Wisconsin artist goes viral merging Dr. Seuss with Dr. Dre
It was before a show one night when Wes Tank, a Milwaukee based artist, tried rapping a Dr. Seuss book over beats by Dr. Dre. That musical mash up would eventually turn viral.
“It was just kind of a coincidence, it happened before a show I was playing. I found a copy of ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,’ and I happened to have a Dr. Dre beat on my phone,” he said. “During the show I just impromptu decided to put them together. It was just kind of a spontaneous moment, and the crowd went crazy.”
After some work went on pause due to the pandemic, Tank said he figured now was the opportunity to pursue what he calls his passion project.
“I needed something to do, and I had been meaning to do some of these Dr. Seuss books rapping them with Dr. Dre beats, and I decided what better time to do this than right now,” he said.
Filming in his dining room with a wall of books as his backdrop in his Milwaukee home, Tank said he began recording the songs. At the end of March, he uploaded a video of himself rapping ‘Fox in Socks’ to his YouTube channel while displaying the pages of the book. The video went viral, and a month later, has about 1.6 million views, and over one thousand comments.
“I had no expectations of that, absolutely not. I was shocked to find out we were on the front page of Reddit and then trending on YouTube,” he said. “After that happened it just sort of spiraled. The views were tripling and quadrupling, and before you know it, we were above a million.”
Since then, Tank has been creating and posting more of these videos combining Dr. Seuss’ and Dr. Dre’s works. Other videos include ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ and ‘The Lorax,’ among others, and he said he plans on creating more.
“The reason I didn’t just record them into my computer without filming it is I thought that I could reach out to people and teachers could use this better as a teaching tool if it had video on it and you could see the books, see the words, follow along,” he said.
Tank said he has been making videos and music for about 20 years now, and recalls the influence of listening to rap music while he was growing up in Dodgeville.
“There was just something very palpable and exciting about rap music to a small town Wisconsin boy like myself,” he said.
Now, the videos he’s making are impacting other children, and adults, alike.
“It’s helping me stay positive, and from the comments that I get reflected and the videos that people send me of their kids dancing, parents and kids dancing together, or cuddling on the couch, it just warms my heart,” he said. “I never expected all of this, it’s really beautiful to see.”
To check out Tank’s YouTube channel,