Memes: an Internet comedy phenomenon that everyone and their Grandma knows and loves. Everyone has their own favorite meme, and it seems like anything and everything can become a meme. Today, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite songs that had the incredible fortune of becoming immortalized in the meme-dom forever.
Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars
We’re going to kick this off with a personal favorite of mine, “Shooting Stars.” The intro to this 2009 single by electro-pop duo Bag Raiders went viral for appearing in various video edits, typically involving people falling and then being catapulted into outer space for the laughs. In true ~hipster~ fashion, I can safely say I heard this song long before it was ‘memed’, and loved it because it’s just a damn good song. Bag Raiders are still active in music today and have a new album on the way, so go stream this hit and more in its entirety and support the band.
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence
This next one is probably one of the more popular amongst the Vine crowd a few years back. The gorgeous classic 1964 hit by legendary pop-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence” was used in countless memes to accompany somber or seemingly devastating everyday occurrences for dramatic effect. Actually, you may know the track by the opening lines “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend.”
Baauer – Harlem Shake
Ok, we’re gonna throw it way back for this one. Baauer has now become a well-respected trap DJ in the scene, but many people first got to know him from this song. “Harlem Shake” started an international dance craze and spawned video after video of people wildin’ out to this dance floor-ready hit. This was one of the most fun meme songs out there, and we’re glad Baauer had a viral moment like this. But the producer’s other music shouldn’t go unnoticed. He’s a bonafide beat king in my book and you should really be discovering his real songs now that it’s 2019.
Drake – Hotline Bling
Ah, Drake. A man of many memes. I could have chosen the in-your-feels classic “Marvin’s Room”, or the rapper’s recent meme-able performance in the “No Guidance” music video with Chris Brown. But today we’re taking a look at what is possibly the best Drake meme in existence, the music video for “Hotline Bling.” This 2015 hit single topped the charts and along with it, brought a pretty unforgettable video featuring Drake’s borderline ridiculous dance moves. The poor guy was just gettin’ down to his track, and the Internet took their chance to have a little fun with it, resulting in some pretty hilarious edits.
Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up
Alright, you knew I couldn’t possibly make a list of meme songs without including this absolute banger. In 1987, pop sensation Rick Astley created a hit song that no one back then could have predicted would become the butt of some, admittedly stupid, jokes on the Internet in the late 2000s. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, this song became synonymous with a phenomenon known as “Rick rolling”, usually in which an Internet video started out with something serious or a topic you presumably were interested in, and then very quickly would transition into a playback of Mr. Astley’s sweet, sweet baritone on “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Is it stupid? Oh yeah. Did I get “Rick rolled” a couple of times in my life? Yes, yes I did. And I hated every second of it. So Rick, if you’re reading this, congratulations on becoming truly the King of Memes.
Darude – Sandstorm
Of course I didn’t forget Sandstorm! The electronic instrumental produced by Finnish artist Darude was a hit when released back in 1999 but it wasn’t until around 2014 where the hype kicked right back in. On Twitch, people would ask what song was playing, and not matter the actual track – people would reply with “Darude – Sandstorm”. This grew and grew and expanded into the DJ game – with most sets including the track or an edit of it. As an April Fools’ Day joke on 1 April 2015, YouTube displayed the message “Did you mean: Darude – Sandstorm by Darude” for all video search queries involving music, in addition to adding a button which played the tune during a video.
Noisestorm – Crab Rave
Given that it was released on April 1st 2018, this track was never meant to be taken seriously! But since then, it has attracted over 100 million listens and shocked just about everyone by charting 14 on the Billboard Dance charts. The awesome video that contributed heavily towards its meme status was actually produced using a grant from Epic Games (Fortnite Developer). It was released by Monstercat and is the second most viewed track across their channels. ‘Crab Rave’ has since quietened down, however is still present throughout the meme community!