Rattlers are famous — some might say infamous — for going viral on social media. Errol “E.J.” Hines was no exception.
The first-generation Florida A&M student rapped toe-to-toe with his favorite rapper, DaBaby, at Tallahassee’s hip-hop festival, Fame Fest, on Oct. 4.
The viral video has been reposted by Genius, Worldstarhiphop, and even DaBaby. Prior to the video going viral, Hines had just a little more than 800 followers on Instagram. Now, less than two weeks later, he now has nearly 5,000.
As Hines recalled the moment, he had a hard time describing it. He was still in shock.
“It’s crazy … it’s hard to put into words,” the sophomore business administration student said. “This really happened.”
DaBaby noticed Hines rapping along in the front-row, when his friend decided to record him with the flash on. The 27-year-old rapper hopped off the stage, walked over to Hines, and dared him to keep up. The two rapped along to DaBaby’s “Off the Rip,” and HInes didn’t miss a beat.
“It was unreal,” Hines said.
Hines ultimately went to see DaBaby perform, so to share that moment was unforgettable. He said he doesn’t put DaBaby second to any other rapper. He is his favorite.
This wasn’t Hines’ first encounter with the rapper, however. At a performance in May, the two shared a similar moment, only much shorter. But, now DaBaby is sure to recognize Hines’ face.
Vashaun Williams, the man behind the camera and one of Hines’ best friends, recalled his actions in that moment.
“In that moment, I knew E.J. had been practicing the lyrics to that song since that day … I wanted to get the attention on him, as much as I could so that DaBaby could notice him,” Williams said. “So, I turned on my flash and started recording with the light on him to make him stand out.”
He said it meant a lot for him to witness HInes in his element with his favorite rapper. The sophomore biology/pre-med student described the attention the video is getting online as a wonderful experience for his friend.
“TJ” Ridgel, also a sophomore business administration student, had similar thoughts about his friend’s big moment.
“To witness E.J. in that moment was crazy,” Ridgel said. “Leading up to that moment that’s all we talked about … we spoke it into existence.”
The group of friends arrived at the venue a little after 8 p.m., only for DaBaby to take the stage at 1:30 a.m. But, let them tell it … it was well worth the wait. Hines wants to see DaBaby perform again, and hopefully hold a conversation with him this time.
Follow the overnight sensation on Instagram @Massah.hines to bear witness to his next encounter with the star.