An influential artist whose cult fanbase follows him from platform to platform, Tyler, The Creator is having a moment on TikTok. Since he released The Estate Sale, an expansion of his 2021 album Call Me If You Get Lost, in March, Tyler’s music has been inescapable on the platform, with several songs trending over the past few weeks.
The momentum started in late March, when Tyler released “Dogtooth,” a laid back anthem and the lead single from The Estate Sale. The song immediately inspired a trend, generating over 32.7k creations including multiple videos from Nessa Barrett. The success of “Dogtooth” was mere prelude to TikTok’s Tyler-aissaince, as the new single prompted the TikTok community to dig into his deep catalog to create more trends.
With over 720k creations to date, Tyler’s lush 2017 song “See You Again,” featuring fellow TikTok favorite Kali Uchis, has turned into a musical Rorschach test. Towards the end of the song, Tyler insistently and repeatedly rhymes “ok ok ok” while Kali simultaneous floats above him with “la la las.” According to TikTok, whether one raps along with “ok ok ok” or sings along with “la la la” is a deep window into one’s soul. In a series of personality-revealing videos, TikTok creators posit that “ok ok ok” rhymers are more down-to-earth, while “la la la” singers are more ethereal; an “ok ok ok” person is more likely to pay attention in class, while “la la la” singers daydream, “ok ok ok” rhymers rock sharper makeup, while “la la la” singers enjoy sparkles. Other creators use the song to sing with their best friend, reminisce about singing along at a concert, or show off their Tyler-quoting yearbook.
Tyler’s introspective 2019 song “RUNNING OUT OF TIME” is his latest track to trend on TikTok. The song is popular among students, especially seniors, who are all too aware of the little time they have left in school–the song’s lyric “running out of time” plays over a fast-moving montage of memorable moments from the recent past. The trend has propelled the song to over 263k creations, and also provides inspiration to those losing patience with their ex or those determined to cherish the time they have before it slips away.
More than a decade since his first viral moment, Tyler, The Creator continues to trend. Perhaps this increased attention on TikTok will inspire the mercurial artist to finally jump on board and start an account of his own.
© 2023, Seth "Digital Crates" Barmash. All rights reserved.