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That's Just What Gangstas Do

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That's Just What Gangstas Do refers to a series of TikTok videos set to the song "Gangsta" by Kehlani.[1] In the videos, the user looks away from the camera as it rotates around their face. An on-screen caption describes an action or belief that they consider "gangster" but often is not. They look into the camera with a smile as it locks onto their face, and the lyrics, "that's just what gangstas do" are sung. The premise bears some similarity to Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta memes.


"Gangsta" by Kehlani has been used in videos on TikTok since at least June of 2020. One of the most popular uses is a sound titled, "Thirst Trap Intensifies – I Can't Breathe," uploaded by TikToker emmywithlove[2] on June 29th, 2020. Her original video using the sound garnered over 2.3 million views in three months, with the sound hitting over 15.8 thousand total uses by September 23rd. These videos helped popularize the song on TikTok, although in a much different format.

On September 4th, TikToker spicydoug[3] posted a video with the on-screen caption, "9 year old me after beating the sh!t out of my stuffed animals for talking back" (shown below). The video features the staple Kehlani song (uploaded as an original sound titled "Dougie") and a rotating camera. The video gained over 177,000 views and 34,000 likes in 19 days.


On September 8th, 2020, TikToker ziigy123[4] posted a video captioned, "When you get partnered with the popular kid and say, 'wait…what's your name again?' to humble them" following spicydoug's format (shown below, left). The video garnered over 1.7 million views in 15 days. Ziigy123 continued to upload popular examples of the format, with his most popular one acquiring over 2.7 million views in 12 days (shown below, right).

Users caught onto the trend throughout September. On September 21st, StayHipp published an article on the increasing popularity of the trend.[5] As of September 23rd, Spicydoug's original sound "Dougie" has been used in over 10,000 videos on TikTok. There are over 6.8 million videos under the hashtag #thatsjustwhatgangstasdo.

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – Gangsta

[2] TikTok – emmywithlove

[3] TikTok – spicydoug

[4] TikTok – ziigy123


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