Last year, Alex “Yung Skayda” Calderon, a member of the duo WhoKilledXIX, casually wrote a TikTok hit while holding down a day-job as a warehouse worker for Amazon. His groupmate, Kareem “Karm the Tool” Patterson, fleshed out the demo into a wriggling, buzz-saw single titled “Kismet”; TikTokers started using one head-turning line — “molly rocks in my green tea” — in their videos; “Kismet” racked up millions of streams and Calderon and Patterson signed to Masked Records and Warner Records.
Many acts have struggled to earn more than one viral moment on TikTok, or been unable to convert momentum on the app into streams on platforms like Spotify. This does not appear to be a problem for WhoKilledXIX, whose single “Spy?” has been wreaking havoc on TikTok since late May. “Spy?” sounds like a house rap party where every attendee has been sucking helium out of balloons. Calderon and Patterson deliver double-time rhymes over a breakneck bass line; the hook is squeaky, goofy, and very hard to forget: “My my/I think we have a spy!” The party turns into a brawl — “I swing my fist/You turn your face/I hit the other side” — but no one stops having fun.
The irrepressible momentum of “Spy?” has propelled it onto a series of Spotify’s viral charts — not only in the U.S., but also as markets as distant as Colombia, Malaysia, and the U.K.