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Doesn't Need Autotune refers to a snowclone trend that exploits the aesthetics of RapTV infographics regarding hip-hop artists and rappers, like DaBaby, not needing auto-tune to sound good. Meme creators replaced the audio of the original, 2019 Instagram post to memetic songs such as Minecraft YouTuber intros or the American Dad! theme song and its remixes. The format took off en masse in early 2021, however, it gained traction on both TikTok and YouTube in 2022 in videos that referenced other rappers like Yeat and BabyTron, among others.
On November 2nd, 2018, the Instagram account geezrecords posted a video of Ariana Grande singing without any autotune in a studio with other musicians. The video was captioned, "Grande Doesn't Need Autotune 😱🎶" and was reposted from the account blessed_voices_official, however, the original post has since been removed. Geezrecords' post received roughly 6,400 views and over 870 likes in four years (shown below). This is the first known instance of the catchphrase.
Despite the aforementioned video being the first known instance, the Doesn't Need Autotune trend was directly inspired by videos posted by Instagram user einerbankz whose content at the time centered on playing the ukelele with rappers while they rapped without autotune.
On February 19th, 2019, the Instagram account deeptentoeschallenges reposted a einerbankz video with rapper YKIZZYYY, whose caption used the Doesn't Need Autotune snowclone and earned roughly 180,100 views and 29,500 likes in three years (shown below, left). On September 20th, 2019, the Instagram account rapviralx reposted a einerbankz video featured DaBaby, captioning it, "DA BABY DOESN'T NEED AUTO-TUNE," and earning roughly 99,900 views and 9,400 likes in three years (shown below, right).
Addtionally, the original DaBaby and einerbankz video was uploaded to YouTube on March 26th, 2019, earning roughly 9.8 million views and 301,000 likes over the course of three years (shown below, left). Sometime in late February 2021, an unknown Alex Jones centric Instagrammer posted a moldy version of rapviralx's post that replaced the audio with the DanTDM Minecraft intro song. It was reposted to YouTube on February 7th, 2021 by the channel WoomyZooms, earning over 2,000 views in a year and a half (shown below, right). This is the first-known repost.
On February 24th, 2021, the Instagram account big__floppa replaced the DaBaby video with Big Floppa, earning roughly 3,800 views and 1,100 likes in a year and a half (shown below, left). On March 4th, 2021, the Instagram account repostrandy reposted the DanTDM version, earning roughly 66,400 views and 15,000 likes in a year and a half. On March 24th, 2021, Instagram account repostrandy uploaded another version, this time with Minecraft YouTuber SSundee's outro song, earning roughly 76,100 views and 18,400 likes in a year and a half (shown below, right).
More iterations spread to YouTube and across Instagram going into the remainder of 2021. For instance, on March 30th, 2021, Instagrammer c_o_c_o_n_u_t_s_ posted a version with cartoon sound effects, earning roughly 45,300 views and 10,800 likes in a year and a half (shown below, left). On May 7th, 2021, Instagrammer wheatzies posted a version with the Dr. Fauci COVID-19 vaccine song, earning roughly 3,900 views and over 700 likes in 13 months (shown below, right).
The format had a resurgence in mid-2022 that manifested on both TikTok and YouTube. This predominantly started on March 19th, 2022 when TikToker freezephan posted a video that replaced the DaBaby audio with "Honey, I'm Good" by Andy Grammer, earning roughly 15,700 likes in five months (shown below, left). On May 3rd, 2022, TikToker mutediornymemes replaced the DaBaby audio with the American Dad! theme song, earning roughly 258,900 plays and 32,400 likes in three months (shown below, right).
TikTokers started posting these edits en masse in July 2022, many of them using American Dad! Theme Song Remixes for their audios and referencing multiple rappers, not just DaBaby. For instance, on July 6th, 2022, TikToker raptokman referenced rapper Babytron in a video that earned roughly 1.3 million plays and 228,800 likes in one month (shown below, left). Also on July 6th, TikToker dababydontneedautotune posted an iteration that featured Yeat and received roughly 76,200 plays and 11,100 likes in one month (shown below, right).
This, in turn, spread to YouTubers in June 2022. For instance, on July 19th, 2022, YouTuber strom posted a version that referenced Toby Fox from Undertale but had Peter Griffin singing Maroon 5's "Memories," earning roughly 13,400 views and over 840 likes in three weeks (shown below).