After his show Atlanta won the Golden Globe for Best TV Comedy, Donald Glover made a special detour in his acceptance speech to thank “the Migos for releasing ‘Bad And Boujee.’” By way of explanation, Glover said, “That’s the best song ever.”
Though the track is two months old, it’s now on track to top the Billboard Hot 100. But it already had a head of steam, thanks in part to its connection to two separate memes, the most popular of which recreates the reaction to hearing the track start.
A pre-Golden Globes article in The Fader notes how the track’s simmering popularity is largely attributable to its virality:
Twitter posts about the song have directly mirrored its Hot 100 rise, increasing by nearly 600 percent since the beginning of November, according to analytics provided to The Fader by Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics company.
And a new article in The Ringer notes that if “Bad And Boujee” tops the charts it will likely be replacing Rae Sremmurd’s track “Black Beatles,” which also owes its late-coming success to its attachment to the viral mannequin challenge. Interestingly, “Black Beatles” was the result of a concerted effort by the viral marketing company Pizzaslime to attach the track to the phenomenon, rather than the sort of natural, user-created attribution we generally think creates virality.
Regardless, it all bodes well for “Bad And Boujee,” both as a track and as a meme, which is more popular on Billboard and on the internet than it’s ever been.
Both it and “Black Beatles” are far from the first tracks to owe their success to memes—“The Macarena” would count—nor are they even the first examples of musical success based on internet memes. (The Ringer article cites hits by Bobby Shmurda, Soulja Boy, Carly Rae Jepsen, and many more.) But, at least in these two instances, it’s a force for good: Both are great tracks that deserve radio airplay no matter how they got there. Get used to Offset saying “You know—” in other words.