Nine Things We Learned Talking With The Beast Of The Yeast

Tevin Studdard filming his musical tribute to Long’s Bakery outside of Eskenazi Hospital

Screenshot of music video

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, local emcee Tevin Studdard knew there was one thing he could rap about that would bring a smile to all of Indianapolis. That one thing was much-beloved Indy business Long’s Bakery.

Since its release on Friday, May 1, Studdard’s Long’s Bakery music video has turned into a full-on viral sensation. The song even received high praise from legendary Colts player Robert Mathis on Twitter. With all the excitement surrounding Studdard, here are nine things we learned during a recent conversation with the Indianapolis musician.

Watching his famous cousin, Ruben Studdard, helped get him interested in music.
“Not too many people have a cousin who won American Idol. Seeing him win it made it seem real. Everyone has dreams, but they often seem so far-fetched. This is someone I’m related to. If they can do it, why can’t you? He’s truly my inspiration. He’s also encouraging and actually commented on the song, saying, You killin’ it up there cuzzo.”

Tevin with his cousin Ruben Studdard of American Idol fame.

He was thrown out of his fourth-grade class for celebrating his cousin’s American Idol win.
“I loved my teacher, but she told the whole class he was going to lose. I obviously remember not feeling that way. Once he won, I acted up in school the next day and got kicked out of class. My parents weren’t mad about that though.”

Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings also gave him a boost.
“I had shouted out Tamika Catchings in one of my songs, thinking maybe she’d hear it. She responded and said she loved it. I thought, If you love it that much, I could do a song for the Indiana Fever. So that was my plan. Here I was, a high school student sending a message to a professional athlete, not thinking they’d respond. But she heard the song and got the Fever to agree to let me perform it.”

Before writing the Long’s song, he had just been released from the hospital.
“Really, I was just kind of bored. I was off work because I was in the hospital. Last week, I was at Eskanazi, just from overworking. But it happened to be a blessing because through that downtime and boredom we created this.”

His hospital stay inspired his favorite line in the song, You know how many times the yeast blessed my body, prolly have me back at Eskenazi.
“Just because I was literally there on Monday. It was an extremely real line.”

The whole song was recorded and edited in 15 minutes.
“I had all these lines already from different songs, so I was just put them together on that Thursday night when we went to record it. I messaged my producer to see if we could get into the studio. We had a 30 minute window to work; took us 10 minutes to set up, I recorded my verses in 5 minutes, he mixed for 15 minutes, and that was our time.

The video was also produced on the fly.
“I called my buddy Zane who is the videographer, asking, ‘Can you meet me at Long’s in the morning?’ He didn’t even know what we were doing. We waited in line for an hour. We started filming at 6:30, and we were done filming by about 7:30. We went to his house and edited for an hour. From there, it grew into a life of its own. We recorded the song on Thursday night and released the video on Friday morning. It was just a grind.”

He really does love Long’s that much.
“Long’s is kind of like sports—it’s something that brings people together. Right now, there are a lot of sad people out there, just because they’re going through real-life struggles, so I wanted to be a breath of fresh air. As a young kid, my go-to’s were always the yeast donuts and the tea cookies. The taste is out of this world. I’m a lifelong consumer; I could be their mascot.”

Would he consider giving the Long’s treatment to other local businesses?
“Definitely. They cut the check, and we’ll handle the rest. [laughs]”