Silento’ is the stage name of Richard Lamar Hawk, an American singer and rapper. On January 22, 1998, I was born in Stone Mountain, Georgia. After his parents divorced, Silento, an only child, was raised by his mother and aunt.
Silento’ showed an early interest in music, and by the eighth grade, he was in a rap group that performed at birthday parties, school events, and on a few Atlanta-area TV shows. He also advertised himself on several social media platforms. The young artist’s perseverance, confidence, and creativity eventually led to great success.
Silento’, a seventeen-year-old, contacted Timothy Mingo, also known as Bolo Da Producer, to create “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” He also made contact with DanceOn (a dance entertainment brand), which partnered with TuneCore (a music distribution company), which contributed to the song’s viral social media success prior to its official release.
Capitol Records released “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” as a single on May 5, 2015, and as the video became a hit sensation, it helped the song peak at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for six non-consecutive weeks. Furthermore, the song was nominated for Song of the Summer at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, R&B/Hip-Hop Song at the Teen Choice Awards, and Soul Train Music Award for Best Dance Performance.
It was also nominated for a Billboard Music Award for Best Streaming Song (Video) (2016). Since its release, the song has been viewed over 500 million times on YouTube and has been featured in several television shows, including South Park, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Kimmy Sees a Sunset), and the $100,000 Pyramid game show.
In February 2021, the rapper got into a fight with his relative, 34-year-old Frederick Rooks. Silento’ was arrested after Rooks was killed. A grand jury returned indictments on four charges related to Frederick Rooks’ death in August 2021.