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Thank U, Next: How Ariana Grande and Drake Accelerated the Pop Music Life Cycle

The single was supposed to be “I’m Upset.” Released in the late-May lead-up to Drake’s fifth album, Scorpion, “I’m Upset” was the track that got the high-concept, meme-thirsty video—a Degrassi reunion! Kevin Smith?—which dropped just two weeks before the album itself. Jimmy Brooks stans were satiated, but as a song, “I’m Upset” was a dud. Critics called it “boring.” Streaming numbers didn’t pose a threat to the other Drake song still sitting atop the charts, “Nice for What.” Its petulance felt a bit like self-parody. When Pusha T released his world-stopping diss track “The Story of Adidon” a few days later, he didn’t even have to come up with a punch line to make fun of “I’m Upset.” He simply said the title of the song, and then laughed.

But Scorpion, you were hiding a single—even if it took the Instagram comedian Shiggy to figure it out. On June 29, the Friday Scorpion was released, Shiggy treated his followers to a short, exuberant video of himself dancing to “In My Feelings,” an album cut deep into the second side of the 90-minute (zzz), 25-track (zzzzz) Scorpion. The dance was goofy, literal, and above all things easy to replicate, and so with a hashtagged push from Shiggy’s famous friend Odell Beckham Jr., the #InMyFeelings challenge was born.

Within a ridiculously short amount of time, Ciara posted a video of her doing the Shiggy on her honeymoon, Will Smith employed a drone to film him doing it on top of a Budapest bridge (sure!), and, for some reason, people began risking injury by jumping out of moving cars to do the #InMyFeelings dance. (Whoever Kiki is, she is NOT worth dying for, kids!) A craze was born; millions and millions of streams followed—and so the people chose one

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