Heartfelt bars, a Faith Evans sample, and a haircut worthy of a TikTok trend is all it took for unknown 20-year-old rapper Superstar Pride to score a smash hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with his song “Painting Pictures.” Released last October, “Painting Pictures” debuted at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Feb. 22 and climbed to No. 25 this week. It’s a remarkable feat for an independent rapper whose song blew up thanks to a TikTok trend that pokes fun at his haircut. The song was removed from YouTube and Spotify just this week after it had become a viral hit.
“Painting Pictures” is produced by StunnaMade and Global Knockz and samples Faith Evans’ 1995 hit “Soon As I Get Home.” On the track, Superstar raps about his family history, tells off a woman who claims he impregnated her and shouts out his mother for the way she raised him.
The lyrics “Mama, don’t worry, you raised a gangster, I’m a survivor” has become a fan favorite and viral sensation. Many TikTok videos have had millions of views and a clip of Superstar reading those lyrics has been used as the soundtrack.
TikTok users recreated a clip of Superstar singing the song at a tennis court microphone. In the clip, Superstar sports a haircut that’s short in the front but long in the back. So, TikTok users have recorded themselves mouthing his lyrics in front of makeshift mics with semi-trucks, airplanes and entire houses tied to the back of their heads.
@superstarpride “ Mama Don’t Worry “ #fyp #trending #viral ♬ PAINTING PICTURES – Superstar Pride
@yourfavchocolatee UndefeatedMoma dont worry..#fyp #fy #foryoupage #momadontworry #pov #fypシ #fouryou #trending #blowup #viral #fypage #fypシ゚viral #fypdongggggggg #viralvideo #airplane #funny #funnyvideos #hiphop #lol # # ♬ PAINTING PICTURES – Superstar Pride
@hbe.babyj Nah we definitely won this @noahbannedagain #fyp #mamadontworry #viral #funnyvideos #miltok ♬ PAINTING PICTURES – Superstar Pride
Reached via Instagram DM, Superstar told XXL that despite the fact TikTok is known for dancing it also “gives local artists a chance to introduce themselves to the world.” He added that he finds the memes “hilarious.”
It’s unclear why the song was removed from DSPs this week. The likely culprit is sample clearance issues since Superstar sampled “Soon As I Get Home,” a song that was released on Bad Boy/Arista and credits Diddy as both a songwriter and producer.
Superstar wouldn’t be the first rapper to make a big hit. He could also face legal consequences if he doesn’t clear a sample. Back in 2017, the late Juice WRLD’s song “Lucid Dreams” became a viral sensation. The song eventually peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the rapper interpolated Sting’s 1993 hit “Shape of My Heart,” which was not cleared prior to release and almost led to a lawsuit. Thankfully, that didn’t happen as “Lucid Dreams” went on to become a diamond-certified smash. However, the song’s producer, Nick Mira, revealed that due to the sample Sting owns 85 percent of the rights to the song.
“Painting Pictures” will be removed from the charts next week if it isn’t re-listed on streaming services. HitsDailyDouble reports that the song’s success led to a bidding war between major labels for Superstar Pride.
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