'Nu Thang': How an Uber Awkward Jesus Rap from the '90s Reached 500k Views and Found its Star in a Week

'Nu Thang': How an Uber Awkward Jesus Rap from the '90s Reached 500k Views and Found its Star in a Week

You may have seen it: a Christian video from a '90s has a kid in a purple "Jesus is Lord" shirt covering DC Talk's "Nu Thang" in MC Hammer acid wash pants and hi tops. Since it was uploaded on YouTube on a week ago, it's been viewed more than 500,000 times.

What's even more amazing is a few days after it was posted, YouTube user lawforthemasses started leaving comments on the video.

"Well, I've been dreading this day for 19 years, but it's finally come back to bite me. This is Michael Clancy from this video and although it makes me laugh and also cry to watch myself (and my awesome Hammer Pants and Wal-Mart pump shoes) I have to take it in good stride. What am I doing today? 1) I am an attorney; 2) I did stay a Christian (although I try not to rap about it anymore); and 3) I still like DC Talk. Please go easy on me or else I'll get picked up by Daniel Tosh!"

His message for all the haters? "Wow, it's funny to see how many people are hating on me for being an eager 10 year old rapping to one of my favorite bands at the time, DC Talk. As a 29 year old, I can help but laugh my butt off and what's funny is I still know every word to this song. Keep the comments flowing."

Yesterday, Hypervocal published a Q&A with Michael Clancy, now a 29-year-old lawyer from Phoenix, Ariz. Clancy was 10 when the video was shot in 1992. The self-proclaimed "good attorney" is pretty much enjoying the attention for now (you can friend him on Twitter and YouTube). Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • I was notified by my friend Jordan via Facebook that he saw a video that he thought was me. This was when the video only had 74,000 views. After I had a minor freak out, I contacted the user who posted it, "conradcliff" and told him who I was. I didn't know him. We exchanged emails and he told me his uncle, who is an executive with CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) had sent him the video thinking it was him as a boy. When he saw it, he "just knew it would go viral." He was right.

  • The show was called "Lift Jesus Higher" and it had run for several years prior to 1992, when my video was produced. It was international and I actually got a fan letter from Uganda -- I'm sure it had top ratings there. The show was founded by Dr. Cheryl Edminson, the lady in the denim dress, who was known as "Auntie Cheryl" on the show. Dr. Edminson attended my childhood church and recruited some younger kids as cast members. She asked mothers around church whether their children had any "special" talents.

  • I chose to rap my favorite song at the time, "Nu Thang" because I was obsessed with it and because I thought it had a good message. The segment was filmed in October 1992 in South Bend, IN at LeSEA studios. When I arrived, the producer told me that I couldn't use the original music to the song as it would violate copyright laws if I did. Further, I could not say the name "DC Talk" in the song as it appeared twice, so instead I said, "Michael Clancy." The result of that predicament is the video we have today.


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