Social media has allowed (no, encouraged) anyone and everyone to “borrow” hits and the music industry is not gatekeeping. Specifically, Tiktok has introduced an entirely new generation to old music with the short audio clips they take from songs which create a trend. I could name song after song so that the list would be at least 100 songs, but let’s look at the most successful old songs re-charted on Billboard because of TikTok. This means ‘older’ artists are creating TikTok accounts and then capitalizing on their success once again.
1 – “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
A classic song from 1977 that got a second chance is “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. It was initially a number 1 hit song that year and established a legacy of that decade. A Tiktoker named Nathan Apodaca was riding a skateboard, drinking raspberry juice, and lip-syncing to this song. This video got over 86 million views; the audio alone has 640 thousand videos. In 2020, the song shot up to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted worldwide. It is hard to believe that a simple video can blow up, but you never know what will trend with this app. Since it isn’t dancing or any stereotypical trend, it has 13 million likes and is such a simplistic video.
2 -“Cannibal” by Kesha
Another (older) song that blew up out of nowhere and became a trend in 2020 is “Cannibal” by Kesha. The official audio has 4.1 million videos, and another audio by rapid songs has 6.8 million videos for this song too. The original was released in 2010 and became a single from Kesha’s debut album. The trend for this song started in 2020 and is essentially a dance. It even released a lyric video because of its popularity. As we all know, TikTok’s main trends are usually dances, and this is no exception. Due to the popularity of this song and there is even a TikTok account that dueted the most followed Tiktoker, Charli D’amelio’s video, for this trend. The song was never an official single; rather, a promotional single and entered number 77 on Billboard. With this trend, it joined the top 40 in Canada and was one of the songs that started Kesha’s career.
3 – “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth
In the early ’80s, EVERYONE was singing “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth. This has become a recent trend for a couple of reasons. First, the entire fandom of Stranger Things is exciting the TV show and references many moments of the 80s trends. Also, it’s the 20th anniversary of the Scooby-Doo movie which featured the song. TikTok (and most of us) allude to this song as being part of the stoner culture. As I noted in my last article, TV shows and movies made old songs trendy again. Which later transitioned into TikTok culture. Finally, this song also has a sped-up version, which launched songs to popularity. “Tek it” by Cafune blew up because of their sped-up version, and it is finally entering the Billboard Hot 100. So, this is what has led to “Pass the Dutchie’s” success once again.
4 – “Without Me” by Eminem
Eminem’s Grammy “Without me” is another winning track- there are funny versions, and what we all love the most on TikTok is funny or comical videos. Songs that are relatable or funny such as, “Now this looks like a job for me.” have over 6.5 million views. We can all relate because the text states, “Every family needs a disappointment.” Then the song kicks in, saying, “Now this looks like a job for me.” I’m not sure if you agree, but we all have disappointments in our families. Right? This is very relatable to Gen Z humor, and it’s funny to a specific audience (including myself.) Hundreds of thousands of videos with this audio made this song viral on TikTok. This song charted in the top 40 in the Global 200 and became a hit on five different charts.
5 – “Ride It” by Regard
“Ride it” by Jay Sean, released in 2008 has taken on a new life. Old songs like this one are remixed and suddenly what was old becomes new again. The more contemporary music is by Regard. The official snippets of the song altogether have four million videos. This is another dance challenge that is not uncommon on TikTok and is one of the most popular songs on Tik Tok. The song ended up on year-end list charts in 2019, 2020, AND 2021. Also, this version has over a billion streams on Spotify. Not only that, but the original song also got to chart in several European countries. So, the remix boosted the original and significantly impacted their careers.
TikTok has reintegrated careers, linked generations, and made us laugh, dance, and connect. No doubt, 40 years later, we will still see and hear new versions of “Pass the Dutchie!”