With over 750 million monthly users worldwide, there's no surprise TikTok has become one of the most influential social media platforms.
While it's the place for emerging trends, tips and tutorials, it has also been blowing up the music scene by catapulting new or unheard-of songs/genres into the mainstream. There have since been TikTok charts and playlists dedicated to the popular tracks on the short-form video platform.
Well-established artists have also jumped on the bandwagon, creating dance challenges to their new released singles. Sam Smith and Kim Petras were among the latest to spark a TikTok trend with their chart-topper 'Unholy'.
But now, a music genre called 'phonk' is the latest to take over the platform – and we're here to break down what it is.
TikTok has been inundated with phonk audio snippets, with over 5.4 billion views under the hashtag and users implementing the genre over their content.
A dedicated Reddit page to the genre described it as "an underground style of hip-hop/trap music directly inspired by 90s Memphis rap."
It is also the fastest-growing playlist on Spotify, with an increase of 2.3 million followers in the past year alone.
Before TikTok made it "a thing", phonk is deep-rooted in 90's Memphis rap, which then used SoundCloud as the subgenre's primary home with pioneers like DJ Yung Vamp, Soudiere, and DJ Smokey being the driving force behind it.
It uses vocals from old Memphis rap tapes and samples from early-1990s hip-hop, often combining them with jazz and funk elements.
Curators often implement distorting techniques to create a darker sound.
One popular song called 'Midnight' has racked up over 20 million views: