TikTok is proof that it only takes 15 seconds for a song to get stuck in your head, and now that the app has gone from a Gen-Z secret to something pretty much everyone scrolls before bed, our brains are like a cursed jukebox. Not only do the songs provide a soundtrack, but often the lyrical backdrop for a joke or trend that ultimately sweeps the app, and therefor there's no place more powerful for music in 2020.
The best part for music snobs? You rarely hear anything from the Top 40. Instead, TikTok is a world in which lesser-known artists are no longer subject to the whims of radio and streaming. If a teen dancing in their bedroom in Minnesota likes it, then one day we may all be singing it.
TikTok is also a good place for older songs to get repurposed. Some of the most common songs appearing on the app right now were actually made last century, and there's also a crop of early 2010 singles popping up to the delight of my millennial eyes.
The buildable, amorphous nature of the TikTok's culture mean some of these songs have already lived a number of lives on the app, but as far as 2020 is concerned, these are the songs that keep popping up on the For You page.
"Why Is Everything Chrome?" — King Critical
I will listen to this song over and over again just for the first line.
"Supalonely" — BENEE feat. Gus DappertonNew song, whole new dance.
"Something New" — Wiz Khalifa feat. Ty Dolla $ign
From introducing everyone in your friend group to the crew you're quarantining with, this song is extremely versatile.
“Don’t Start Now” — Dua Lipa
Did a full 180 when I learned this was a Dua Lipa song.
“Bagaikan Langit” — Potret
The original version of this song appeared on Potret’s 1998 album Cafe, but has now been remixed almost beyond recognition.
“Oops” — Ella Fitzgerald
You rarely hear more than a few measures of this song before it’s repurposed into whatever the TikToker chooses fit, but it’s just as fun on its own.
“Working Bitch” — Ashnikko
This one will never not be stuck in my head, especially when I’m…working bitch.
“Cannibal” — Ke$ha
I don’t know why, exactly, this song from Ke$ha’s 2010 album Cannibal is making waves with Gen-Z, but I’m happy about it.
“What The Hell” — Avril Lavigne
Speaking of Gen-Z getting into early 2010s nostalgia: Avril Lavigne, everybody.
“Exactly How I Feel” — Lizzo
Is it even a TikTok playlist without Lizzo?
“No Face No Ca$e” — King Lil G
If this song doesn’t immediately make you think of a white teen making a gun with their hands, then you’re lucky.
“Mia Khalifa” — iLOVEFRiDAY
This song has been around since 2018, and is part of a feud between ILoveFriday and porn performer Mia Khalifa.
“Dance Monkey” — Tones And I
The Australian singer’s song reached number one in over 30 countries, and now it has TikTok’s seal of approval.