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Meme-able music decides what songs top the charts

Music memes // Illustration by Kate Walker

Meme-able music decides what songs top the charts


Future. Music memes have gone from comic cultural commentary to a valued marketing tool to help songs hit virality. This trend comes at a time when there are more ways for artists to share their music than ever, meaning reaching platinum and topping the charts require extra legwork. Therefore, successful music memes are a creative and relevant way for musicians to get their songs on people’s radars and climb Billboard ranks.

Finding meaning in meming
Meme marketers say that attaching a good meme to music lyrics is a tried and true way to create an emotional connection for listeners to a song. Some of the most popular songs of the decade rose to virality through associated memes.

  • Gunna and Future’s pushin P kicked off 2022 with endless memes attempting to interpret what “P” means
  • Migos hit Bad & Boujee rose to No. 1 on the charts thanks to a groundswell of memes
  • One of the first meme-crazed songs was Drake’s Hotline Bling, which topped the charts for 15 weeks and went 7x platinum
  • And TikTok is turning songs both new and old into meme sensations with every new trend

A song’s visual assets and the corresponding UGC make it more memorable and shareable.

Social songs
The future of songwriting and song releases will need to have social media and the impending web3 world in mind. With democratized ways to release songs, produce viral content, and build fan communities, the memification of music is imperative for artist recognition and sustained listener interest in today’s crowded and quick-moving industry. One meme-able soundbite can launch or revive an entire music career.

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