I suddenly found myself in demand as a dinnertime pundit on U.S.-China ties this summer when Donald Trump tried to outright ban TikTok. The stupid songs and memes I had been following all of a sudden took on a geopolitical relevance. People were curious as to what the Renegade actually was. Do you know Charli D’Amelio? A pen buddy informed me, entirely serious, “You should be answering calls from CNN.” It was previously commonly believed that TikTok would disappear like Vine, but this year has strengthened the app’s tenacity and cultural influence. It has gradually won even bored adult quarantiners, hot-shot celebrities, and even scholarly arts critics, who have written meticulous phenomenological reports on what they have witnessed. It is no longer solely the territory of shameless teens.
I wanted to evaluate a few pleasures and annoyances from the year as I looked back on TikTok, as well as some big issues I haven’t yet touched. Although not all of the things individuals did in 2020 are on this list because everyone’s For You page is different, it does show some of them.
Leave, Jason Derulo
Only in 2015, when he purportedly tumbled down the Met Gala steps like Humpty Dumpty, did Jason Derulo ever make me giddy. This man screamed the vile phrase “Wiggle wiggle wiggle,” and as if that weren’t evil enough, he continued with the raspy toots of a toy flute. In the song “Talk Dirty” from 2013, he made the implication that people of all nations may be brought together by the common language of booty: “Our discussions ain’t lengthy, but you know what is.”
If MF Doom Was Listening to Addison Rae
It’s simple to criticize dancing videos on TikTok since the genre typically conjures up images of shirtless white dudes rolling dice to Pop Smoke and himbos pooling their resources to sexualize the same five dance movements. Some TikTokers have developed their own parody dances, woahing, and ass-shaking to bizarre audios, in reaction to their peers. Others have viewed dancing fads as a chance to popularise less mainstream music. For instance, a group of guys at North Carolina State University envisioned what Addison Rae would look like if she danced to MF DOOM, hip-swaying and scrunching her nose to Madvillain’s “Raid” in order to “normalize playing experimental rap in front of the hoes.”
Music memes from Ethan Fields
With his colorful series of mashups, composer Ethan Fields initially caught my eye. In them, he responds to questions like, “What if Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” Was Made by 100 gets?” Furthermore, “What if Two Door Cinema Club Produced La Roux’s “Bulletproof
Speed It Up, Slow It Down
A weird remix gained popularity on the Billboard Hot 100 after TikTok creators started posing and dancing to it. Imanbek, a Kazakh kid, had pitched and sped up “Roses” by Guyanese-American rapper SAINt JHN and added a bouncing beat. Is this the first nightcore chart hit? tweeted electronic artist, Jaime Brooks of Default Genders, about it in June.
In the colloquial, watered-down sense, “nightcore” refers to cover tracks that accelerate the original material by 10–30%, resulting in chipmunk-like vocals; on YouTube, the thumbnails are frequently anime-related images. Nightcore is named after a Norwegian duo that sped-up trance and Eurodance tracks.
Rico does what she wants
Rico Nasty yelled over strong metal guitars in her 2018 breakout single “Smack a Bitch,” saying, “Thank goodness, I don’t have to smack a bitch today.” Girls who like being nasty, problematic, and generally unaccommodating have had doors pounded down by the hot-headed Maryland rapper.