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. As the industrial demonstrated, she couldn’t—not less than not within the literal sense. Instead, after the industrial ended, she did one thing else: She hacked the web, dropping two new songs, “Texas Hold ’Em” and “16 Carriages,” the previous of which is already on its technique to turning into TikTok’s viral dance tune of the yr.

This was all the time going to occur. Pretty a lot every little thing Beyoncé does—each album drop, each outfit—goes viral. That’s why her Verizon industrial didn’t seem like a shallow try and astroturf hype. Moreover, “Texas Hold ’Em” is a giant pop-country crossover observe, and its speedy 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 properly on social platforms. It would have been weirder if TikTok hadn’t been flooded with new dances within the week after the tune dropped. (If you’re on the lookout for the video that finest exemplifies this pattern, take a look at this chart-topper from performers Matt McCall and Dexter Mayfield after which simply observe the sound on down, down, down.)

Inevitability, although, isn’t the entire purpose “Texas Hold ’Em” is at the moment the backing observe to just about 134,000 movies with thousands and thousands of collective views. The tune is boot-scootin’ its approach onto TikTok at a time when quite a lot of music has been muted on the platform following a dustup between TikTok and Universal Music Group.

Back in January, after the 2 corporations failed to return to phrases on a licensing settlement for UMG music, the huge document firm pulled songs that it owns the rights to from TikTok, together with cuts from artists like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish. That 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 Hold ’Em” now sits at Number 5 on TikTok’s Viral 50 checklist.

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

On Tuesday, “Texas Hold ’Em” made Beyoncé the first Black lady to debut at primary on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The tune has at the moment been streamed practically 20 million instances.

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