Nick Cannon in the 2002 movie "Drumline."
  • TikTokers are using audio from the 2002 movie "Drumline" as part of a meme.
  • The audio is from a scene in the film in which Nick Cannon's character fights for a snare drum solo.
  • People are using the sound to mimic typing, showing furious exchanges or deadline rushes.
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TikTok has revived what's arguably the most famous movie in the percussion film canon: "Drumline," the 2002 film starring Nick Cannon as a teen snare drum prodigy who has to fight upperclassmen (and his own ego) for a spot on the drumline at Atlanta A&T, a fictional HBCU with a renowned marching band. Nearly 20 years after its premiere, one sequence from the film has found new life on TikTok as part of a meme that depicts people furiously typing to try and finish their work on time.

The audio - a repetitive, energy-filled drumline cadence - is lifted from a sequence in "Drumline" in which Devon, Nick Cannon's character, challenges upperclassman Sean for a snare solo on the field. While the sound was uploaded by user @soundsforslomo_bro, the original video appears to have been deleted.

It's not completely clear where the meme originated, although early instances trace back to the first half of January. One of the earliest instances appears to be a January 8 video from user @mrdapper_ captioned, "When you're trying to get off at 5 on a Friday!" @mrdapper_ went on to post severalother instances of the meme that same week.

@mrdapper_

When you’re trying to get off at 5 on a Friday! ##fyp##Fy##Foryou##drumline##drumlinechallenge##comedy##funny

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

One of the earliest viral videos associated with the sound was a January 11 video from @tyerenae, whose current TikTok bio reads "CEO of the [snare drum emoji] sound." In a video that's amassed nearly 825,000 likes captioned "when your assignment is due at 11:59 pm," @tyerenae furiously types on a laptop to meet a school deadline.

@tyerenae

When your assignment is due at 11:59pm lol ##tyerenae##blackboard##1159##zoom##drumline##drumlinethemovie

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

On January 13, @mrdapper_ and @tyerenae collaborated on a video set to the "Drumline" sound that features an exchange between a professor and a student. 

@tyerenae

Reply to @tyerenae when your teacher won’t open the assignments for you ?? collab with @mrdapper_ ?? ##tyerenae##drumline##drumlinechallenge

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

Since those early days, the meme has taken off on TikTok, with people recreating similar scenarios like asking for a project extension, chatting with a boss, or cleaning the house.

@soylea._

If only y’all knew how clutch my mom is ?? ##fyp##hbcu##hbcugrad##collegelife##soyleacomedy

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!
@nutritionbykylie

Just here to provide free, easy nutrition tips ?? ##dietitian##weightloss##nutrition

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!
@islandofpineapples ? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

As of now, the hashtag #drumlinechallenge has nearly 27 million cumulative views, and the sound upload is associated with over 12,000 videos. 

@therapy_thoughts

This may or may not be a true story ##drumlinechallenge##drums##tiktoktherapist##mentalhealthmatters##foryou

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!
@thenamesmessiah

##drumline ##drumlinechallenge ##work ##foryoupage ##fyp

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!
@james_baldwin37

what's your best call off excuse for the turn up?! ##drumlinechallenge##work##party

? original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

Ultimately, the "Drumline" sound is so well-suited for TikTok - and this meme in particular - because of its nostalgia pull, dramatic arc, and resemblance to typing sounds. It's easy to map any kind of intense exchange or deadline rush onto the mounting tension of the audio, which culminates in an explosive solo snare moment. It's nigh-impossible not to feel the energy just from the sound alone.

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