It’s never easy for brands to go viral, but the Minions may have just laid the new blueprint.
Minions: The Rise of Gru broke a record at the box office on July 4th, grossing a whopping $125 million over the holiday weekend. Much of this is thanks to Yeat, the vibrant rapper who invented a dazed Minions anthem.
The song does not appear in the film, but it is a film trailer soundtrack created by Cole Bennett and his multimedia company Lyrical Lemonade. Over surging synths, Yeat counts his money while calling his kids his minions and bragging about how much the brand paid him for the song.
True to Yeats’ mysterious nature, we never get a straight answer — first he says, “Did a song for the Minions/ How much are they paying me?” A million,” but on the second verse, he changed his tune to say, “Made this song for about $2 million, you know, I always win.”
As soon as the song was out, Gen Z TikTokers made sure it went viral. After struggling to get people back to the big screens in the wake of the pandemic, cinemas were soon overrun by suit-and-tie teenagers who flocked to mosh in the rows.
Though some theaters are upset about what they consider disruptive behavior, the franchise is unlikely to complain — according to Boxoffice Pro, 13- to 17-year-olds made up more than 30% of the film’s audience during its opening weekend.
Yeat is no stranger to viral success: His songs “Monëy so big,” “Sorry Bout That,” and “Gët Busy” have been unavoidable on TikTok (the latter is all because of a bell). But while Yeat has ignored interview requests, festivals, and just about anything many up-and-coming artists desire, the Minions were just too adorable to ignore.
“We turned down a lot of things—everything, actually,” Zack Bia, who signed Yeat to Field Trip Records, recently told Complex. “We’ve always chosen to do things our own way – passing on interview opportunities and producing our own magazine, or forgoing festivals and opting for our own smaller tour to create the experience we wanted .”
The idea of calling Yeat for the trailer came from Bennett, who has created infectious music videos for the likes of Juice Wrld and Lil Tecca. Illumination, the animation company responsible for the Minions franchise, tapped Bennett for the film’s trailer two years ago, and after the director originally intended to play it safe, he had a last-minute change of heart.
“We already had someone locked in and ready to go, but I was like, ‘Guys, I just feel like I want to make a pivot right now,'” Bennett told Complex. “I was like, ‘There’s this artist and a lot of his catalogs are about things that don’t go well with the ‘Minions’ aesthetic.'”
“‘He mentions drugs and money and all kinds of things,'” Bennett continued. “‘But I really think he’s perfect for it. He grew up listening to Minions, he has this sound that kind of complements Minions, and I can get him to do a PG song about Minions for this trailer.'”
Bennett recalls that the suits at Illumination were initially hesitant about the idea but eventually embraced it.
“Cole called me and said, ‘I’m doing these ‘Minions.’ Follower. What do you think of Yeat doing it?’ And I told him I thought it was awesome,” Bia said. “The idea of Yeat and the Minions Collaborating movies is just such left field, but at the same time it makes inexplicable sense. There’s the meme aspect and the fact that Yeat could do it in a way that would make it fun and viral.”
“I was like, ‘I have no idea what he’s going to rap about,'” Bennett told Complex. “I was so curious to see what he would say. But as soon as I heard “I’m counting money,” I thought, “Oh, that’s out of here. That’s crazy.’ And then when the first “Minions” reference came in, I was like, “Oh, that’s crazy,” especially when he said, “I just pulled up with all the minions in a tonka, we’re taking a picture.”
Yeat has still not said a word publicly about the song’s viral success. Only time will tell if the next blockbuster tries to copy its formula with Bennett.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-07-08/gentleminions-tiktok-trend-yeat-cole-bennett How Yeat and Cole Bennett made #Gentleminions trend go viral