Musician Begs for Help With Song Used in ‘Gross’ TikToks
Sometimes I wonder if I signed some kind of deal with the devil that requires me to announce “This is a TikTok song” any time “Party Girl” by StaySolidRocky or Doja Cat’s “Say So” starts playing on the car radio or out of my friend’s phone. And while I can’t make predictions about the next time we’ll be dancing at a bar, I do know that we’ll be hitting the woah anytime the soundtrack deems it applicable. TikTok has given users a whole new way to enjoy music, bonding songs with dances, memes, and stories through exponential repetition. But while it’s obviously desirable for musicians to get their songs on TikTok, artists are often faced with quandaries once it does.
Absofacto’s 2015 song “Dissolve” recently found new life on the platform. (This isn’t uncommon—Doris Day’s 1951 song “Oops” has also been totally reinvented by the app’s users, and was subsequently sampled by Tiagz). But the pop song’s frequent pairing with scenic beachscapes and other innocent images took a turn when users began using it as the soundtrack for a “gross daddy POV trend,” according to a post made earlier this week by the artist. “Point of view” videos, in which viewers are witnessing one side of an interaction acted out by the creator, accompanied by dialogue written out in text on the screen, are not inherently sinister. However, “Dissolve” has become closely associated with a certain, vaguely pedophelic POV in which viewers take the point of view of a child who has just accidentally stumbled upon his parents having sex. The almost exclusively male creators of the trend play the role of the father, assuring the child that he and mommy were just wrestling or watching a scary movie.
In Absofacto’s TikTok, he implores users to rescue his song from this trend and use it on something—anything—more wholesome. People rushed to his aid, even giving their own twist to the offending POVs, play-acting as the “cool aunt” who just got back from “burying your creepy pedophelic dad in the woods.”
But it didn’t work. One of the creepy POVs is still the third most popular video for the song, and the more you scroll, the more of them that appear. Still, Absofacto issued a thank you to his fans on Tuesday for their hard work.
Luckily, like most trends on TikTok, the Daddy POV trend will fade as new ones take over. Absofacto, though, is not the first artist to issue a plea to TikTok users. In April, the Vengaboys implored those on the app to stop engaging in the “Up and Down Challenge” to their 1998 song “Up And Down.” In it, a pair of people attempt complex aerobics that could easily result in injury—an especially bad idea during a pandemic, when hospitals are already overloaded.
“We are of course delighted with the huge success, but we still want to ask the TikTok community to stop this challenge,” the group said in a statement. “If you break a finger or sprain your wrist, you still have to go to the hospital where they have more important things on their mind right now.”
Meanwhile, artist ppcocaine just okayed the use of her song “For That Cash*” after fans accused Addison Rae and other TikTok stars of appropriating it. The song had been embraced by the lesbian users of TikTok, who then saw Rae’s lipsyncing of the song as a form of queerbaiting.
“Comment and tell them to post my post so people can stop coming for @addisonraee, I happen to be very fond of her,” ppcocaine, who is openly gay, wrote on her Instagram Story of TikTokRoom’s post.
While musicians get to decide which TV shows and movies use their songs, they have much less creative control over TikTok and its users. There’s no telling how the masses will interpret or recontextualize the music. Artists could have their music removed entirely from the app by their distributors and file copyright claims against anyone who uses it, but that’s arguably more of an inconvenience than the offending videos themselves. Plus, even though TikTok streams reportedly earn less revenue than Spotify, the views add up. And that popular creepy Daddy POV video? It has 16.6 million views, and I can honestly say I never heard of “Dissolve” before watching it.