Why Everyone Loves $NOT: An Interview About Life, Music, and Viral Success

$NOT doesn’t wake up every morning and try to go viral, but it keeps happening anyway.

Since he first started uploading songs on SoundCloud in 2016, the Florida rapper’s music has blown up on the internet in every way imaginable. Tracks like “Case 19” caught fire on YouTube and SoundCloud, before releases like “Gosha,” “Excuse Me,” and “Mean” went viral TikTok and Triller. He’s been featured on major YouTube channels like Lyrical Lemonade and Danny Duncan, ended up in countless memes, and seen his streams spike after landing on influential playlists.

At a certain point, all these moments added up to one undeniable fact: $NOT is a legitimate star who makes music that will find its way to the ears of millions, no matter where it’s shared on the internet.

As we’ve seen over and over lately, having a hot song on TikTok doesn’t always lead to a successful career or attract a real fanbase. Your music can end up at the center of a viral dance challenge and people still won’t know who you are or what you look like, because most of the attention goes to the influencers and dancers who actually appear on-camera in each video. Even though his rise has been buoyed by several songs blowing up on TikTok, however, $NOT doesn’t have this problem. His fans are extremely loyal, routinely mobilizing themselves in the comments sections of influential accounts.

When Trippie Redd recently posted a video on Instagram, asking his fans, “Who should I get on this song?” $NOT’s fans filled the comments and caught Trippie’s attention. He ended up following $NOT, reaching out, and they made a song together. This kind of thing happens all the time for the 23-year-old rapper. Whenever a major rap social media account posts a message like, “What rapper is about to have a huge year?” you’ll see hundreds of $NOT’s fans hyping him up in the comments. His fans actively want him to win, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.

So, why does everyone love $NOT? And what separates him from artists who fade away after their first taste of viral success?

There are multiple answers to those questions, but they all revolve around the same thing: his effortless style. $NOT never tries too hard—not in the studio, not on social media, not anywhere. His nonchalant, low-key delivery on songs like “Moon & Stars” creates a sneakily addictive, hypnotic effect that grows more appealing with every listen. Instead of trying to do too much, he focuses on perfecting subtly catchy melodies and writing relatable verses. Songs like “Revenge” might not immediately hit you over the head with excessive energy or flashy touches, but you’ll find yourself singing the words for weeks after first listening.

$NOT approaches other aspects of his life as a rapper in a similar manner. Over the phone, he tells me he’s “really boring,” but a scroll through his Instagram page will reveal a deceptively charismatic personality….

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