A woman pouring a glass of wine (L), a woman walking (C), and woman in a strip club (R).

@oofmeimei/TikTok @jazzyfizzle_/TikTok @ajaamarieexo/TikTok

Audio clip from a 2006 LeBron James Nike commercial has TikTok thinking

When you realize there are people who were born in 2006.

 

Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Published Jun 25, 2021   Updated Jun 25, 2021, 1:57 pm CDT

That One Sound is a weekly column from senior internet culture writer Audra Schroeder that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok. Suggestions? Tips? Email [email protected]

This week, we look into a sound I haven’t been able to escape on TikTok. But it’s also pretty appropriate for the official start of summer. It’s hot, we’re contemplating a lot of things, and an old LeBron James commercial is the soundtrack.

The sound

The sound on TikTok features a snippet of Kool & the Gang’s 1974 song “Summer Madness,” which was sampled in DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s 1991 hit “Summertime.” But this particular audio also includes a man saying “Oh, lord” just as the music swells, which drives home the various existential crises illustrated in this trend. 

It appears the origin, at least of this sound, is a June 6 TikTok from jazzyfizzle_, in which she’s “Thinking about how my mom was a child and grew up and now it’s my turn.”

https://www.tiktok.com/@jazzyfizzle_/video/6970701631692344582?sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6900943631025178117&is_from_webapp=v1&is_copy_url=0

Others pondered similar deep thoughts, such as “When u realize that people perceive you,” editing around the song’s three ascending notes for a more cinematic feel.   

“When you realize that right above your head is an endless void,” wrote jackbloor, stopped by that thought while gardening. The sound was also applied to quite a few videos about working a soul-sucking job, having adult responsibilities, or creating generational wealth

https://www.tiktok.com/@jackbloor0/video/6974048875816488198?sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6900943631025178117&is_from_webapp=v1&is_copy_url=0

Others had jokes. “Realising I’m never going to heaven because it’s up a stairway,” wrote danielmozeley

Ryanair, which was in the news last month after one of its flights was diverted under threat of terrorism and a Belarusian journalist arrested, used the sound in a recent TikTok about its planes having human eyes and mouths. It’s not clear if this is a new customer engagement strategy. 

Where’s it from?

If you’re of a certain age, the sample might be familiar: It’s from a 2006 Nike commercial featuring LeBron James, in which he plays himself and three other LeBrons. It’s “Wise LeBron” who says “Oh, lord,” as “Business LeBron” dives into the pool in a white suit to “Summer Madness” (right after snapping his flip phone closed).

The commercial was part of a 2006 advertising campaign for the Zoom LeBron IV sneaker, and the characters were used in a series of other short ads. “The LeBrons” were so popular they were made into action figures, and a 2011 animated series.

Sound off

Coincidentally, there is another “Oh, lord” sound going around TikTok right now. It’s from Criminal Minds actor Shemar Moore, and is perfect for any silly and/or goofy mood.

@willgrahamsdog

“Im sorry jack. The tragedy of whats happened to fredrick has put me in an excellent humor” headass #hannibal #madsmikkelsen #nbchannibal #shemar#fyp

♬ silly goofy shemar – willgrahamsdog
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*First Published: Jun 25, 2021, 12:00 pm CDT