There are two ways to navigate the internet these days. Avoid it or dive headfirst into it. If you choose the latter, you're getting yourself into the midst of a tumultuous playground. These artists, however, have learnt how to use it to their advantage. These are the artists who are the best at involving themselves in meme culture.
Oliver Tree is the meme-lord. He’s made a name for himself with excellent music alongside an enigmatic persona that blurs the lines between meme and reality. It’s hard to know what meme exactly to point out when talking about Tree as everything acts as one, from his decapitated head in the Hurt video to his attempt to beat the world record for the world’s largest scooter.
That world record attempt comes alongside the release of his debut album Ugly Is Beautiful. The record has been pushed back numerous time due to the state of the world in 2020 but it’s finally arrived and it’s a raucous, powerful collection of indie-pop/rock.
Before she copped a global smash with Say So, Doja Cat’s breakthrough moment was a song called Mooo! It became a viral meme and instantly shot her name into people’s mouths. Since then, she’s become one of the most memeable artists in the world and she’s continued to troll everyone along the way. Earlier in the year, she told her fans she’d show them her boobs if Say So went #1 in the US. It did and she proceeded to laugh at anyone who actually thought she was going to do that.
Lizzo was born to take over the internet. She’s an outspoken, flute-playing, rapper-singer who also has one of the most infectious laughs in the business. Her TikTok is excellent but she’s given us gold content over every one of her socials. Lizzo’s “bye bitch” meme is a particular favourite of ours. It’s Lizzo’s fabulous world and we’re just living in it, to be honest.
Lil Nas X
As one of the youngest superstars out there right now, it’s Lil Nas X’s job to keep up with internet culture. His breakthrough hit Old Town Road came off the back of a barrage of TikTok memes and he’s kept the momentum going by learning the mastery of the platform. From throwing himself in quarantine to mocking TikTok kids, Nas X has nailed it.
Charli XCX is not one to shy away from posting an awkward picture. She’s known for being one of the most engaged artists with her fans and she knows that they love to troll. For years there has been a fan-led campaign to try and get her to drop unreleased song Taxi and she’s bought into it by playing snippets of it at shows and often addressing it. Her Instagram is where you’ll find a meme wonderland though. Earlier in the year, she documented the entire creation process behind her quarantine album How I’m Feeling Now and basically invited an onslaught of memes.
Given that 100 Gecs’ music often sounds like the internet is blowing up, it makes sense that they would buy into the most cooked pockets of the internet. The duo themselves received mass critical appraisal with their debut album 1000 Gecs but their divisive sound has been a meme generator both out of love and distaste. The group feed every bit of it though. From strange videos of wizardry to Animal Crossing recreations of their album cover, they know exactly what they’re doing.
Rihanna is a troll. There’s no other way of putting it. The world has been begging for the follow-up to 2016’s ANTI but she’s been busy working on her empire of luxury fashion, make-up, skincare and more. Still, she pops her head in every now and then to address the lack of album with a few memes. It hurts RiRi. It really hurts.
Halsey has some of the most angsty music in pop but her internet presence is refreshing. She’s open to a dialogue with fans and is also willing to have a laugh at her own expense. Her TikTok career may be just starting but she’s already proving that she could be one of the platforms best musicians-turned-content-creators.
From very early on in his career, Post Malone instantly became an internet sensation. His self-deprecating humour and willingness to go back-and-forth with fans made him an instant hit. He may be one of the biggest artists in the world right now but he’s still more than open to making himself into a meme. His Instagram is a goldmine of pictures waiting to go viral like the below.
Drake was one of the OG meme marketers. Let’s go back to 2015’s Hotline Bling video - one of the most memed visuals of all time. From the dance moves to the ski lodge outfit, Drizzy knew exactly what he was doing and he’s continued to use the internet’s most humorous corners to his own advantage. He’s currently on vacation in Barbados and it seems he’s been using the time to pepper his Instagram with a few LOLs.
Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert’s breakthrough single XO Tour Lif3 got its boost from memes and he’s proven himself to understand the culture better. From running away from interviewer Nardwuar to trolling Playboi Carti about releasing his album, he’s one of the internet’s most enigmatic and humorous figures.