy PewDiePie’s episode on his YouTube channel.” And my manager is going, “Who the hell is Cutie Pie?” Eventually we realize that PewDiePie is literally the biggest thing on YouTube in the history of YouTube.
So I was watching the episode, and of course, without the background on PewDiePie, if you ever watch any of his videos, you’re like, “What the hell am I watching right now?” He’s playing a video game, and then he says something about “big anime titties.” And all of a sudden, our track comes on with the little voice from the Ditty app singing about big anime titties. And I’m like, “What?” He’s getting all excited, he’s playing one of these games when you talk to the animation person, and he focuses in on the girl with the low-cut shirt, he zooms in the camera to her breasts, and the thing comes up, and it’s like: “Anime titties, only one thing could make this day better.” What is happening? Why is there anime titties and why is this guy so excited about it?
And I was like, “Wow, really?” How did they even do that? I knew what the Ditty app was, but it was weird because they had Flash Garments’ voice in there saying “It’s a good day to have a good day.” The little vocal chop is so clean, it’s almost like it was made that way on purpose, which it wasn’t. I’m still somewhat baffled on how it worked out like that.
So you didn’t know that it was going to be put on this app in advance?
No, not at all. We have yet to 100 percent figure out how it went down. It’s a weird situation. It’s funny that you hit us when you did, because like I said it’s somewhat new to us. It’s all being worked out. We’re in the midst of talks about all that, and we’ve pretty much figured it out. It’s no big deal. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity.
I’m listening to the Ditty songs that are “Can’t Feel My Face,” the Weeknd record. I’m like OK, this audio has obviously been manipulated. As a music producer I can hear that it’s the original instrumental, but the WAV has been manipulated in some way. And I’m like, “OK, how’d they do that?” That’s somebody’s job in the Weeknd’s camp, to make sure that everything’s kosher when it comes to using a song like “Can’t Feel My Face.” I’m sure there’s some sort of agreement that was set in place. But even still, I don’t think they ever got an official track for the Ditty app. I really think they edited it somehow. I’m not saying they stole it, I’m not trying to point fingers by any means. But the question still remains of how does anything get on the Ditty app?
Can you tell me about making “Good Day” itself?
One day—two and half, three years ago—me and Flash Garments were just having a conversation, shortly after the Pharrell “Happy” record came out. We talking about how hip-hop is so aggressive now. Where is the feel-good, positive record at? So we made “Good Day.” We had a version with a handful of cuss words in it, but then we took them out. It’s got something for if your mom wants to hear a record: “I want to hear one of the songs you did!” “Alright, cool. Let me play you this one.” It’s a good record, but it’s something we didn’t really push other than doing some licensing stuff, because we were working on so many other things at the time.
In the hip-hop world, this happens all the time: random rappers will get your tracks and just go to town. Sometimes I would just search to make sure I don’t have any records out there that I don’t know about, that I should be getting paid for. And I noticed that “Good Day” had been posted by three or four different people. And one person who only had nine subscribers got like 50,000 views on it. That’s weird, but I didn’t think nothing of it. It wasn’t long after that that this random person hit me up on Instagram and told me about the Ditty app.
What was it like to see this thing you’d intended to be a positive, wholesome record remixed into something about anime titties, or Mr. Krabs’ fat Krussy, or whatever?
It was hilarious. Granted, I’ve seen some positive ones. If you look on the Ditty app now, there’s a ton that are like “Happy Father’s Day,” which makes sense. It’s ironic that so many of the ones that are the most popular are also—not to say negative, but racy, I guess is the correct term. There was one about Remy Ma leaving her son behind or something, and I was like “That’s kinda messed up.” The Mr. Krabs thing was actually pretty hilarious, just knowing who Mr. Krabs was.
As a music producer, or artist, or anybody in the music industry, when you’re doing a record, you’re trying to really catch on. You’re trying to figure out either A) What is the trend? or B) How do you make a new trend that everybody’s gonna fall in love with? And this right here was so interesting because I was like “Wow, now I’m actually part of an odd trend that I can’t even really explain to anybody.” I’ve been trying to make another record I’ve been working on called Vibes Are Eternal as popular as I can make it, and in the middle of that, someone hits me up and goes, “Hey, you’ve got a song that’s really popular on this app.”
We have this record label, we distribute records, we do everything a record label does, on a smaller scale. Our goal when we started this whole thing was to be the go-to for literally anything you need in terms of music production. And this is probably the most random need anybody could have. So I guess it’s come full circle now.
Last question: Did you see the Babadook version of the meme?
What’s it called?
The Babadook. B-A-B-A-D-O-O-K. It’s a horror movie character.
Oh yeah, I tried to watch literally all of them last night, so I would be really prepared for this interview. I remember that one. That was the last one that I watched, and it was after midnight. And I was like “Alright, I’ve watched a million of these.” But I remember being like, “That was pretty funny.”