Atlanta teenager Jalaiah Harmon kicked off the TikTok viral “Renegade Challenge” earlier this year, when her original choreography took the social media app by storm. Since then, millions of people have taken part in the dance craze — but before the popular dance came the song itself.
Reazy Renegade is the producer behind the viral track. Over the past decade, he’s managed to make hits for rappers like Dave East, Young Jeezy and Kanye West. “I was able to step to the forefront because the dance was named after me,” Reazy Renegade said.
Atlanta Black Star caught up with him to talk about the “Renegade Challenge” and how he hopes more creators receive much-deserved credit for their work. ”I feel like it gave a new light on how producers can approach music right now, and I want to be the leader of that,” the producer said.
Thanks to the TikTok dance, the “Renegade Challenge” song has now been featured in 2.5 billion TikTok videos, he said. “It’s shattered any type of, I guess, chart level that they consider, it’s surpassed anything they’ve ever seen on there.”
For those who aren’t familiar, the song isn’t actually called “Renegade,” even though it starts off with the producer’s signature tag. “It’s been in practically every song, so if you look up songs like ‘Get Paid’ by Young Dolph, or ‘Phone Jumpin’ by Dave East, and even ‘I Ride’ with DJ Khaled and Future, the tag’s been in there for years; I guess people are just starting to notice it,” said Reazy Renegade.
The track is called “Lottery” by Atlanta rapper K Camp. Reazy Renegade produced the song for K Camp’s third album, “Wayy 2 Kritical,” which dropped in 2019.
“Going through beats, he heard that one and he was like, ‘go back, that’s it, that’s the beat right there,’ ” Reazy Renegade said about how the song came to life. “We started recording the song, went in the studio the next day, into Alicia Keys’ studio, Jungle City Studios, finished the song, mixed it, mastered and it went out a week later.”
“Lottery” became wildly popular at the start of 2020 when 14-year-old Harmon invented the ”Renegade” dance, which she reportedly debuted on the app Dubsmash in late 2019.
But, like the song’s creator, Harmon didn’t immediately get recognition.
TikTok user Charli D’Amelio posted her version of the dance and initially got credit for it. However, Harmon soon began getting recognized for her creativity and even appeared in a TikTok video with K Camp.
“She is still getting what she deserves,” Reazy Renegade said. “I feel like that’s what happens when all the different realms of the entertainment industry meet — dance, music, even acting; it all correlates.”
The producer said as the song’s creator, he also wants people to put a face to the name Renegade. “We all danced to the Renegade Challenge, and it was great, but who is Renegade? Where does that come from?” Reazy Renegade told Atlanta Black Star. “I want people to understand that.”
In November, the producer posted a TikTok video in which he asks why influencers who have only danced to his song have more TikTok followers than the person who created it.
“I don’t really feel like it’s the average person’s fault to not know, I feel like the platform should make it more known, like, ‘this is this and that.’ and that comes in time, but it won’t come if people like me don’t start saying things and making it known,” Reazy Renegade said.
He adds that having the song go viral from TikTok opened up new opportunities, including having “Lottery” featured in advertisements and a popular video game.
“We did Fortnite and Taco Bell, and there’s a lot of things that came from the dance and the song that we got on top of whatever the monetization of the song was,” Reazy Renegade said. “We got paid pretty well for it.”
The producer added that he’s starting to step from behind the scenes and into the role of an artist.
“I got a deal as an artist with Charlie Walk, and that stemmed from it, of me being able to drop my own music worldwide for everybody to hear and not just be producing for people,” he said. “Now I’m the artist, so that’s really what I wanted.” Reazy Renegade shared that he has new music on the way as he prepares to drop his first solo single in December