Whooping It Up in the 90s


Arsenio Hall ShowBy Alli Denning

October 25, 2012

While not quite as ubiquitous as flannel, Birkenstocks, and boy bands, the whoop had its own day in the early 90s sun just the same. Responsibility for this trend lays squarely at the feet of Arsenio Hall. He whooped us into the 90s with The Arsenio Hall Show (89 – 94), starting each show with a fist-pumping-whoop-fest.


We loved to whoop so much that it didn’t matter that two songs with virtually the same title, released within a month of each other both managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1993, we had both "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team (hitting #2 in the charts) and "Whoot There It is" by 95 South (topping out at #11). While the spelling differs a little, I think we can all agree that a whoop is a whoomp is a whoot. Don’t be confused by their obvious similarities, these are two very different songs. For Tag Team, it’s a straight up party anthem, with only secondary undertones of sex. In the case of 95 South, their contribution to the genre sought only to answer the burning question, "Where that bootie at?" Can y’all dig it?


Rounding out (get what I did there – it’s about booties) the early 90s whoop extravaganza is the 1994 hit "Tootsee Roll" by 69 Boyz, which topped out at #8 on the charts in January of 1995. In their words, "I feel a whoop coming on . . ." This song merges the two themes (partying and booties) set forth by Tag Team and 95 South the year before. It offers an infectious party song with a lyrical how-to do the eponymous tootsee roll dance, which is all about the bootie.

Is the woot woot craze of the aughts the natural evolution of all the whooping it up that went down in the 90s? The Urban Dictionary defines "woot woot" as ‘an expression one may utter in complete approval or joy.’ Well, if that’s not a big whoop, I don’t know what is.


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