Rap Verse Goes Viral Thanks To Hustle Culture Memes

  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his rap debut on Tech N9ne’s track “Face Off.”
  • His verse, which includes the lyrics “it’s about driving, it’s about power”, has gone viral on TikTok.
  • It sparked a wave of satirical memes about extreme fitness culture and the lyrics themselves.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s rap debut on Tech N9ne’s song “Face Off” has gone viral on TikTok, with its lyrics sparking a wave of hustle culture memes.

“It’s about the ride, it’s about the power / we stay hungry, we devour,” Johnson raps on the track’s final verse. “Put in to work, put in the hours and take what’s ours.” He wrote the verse himself, per Variety. “Face Off” was released in October on Tech N9ne’s “Asin9ne” album and also features Joey Cool and King Iso.

An upload of Johnson’s verse has been used in more than 48,000 videos on TikTok, amassing millions of cumulative views in the process.

He was propelled by a flood of memes that applied his words to satirical videos about fitness, superhuman feats or even school. Although the subject matter varies, the format is relatively uniform: upon hearing Johnson rap “it’s about riding, it’s about power,” users show themselves performing accelerated reps of weightlifting, doing homework or doing household chores. It’s a satirical take on extreme physical fitness and the “bustle” culture, which glorifies overwork.

Tech N9Ne told Variety that “Face Off” is an “energy song” that he plans to use to “motivate people to lift weights, bulk up for fights, bulk up for the game.” The rapper said he wanted a fighter on the track, and after Johnson’s work on the Disney movie “Moana,” he knew the former wrestler and actor “got the groove.”

Amid the flood of memes, Johnson’s verse has also turned into a copypasta — a collection of memetic texts that people spam online — that populates comment sections on related videos.

a commentary with the lyrics of Dwayne Johnson's verse on

An example of lyrical copypasta circulating on TikTok and featuring Johnson’s lyrics, left on a TikTok video posted by @alexsmithlovesyou.

@alexsmithlovesyou/@real_nigerianprince/TikTok


The song’s popularity on TikTok has not come without its fair share of criticism, with some TikTok users posting viral videos calling the verse “garbage” and asking people to “please stop doing the hype”. Those criticisms, however, are offset by people defending the track and others saying it grew on them.

“Why am I really starting to like this so- ITS ABOUT DRIVE ITS ABOUT POWER,” reads a comment with over 103,000 likes from user @jotarokujo8315 on @hotpockets55’s video about the song.

On Wednesday, Johnson himself finally had fun on TikTok for the first time since the day the song was released.

“THANK YOU for rocking HARD on our #FACEOFF,” Johnson captioned a Wednesday post on TikTok about fan reception to the song which features clips of videos tuned to its verse, including some appear to be memes.

Within an hour of posting the video, his comments section was predictably beginning to fill with a set of words, repeated by branded accounts, including those of the Pittsburg Steelers and Dallas Mavericks: “It’s about driving, it’s about power / we stay hungry, we devour.”

Read more stories from Insider’s Digital Literacy Office.

Comments are closed.