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House Passes Bill That Could Ban TikTok In US. Hip Hop Reacts

On Wednesday March 13th, lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives approved legislation that would ban TikTok, the wildly popular social media platform owned by the Chinese company, ByteDance. In a bipartisan effort, the bill passed 352-65 and now moves to the Senate for review and final vote. Citing national security concerns over China’s  potential ability to request and access user data of millions of United States TikTok users, Republicans and Democrats have expressed urgency for the Senate to take swift action.

TikTok currently has 102.3 million monthly active users in the US. Small businesses, influencers, content creators, politicians (including President Joe Biden), and music companies and artists especially in Hip Hop have leveraged the Chinese social media app to increase visibility and gain large followings. Critics of the legislation fear that banning TikTok would infringe on free speech, provide the government with more control over ‘new’ media and put limits on the ways artists can connect with new audiences. 

In a Luminate study conducted in 2023 research found that TikTok users were 2 times as likely to discover and share new music. Many record labels have shifted their global marketing strategies around the platform and legacy artists have leveraged it for reintroducing older songs in their catalogs to a new generation of fans. Due fo TikTok’s rising popularity and influence in the music industry, other technology companies such as YouTube and Spotify have been incorporating the virality of TikTok features into their products as a way to attract new music audiences. 

Many in the Hip Hop community weighed in on the decision including Coi Leray, who went viral on TIkTok in 2022 with her song “Players” . On X she tweeted that she thought “TikTok is not a streaming platform” so therefore she is not “worried”.

Soulja Boy, who is a trailblazer on using technology and social media to introduce his music seemingly criticized the move by theorizing the true reason of the ban is that artists like himself making money using the platform. Check his post below:

The potential ban of TikTok in the United States may cause a ripple effect in the Hip Hop Community and how we consume the music. We will keep you posted as the story develops.



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