This weekend was Variety’s fifth-annual Music Hitmakers Brunch and with it came some great content like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo posing for a photo together (I see this one as a passing of the torch moment). But one of the best content moments is from Lil Nas X’s TikTok account, naturally. 


The first time I saw this was when one of my best friends sent me it with a text that said “So many icons”. And while I know that some of these stars are far from overall “icon” status, they definitely are the talk of the Gen Z town. Those who made appearances to the viral “Bing Bong” sound included Olivia Rodrigo, Jack Harlow, Normani, Anitta, Tinashe, Chloe Bailey, and Avril Lavigne. The star-studded video has over 32 million views and 8.2 million likes at the time of this writing. The most fitting part about all of this is that Lil Nas X won Innovator of the Year at the event because this TikTok is an example of how talented he is at making moments happen. 

If you haven’t been on TikTok for the past two weeks, I’m sure you’re probably VERY confused as to why everyone is obsessed with a video of celebrities lip-synching to random phrases like “Bing Bong”. But just like many other memes that have made rounds, there isn’t much to the story besides the fact that it was just luck, good timing, and catchy as hell (I randomly say BING BONG under my breath at least 14 times a day now). It became widespread after a clip of a New York Knicks fan who was celebrating the team’s win singing “Bing Bong” went viral on Twitter. The trend ended up on TikTok when a compilation of clips from a YouTube Coney Island show called “Sidetalk” made the rounds, which is the sound you hear in Lil Nas X’s video. Turns out “BING BONG '' is the sound of the subway in NYC and has been a phrase said in Coney Island a lot thanks to Sidetalk.


This is a classic example of the power celebrities have when they play into trends non-celebrities enjoy. The best part of watching this video for the first time is how the excitement builds as you watch it. You don’t know who’s coming up next, and that makes it a video fun to share with friends. If I were him, I would’ve kept Avril Lavigne until the end, but besides that, he hit it out of the park. I’ve seen some fans talk about how this is the Gen Z of *that* Oscar selfie. I also thought about those MET Gala bathroom photos. The Billie and Olivia photos are good, but this seemed to catch the most eyes overall. Instead of just taking photos with these people, Lil Nas X knew that making a TikTok with a sound that everyone is obsessed with right now is something new and fresh. Has Lil Nas X brought the standard higher for celebrity event content? 

Here’s John Legend taking a spin at it, and Finneas giving props to TikTok’s power: 

(Lainey: My nickname for one of our dogs is “Bing Bong”. Do I have to stop now or risk looking like an old who coopted a youth phrase for my puppy?)