TikTok Is Ruining Music

by Jackson Hongtong ‘21

Along with the comedic and story-telling sides of TikTok, the culture of creating and participating in dances to both popular and not so popular music is a main part of the app’s success. Dance trends start on the app and become noticed and later performed by popular influencers on TikTok, growing not only the dance but the sound attached to it, too. However, the parts of these songs being played over and over become repetitive, eventually until the song itself becomes annoying. Along with music becoming repetitive, artists are losing their originality with their songs created specifically for the app . The music industry is growing everyday, but the direction TikTok is taking it is hurting the quality of songs.

Many songs become very popular on TikTok due to the repetitive nature of the app, despite the fact that they probably should not be as popular for as long as they are. Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” was heavily promoted and danced to on TikTok, eventually to a point where the song was number one on the Billboard Top 100 for 17 weeks straight. Despite the song being a little catchy, the silly song definitely should not have been the number one song for that long. It simply isn’t that good.

Some music has even been created primarily for TikTok users so the song could gain popularity. In the beginning of quarantine in early April, Drake, one of the most famous artists in the world for the last decade, released a song called “Toosie Slide.” In this song, the lyrics consist of Drake listing dance moves to do like the Cupid Shuffle, asking the audience to put “their right foot up” and have their “left foot slide.” In a time of collective boredom, Drake took advantage of the TikTok platform, with the song going number one on the Billboard Top 100 songs within a few days. Drake is capable of much a higher standard than what he released, and the fact that such a popular and respected entertainer  like Drake would seemingly release a dancing song for an app like TikTok diminishes his originality of being a lyrical artist. Along with Drake, many other popular artists such as Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber are starting to join the TikTok platform to promote their music and videos. More and more of these songs will start to be associated with dance moves for the app, making more lyrical and more meaningful songs not as popular as they should be. 

The repetitive nature of TikTok has had a negative impact on the top music hits of today. Whether it is making a lesser quality of a song into a number one hit or creating a song solely for TikTokers to dance along to, it is ruining the images of artists and the overall music that is listened to everyday.