It’s never easy for brands to go viral, but Minions may have just set the new blueprint.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” broke a Fourth of July box office record, grossing $125 million over the holiday weekend. That’s largely thanks to Yeat, the buzzy rapper who cooked up a Minions-themed anthem.
The song does not appear in the film, but is the soundtrack to a trailer created by Cole Bennett and his multimedia company, Lyrical Lemonade. Over rippling synths, Yeat counts his money while calling his kids his Minions and bragging about the price the brand paid him for the song.
True to Yeat’s mysterious nature, we never get a straight answer – first he says, “I made a song for the Minions / How much do they pay me?” A million,” but on the second verse, he changed his tone to say, “I made this song for like 2 million dollars, you know I always win.
Almost as soon as the song was released, Gen Z TikTokers took it viral. After cinemas struggled to bring people back to the big screens in the wake of the pandemic, they were quickly overrun with teenagers in suits and ties flocking to mosh in the Lines.
Although some theaters were upset by what they consider disruptive behavior, the franchise probably isn’t complaining – 13-17 year olds made up more than 30% of the film’s audience on opening weekend , according Box office Pro.
Yeat is no stranger to viral success: his songs “Monëy so big”, “Sorry Bout That” and “Gët Busy” have been unmissable on TikTok (the latter being entirely due to a Bell). But though Yeat ignored interview requests, festivals, and pretty much anything many up-and-coming artists wanted, the Minions were just too kind to ignore.
“We turned down a lot of things, basically everything, actually,” said Zack Bia, who signed Yeat to Field Trip Records recently. Complex. “We always chose to do things our own way, passing interview opportunities and producing our own magazine, or passing festivals and opting for our own smaller tour to create the experience we wanted. “
The idea to call Yeat for the trailer came from Bennett, who has created infectious music videos for the likes of juice world and Lil Tecca. Illumination, the animation company responsible for the “Minions” franchise, tapped Bennett for the movie’s trailer two years ago, and after the director originally planned to play it safe, he changed his mind. notice at the last minute.
“We already had someone locked in and ready to go, but I was like, ‘Guys, I have this feeling right now that I want to pivot,'” Bennett told Complex. “I was like, ‘There’s this artist, and a lot of his catalog is about stuff that doesn’t sit well with the ‘Minions’ aesthetic.”
“‘He mentions drugs and money and all sorts of things,'” Bennett continued. “’But I really think he’s the perfect person for that. He grew up watching ‘Minions’, he’s got that sound that kind of complements ‘Minions’, and I can get him to do a PG song on ‘Minions’ for this trailer.'”
Bennett recalls that the Illumination costumes were initially unsure of the idea, but eventually came up with it.
“Cole called me and said, ‘I’m doing this’ Minions. trailer. What do you think of Yeat doing it? And I told him I thought that was genius,” Bia said. “The Idea of Yeat and the Minions film collaboration is so left field, but at the same time, it makes inexplicable sense. There’s the meme aspect and the fact that Yeat could tackle it in a way that would make it fun and go viral.
“I was like, ‘I have no idea what he’s going to rap about,'” Bennett told Complex. “I was so curious what he was going to say. But as soon as I heard ‘I’m counting the money’ I was like ‘Oh, that’s out of here’. It’s crazy .’ And then when the first “Minions” reference came, I was like, “Oh, that’s crazy”, especially when he said, “I just pulled up in a Tonka with all the Minions, we’re taking a Photo.” “
Yeat still hasn’t said a word publicly about the song’s viral success. Only time will tell if the next blockbuster will attempt to copy its formula with Bennett.