Tag Team’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)” was every B-boy and B-girl’s jeep-ready anthem in the summer of 1993. The slammin’ slang caught fire nationwide after Chicago Bulls fans shouted it during the NBA playoffs.
Partners Cecil “DC” Glenn and Steve “Roll’n” Gibson—two “old fools from the old school that are so cool”—were Denver natives. They met while attending Manual High School during the early 1980s. The local hip-hop scene was in its infancy at the time, so they relocated to Atlanta.
Glenn claimed to have coined the phrase while spinning records at Atlanta’s Magic City club—“America’s number one adult entertainment complex,” he intoned.
“People had been saying ‘There it is’ forever. Everybody in Arsenio Hall’s television audience used to do the ‘Wooof’ chant. We put that together with the ‘There it is’ dance floor chant we were hearing at the club.”
Gibson recalled that “DC said, ‘Oh, man, we need to do a song called, ‘Whoomp, there it is.’ All I said was, ‘How do you spell it?’”
Chanted on street corners, in clubs and at concerts, the exuberant double-edged street phrase spawned not one but two hit singles, Tag Team’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)” and 95 South’s funkier “Whoot, There It Is.” Hall pitted the two groups in a competition on his Arsenio show. Viewers prefered “Whoot,” but record buyers judged “Whoomp!” the best—it lasted 45 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. A #2 pop hit and a No. 1 R&B hit, it became a pop culture phenomenon.
But Tag Team didn’t come close to matching that initial level of commercial success, and the duo is considered a one-hit wonder.