Gen-Zers and millennials are deeply divided over this 2000s music challenge

Two teenagers have sparked a major generational debate online — thanks to their allegedly “disappointing” lack of pop music knowledge.

The controversy, which has led millennials and other age groups to question teenagers on their cultural know-how, began with a TikTok video from a user named Dalia Hamad.

In Hamad’s clip, she and a friend play a supposedly random selection of 2000s pop hits — including 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” Usher’s “Burn” and Rhianna’s “Live Your Life.” Meanwhile, the pair moves their bodies from side to side based on whether or not they’re familiar with each track.

The clip, which features 10 tracks (including a few from the late 1990s and early 2010s), ultimately finds the teenagers admitting they don’t know any of the songs.

Hamad’s video instantly went viral on TikTok, earning more than 500,000 views and countless comments from social media users who were both confused and outraged by the clip.

“This was so sad to watch,” one user commented.

“imagine not growing up on these songs,” another wrote.

“OMGGGG!! There’s NO WAY I’m this old!!! WHAT IN THE HECK DO YOU ALL ACTUALLY LISTEN TOO?!!” another asked.

The clip even sparked a series of follow-up videos, in which older TikTokers posted their real-time reactions to the teens.


##duet with @daliiaaa_ I’m disappointed… who raised you!!?!?!? 😂😂😂😭😭😭😭 ##FYP

♬ original sound – therealgiancena

Response to Hamad’s original clip was so fervent that many even accused the TikToker of “faking” her lack of musical knowledge — with some commenters claiming she simply made the clip to spark a reaction.

Strangely enough, Hamad and her friend later posted another TikTok claiming they had, in fact, been lying about not knowing the songs. In that video, they appear together in a car, singing along to several songs from the original clip.

However, that video was quickly met with comments theorizing that the teens had simply learned the lyrics to each track after seeing the response to their first clip.

“Y’all studied the songs after that vid,” one commenter wrote, claiming Hamad had simply memorized the songs from her first video after the fact.

“Don’t try to play it off now,” another added.

It’s ultimately unclear which video was actually staged — Hamad’s original or the one where she “confesses” to lying — either way, the TikToker managed to get thousands of social media users arguing about their favorite throwback tunes.

Some users even took the opportunity to smooth the generational divide, sharing their belief that no age group is “required” to know certain cultural reference points.

“Wow but it’s ok different generation and younger generations don’t know all the cool music we had. I can’t say I know all of their music,” one user wrote.

“It’s OK yall don’t know these songs cause u have ur own music & that’s beautiful! But I hope u do listen to and stan Missy Elliott,” another joked.

If you liked this story, check out In The Know’s article on how TikTok became this year’s most important music platform.

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