TikTok As A Music Discovery Vehicle For The Olds — Madcon’s ‘Beggin’

Me on TikTok.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Editors’s Note:

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.

Could TikTok Disrupt Twitter?

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

As you may know, when Twitter first came into existence, people did not know what to do with it. A lot of people took pictures of their food, for instance. Only gradually did people realize it had the potential to a whole lost of other things, especially breaking news.

I have long thought that there was something missing from Twitter. I want the ability to have intuitive “video tweets” in the sense that I would record a short video and then someone would respond in kind. Twitter has this ability already, in a sense, but I have never seen two people actually talk to each other back and forth using Twitter’s primitive and klugy video message feature. In my imagination, this new service would have it’s video tweets threaded so you could make some sense of it. I have only recently learned that TikTok has the basis for this notion. It wouldn’t take too much to change the interface just a little bit to make whole platform not only a whole lot more useful, but a whole lot more engaging for older people.

The only reason why older people need to get involved is the natural evolution of a social media platform to go from a silly toy of teens to something useful for adults with, like, careers and stuff. But I suspect my vision for TikTok is a ways down the road. And it may not even be TikTok that does it. It may be a similar service that caters to adults from the get-go.

One barrier to this idea, of course, is vanity. Just like the video phone never took off, there’s a chance that a “video Twitter” will never take off because people are so used to tweeting in the bathroom or at night before they go to sleep that they simply will have no interest in the very thing I propose.

I don’t know. Just an observation.