The Morehouse College football player whose extra credit rap video for his biology class went viral, says the whole idea started on a whim as he was sitting in bed one night after a game.
Julien Turner, a linebacker for the Maroon Tigers, said he was listening to a Lil Uzi song when he got an idea.
“[I] was listening to ‘XO Tour Llif3’ and I remembered [the professor] had assigned an extra credit assignment where I could make a music video out of anything, and ‘all my cells are dead’ just kept repeating in my head,” Turner, 19, a marketing major, said on Good Morning America today.
“I scrambled to check my notes to make sure it had something to do with biology and I started writing lyrics that were parallel to the song so I could remember it better. I called up a few teammates and we made the video, and it just blew up from there.”
Turner soon found himself spitting such revised lyrics as: “The DNA starts to unwind. The RNA reads the other side. Meiosis is the key to making life. Mitosis copies cells about to die. If my genes go left unread, all my cells are dead.”
Turner’s professor, Dr. Dwann Davenport, said he succeeded in earning the extra credit with his video.
“I actually heard about it before I even checked my email to see that he’d turned it in,” Davenport said. “I see the text message with the link and I clicked on it and I was like, ‘Oh this is catchy. This is nice.’ I saw all the likes and all the retweets and I was like, ‘Wait, this is my student. Wait a minute, this is Julien. Oh my goodness.’ I was so excited, but I didn’t expect anything like this.”
“He’s an athlete, he’s on the football team. He’s amazing,” she added.
Turner said he and his younger brother also started their own production company, Dreadhead Films, several years ago, and that “it’s crazy” this video went viral because “it’s the worst film” he has ever made. He said his brother is usually the cinematographer and editor, but he didn’t work on this one.
Music runs in Turner’s family. His father, Kevin Turner, is a jazz guitarist and music professor at Ohio State.