- TikTok videos using Akon’s song “Locked Up” to joke about being arrested have gone viral.
- They include a filter that shows if the user is behind a police car.
- There are over 200,000 videos from TikTokers using the song, including Joe Jonas and Hayley Kiyoko.
Videos of TikTokers and celebrities joking about being arrested for something that isn’t currently illegal are going viral as part of a trend set in the song “Locked Up” by Akon.
The videos follow the same pattern, with the creators using a filter known as “POlice by Jphant”, which makes them look like they’re in the back of a police car, and playing an a cappella version of “Locked” in the background.
They usually include text overlaid to describe something the user has done in the past or that they currently enjoy, if it is “made illegal” the user will be arrested. The lyrics specifically say, “I stand still trying to find purpose/Why do I do what I do?”
More than 200,000 videos on TikTok have used sound so far, mostly in trending styles.
Singer Joe Jonas posted a version of the trend on August 22, “If Forgetting the Song Was Illegal.” In 2019, the Jonas Brothers appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and Joe’s brothers said that he always forgets the lyrics to his songs and has to use a teleprompter on stage. His video has received over 800,000 views.
Singer and actor Hayley Kiyoko posted a similar video on August 21, “If Drinking Lemonade Was Illegal.”
In the caption, Kiyoko tagged it with #LemonadeMouth. The hashtag refers to the 2011 Disney Channel Original Movie of the same name starring Kiyoko, in which a group of outcasts drink lemonade and form a band. Her video received nearly 8 million views, and fans praised it as well as the movie in the comments.
Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino also made a “Locked Up” video, which earned him more than 11 million views. The text says, “It is illegal to be someone who reads a group chat but does not respond.”
Other popular videos that are trending include, “If it’s Illegal to Have Fun Siblings,” “If it’s Illegal to Have Bad Taste in Men,” or “If it’s Illegal to be a Bad Bitch.” Many receive over 1 million views.
The sound used in the videos was first posted in April by a TikTok user named @coinyes, who posts videos of popular songs that only contain vocals. The video featured Akon singing the chorus, but the audio did not include any instrumentals.
The earliest video to form the trend appears to have been posted on August 9 by @montyjlopez, influencer and father of actor Addison Ray, which garnered more than six million views. Lopez has recently been embroiled in controversy for allegedly having an affair with a woman who is not his wife. This led to an altercation with influencer Tana Mongeau, who commented under one of his videos, “I’m calling the police.”
His video didn’t feature on-screen captions, but showed Lopez lip-syncing to the song using a filter in the back of a police car and chanting “Got me!” Caption was shown.
The song “Locked Up” was released in 2004. It is written from the perspective of a person who is imprisoned and does not know when he will be released. According to NME, Akan wrote the song while in prison.
While the trend seems popular among TikTok users, there are some detractors. Zoë Hecht wrote for the online publication HerCampus that it “illuminates an important conversation regarding police interactions in today’s environment” and advised TikTokers to “be aware of trends with real-world implications.”
Other TikTok trends that have received similar criticism include the “mugshot challenge” in 2020, which involves using makeup to appear bruised and bruised and then taking mugshot-style photos and videos. Many influencers who joined the challenge were later accused of glamorizing violence. A trend in 2021 that saw people pretending to be arrested and taken away by the police also received a backlash for glamorizing police brutality.
Akon, Joe Jonas, Hailey Kiyoko, and Vinny Guadagnino did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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