Get used to it: TikTok is here to stay. The short video platform has grown from an upstart social network to a legitimate launching pad for hip-hop superstars. Lil Nas X got a tremendous boost from putting his soon-to-be hit runaway hit “Old Town Road” on the app, while Roddy Ricch created viral magic with “The Box,” which has since crossed over into the mainstream consciousness and rests at the top of the Hot 100 for the 11th week in a row.
Meanwhile, established hits by veteran stars and rising newcomers receive exposure via fan-choreographed dance routines or “challenges,” the likes of which took Doja Cat’s “Say So” and turn it into a legitimate hit and have made Megan Thee Stallion’s Suga cut “Savage” into an Instagram-saturating meme that has become borderline unavoidable. Such memes have become the bait bringing major labels to TikTok’s murky waters, where artists can capture lucrative deals by leveraging their TikTok reach.
But none of this would happen without the fans who cook up the choreography in the first place or who share their own unique takes on the dances, helping to spread the word about their new favorite sounds. There are even YouTube tutorials dedicating to teaching more fans these creators’ often witty choreography. They — and their creative challenges — deserve some of the attention, too. Here are some of the hip-hop dance challenges on TikTok.
Savage Challenge, with Megan Thee Stallion — “Savage”
This one is exactly what it sounds like: A choreographed routine set to the fan-favorite second track from Meg’s new EP, Suga. The Savage Challenge has even been duplicated by well-known stars like Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, Keke Palmer, and various cast members of Black-ish.
Renegade Challenge, with K Camp — “Lottery”
Jalaiah (@_.xoxlaii), creator of Renegade, performs at the NBA All-Star Game!
At this point, the most well-known and successful crossover challenge, any list would be remiss in bypassing this one. It’s best-known as one of the recurring focuses of NBA All-Star Weekend, which now seems like it happened 100 years ago rather than just a month.
Say So Challenge, with Doja Cat — “Say So”
Created by Haley Sharpe (@yodelinghaley), this dance not only found its way into the official video for the song, but also earned its creator a cameo the video as well. It’s a lot of upper-body stuff, which is probably what led to the video’s disco concept, as well.
Flip The Switch Challenge, with Drake — “Nonstop”
Less of a dance routine and more of a quick-switch optical trick, the idea behind this one is for two people (ideally of opposing gender, age, ethnicity, etc.) to instantly trade positions, clothing, poses, and dance moves as Drake says “I just hit the switch” on the track. Although some aren’t exactly fans, when you’ve got J-Lo and A-Rod swapping ‘fits, you know you’ve got something special.
Relationship Challenge, with Young Thug — “Relationship” Feat. Future
A dance craze that resurrected Young Thug’s 2017 Beautiful Thugger Girls cut “Relationship,” this one is synched to Future’s declaration that he “had to take the time to cut ’em off, I need help” and usually paired with a witty caption describing situation that would get someone cut off.
Something New Challenge, with Wiz Khalifa — “Something New” Feat. Ty Dolla Sign
Seemingly most popular with larger groups, this challenge takes Ty’s crooning chorus and combines it with shoulder shimmies and handclaps to the mellow beat. It’s easy to see why families like LeBron’s and Ciara’s took to the easy-to-learn choreography and easygoing tempo.
Cookiee Kawaii — “Vibe”
There really doesn’t appear to be a singular dance or challenge assigned to this Jersey Club headknocker. Instead, TikTok-ers seem to enjoy timing their actions to specific sounds, such as the clap or the jackhammer drum breakdown on the hook.
PG Groove Challenge, with RunitupTahj — “Hit Yo Groove”
This one’s pretty much a cheat code, as not only are the steps given in the song — decipherable under a thick, Southern drawl — but one of the most popular iterations of the dance also gives the movements with a follow-the-bouncing-ball graphic at the top of the video.
Out West Challenge, with Travis Scott — “Out West” Feat. Young Thug
Cooked up by Nicole Bloomgarden, the dance spread to NBA All-Star Weekend, the set of Ellen, and to Shaq’s house.
Curtis Roach — “Bored In The House”
Probably not a challenge and certainly not even a whole song, nevertheless, the “Bored In The House” TikTok sound was created by a rapper. We’ve been rooting for Detroit’s Curtis Roach for a long time and he’s rewarded that faith with the definitive sound byte for these dark times.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.