Juvenile’s ‘Vax That Thang Up’ is a COVID-19 vaccine anthem


Now’s the time to vax that thang up.

That’s the message coming from rappers Juvenile, Mannie Fresh and Mia X, who have released an updated version of the 1998 party anthem “Back That Azz Up,” a.k.a. “Back That Thang Up,” that urges people to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The new “Vax That Thang Up” lyrics, in part: “[B]efore you find a date yeah, you gotta wait yeah / Gotta go vaccinate yeah, get it straight yeah” and “I know you can’t stand it / No holding hands, chick / But when we get the shot, wе gonna be romancing / Girl, you can be the queen / Aftеr quarantine.”

The chorus goes, “Girl, you looks good, won’t you vax that thang up / You’s a handsome young brother, won’t you vax that thang up / Date in real life you need to vax that thang up / Feeling freaky all night you need to vax that thang up.”

The only thing missing is Lil Wayne, who was featured on the original track. Added? An endorsement for the Black-focused dating app BLK, which sponsored the video and is mentioned in the first verse of the rewritten tune.

“TO EACH IS OWN! Do what’s best for YOU and YOUR LIFE no matter what’s being said or done!,” Juvenile said Wednesday on Instagram, shortly after the video dropped. “Me @manniefresh @themamamiax and @meet_blk takin over for the ’99 and the 2000! #VaxThatThangUp.”

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 now circulating locally, case and hospitalization rates are worsening for Los Angeles County’s Black residents, who are less likely than white, Asian and Latino residents to be vaccinated.

“With low vaccination rates, plus the Delta variant, this can move actually very quickly to devastate the Black communities, particularly in our urban centers — again,” Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at UC San Francisco told The Times this week. “When you see rising numbers of cases, you have to pay attention, because it means that those people are susceptible.”

Other Black entertainers have taken part in efforts to encourage vaccinations among the Black population, including “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson, who partnered with Advil to explain why he and 20 family members got the shots, and comic W. Kamau Bell, who made a video that’s part of the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation’s #BetweenUsAboutUs informational campaign.

“There’s good news out there. There’s a COVID-19 vaccine. Yay!” Bell says in the video. “But the bad news is, as Black folks, it’s hard to trust what’s going on. So what do we do? Well, we turn to people we can trust. Black folks. … I’m talking about Black scientists, Black doctors and Black nurses.”

Then the video goes through a Q&A with Black healthcare providers and researchers explaining the development, approval, safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

“Distrust of doctors and government, less access to vaccination centers, and online misinformation each play a role” in lower vaccination rates for Black people, BLK said on the video’s web page. “We hope this video is both entertaining and actionable.”

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