A lie can travel halfway around the world before a nun can even put her habit on, and regrettably, such is the case with the video of nuns getting hyphy to E-40’s “Tell Me When To Go.”
It seems too good to be true; a video posted to Twitter early yesterday afternoon, supposedly shot in Berkeley, shows hundreds of nuns dancing to E-40. That video has acquired more than 227,000 views on Twitter, and then E-40 himself shared it today on his blue-checked Instagram (grabbing another 116,000 views), as well as his official Facebook page (where the video is closing in on 223,000 views), both times with the message “The Bay Area is undefeated.”
But the Bay Area has been defeated, this time by a hoax. The nuns are not dancing to E-40, the video was not shot in Berkeley, and there is not even a live band onstage. This is the latest incarnation of an internet video hoax that’s been has been going around for about a year, and has had different artists’ music slapped onto (real) footage of nuns dancing.
Here’s the original video, shot in September 2018 by photographer Aleksander Bochenek in Kraków, Poland. Yes, they are nuns, but they are dancing to a recorded version of the song "Góry do góry" by the Polish children’s religious choir Male TGD. Clearly no one on stage is performing, singing, rapping, or playing an instrument. The video was first hoaxed up a week later on a Czech-language Facebook page Ministerstvo shitpostingu, replacing the audio with the death metal-techno band Phuture Doom’s track “Doom Terror Corps,” and speeding up the video so the nuns are jumping on beat.
But the nuns did indeed jump, that part is real! “I was out cycling in Kraków,” the original videographer Bochenek told France24 after the first hoax went viral. “I was next to Market Square in the city center when I heard the music. I decided to have a look. I saw dancing nuns. I’d never seen nuns dancing like that before. It was rather unusual.
“I posted it on Facebook originally, then on YouTube. I first saw the other version a couple of days later. My first thought was 'oh no, someone took my video without asking.' But it was well done. It’s funny. They did a good job. I’m not sure I’ll go as far as to invoice them. That’s common practice when you’re a photographer and someone uses a photo without permission. Video is not my thing - it’s something I just did for personal reasons.”
E-40 does have a new album out, and is about to embark on a west coast tour. So maybe he thought he’d hype up his hyphy factor with a fun prank, or maybe he really thinks he did perform for a crowd of nuns once. But when people tell you to check out the video of nuns E-40’s “Tell Me When To Go,” tell them this hoax is dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.
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Screenshot: Aleksander Bochenek via YouTube