Vax That Thang Up: Juveniles hit song gets 2021 transformation

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Is this the unofficial summer anthem of 2021?

The iconic early aughts single “Back That Azz Up” by Juvenile has been re-released with a pandemic twist as part of a campaign to boost vaccination rates.

On Wednesday, the 46-year-old rapper, whose real name is Terius Gray, dropped an official video for “Vax That Thang Up,” featuring Mannie Fresh and Mia X.

The lyrics were rewritten to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. “Girl you look good once you vax that thang up / You a handsome young brother once you vax that thang up / Dating in real life, you need to vax that thang up.”

“I just wanted to do something positive for my people and to stand in the front to show that I’m willing to sacrifice my life not just for me but also for my family,” Juvenile said in a press release. “We don’t know what we’re facing right now but we really do all need to be vaccinated so we can continue to do our thing and survive.”

Mannie Fresh, who also produced the original song, said, “Do not let your guard down. Get vaccinated. I did this project because I wanted to educate my people and I wanted us to live.”

The parody of the classic song was part of a collaboration with BLK, the largest dating app made for black singles. The BLK team is working to encourage their customer base to get vaccinated and the app also launched its Vaxified badge allowing users to inform potential matches that they’re vaccinated.

“We have a direct line to the audience that needs to internalize this message,” Jonathan Kirkland, BLK head of brand and marketing, said in a statement. “The song may be playful and fun, but the underlying message is as real as it gets.”

This comes after the Biden administration didn’t reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by Independence Day. However, the country wasn’t too far behind the marker, with 67% of adult Americans being at least partly vaccinated on the Fourth of July.

But even as the country nears herd immunity among adults, the percentage of Americans getting vaccinated lowers along with age range and different demographics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults aged 18 to 29 made up the lowest group of people vaccinated from Dec. 22 to May 22.

When looking at vaccination rates among the different demographics in the country, black Americans are getting vaccinated at much slower rates than white Americans. As of June 28, 60% of the vaccinated population identify as white, compared to the 9% who identify as black.

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