TikTok Treats, Week of September 20th
This Week on TikTok, Lil Nas X Births a Brand New Album. Tay Money Understands The Assignment, and Halloween Comes Early for M.I.A. Lovers
Each week, the TikTok Treats newsletter gives a snapshot of the state of music on TikTok, touching on trending hits, emerging artists, superstar moves, ascendant memes, and much more. This week on TikTok, the community was abuzz with excitement about the release of Lil Nas X’s new MONTERO album, but the platform also helped boost the fortunes of rising rappers, decade-old bangers, and more. Take a look at the most intriguing TikTok trends of the week:
- Two years after “Old Town Road” became a historic smash, Lil Nas X is one of music’s most iconic stars, and he hasn’t forgotten the role TikTok and its community played in his ascent. The 21-year-old artist has been using TikTok to help drum up anticipation for his debut album MONTERO, released last week, among his 23.9 million followers and beyond. He posts so often on his page that it’s hard to keep track, whether he’s dancing to his new single “That’s What I Want” (which he first revealed in a snippet in early September), posting updates about his unlikely “pregnancy,” asking fans to rank the songs on the album (over 2000 fans already have), taking fully-clothed baths, or reposting his favorite user-generated memes. TikTok has supported Lil Nas every step of the way, programming his singles into playlists on the app’s music hub, supporting LNX with promotion on the Discover page, and creating a multi-story billboard in Los Angeles prominently featuring the rising megastar and promoting the new album.
- Anyone spending time on TikTok is likely to have heard the community’s new favorite phrase: “I understood the assignment.” The phrase has been popularized on the app by Dallas rapper Tay Money, and the chorus of her new viral track “The Assignment” (474.1K+ creations). Her second big hit on the platform after trending last year with her song “BUSSIN” (1.3M+ creations), the song sparked a new, comedic trend on the app where creators declare themselves the perfect example of a concept or situation. Creators on the app have been using the song to confess to being the “bad example” in the family, admit to being the resident single friend, and demonstrate the best way to make it through a flooded parking lot in a storm. Tay Money herself has been adding fuel to the fire on her own page, posting a host of videos actively interacting with fans’ interpretations of the song.
- Previously making a buzz on TikTok in 2020 with his songs “LEAD THE RACE (Undefeated)” (474k video creations) and “Jumpman 4s” (87k video creations), East St. Louis rapper Comethazine scored yet another viral hit with his tough-talking banger, “Spinback.” A fanpage shared a snippet of the song’s visual in late August, building up anticipation for the official release last Wednesday. His sinister cadence has quickly become a favorite among TikTok users, helping his new single generate 262.9K+ user-generated video creations on the platform to date. Comethazine’s emphatic “Please come back, please spin back” line resonates with creators who want their enemies to pay them a visit, rejected potential suitors to be with their former partners, and those who are looking for a second chance with their exes. The trending track has users on TikTok competing to see who can best imitate Comethazine’s demonic smile.
- It’s not October yet, but spooky season is almost upon us. In recent days, Halloween-crazed TikTok creators have been using MIA’s 2012 hit “Bad Girls” to show off their impressive knack for creative costumes and frighteningly intricate makeup looks. Garnering over 531K creations between the official and user-generated sounds, “Bad Girls” is the perfect entrance music for the nightmarish costumes of TikTok, from permanently haunting ghosts, to anime ninjas, to characters from the famous children’s novel James and the Giant Peach. The “hands up, hands high” lyric transition is also seeing more lighthearted, glamorous creations, including makeup looks from creators like the beloved actress and former Sister, Sister star Tia Mowry.
- Las Vegas-born, DMV-raised rapper KA$HDAMI has the makings of a rising rap star, and he’s quickly gaining traction on TikTok with his taffy-like melodies and quotable lyrics. The 16-year-old artist first caught attention on the app with his song “Reparations” (250k creations), a low-key electric piano-driven vibe that lends an air of dreaminess to any video it soundtracks. A quick student of the game (not to mention an actual student who attends high school when not headlining concerts), KA$HDAMI activated his sizable TikTok fanbase (over 120 million views on the #kashdami tag) to promote “PUBLIC,” his latest single. Originally posted as a snippet in early August, and used by the young rapper in many videos on his own page, the unreleased audio and its unexpected bouts of distortion racked up over 12.8k video creations. Officially released last week, the song is already trending on TikTok, with over 37k video creations in just six days by users to soundtrack sneaker customization, Madden NFL experiments, and fully-clothed swims.
