What makes a TikTok smash? As it turns out, it’s the same stuff that has always turned ordinary recordings by unknown artists into monster hits. You’ve got to have a great voice and a great hook. You’ve got to look the part and address the audience with all the swagger you can muster. What’s more, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a dedicated community of fans ready to get excited about an artist and spread the word.
Tyte has all of that working for him — and he knows it. That’s what “Ask Around,” his breakthrough single, is about. So secure is the young rapper about his charisma that he’s not sweating it at all if you haven’t heard of him yet. He figures you’ll know all about him soon enough.
Why? Because he’s got the goods. He’s the possessor of an instantly identifiable voice — once you’ve heard him rap, you’ll never mistake him for anybody else. He knows exactly how to use it, too, cutting through the mix with every syllable, making his presence felt, joking, punning, daring the listener to keep up. His producers have given him an impeccable trap beat to ride, complete with a thunderous kick drum, an insistent hi-hat, rhythmic drops in all the right places, and an irresistible synth pattern that ties the whole thing together.
It’s no wonder he’s got his whole city behind him. He’s become a star in the tight-knit, competitive Tallahassee, Florida rap scene and brought one of his fellow riders to the party. Wizz Havinn’s flow is as laid-back, Southern, and syrupy as Tyte’s is cutting and urgent; together, they’re a brutally effective tag team, two sides of the Florida weather, the sunshine and the storm.
They’re both present on the block in the smoky, sizzling, immensely entertaining clip for “Ask Around,” masterfully shot by frequent Slip N Slide collaborator Counterpoint 2.0. The visual is full of eye-catching elements that’ll make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action: the boisterous crowds and the sidewalk dancers, the tail lights and the trap houses, the hot city streets and the twilight skies. But it’s the rappers who shake this bottle up and make it fizz. Tyte always seems to be coming toward the camera, sometimes through the haze, sometimes in the vanguard of a group of restless young men, and sometimes on his own. He’s neither menacing nor particularly welcoming. He’s just there, irresistible and confident, a rude fact, the man of the hour, and an emerging artist we’ll be hearing from for a long time.