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Credit a lifetime of doughnut appreciation for inspiring a new viral hit by Indianapolis rapper Tevin Studdard.
Growing up on the city’s west side, Studdard and his family picked up glazed yeast doughnuts at Long’s Bakery before or after church on Sundays. Studdard said six doughnuts from Long’s became a routine when he attended middle school at Crispus Attucks.
He revisits those adolescent days in a line of a song that celebrates Long’s reopening after being closed for five weeks during the coronavirus pandemic: “You know what I used to do before school with a half a dozen.”
The song, billed as “Long’s Bakery Music Video,” has racked up more than 300,000 online views since its May 1 release.
Studdard, known for creating theme songs for high school and collegiate sports teams, said the Long’s Bakery tune came together about as quickly as it takes to make doughnuts.
“I was just anticipating going there to eat,” the Cathedral High School and Indiana State University graduate said, recalling how he spent Thursday night before Long’s opened on Friday. “I started thinking about doughnuts.”
Studdard’s thoughts generated lines such as “Take a bite, change your life,” and this self-deprecating note on his physique: “I’m 200 and too much, looking for more yeast to chew up.”
Studdard and producer Tristian Simpson believed they had the ingredients for a song, and they arrived at recording studio CityDump Records with little time to spare.
“We were in the studio from 10:30 to 11 p.m.,” he said. “Someone else had a session at 11. It took 10 minutes just to set things up. I had five minutes to record the whole song. (Simpson) mixed and mastered it all in 15 minutes.”
The song’s video, shot by Zane West, became another exercise in immediacy.
Featuring images of Studdard with doughnuts in front of Crispus Attucks High School and Eskenazi Hospital, the video opens with Studdard’s pre-dawn visit to Long’s Bakery, 1453 N. Tremont St., on Friday.
The reopening attracted a crowd. Studdard said he waited in line for an hour to enter Long’s, and the shop promotes social distancing by allowing no more than four customers inside at a time.
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The song’s catchiest lyric — “You know how many times the yeast blessed my body? Probably have me back in Eskenazi” — is more than a punch line.
Studdard spent part of last Monday at Eskenazi because of heart palpitations he blamed on overexertion. Given a clean bill of health, he said he’s ready to collaborate with Long’s to spread the word about his music and the company’s doughnuts.
Next month, for instance, provides a logical opportunity mentioned in Studdard’s song: “National Doughnut Day so good, June 5th a real holiday in the hood.”
Studdard, a second cousin of 2003 “American Idol” champion Ruben Studdard, described the Long’s Bakery song as a “breath of fresh air” in a time when his work with schools is on hold.
One of Tevin’s last projects before the coronavirus outbreak was a theme song for the University of South Carolina’s women’s basketball team, a squad ranked No. 1 nationally that didn’t get the chance to play in an NCAA tournament.
Last fall, Studdard recorded customized songs to introduce IndyStar’s Super Teams in high school boys and girls basketball.
Until games resume, Studdard is happy to focus on Long’s signature treat.
“I just love the yeast doughnuts,” he said. “They’re amazing.”
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Contact IndyStar reporter David Lindquist at [email protected] or 317-444-6404. Follow him on Twitter: @317Lindquist.
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