- While TikTok is instrumental in the success of many of today’s popular hits, it is also a platform for artists to test the temperature of their fans with unreleased music. This week, TELYKast and Sam Gray set the mood for TikTok users’ creativity with their song, “Unbreakable,” a full-throated pop ballad. In late August, TELYKast debuted a snippet of the track to their 156.5K TikTok followers ahead of the song’s release. The high-energy song has since amassed 478.6K+ creations on the platform, serving as background music for creators to spotlight their dog’s best tricks, showcase their hand-drawn typography skills, and make users cringe with their realistic special effects makeup ahead of Halloween.
Check TikTok’s newsroom for more noteworthy stories: newsroom.tiktok.com
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Check out previous editions of TikTok Treats, a weekly newsletter about the most interesting music happenings on TikTok:
‘Tok Of The Morning: New TikTok Trends from Drake, Kendrick & More
On TikTok: Drake, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, & Lukas Graham Spark Trends This Week
Balvin, Doja, and Mariah Lead a Star-Studded Week on TikTok
Sam Smith, Ciara and Breakout PinkPantheress Highlight the Week on TikTok
Lizzo Starts “Rumors,” bbno$ Eats “edamame,” and More Hip-Hop TikTok Stories
#AltTikTok, Alt-J, and All-Time Rap Classics Define Music on TikTok This Week
Cats, Babies, & Vietnamese Techno Highlight the Week in TikTok Music
On TikTok: Normani, Reba, and a Gas Station Star
The Kid Laroi Meets Bieber, Drake Runs Thru The 6, and More From TikTok
BIA Meets Nicki, Stromae Slows Down, and More TikTok Trends
On TikTok: Music Trends Inspired by Kanye, Young Nudy, and…Meryl Streep?
Avril Lavigne, Bo Burnham, and Gucci Mane Lead The Week in TikTok Trends
TikTok Summer Madness: Lorde Leads a Pack of New Trending Songs
Swae Lee, WILLOW, Mitski & More Inspire Trends on TikTok
Only On TikTok: Lil Durk & City Girls Trend Alongside…The Backyardigans?
On TikTok: BTS Army Takes Over, Carti Demands Silence, and Fans Anticipate F9
Olivia Rodrigo Catches Fire, Miguel Helps Users Catch Feelings, and More TikTok Stories
Saweetie, Calvin Harris, and Bella Poarch Highlight The Week in TikTok
Another One? DJ Khaled, Lizzo, and More Make the Week in TikTok
Doja Cat, Little Simz, and El Alfa Inspire TikTok Trends
Britney Spears, Chloe Bailey, and Diplo Make Waves on TikTok
Dua Lipa, Drake, and Bell Biv DeVoe Make Waves on TikTok
DMX Gets His Flowers, Silk Sonic Reaches #1, and More TikTok Stories
TikTok Unveils Music-Powered Filters, Lil Nas X Debuts At #1, and More TikTok Stories
Bieber Tops The Charts, Young Thug Premieres New Music, and More TikTok Stories
Demi Lovato Kicks Off TikTok’s New Livestream Series Headstream
Rock Music Thrives on TikTok, Just Ask Yungblud, Beach Bunny, and More
Shania Hops On Board, Kid Cudi Tosses and Turns, and More TikTok Stories
On TikTok: Kali Uchis and Coi Leray Hit the Charts as Bobby Shmurda Comes Home
Rihanna, Brent Faiyaz, and Giveon Lead TikTok’s R&B Moment
T-Pain, Hyperpop, and Anti-Valentine’s Anthems Take TikTok By Storm
Cardi Goes Up, Uzi Goes Down (to Sleep), and More TikTok Stories
Black History Month Kicks Off, Mark Ronson Duets, and More Music Stories From TikTok
Cardi Goes Up, Uzi Goes Down (to Sleep), and More TikTok Stories
Dave Grohl, Migos, Miley, and More Happenings on TikTok
This Week on TikTok: Olivia Rodrigo Hits #1 as Memes & Mashups Flourish
New Year, New TikTok Trends: Alicia Keys, Remembering MF DOOM & More
Paul McCartney, Holiday Celebrations, and New Year’s Eve Live on TikTok
TikTok Releases First U.S. Music Report: Here Are Some Key Insights
How TikTok’s Top 10 Songs of 2020 Impacted the Industry