We break down the most popular sounds on the video-sharing app.
The cultural impact of TikTok has been fascinating to observe. Previously known as Musical.ly, launched just 3 years ago in the United States, the app has become the most downloaded app in the app store in 2018 and 2019. With an active audience of 800 million users, the app’s momentous success has been puzzling to some, but the app offers a very niche experience that other social media apps do not. TikTok’s advanced (and slightly aggressive) Artificial Intelligence algorithms learn user preferences and ensure each user’s experience on the app is different.
If you take a peek at the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it’s almost certain that you’ll see a song that's trending on TikTok. For example, the top two songs on the chart right now, Dababy’s "Rockstar" with Roddy Ricch and Jack Harlow’s "Whats Poppin" featuring Dababy, Tory Lanez & Lil Wayne, were both propelled to their top positions because they were biggest sounds on the app for months straight. A key element to the TikTok app’s success is the love of music universally. The tracks that generally do well on the app are usually trap-influenced pop songs with heavy bass and a repetitive, infectious hook, hence “Rockstar” and “Whats Poppin.”
It’s impressive the way TikTok has simplified going viral and has undoubtedly impacted the music industry because of it. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 viral songs on the app right now.
How do you feel about these TikTok tunes? Let us know in the comments.
Dababy "Rockstar" ft. Roddy Ricch
Briefly mentioned before, this song was released in April and has spent seven non-consecutive weeks at #1. The “Rockstar Challenge,” which consists of a dance choreography for the song, made it a hit on TikTok and helped lay the foundation for the song’s success.
Lil Baby "We Paid" ft. 42 Dugg
It seems like “We Paid” is everywhere right now, including on TikTok. The first 15 seconds of the song consist of bass-heavy trap with an unforgettable and unmistakable whistle. This part of the song is utilized for the “We Paid Challenge” featuring moves like “the woah” and “mop.”
SAINt JHN "Roses (Imanbek Remix)"
The Brooklyn born rapper experienced his first hit with the Imanbek remix of "Roses"-- the song has gone on to receive countless other versions, including a recent one with Future. Originally released in 2016, the high pitched 2019 Imanbek remix has received 4.5 billion plays on the app alone in April and peaked at #4 on the charts. The song’s chorus is particularly is preferred for choreographies.
Jack Harlow "WHAT'S POPPIN"
If you’re a humble internet user, you likely can instantly recognize the distinct piano-trap beat in “WHATS POPPIN.” The track's infectious remix is currently sitting pretty at #2 on the charts and is expected to overtake “Rockstar” soon. The song is very much a moment on TikTok right now and is used as a sound for dances, memes, and other video content.
Pop Smoke "Get Back"
Although Pop Smoke has had a slew of viral hits on the app, “Get Back” is by far the most popular. The chorus of the track is used on the app and users perform the “Woo Dance” to the late Canarsie-born rapper’s signature vocals.
6ix9ine "TROLLZ" ft. Nicki Minaj
At this point, 6ix9ine and TikTok are besties. The thing about a viral moment, however, is that it doesn’t last unless you properly manage it. "TROLLZ" debuted atop the charts in its first week but later dropped to 34 in its second week, breaking the record for biggest fall from the #1 spot in history. Despite the dwindled viral moment, TikTokers continue to perform choreography to 6ix9ine’s first verse in the song.
See; besties. Unlike “TROLLZ,” Tekashi’s provocative first single released following his stint in federal prison debuted at #3 on the charts in May. The Brooklyn rapper then went on to accuse Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber of paying for their #1 single “Stuck With U.” The pugnacious first two lines of the chorus are used for an extremely popular TikTok twerk choreography.
Megan Thee Stallion "Savage Remix" ft. Beyonce
The success of this one is self-explanatory. There was a time in early quarantine where our timelines were flooded with nothing but videos of people doing the “Savage” challenge dance. If you remember, this song and another TikTok favorite, Doja Cat’s “Say So” Remix with Nicki Minaj, were battling for the #1 spot.
Megan Thee Stallion "Girls in the Hood"
Another TikTok favorite, the Hot Girl’s latest single is once again taking the app by storm. Users have created a couple of dances for the song’s chorus but also use it for meme and “get ready with me” videos.
Princess Nokia "I Like Him"
“I Like Him” is a track from Nokia’s February mixtape Everything Sucks. Like many of TikTok’s fave tunes by women rappers, “I Like Him” is a bad b**** trap song with some real feisty bars from Nokia. The lyric video for the track also includes the TikTok trend, seemingly acknowledging the impact the app had on the song’s success.
Beatking "Then Leave" ft. Queendome Come
This cheeky, twerk-friendly track is from Houston rapper BeatKing who has been making club hits for over 10 years now. This is his first hit to find success outside the club scene. TikTokers have choreographed a number to the synth-infused chorus.
Jason Derulo, Jawash 685 "Savage Love (Laxed-Siren Beat)"
TikTok’s sweetheart Jason Derulo is reaping the benefits of his dedication to the app. His latest single “Savage Love” went viral on the app because it utilizes the dancehall-inspired beat produced by New Zealand high school student Jawsh 685 “Laxed-Siren Beat,” which had individually gone viral itself. The song debuted at #81 but later rose to a peak of #12.
Rosalia "TKN" ft. Travis Scott
Reggaeton and all of its subgenres are huge right now. Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalia and Travis Scott united on this drum-filled summertime tune, serving as the second collab between the two after the “Highest in the Room” Remix. The matching TikTok dance is an appropriate whine-filled dance routine to Scott’s verse.
YFN Lucci "Wet (She Got That…)"
Atlanta rapper YFN Lucci’s latest single “Wet” is currently making the rounds on TikTok. The song’s hook is used for a dance challenge that’s slowly gaining tract on the app.
Saweetie "Tap In"
The cool new single from the Icy Girl’s upcoming debut studio album Pretty B**** Music, “Tap In” had the formula to become a TikTok hit: the girls love bad b**** music to get ready to. The “Tap In” dance is currently gaining steam across the platform amongst the ladies.
Kap G "Girlfriend" ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Quavo
“Girlfriend” is a saucy, take-yo-girl anthem performed by Atlanta rapper Kap G from his mixtape El Southside in 2016. TikTok has many sleeper hits finding new life, and this song serves as a popular sound on the app right now. We'll have to see how it translates for Kap G's career.
Monte Booker "Kolors" ft. Smino
Chicago producer Monte Booker and St. Louis rapper Smino collab on this vibey hit, another sleeper hit for TikTok that was originally released in 2016. The song started gaining momentum on the app around two months ago when a prominent creator @kvng.ryyy used the sound to choreograph a dance.
Rod Wave "Rags2Riches" ft. ATR Sonson
Rod Wave is slowly heading to the top of the game. “Rags2Riches” is a cut from his second album Pray 4 Love, which debuted at #2 back in April. An album standout, the track has a complimentary dance routine.
StaySolidRocky "Party Girl (Remix)" ft. Lil Uzi Vert
Rap newcomer StaySolidRocky was plunged into the spotlight after his self-released single “Party Girl” achieved viral success on TikTok. This led to a deal with Columbia in early 2020 who re-released the track for his debut EP Fallin. The song has a matching TikTok dance that includes the app’s signature hip grinding to the chorus.
“Hatchback” is the weeaboo-friendly breakout single from newcomer Cochise. The song’s viral success led to a deal with Columbia, so there’s more to come from the lowkey rapper. TikTok’s trendy “That Boy Sus” challenge uses the sound and it is particularly popular in the anime community on the app.