TikTok's Top Sounds of 2023 Were Sped-Up Versions of Songs, to No One's Surprise

Exclaim!'s No. 1 song of 2023 nabbed the No. 5 slot

BY Allie GregoryPublished Dec 6, 2023

We've already counted down Exclaim!'s top songs and albums of 2023, and just about everyone and everything else, including TikTok, is doing the same. This year, the app's Top 10 sounds included some obvious hits (Exclaim!'s No. 1 song, "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" by PinkPantheress and Ice Spice, made the list), as well as reanimated 2010s tracks — and, most notably, sped-up versions of originals.

2014's "Collide (more sped up)" by Justine Skye — a song I've admittedly never heard before today, not even on my #fyp — snagged the top spot on TikTok's US chart for the year, earning the singer her RIAA Gold-Certified artist status and a late-night appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

That's more reflective of the year than you might guess; four of the app's most popular sounds are sped-up versions of their originals, with the US's No. 2 spot claimed by "Cupid – Twin Ver – Sped Up Version" from K-pop group FIFTY FIFTY (which also nabbed the top global title).

PARTYNEXTDOOR came in third with a sped-up version of 2014's "Her Way," while Toosii earned his first Hot 100 appearance for "Favourite Song" thanks to its viral sped-up moment on TikTok. "Boy's a Liar Pt. 2" by PinkPanthress and Ice Spice — notably not a sped-up song, though definitely inhabiting a higher-than-average bpm — came in at No. 5, marking the latter's first of two appearances in the Top 10. ("In Ha Mood" came in on the US chart at No. 8.)

Unsurprisingly, Taylor Swift was also among the Top 10 for "Cruel Summer," though not for a sped-up version — if nothing else, Swifties are a group of purists. The list is further rounded out by Ohboyprince, Young Nudy, and the inescapable "Makeba" by Jain, which often came accompanied by a video of Bill Hader dancing, for some reason.

What does it all mean? Endless op-eds about the shrinking attention spans of teenagers and the hyper consumer-oriented, scary new landscape of the music industry, as well as ye olde Phones Bad argument, are aplenty in this day and age and need not be repeated here. No one seems to care when sped-up songs are called nightcore, so why don't we just stick with that, and stop ragging on the kids? 

But if original speeds are still more your thing, you can check out a bunch of the year's best here. Or, I dunno, watch 10 hours of Hader dancing to "Makeba" below instead. 

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