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City Girls’ JT Asks Fans to Defy UMG’s TikTok Fight to Promote Her Next Single

JT wants her next single to be a TikTok hit, whether her record label allows it or not.

The City Girls rapper — signed to Universal Music Group’s Motown Records — took to X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, telling fans to share other versions of her upcoming single “Okay” to help it go viral as her label’s ongoing dispute with TikTok prevents an official version from living on the platform.

“Remember I’m with UMG so once song is out, TikTok will be muted so try to get a distorted sound going,” JT wrote on Wednesday. “I have one on my TikTok, use it if you want or make your own IDC just spread the sound.”

JT’s callout is among the boldest moves from a UMG artist to work around the label’s ongoing debacle since the dispute boiled over in early February. All of UMG’s music was pulled from TikTok after the company announced that it hadn’t reached a new licensing agreement with the platform, citing issues including low payouts and concern on AI music on TikTok.

Reps for JT and UMG did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment.

While JT’s method is less subtle, she’s not the only UMG artist who is still sharing songs on the platform. Olivia Rodrigo, for instance, posted multiple TikToks featuring her Guts songs “Obsessed” and “So American” that remain live on her page as of this story’s publication.

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift’s music resurfaced on TikTok late last week, just ahead of the release of her upcoming album The Tortured Poets Department. In Swift’s case, her music most likely came back at her own request as she owns the masters and publishing rights for her catalog, giving her more power on what happens with her music.


Swift’s decision could be a major moment in the dispute given her outsized influence on the music business. UMG argues that TikTok should pay significantly more given how large a role songs play in creating content, while TikTok has maintained that it’s a marketing tool and shouldn’t pay rates akin to streaming services.

Artists have been split on the label’s fight with TikTok and the principles behind the move. Some have voiced frustration as their success stemmed from TikTok, while others have concurred that TikTok doesn’t pay enough for the thousands of videos that feature their songs. UMG artist Cody Fry told Rolling Stone in February that “the bummer is that it feels like UMG and TikTok are both going to be fine. Meanwhile, the actual artists on the ground are the ones that are going to take the hits for this.”

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