Local rapper Chris “KILLcRey” Reyes: “If you ain’t about the love then I don’t bless your game.”
North County rapper Kiyoshi teaches classes on rap songwriting and freestyle flowing on Zoom, Instagram, and other social media networks. Wack 100, who has managed rappers Blueface and The Game, took to the internet recently to school the Million Dollaz Worth of Game vlog’s viewers on how to create a viral rap song. “This is how it works,” he explained in part, “they do a 15-20 second TikTok dance to your song, right. After it starts moving and goes viral, then they say, “I wanna hear the whole song.” They go to Spotify or Apple; they stream it, they listen to it [and say,] ‘Oh, I like the song. I wanna watch the video.’ Then they go to YouTube. Radio is watching the numbers of YouTube, Spotify, Apple, and TikTok; and that’s [how they determine] what they’re putting on rotation.”
From the outside looking in, one might assume that if an aspiring rapper combined Kiyoshi's classes with Wack 100's formula, that it would be a successful formula.
“It seems like an oversimplification,” said Logan Heights rapper Chris “KILLcRey” Reyes in a Reader interview. “But, what if you’re not making dance music?”
Play the shit loud if your mind is your instrument
Christen shit, yo blessed be the name
If you ain’t about the love then I don’t bless your game.
The verse is from Reyes’s “Claustrophobic” joint that he dropped on February 16.
“It’s doing well on the Spotify and Bandcamp streaming sites. My supporters seem to like more tangible things they can sit with.”
“And what’s up with TikTok?” I asked.
“I have a TikTok account, but I’m not sure my new song will work for the app, only because it doesn’t seem like people at this moment are going to TikTok for layered or deeper music.”
The majority of TikTok’s users are from the Generation Y and Z sets. At a glance, the circa 2016 video-sharing app is more of a lighthearted platform. Users create up to one-minute clips with optional text pop-ups, animated filters, voiceovers, and licensed background music.
“Artists get discovered by first getting their music in TikTok’s ‘Sounds’ catalog,” Reyes continued, “Next, they let their fans know their music is on TikTok, and they encourage them to make videos using their music. I hope that my new video reaches younger people that might need it. If I can spark thought in the younger generation, that’d be dope.”
I reached out to local rappers with TikTok and Wack 100 in the subject line, and my efforts yielded one response. “Lots of hardcore rappers think TikTok’s corny,” responded Kahlee, a Mira Mesa rapper, “but for me, if collabing with a TikTokker, could bring us exposure, I’m down to rock with you.”