When last heard from, local rap trio Troop 41 was earning a gold record for "Do The John Wall," a hit video about the Raleigh-born hoops star that has amassed more than 12 million YouTube views since going viral in the summer of 2010. They're in another video that might be edging toward virality, local rapper Bobby James' "Hometown." Since hitting Youtube last weekend, "Hometown" has picked up more than 112,000 views.
"I have no clue how it's gotten so many," says James. "It did get posted on some blogs around here, and we've been promoting it on Twitter and Facebook. I guess the word just spread."
Dre Cannonz shot the video and also produced the track, which appears on James' new mixtape "Darkskin and BadHair" and features a sample from Adele's "Hometown Glory." James and Troop 41's members have known each other since being in classes together at Enloe High School, and the "Hometown" video features local landmarks including Dorton Arena, Shaw University, Raleigh Convention Center's "Shimmer Wall" and various downtown streets.
"I pretty much just thought about locations you drive by every day that people know, and think, 'This is Raleigh, where I'm at,'" says Cannonz. "Shots of colleges, game footage, people having a good time."
The tone is affectionate, but the song's lyrical references to "North Crack" and "dope dealers on the boulevard" will probably dampen the enthusiasm of chamber of commerce types.
"We're trying to keep it positive," Cannonz says with a laugh.