Words by Carlton Wade
The idea came to 23-year-old Tampa native Marquis Lasing (better known as Quis) as he sat in his car at a stop sign. Put on some too-little, too-tight Superman boxers, no shirt or pants and slowly coast past the four-way intersection on roller skates, posturing in a leaned-back position with a silly smirk across his face.
He told his brother Deion Johnson (better known as Dedoe, 22) about the idea. Dedoe suggested that Quis step it up a notch by throwing on a pair of suspenders and slapping on some baby oil all over his long, slim torso. “I went inside, put them on and came back outside,” Quis thinks back, “and everybody just started laughing.”
Not only did they have the neighborhood in stitches but YouTube videos of the sidesplitting scene had the World Wide Web laughing to tears as well. With more than 100 million combined views of their off-the-wall videos, this two-man comedic collective known as DQ4E (Dedoe and Quis 4 Ever) has had their sketches retweeted by the likes of R&B superstar Chris Brown, Cedric the Entertainer and comedian Michael Blackson, well as Facebook shares from Kevin Hart and Nicki Minaj.
“We didn’t expect it to get that big but it went viral,” Quis admits.
“When it first happened, it was really unbelievable how these people really gravitate towards some funny skits,” says Dedoe. “Kids are running up to us. It’s people crying when they see us…it’s a blessing.”
Less than three years later, that blessing blossomed into a worldwide following. Aside from enough hysterical skits to have you giggling for days, this multi-talented tag team launched a productive musical career last year.
Their club-jumping debut single “Throw It On A Real One” featuring popular Tampa rapper Cristol proved that these stepbrothers are nothing to laugh at. And their recently released follow-up music video single “Cut the Check” is quickly catching fire online and in the clubs.
“My first passion is music. Before we took off on the internet with the funny videos, I was doing music. But we gained popularity from us being ourselves and being silly,” Dedoe admits. “We want people to take our music seriously because we make quality music.”
Along with the music and YouTube videos, Quis and Dedoe are starring in independent movie called Nutz. Written and directed by award-winning film producer Tony Stinyard, the film follows two brothers after being fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartment and forced to live with their mother. They are now looking for any scheme to get their mother out of a one-bedroom apartment.
They start their own perfume business, only to discover that the merchandise is toxic, causing strange skin irritations. The two brothers find themselves in a world of trouble as customers demand refunds. Now they’re running from everybody in the town.
“We do it all—act, music, write songs, music engineering, write scripts, direct music videos, draw,” says Quis. “We’re entertainers.”
They began tapping into their many talents during high school, when Quis first got his feet wet behind the camera in TV production classes. During his senior year, he produced and starred in the school’s daily morning show. “I started acting silly and doing stupid stuff,” he remembers, “And the people loved it.”
Widening his audience past the student body, he got his brother onboard. They had already been making music, so they posted silly videos on their Instagram pages to bring attention to their music. They would spoof popular cult classic movies such as Friday, Boyz N the Hood and Baby Boy. With each video the brothers posted, their followers increased.
“We saw people laughing and leaving comments so we started doing our own videos,” says Quis.
From there, the iconic “Superman Drawls” series was born. The first video at the intersection went viral quickly. On the second video, Quis is donned in his patented Superman briefs as he glides past his brother talking to a girl. Then together, they break out into a song and dance to Fabolous featuring Chris Brown’s hit single “Ready.” That video made them overnight sensations.
“That video went everywhere, all over in China and overseas,” says Quis.
Now with millions of followers worldwide with music, comedy and film, DQ4E is also working on an as-yet-untitled EP set for release later this year with lead single “Cut the Check” steadily gaining momentum.
“We can make you laugh, help you have fun and entertain with our dancing,” says Quis. “We’re talented brothers.”