Published 11:48 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Local teens garner almost 700K social media followers

Dem White Boyz from Troy, Ala. are rocking the social media world.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Boyz have nearly 670,000 followers on Vine, which is an app like Twitter, except it’s all video. The Vine is a different avenue to connect with people all around the world via six-second videos.

And Dem White Boyz, Baylor Barnes, Cole LaBrant and John Stephen Grice, are connecting at a phenomenal rate.

The “Boyz” have blown the Vine from 505 followers to 668,800 followers and counting in two short weeks and were featured on Break Time at FoxNews.com on Wednesday. That is unreal any way you “twerk” it. And “twerk” it they do.

According to the Urban Dictionary, “twerk” means “to work one’s body, as in dancing, especially the rear end.”

Not only do the Boyz work their bodies, they also add their special brand of comedy to their “vining.”

It all started rather simply 14 days ago. Each of the Boyz gave up his personal Vine in favor of twerking with his friends.

Almost overnight, they blew up the Vine.

In 24 hours, “Dem_White_Boyz” had “blown” from 505 followers to 32,000 and, in four and a half days, they topped 100,000 followers.

The Boyz really can’t explain their popularity. “It’s just unreal. It’s shocking. It’s unbelievable.”

“We’re just doing what we normally do, play music real loud and dance in our rooms,” Barnes said. “But, now, we record it.”

The Boyz admitted that they do choreograph some of their “twerks” – “as much choreographing as you can do in six seconds.”

“We’ll come up with a dance move that we like and that’s what we’ll do,” Grice said.

LaBrant said their moves are called goofy syncs.

“We’ll do crazy things, weird things ….we’re weird. Just having fun,” he said.

Most of the DWB’s Vines are dances but there’s a lot of comedy, too.

“We’ve done a total of 36 Vine videos and most of them are twerks but we’re going to start recording just one twerk a week because we don’t want our followers to get tired of them,” Barnes said.

Little reason to be concerned about that.

The Boyz sit and watch the number of their followers climb, not by tens or hundreds or even thousands. But by tens of thousands.

“We’ve gotten as many 50,000 thousand followers a day and one day we got 100,000,” LaBrant said. “I keep thinking, ‘What’s going on?’

Barnes admitted that he thinks about the Boyz sudden rise to fame “most of the day.”

“It’s hard to believe,” he said. “When we started vining, we hoped to get, maybe, a thousand followers. We never thought this.”

Grice said being a celebrity is “interesting.”

“I get recognized in Wal-Mart and at Wendy’s,” he said. “People will say, ‘You’re one of Dem White Boyz.”

No thought went into naming the group, the Boyz said, it kind of came to them and it fit and it stuck.

Dem White Boyz can hardly believe that they have hundreds of thousands of followers. They estimate that about 98 percent of them are girls. That’s reason for the Boyz to smile but they don’t just smile at the thought, they grin. Big ol’ possum grins.

Among the Boyz followers is R&B singer Brian McKnight, who is Barnes’ Godfather. McKnight invited the Boyz from Lower Alabama to come to L.A. for meet and greet opportunities, so they boarded a plane and spent the weekend in Los Angeles.

They were recognized on Muscle Beach and bombarded with girls – more than a hundred of them. They met famous Viner Cody Johns they said asked “Who are these boys from Troy that are blowing up Vine?”

DWB and Johns ended up shooting a video together.

The Boyz said they don’t know what the future holds for them.

However, they did meet some producers while in Los Angeles and something lucrative could come of that.

“But if it all ended right now, it’s been great,” Grice said.

Dem White Boyz do have a goal. First, they would like to be Vine Verified and get a badge by their name. Then, they would like to hit one million followers and, that’s a good possibility.

When the school bell tolls this month, for Grice, who will be a senior at Pike Liberal Arts School, and for Charles Henderson High School juniors, Barnes and LaBrant, the Boyz will return to the hallowed halls as celebrity Viners, and as they said, “Who would have ever thought it?”