Culture

From Memes to the Charts: Barlito’s “Times We Had” Is Taking Over the Internet

This photo taken on November 21, 2019, shows the logo of the social media video sharing app Tiktok displayed on a tablet screen in Paris.
Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images

Remember the times we had

The times that you and me had

Barlito

Does That Sound Familiar?

These seemingly simple lyrics don’t seem too out of the ordinary when given out of context. Maybe they grace the lyrics of a sad love tale, or an ode to a lover. But no, these are the opening lines to one of the most intriguing songs of 2020.

Barlito’s “Times We Had” is a prime example of millennial and generation x humor combining in harmony. Rising from the depths of the meme community, the song turned into an instant hit. It’s off-tone singing and catchy beat hooked listeners from the start as it was juxtaposed with memes mocking its quality.

Even if the song itself is far from a musical masterpiece, it certainly caught the attention of listeners. Currently sitting on top of Spotify’s Global and US Viral Charts, “Times We Had” is a symbol of the meme community making its mark on music.

Unlikely Success

The song currently has an impressive 140 thousand views on Genius Lyrics. Genuis is a reputed media site that provides lyrics to all major songs.

Originally released on Soundcloud on March 15, 2020, the song’s release was meant to be taken seriously by listeners. Barlito told the story of a past relationship. Following the format of any song concerning troubled love, Barlito raps about his experiences with his ex. Since then, the song has amassed 1.11 million listens on Soundcloud alone.

To those unfamiliar with the song, the beat is a simple trap beat with a xylophone instrumental. Produced by Zesty Beats, Barlito added his lyrics to the somber sounding instrumental and the hit was born.

“Times We Had” is only Barlito’s 4th released song. His prior three releases only garnering a combined 79 thousand listens. The song also is Barlito’s first on all major streaming platforms. Before the song’s success, Soundcloud was the only platform where his music was available. 

Despite the song’s massive viral success, Barlito is still shrouded in relative mystery. Not much is known about the aspiring rapper other than his Colombian and Puerto Rican lineage.

With the lack of details surrounding Barlito himself, perhaps the most notable aspect of the song is its unique rise to popularity. 

Taking Advantage of the Meme

“Times We Had” began its rise about a month after its initial release when it began appearing as the backdrop song to numerous memes. Most poked fun at Barlito’s tone-deaf melody and the cliche nature of his lyrics. Tiktok takes much of the credit for boosting it’s popularity. The platform is notorious for popularizing music. This “memeing” went on, and Barlito eventually took note. He began to promote the song and post fans’ stories that featured the song on his own Instagram. 

Following the song’s breakthrough, it was released onto mainstream platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.)

Slowly, some began to appreciate the song and actually enjoy its musical qualities. What started as a serious attempt to make a song about heartbreak evolved into a meme, and then into a viral hit. 

While still absent from Billboard charts, “Times We Had” has grown so much over just 2 months, and its full potential is unseen. One can only hope that this song may serve as the key to Barlito’s success as an artist.

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