For those of us who are well into the double-digit days of our coronavirus quarantine, being bored has become the new normal. By now, we've already binged Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness; meticulously cleaned, organized, re-organized, and labeled junk drawers and linen closets; and in some very specific cases, gotten stoned and handcrafted birthday cards for our cats.
Highly Caffeinated Detroit hip-hop artist Curtis Roach has been bored — specifically, bored in the house — since March 6, well before COVID-19 pandemic panic took hold here in Michigan, barring us from returning to our normal FOMO-fueled life for at least three weeks.
Known for his catchy improvisational beats — as well as structured and chill hip-hop like his latest EP Luv Bug — Roach thought nothing of his 20-second song, “Bored in the House,” in which he drums a beat by pounding one hand on a table and snapping his fingers while ad libbing about boredom. He promptly uploaded the video to TikTok, which is when things started to get a little less boring, as the track blew up.
“I did not see that coming at all. I was really bored in the house,” Roach tells Metro Times. “And I was by myself bored and I didn't have any idea what I was gonna do with myself for that day, 'cause it's like, you know, when you have a free schedule you really just kind of lose your mind a little bit. And when I have that free time, I make TikToks. I knew the virus was happening. Like there was a lot of talk about it, but I didn't think that we were going to be in lockdown in quarantine like this. I guess it aligned so perfectly, in a way.”
The song began to take off, but just as COVID-19 also, um, took off, Roach released another timely track and direct PSA, “The Rona (Wash Yo Fuckin' Hands),” which finds Roach channeling Tony! Toni! Toné! and a hype Clorox commercial. He says he made the minute-long track in 30 minutes.
Yet “Bored in the House” continued to gain momentum.
“The next day it started getting buzz. But then that next week, when they started doing the quarantine lockdown, is when I started to see everybody was using the song,” Roach says. “It's just wild.”
On Tuesday, Roach posted on Instagram that “Bored in the House” had reached 10 million views and had been used in TikTok videos by A-listers, influencers, and the TikTok elite. Among those who were feeling Roach's bored AF vibes? Tyga, Keke Palmer, Liza Koshy, Ondreaz Lopez, and one of Roach's major sonic inspirations, Chance the Rapper. Oh, and Charli D'Amelio, the most followed TikTok user, also got in on the fun. D'Amelio has 41.1 million followers, and her “Bored in the House” clip has racked up 35.5 million views.
Roach's original post is now up to 17.5 million views. Though he's grateful for all of the attention, he says his dream is to have actor Will Smith post a “Bored in the House” video because, as Roach says, “he's everybody's favorite person.”
When you post a TikTok, Roach says you hope for the best. But he never expected it to get this big. He admits he's had to step away from his phone every so often so he doesn't get overwhelmed with the comments, shares, new followers, and views. “It's a lot,” he says.
I had to stop for a day ... when the video started to blow up. I was like, I just have to breathe for a second because like it got so overwhelming that I was like, do I keep on following up with 'Bored in the House?' I want it to be organic,” he says. “I don't want to lose myself in it.”
Right now, Roach is focusing on a bigger project that he says is “going to be very relevant to this situation,” but is making sure to stay true to himself, his music, and the process. He says his friends and family have encouraged him to keep doing what makes him happy.
In an effort to introduce “Bored in the House” lovers to Roach's non-TikTok work, he's provided a Linktree link on his socials, which collapses all of his accounts onto one page. Other than that, though, Roach is doing his best to practice self-care and twist mundane moments into opportunity. Oh, and he's got some advice for those weathering quarantine, too.
“Stay positive, use the time to listen to your favorite music, dance in your kitchen as much as possible, write about how you're feeling, meditate more, drink as much water as you can and, um, what's another thing I could say that's positive?” he says. “Oh yeah. You could follow me on TikTok.”
On Saturday, Roach dropped a full version of "Bored in the House" in collaboration with rapper Tyga. You can watch it below.
Updated 1:25 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 with the full version of the song.
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