Internet celebrity and actor Cameron Dallas -- who has more than 22 million followers across Vine, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter -- dropped a lyric video for his new song, "She Bad." On the day of its release, April 19, it topped the Trending 140 chart. Dallas stars in the successful movie Expelled. To make up for his lack of posting to his YouTube channel while shooting the film, he treated his fans to 20 videos, one each day. He dubbed the marathon #20daysofdallas.
On the 13th day, he dropped "She Bad," which subsequently debuted at No. 34 on Rap Digital songs the following week. The track features an intro by Chris Williams, chief product officer at iHeartRadio, which could signify Dallas' transition into music or radio.
Dallas follows a growing line of artists whose success stemmed from Vine then spilled over to the Billboard charts. Us the Duo became Vine's first major-label signing; they signed to Republic Records last year. Real-Time Rewind favorites Jack & Jack topped the Real-Time charts with "Wild Life" and "Like That." Vines of Republic Records signees Kalin and Myles' hit single "Trampoline" caused the song to top the chart. Last but certainly not least, Shawn Mendes topped the Real-Time charts with his breakout single "Life of the Party" and debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 last week with his debut album, Handwritten.
Music thrives on Vine in two main ways. One way is by musicians or personalities developing a following around their music, whether it be by covering popular music or writing original material.
The second way music spreads on Vine is through "meme music." The word meme was originally coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to describe the spread of ideas and cultural phenomenon. It's characterized as a unit of cultural ideas, so it can be a symbol, a gesture or a picture, just to name a few. On Vine, meme music isn't particularly well-known because of the artist, but because of a chorus, lyric or ad-lib from a song that stands out so much that people remix and create a six-second video from it. One example of meme music is Baauer's "Harlem Shake"; the song initially spread because of its bass, but later led Baauer to success because of its popularity on YouTube.
Below are a few notable Vine success stories and examples of fan-made Vines that helped them succeed:
- O.T. Genasis' "Coco" peaked at No. 1 on the Trending 140 close to a month before it reached No. 20 on the Hot 100.
However, the most popular way meme music is spreading is through dancing, a popular activity on Vine. Twitter acquired Vine in October 2012 and re-launched in 2013, around the time Miley Cyrus brought twerking into the mainstream. When the dance craze crossed over to Vine, two artists benefited with significant boosts in sales and popularity: FiNATTiCZ and Sage the Gemini.
FiNATTiCZ' "Don’t Drop That Thun Thun" peaked No. 5 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs, selling 34,000 copies in a week at the height of its popularity, according to Nielsen Music. Twerking also helped out Bay Area rapper Sage the Gemini, who hit the Hot 100 with "Gas Pedal" (No. 29) and "Red Nose" (No. 52).
Vine Twerk Mashups Bump Sales for FiNATTiCZ' "Don't Drop That Thun Thun"
There have been dozens of different dance trends to date, like the NaeNae, the Super Mario and Hitting That Raven. Probably the most popular dance to flourish on Vine was the Shmoney Dance, which helped Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda's "Hot Boy" top the Trending 140 before breaking into the top 10 on the Hot 100.
Brooklyn Rapper Bobby Shmurda Goes From Vine Star to Major-Label Player
The Whip dance has been gaining traction in the past month. Like twerking, the Whip dance craze isn't new, but the songs that are helping to drive its popularity on Vine are. The first is Houston rapper T-Wayne's "Nasty Freestyle." The song's popularity comes from its use of the whip dance in its official YouTube video and fan-made Vines. "Nasty Freestyle" goes from No. 43 to No. 17 on the Hot 100 in the week ending May 9.
Other Whip-based tracks include Silento’s “Watch Me” (which shouts out the NaeNae mentioned above) that peaked at No. 8 on the Trending 140, and a track called “Nasty” by Bandit Gang Marco, which reaches a new peak of No. 27 on Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs.
What's the next big Vine meme music trend that could impact the Billboard charts? Check out Dawin (who is also signed to Republic) and his song "Dessert," which is beginning to make waves on the platform.
The Trending 140 chart measures the acceleration of conversation around artists and their music, while the Emerging Artists chart measures the volume of tweets around new artists and their songs.