Why Beyoncé’s ‘Texas Hold ’Em’ Has Taken Over TikTok

In her delightfully cheeky Verizon Super Bowl industrial, Beyoncé swore to do one factor: Break the web. Because the industrial demonstrated, she couldn’t—no less than not within the literal sense. As an alternative, after the industrial ended, she did one thing else: She hacked the web, dropping two new songs, “Texas Maintain ’Em” and “16 Carriages,” the previous of which is already on its solution to changing into TikTok’s viral dance music of the 12 months.

This was at all times going to occur. Just about all the things Beyoncé does—each album drop, each outfit—goes viral. That’s why her Verizon industrial didn’t seem like a shallow try to astroturf hype. Furthermore, “Texas Maintain ’Em” is an enormous pop-country crossover monitor, and its fast banjo riffs (from maestro Rhiannon Giddens) and lyrics about whiskey and taking it to the ground are excellent for line dancing. Line dances, which lend themselves to enjoyable mimicry and interpretation, naturally do effectively on social platforms. It will have been weirder if TikTok hadn’t been flooded with new dances within the week after the music dropped. (If you happen to’re on the lookout for the video that greatest exemplifies this development, take a look at this chart-topper from performers Matt McCall and Dexter Mayfield after which simply comply with the sound on down, down, down.)

Inevitability, although, isn’t the entire motive “Texas Maintain ’Em” is presently the backing monitor to just about 134,000 videos with thousands and thousands of collective views. The music is boot-scootin’ its approach onto TikTok at a time when a whole lot of music has been muted on the platform following a dustup between TikTok and Universal Music Group.

Again in January, after the 2 firms failed to come back to phrases on a licensing settlement for UMG music, the huge file firm pulled songs that it owns the rights to from TikTok, together with cuts from artists like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish. Which means any video utilizing music from these artists now performs with out sound. Beyoncé’s music is distributed by Columbia/Sony, a UMG rival, so “Texas Maintain ’Em” now sits at Quantity 5 on TikTok’s Viral 50 checklist.

Now, like a shiny holographic disco horse, Beyoncé is atop the social internet. When she introduced her new album, Act II, and dropped “Texas Maintain ’Em” and “16 Carriages,” the web was in a tizzy about the truth that Beyoncé was making what gave the impression to be an entire nation album, a continuation of the country-infused “Daddy Classes” from 2016’s Lemonade. (“She coming to place the cunt in nation!!” went the replies on the @BeyLegion X account. “‘Daddy Classes’ reloaded!” went another.)

On Tuesday, “Texas Maintain ’Em” made Beyoncé the first Black woman to debut at primary on Billboard’s Sizzling Nation Songs chart. The music has presently been streamed practically 20 million instances.

TikTok sounds don’t depend towards Billboard chart rankings, however there is no such thing as a doubt that viral dances create the sort of hype that results in music streams, album gross sales, and radio play. Beyoncé has no management over the TikTok/UMG state of affairs (most likely), and he or she had no approach of realizing whether or not their licensing dispute would nonetheless be ongoing when her new music dropped (once more, most likely), however its existence has paved the best way for her new music to be one of many largest issues occurring with music on the platform proper now. Little question it might’ve hit these heights regardless, however with much less competitors, there’s nothing holding it again.


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