We're breaking down all the hip-hop songs that took off on TikTok.
TikTok has grown a lot since its early days as a Vine and Musical.ly successor, now a massive and perhaps even the dominant social media platform for the youth. For some, the app is not just a fun distraction or a creative outlet but a career and a means of income. As a large facet of the app is the consumption, use, and dialogue around music, this is especially true for artists. In its nearly five years of existence, we’ve seen new artists blow up into industry stars, we've seen established artists score their biggest hit yet, and it's now the norm for any artist who targets a mainstream audience to try to snag a viral dance or audio trend.
Today, before the app introduces yet another generation of rising stars, we’re breaking down the biggest hip-hop names and songs that have found their fame on TikTok.
Scroll below for seventeen rap records that blew up on TikTok.
YNW Melly and 9lokkNine - "223’s"
YNW Melly attends Murda Beatz birthday event, 2019 - Jerritt Clark/Getty Images
Fans and Hip-Hop heads have been fascinated with YNW Melly’s unique approach to his music and lyricism ever since "Murder On My Mind" first made waves in 2018. However, casual music listeners who may have been put off by Melly’s eccentric persona finally hopped on the wave when a number of his tracks received curated dances from TikTok’s biggest stars and proceeded to go viral on the app. “223’s” featuring 9lokkNine, one of Melly’s most successful tracks to date, was the first to receive expedited popularity on the app. There are over 1.6 million TikTok videos on the app that use the 2019 song-- often featuring the signature dance. The dance itself isn’t too complicated, largely a reason the song received the popularity it did, with just a few steps to the front and a twirl. With the TikTok success in tow, the song became Melly’s highest placement on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #2.
9lokkNine experienced similar virality from the song, though the dance itself featured only Melly’s verse. Many credit "223’s" with boosting 9lokkNine’s then-unknown career, and the song also remains his most popular to date.
This took us so long to learn ð @joshrichardsâ¬ 223's (feat. 9lokknine) - YNW Melly
SoFaygo - "Knock Knock"
SoFaygo performs at Rolling Loud Miami, 2021 - Jason Koerner/Getty Images
Soundcloud up-and-comer turned-Cactus Jack signee has TikTok to thank for his rapid rise to success in 2020. Prior to his TikTok fame, the 19-year old Atlanta rapper/singer made a name for himself in the underground Soundcloud wave, making connections with the likes of Lil Tecca and SSGKobe. However, his 2020 hit "Knock Knock," which was produced by Lil Tecca, quickly became one of the app’s favorite sounds. The song was slowed down and sped up in various different renditions, resulting in over 100,000 TikToks. "Knock Knock" remains SoFaygo’s most popular song to date with over 75 million Spotify streams. The rapper piggybacked off of this success by signing a record deal with Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack records in February of this year.
Megan Thee Stallion - "Savage"
Megan Thee Stallion attends the Sports Illustrated SI launch, 2021 - Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images
Megan Thee Stallion has quickly become a powerhouse in the rap scene with catchy feminist anthems and infinite charisma. Her army of stans and devout listeners have accumulated over the past two years, predominantly through explosively viral TikTok dances and trends curated for her oft-female friendly anthems..
Though she had been making waves in the scene before gaining TikTok virality, dances choreographed to Megan’s "Savage" ultimately pushed her to the top of the Billboard charts, and the rap game. The trend first started when verified user Keara Wilson made her own dance to the song, shortly after its March 2020 release. That video, which garnered over 15 million views and 2 million likes, set the stage for over 21 million other videos replicating the dance or simply using the song. This TikTok success ultimately helped secure a Beyoncé feature on the remix and a #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Roddy Ricch - "The Box"
Roddy Ricch attends the BET Awards, 2021 - Paras Griffin/Getty Images
By 2019, Roddy Ricch had become a notable figure in the California rap scene and hip-hop circles with his Feed Tha Streets mixtape series. However, Ricch had yet to make it into household-name-status-- until a TikTok trend propelled him to the top of the charts. When Ricch released his debut album, Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial in December of 2019, listeners flocked to the bizarre “ee-er” ad-lib and catchy hook on the song "The Box," preparing it for TikTok virality. The song was inescapable on the app from late 2019 to early 2020 with a string of popular dances and hilarious memes. "The Box" spent a whopping 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Erica Banks - "Buss It"
Erica Banks performs at Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash 25, 2021 - Paras Griffin/Getty Images
Not only did Erica Bank’s “Buss It” land her a deal with 1501 Certified Entertainment, but it made her the soundtrack for one of TikTok’s more sultry trends. The song blew up on the app in January of 2021, with users using the beat drop of the track to show their transitions from a glo-down to a glow-up. The track has over 5 million videos on TikTok and landed at #1 on the Billboard Triller charts. Not to mention, Erika Banks also went on to sign a major label deal with Warner Records.
