TikTokers Are Twerking to a Protest Chant

Take it to the streets, now fuck the police, bounce that ass, no peace?
17 June 2020, 2:00pm
A protester marches through Brooklyn, New York after the killling of George Floyd.
Image: Carter Sherman

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Protests against police brutality, inspired by the killing of George Floyd, have swept the country and show no sign of letting up. In every state, people are taking up signs, chanting and marching. One particular chant from Philadelphia is, let's face it, a bop.

On June 3, a TikToker named Mandy J went to a protest in Philly. In a TikTok from the event, she said, "Philly's vibe is unmatched." I have to agree—this chant whips. As many users have TikTok noted, it sounds like people are chanting "Take it to the streets, fuck the police, now bounce that ass, no peace." It hits all the greats: no justice, no peace, bouncing your ass, and fuck the police. One commenter wrote, "that extra 'no peace' hits!" and they are correct.

One of TikTok's key features allows you to use audio from other people's videos to soundtrack your own. Thus, the audio from this video took on a life of its own. Cayley Spivey, who performs music under the name Small Talks, declared it her favorite song:

Woah Vicky, who as far as I can is a woman who is famous on the internet for possibly being one of several races, bounced her ass to the chant:

But let's back up a second. Although it sounds so much like "take it to the streets, fuck the police, now bounce that ass, no peace," after now listening to this chant I am no longer sure those are the words. When the chant is said a second time on the video, it sounds a lot more like they're saying "take it to the streets, defund the police, no justice, no peace."

In case you don't remember the great Yanny and Laurel fiasco of 2018, the internet was once consumed by an audio recording that sounded like "Yanny" to some people but "Laurel" to others. I always heard Yanny, and to this day cannot hear Laurel. Just like the dress that looked either blue or gold, this was one of those insignificant things that nonetheless had people genuinely arguing about what they were hearing. This isn't quite so extreme, but TikTokers were still genuinely confused.

It's probably a safe assumption that protesters were not demanding people to shake their ass, and that there would be no peace until you have done so. That misheard lyric, of a sort, is also being incorporated into TikTokers videos, making fun of themselves for being all set to twerk at the protest.

A lot of these young people are coming of age at these protests, and are becoming politically involved through them. That's amazing to watch happen. What's also amazing is watching the things that happen at these protests disseminate into the culture through TikToks, tweets, and Instagram posts. In another world, that chant from Philly would be forgotten when the day was over. Now I want to break it out at my next march. The bounce that ass version, though. Sometimes, it's alright to twerk at the protest.