How did this cursed TikTok tune become the song of 2020?
Normally the ‘song of the summer’ is a light, carefree and catchy bop. Euphoric bangers like Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean” (2015), unapologetically cheesy hits like “I Got A Feeling” (2009), and club classics that herald in the beginning of hoe season (“No Tears Left To Cry”, 2018, obviously). But 2020 is not a normal year. We need not remind you, or ourselves, that we are experiencing a collective annus horribilis, a 12-month period filled with deadly diseases, a depressing news cycle and side-plots which have included murder hornets and shit weather.
Since emerging on TikTok a few days ago, the original sound “THIS SONG ISNTT ABOUT BREAD Stop mipansusus”, uploaded by user @isterrrrika, has accumulated 12.6 million views and appeared on over 761,000 other videos. The most prevalent of these many many videos being a 10-second cutdown in which an expressionless llama stands on its hind legs in a red-tinged desert, shaking his hips sensually and stepping from side to side in time to the beat. This particular rendition sits at 38.5 million views.
I can’t explain why any of the aforementioned factors have come together in such perfect harmony to inspire a TikTok trend or an earworm that we cannot stop humming along to. The 250,000 comments on the latter TikTok video also echo our confusion. “For some reason I can’t stop watching,” reads one, while another simply says “I am u n c o m f y”.
User dr.Cindy says “Please SOMEONE tell me why is that llama dance like that?”, while Nadia Sky Ramirez says “why am i addicted to this ”. User9885157104909 puts it simply: “Why do I have the sudden urge to join the navy now”.
The popularity of the video and its resultant confusion as it takes over our FYPs, is an example of a crossover from “deep TikTok” -- as many have commented -- to mainstream TikTok. Ultra niche and characterised by trippy visuals and spooky animals singing over catchy songs, deep TikTok is a dadaist paradise where nothing makes sense and everything is vaguely uncomfortable.
The “Mi Pan” tune itself though, a bit of sleuthing will uncover, is actually from a Russian advert for the honey-based cereal Miel Pops. Despite originally airing all the way back in 2010, the jingle has exploded in popularity on YouTube this week thanks to its more sensual, stripped-back acoustic version.
None of this -- and we cannot emphasise this enough -- makes any sense. But somehow… it does? Either way, you won’t be able get this song out of your head until September. You’re welcome!