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

In her delightfully cheeky Verizon Super Bowl business, Beyoncé swore to do one factor: Break the web. As the business demonstrated, she couldn’t—not less than not within the literal sense. Instead, after the business 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 option to changing into TikTok’s viral dance track of the 12 months.

This was at all times going to occur. Pretty a lot every part Beyoncé does—each album drop, each outfit—goes viral. That’s why her Verizon business didn’t appear to be a shallow try to astroturf hype. Moreover, “Texas Hold ’Em” is an enormous 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 track dropped. (If you’re searching for the video that greatest exemplifies this pattern, try 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 cause “Texas Hold ’Em” is at present the backing observe to almost 134,000 movies with thousands and thousands of collective views. The track is boot-scootin’ its approach onto TikTok at a time when lots 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 come back to phrases on a licensing settlement for UMG music, the large 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 record.

Now, like a shiny holographic disco horse, Beyoncé is atop the social internet. 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 gave the impression 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 track has at present been streamed almost 20 million instances.

TikTok sounds don’t depend towards Billboard chart rankings, however there isn’t any doubt that viral dances create the form of hype that results in track streams, album gross sales, and radio play. Beyoncé has no management over the TikTok/UMG scenario (most likely), and she or he 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 way in which for her new track to be one of many largest issues taking place 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.