Scribbled in history books for some good and not-so-good reasons, 2016 brought with it some of modern music’s most memorable moments.
Now, as the year draws to a close, TGJ is reflecting on 31 moments that rocked – and to some degree shaped – the Urban and Pop musical landscape as we know it.
Next we’ll reflect on the year’s biggest viral challenges:
Much like 2015, 2016 saw its fair share of viral challenges sweep the net and, consequently, score some of the year’s biggest hits for the songs associated with them.
“Juju on that Beat,” the brainchild of newcomers Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall, is easily the year’s “viral challenge” champion. Sweeping the country much like Silento‘s ‘Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)’ the year prior, ‘Juju’s high energy sample of rap group Crime Mobb‘s signature hit, ‘Knuck If You Buck,’ sent waves across the net and inspired a host of copycats along the way. The challenge helped hoist the tune to #5 on the Hot 100.
Thanks to Chance the Rapper taking to the net to spit some cute bars over the instrumental to Monica‘s 2003 ‘After the Storm’ hit, ‘So Gone,’ a slew of fans flocked to purchase and stream the tune across digital outlets. According to a report posted in late August 2016, Billboard stated:
After selling a few hundred copies in recent weeks, the song jumped from 224 digital sales to 2,080 through Aug. 12-18, according to Nielsen Music. The single had an 829 percent increase in download sales in the week ending Aug. 18, rising from a negligible figure sold in the week previous to a little over 2,000 sold. Total on-demand streams of the song (both for its audio and video) grew 289 percent for the week, climbing from 235,000 to 917,000.
And Spotify said there’s been about a 140 percent increase in streams for “So Gone” since Aug. 11.
20 years after its release, Ghost Town DJ‘s signature hit, ‘My Boo,’ earned its highest chart position in 2016 thanks to the ‘Running Man’ challenge. Granted, the move caught its fair share of flack from old heads who associate the “running man” with a dance popularized by MC Hammer in the early 90s, the new school could care less as they uploaded videos of themselves performing the move in various places.
The #Mannequinchallenge, a challenge that sees participants try to sit perfectly still while re-enacting a scenario, caught fire in the latter half of the year. Even grabbing a nod from Destiny’s Child, the challenge – popularized to the sound of Rae Sremmurd‘s ‘Black Beatles’ – became such a big deal it lent the Mississippi-bred duo their first #1 hit on the Hot 100. Thanks to the challenge’s enduring popularity the twosome remain tenants of the top spot (as of time reported).
The most unlikely and unexpected viral challenge of the year took off before the holiday season. A trap remix to gospel legend Pastor Shirley Caesar‘s hit ‘Hold My Mule,’ the revamped version of the gospel classic not only hit the net in a serious way, but also helped Caesar reclaim the #1 spot on the Gospel charts with the song in early December.
Yet, while early interviews about the remix received favorable reviews from the iconic singer, more recent reports indicate she is suing the creator for $5 million for unauthorized use of ‘Mule.’