by Shelton Bumgarner
This is an example of how if I had been a bit more focused and stable (read: less drunk) when I was younger, I probably could be writing for Vox after having worked at Nick Denton’s Gawker Media for a few years. I could be a Blue Check Liberal on Twitter ranting about Brooklyn and smelling my own farts with The New York Times’ Trump Whisper Maggie Haberman.
Anyway, let’s get to the point.
So, I’m old. I’m a middle aged white dude who occasionally dips my mind into the TikTok universe. I’m also a former DJ at an expat bar in Seoul. So when a song of note I’ve not heard of pops up, my ears perk up. Right now, GenZ is obsessed with a song I’d never heard of.
It has a beat and you can dance to it. I really liked the sort of explosive bass line about 20% in. After hearing it on TikTok repeatedly, I finally grew curious. I was afraid it was going to be like that song “I’m Not An Addict” by K’s Choice that I thought was “I’m Automatic” and couldn’t find for 20 years. Thankfully, this was not the case. I found it almost immediately on YouTube. Here’s where things grow even more interesting. The song is actually pretty old. It’s from 2009-2010.
Ok, things are going well. It’s a great deep cut hip-hop song I didn’t know about. It’s a song I love right off the bat. I am likely to listen to it a zillian times over the next few days. Definitely has a poor man’s OutKast vibe to it. It could be a little better in some respects, but it’s a solid song as is.
I did a bit more investigation and lo and behold, it’s a cover.
The original is amazingly great. I hate that I hadn’t heard it yet. It’s a deep cut from the 1960s. It could have been updated either as hip-hop song or a just a general pop rock song with the right producer. It’s very dancable. It needs to have a little bit of a deeper bass for modern audiences, I feel, however. The Madcon cover popular on TikTok does, in fact, fix that problem.
Anyway, maybe I’m stating the obvious, but it seems as though TikTok is a pretty solid discovery tool for the audience. The only problem is, of course, it’s its entirely organic. You never know what song is going to catch the attention of GenZ.
Someone should hire me to start a neo-Gawker wanna be. Sigh.