A rap about a stylish sweater made the Spotify Viral 50 thanks to TikTok

In just four years, TikTok, the short-form video-sharing app, has gone from a popular fad to a cultural touchstone of Gen Z. In the past year, it’s also become something else – l one of the best things that can happen to an up-and-coming musician, especially one with their eyes on the Spotify Viral 50.

And for a budding artist from Atlanta with a penchant for sweaters and Cardi B, he owes TikTok a big debt for making a splash on Spotify.

Lil Shordie Scott’s “Rocking A Cardigan In Atlanta” is currently on the US Top 20 and Global Viral 50 playlists on the streaming service. It’s almost solely on the weight of its TikTok presence, proving that the platform is becoming as indispensable to up-and-coming artists as the radio game was to what your elders knew as “rock ‘n’ roll.”

TikTok’s ubiquitous and ever-evolving dance trends have certainly helped a good chunk of established names like Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat stay on the popstar’s A-list, but it’s also helped the careers of more than some obscure acts. Blackpink’s ‘How You Like That’, Måneskin’s ‘Beggin’ and Chiky Dee Jay’s ‘Astronomia’ are just a few of the many songs that have gone viral on TikTok.

In the case of Lil Shordie Scott — according to his YouTube page, he’s a “southern Atlanta kid with a different style and outlook” — it took two months for ‘Rocking A Cardigan In Atlanta’ to go from its early days. on his SoundCloud account to become a TikTok dance jam.

The track seemed to take off, according to Scott’s pagegenius.com, following a cover video by TikTok user @runuppercy. The video, admittedly quite different from Scott’s stream, garnered over a million likes (and counting) and, more importantly, sent users searching for the original.

The song received another unexpected boost on TikTok when Jenelle Evans, star of Teen moms 2, posted herself twerking to Scott’s original version of the song after revealing that she has fibromyalgia. In the video, Evans dances to the song using moves that have gone viral in one of the platform’s many dance trends. Platform users posted their own videos – usually featuring more than one person dancing – following all the same steps.

Sure, virality doesn’t guarantee the latest fame, but Lil Shordie’s rather distinctive flow and vocalization, tossed multiple times above most raps coming out of Atlanta right now, may prove key to the success. (That piano intro is also fantastic.)

Time will tell if its time as a TikTok trend has been a momentary supernova of hype, or if it’s here to stay in the firmament for a while.

Victor L. Jones