Never too late #bussitchallengeâ¬ Buss It - Erica Banks
Sleepy Hallow - "Deep End Freestyle"
Sleepy Hallow visits Sirius radio station, 2020 - Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
New York drill rapper Sleepy Hallow scored himself a gold plaque with his hit TikTok song "Deep End Freestyle'' featuring Fousheé. The song is founded on an eerie repeated vocal sample (sung by a then-anonymous Fousheé), before the beat drops into a classic drill instrumental. The song has been used in almost a million videos on the app-- be it for it’s signature dances, users doing crazy stunts as the beat drops, or connecting Sleepy Hallow’s opening “my body different” line to some message in the video. “Deep End Freestyle” has since been certified Gold by RCAA and has propelled him past the pool of rising New York drill rappers, while also establishing a firm and already-successful career for Fousheé.
24kGoldn - "Valentino"
24kGoldn attends the "F9" World Premiere, 2021 Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
24kGoldn was still a finance student and frat bro at USC when "Valentino" made its way around TikTok in late 2019, and changed his life forever. The instant catchiness and infectious hook of “Valentino” made it perfect for the app: fans used the song simply to show edits while others created a number of dance routines. "Valentino" is often credited as being one of the first viral TikTok songs, and led 24kGoldn to drop out of college. Oddly enough, the virality of the song has haunted 24kGoldn’s career as many claim he is just a "TikTok rapper."
Flo Milli - "Beef FloMix"
Flo Milli celebrates her 21st birthday in Atlanta, 2021 - Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images
2021 XXL Freshman Flo Milli rose to TikTok fame in 2019 and 2020 thanks to her confident yet playful sound on "Beef FloMix" as well as an appearance on $NOT's "Mean." "Beef FloMix," Flo Milli’s remix of Playboi Carti and Ethereal’s "Beef," became a Tiktok staple in the Spring of 2019 with Flo Milli’s eccentric flow and aggressive lyrics. Whether users used the sound to show off glow-up transitions or to exude confidence by lip syncing the lyrics in a close-up shot, Flo Milli became one of TikTok’s favorite female rappers before the likes of Megan Thee Stallion.
$NOT - "Mean" feat. Flo Milli
$NOT performs at Rolling Loud, 2019 - Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
“Mean”, a $not song featuring Flo Milli, followed “Beef FloMix” and was a predecessor to the likes of the “Buss It” trend. Like "Buss It," “Mean” established itself as one of the app’s sexier sounds of 2020 with Flo Milli’s notable line “I got a small waist, pretty face, and a big bank.” Users created their own dances to the trend, often showing off their curves to Flo Milli’s lyrics.
Ultimately the viral nature of both of these records is what helped Flo Milli land her record deals with RCA Records and Pulse Music Group.
Doja Cat - "Say So"
Doja Cat celebrates releases of "Planet Her," 2021 - Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
While song’s like 2018’s “Mooo!” marked the first viral track in Doja Cat’s career, 2019’s “Say So” was a more serious breakthrough moment for the Los Angeles Singer and rapper. The track, with its catchy and atmospheric hook, was viral almost instantly on TikTok and quickly received it’s one signature dance. The solo version of the song peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and a subsequent remix with Nicki Minaj became both artists’ first #1 placement on the chart. “Say So” was the most streamed song made by a female in 2020, and is currently used in over 14 million TikTok videos.
Saint JHN - "Roses (Imanbek Remix)"
Saint Jhn attends the Roc Nation brunch, 2020 - Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
One of TikTok’s favorite dances came with the remix of Saint JHN’s “Roses” in September of 2019. With collaborations from Lil Baby and a number of successful singles, Saint JHN had managed to grow a decent, albeit under-the-radar, standing in the industry before his music went fully viral on TikTok. The remix to “Roses” was the defining song of Spring 2020 and carried the app through quarantine with a number of dances and trends. The catchy dance beat along with Saint JHN’s rap-singing prompted use from the app’s biggest stars. “Roses (Imanbek Remix)” is used in over 2 million TikTok videos and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The success of the track opened up opportunities for Saint JHN, who enlisted the help of industry greats Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, DaBaby, and Future for his 2020 album While the World Was Burning.
