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The group behind the 'It's Corn' viral song has been doing this for over 10 years

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right. Let's talk for a second about the video of the corn kid. You know, it's the one where young Tariq is being interviewed by the web series Recess Therapy about a favorite food.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TARIQ: For me, I really like corn.

CHANG: Maybe you're more familiar with the song version?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S CORN")

TARIQ AND UNIDENTIFIED MUSICAL ARTISTS: (Singing) It's corn. A big lump with knobs. It has the juice.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Just how popular is this song right now? Well, the official TikTok account of TikTok itself changed its bio to it's corn.

CHANG: Perhaps this reminds you of the man who in 2010 encountered a majestic sight.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PAUL VASQUEZ: Double rainbow all the way across the sky (crying).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DOUBLE RAINBOW SONG")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Singing) Double rainbow all the way across the sky.

CHANG: Or the local news interview with Antoine Dodson, who addressed the man who invaded his house.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANTOINE DODSON: We're looking for you. We gon (ph) find you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BED INTRUDER SONG")

DODSON: (Singing) We gon find you so you can run and tell that, run and tell that, run and tell that.

SHAPIRO: All these songs came from the same group. As a band and as a family, they are known as the Gregory Brothers.

MICHAEL GREGORY: We make songs out of stuff that wasn't a song before.

SHAPIRO: Michael and Andrew Gregory spoke with our producers today. On their YouTube channel, you'll find they've made a lot of songs from non-songs over many years.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CAN'T HUG EVERY CAT")

CARA HARTMANN: (Singing) I love cats. I love every kind of cat. I just wanna hug all of them, but I can't.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OH MY DAYUM!")

DAYM DROPS: (Singing) Oh, my goodness. Oh, my damn. Oh, my goodness. They goin' ham.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHRISSY, WAKE UP")

JOSEPH QUINN: (As Eddie Munson, singing) Chrissy, wake up. I don't like this. Chrissy, wake up.

SHAPIRO: That last one took off just earlier this year. It's based on dialogue from the Netflix hit "Stranger Things."

ANDREW GREGORY: I think our videos are really about finding amazing moments on the internet and celebrating them and amplifying them. They're about highlighting, like, other people's interviews' original words. And I think that has - is what has given our videos staying power.

CHANG: That staying power is something all musicians seek. So what has made the Gregory Brothers so good at this for so long?

TATIANA CIRISANO: They have very good timing, and they're very, very good at writing songs.

CHANG: Music industry analyst Tatiana Cirisano says they're not just improving their craft or extremely online. When they started, videos went viral because links were sent around or embedded.

CIRISANO: But now on TikTok, people are making their own videos using that song clip. So of course, it's going to spread farther and wider and kind of have more of a cultural impact because people are engaging with it in their own way.

M GREGORY: TikTok just seems to supercharge it with the culture of working together and remixing.

SHAPIRO: For all their songs, the Gregory Brothers split their royalties with the creators of the original videos to honor the people behind the viral moments. So in this case, little Tariq gets a share of proceeds, too. Still, they know some people find their music a bit too corny.

A GREGORY: I just feel bad for them.

M GREGORY: (Laughter).

A GREGORY: This is one of the purest, most wholesome, beautiful moments in the history of the internet. And you guys could just be having a good time with us.

M GREGORY: Just be earnest for a minute. Eat some corn, enjoy it.

SHAPIRO: After all, it's just a big lump with knobs. It has the juice. It's corn.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S CORN")

TARIQ AND UNIDENTIFIED MUSICAL ARTISTS: (Singing) It's corn. I can tell you all about it. I mean, look at this thing. When I tried it with butter, everything changed. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.