Ahhahaha perfect @addisonreâ¬ Roses (Imanbek Remix) - SAINt JHN
Coi Leray - "No More Parties"
Coi Leray at the BET Hip-Hop Awards, 2021 - Paras Griffin/Getty Images
Once largely known as the ex-girlfriend of Trippie Redd, New Jersey rapper Coi Leray scored her first big hit with “No More Parties,” thanks to TikTok success. With her baby voice-like flow and the notorious beat drop of the song, Coi Leray spurred TikTok dances and user remixes. Her incredibly catchy flow made the song perfect for TikTok virality and became her first entry into the Billboard Hot 100. Her feature on the subsequent single “Big Purr” by Pooh Shiesty also fueled her TikTok success.
LMFAOOO thing 1 and thing 2 can’t dance for shit but it’s okay I still love emððð¥ @johnstontwinss_ .. y’all know who is who?ð #fypâ¬ No More Parties - Coi Leray
Pooh Shiesty - "Back in Blood" feat. Lil Durk
Pooh Shiesty at Onyx Nightclub in Atlanta, 2021 - Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images
"Pooh Shiesty that’s my dawg, but Pooh you know I’m really shiesty!" became TikTok’s favorite line in early 2020 as "Back in Blood" became a hit on the app. Fans shared videos of themselves lip syncing the line from Lil Durk’s feature on the song or pairing it with their own funny text. The TikTok success of the song propelled the song to the top of his Spotify, and remains his most popular song.
Pooh shiesty that’s my dawg but.... ð¦ ð¦ @broisfunnyâ¬ Back In Blood (feat. Lil Durk) - Pooh Shiesty
Pooh Shiesty & Coi Leray - "Big Purr"
Coi Leray hosts BET Awards After Party in LA, 2021 - Johnny Nunez/Getty Images
"Big Purr" enjoyed similar TikTok success as "Back in Blood," though a snippet of the collaboration, posted by collaborator Coi Leray, blew up on the site long before the song was formally released. Coi Leray and Pooh Shiesty exchanging bars on the song made it so couples instantly gravitated towards the audio, often lip syncing alongside the two rappers' parts. A signature dance was also created for the collaboration, which debuted at #69 on the Billboard Hot 100.
K Camp - "Lottery (Renegade)"
K Camp attends the Billboard Power List Event, 2020 - Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images
Perhaps the first viral TikTok dance came to the tune of "Lottery (Renegade)" by K Camp. The song was released in June 2019 and was quickly picked up by 14-year-old TikTok user Jalaiah Harmon, who created the now-notorious dance. The song was initially released with the title "Lottery," but the viral dance, which only incorporated the beat and the Renegade producer tag, caused the name change. Many credit this song and dance as the beginning of the viral dance trends across TikTok, and thus the rise in popularity of the app in general. The track is used in over 24 million TikTok videos.
#duet with @jalaiahharmon ððððâ¬ Lottery - K CAMP
Jack Harlow - "What’s Poppin'"
Jack Harlow performs at Rolling Loud Miami, 2021 - Rich Fury/Getty Images
Jack Harlow’s breakout single "What’s Poppin'," with it’s charisma and one-liners, seems perfectly curated for the TikTok fame it quickly received. The 2020 track, which is used in over 300,000 TikTok videos, was often used for the signature "what’s poppin?" quotable line, as users made their own jokes or memes backed by the lyrics. The TikTok success, along with the Cole Bennett music video, has made "What’s Poppin'" Harlow’s most streamed song to date.
Going live at 8pm EST ð #whatspoppinâ¬ WHATS POPPIN - Jack Harlow
BIA - "Whole Lotta Money"
BIA performs at Rolling Loud Miami, 2021 - Jason Koerner/Getty Images
Singer and rapper BIA has been in the industry for over five years with notable accomplishments under her belt already-- collaborations with Russ and J. Balvin, a professional relationship with Pharrell, and a stint on Oxygen’s Sisterhoods of Hip Hop. Still, many younger generation TikTokers probably know her for viral track "Whole Lotta Money." The signature line, "I put on my jewelry just to go to the Bodega," has been used in over 275,000 TikToks with users either thirst-trapping or creating memes over the sound. "Whole Lotta Money" is the most successful track of BIA's career so far, sending her to new heights as far as fan-reach and industry grasp goes, while its TikTok success equally spurred a Nicki Minaj remix