We’re approaching the end of our darkest timeline, otherwise known as 2017, but there is one parting gift from this year: the “If you play ...” or “Start off the new year right ...” meme. It began as a simple tip or proposal on Twitter. Play this song to ring in the new year, and if you start it at the right time, you’ll get the perfect auditory moment at exactly midnight.
if you play "feeling myself" by nicki Minaj and beyonće at exactly 11:58:50 pm on New Year's Eve, beyonće will say "world stop" in 2017 and "Carry on" in 2018 ! What a great way to start your year!!!!— عُمر (@evilful) December 26, 2017
if you play mic drop at exactly 23:59:09 the last thing you’ll hear in 2017 is jhope’s “mic mic bungee” and the first thing you’ll hear in 2018 is suga’s “mic mic bungee” end and start your year off right— (@jhoseokbi) December 26, 2017
if you play cypher 4 by bts at 11:58:12 PM on new year’s eve, namjoon says ”ya playa haters you should love yourself brrrt” as the clock strikes midnight. welcome 2018 by promoting self love and letting go of negativity from your life— taehyung day ! (@caresuga) December 28, 2017
If you play "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield on December 31st at any time of the night you will have the night of your life because that song is the song of our generation. Start off your new year releasing your inhibitions and feeling the rain on your skin.— Josh (@OhItIsJosh) December 26, 2017
If you play Somebody Else by the 1975 on NYE at 11:56:26 then Matty will say “get someone you love, get someone you need” at the end of 2017 and then “fuck that get money” at the beginning of 2018. Start your year off right— The 1975 (@The1975Updates) December 26, 2017
If you start playing "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies at exactly 11:58:30 on New Year's Eve, the "Chickity China the Chinese chicken" will play exactly at midnight. Start off your new year right.— Taylor The Creator (@TaylorRieger) December 28, 2017
If you play 'Never Let Me Down Again’ at exactly 11:56:18pm on New Year’s Eve, Martin Gore will sing “See the stars, they're shining bright, everything's alright tonight” as the clock strikes midnight. Start off your new year right. #DepecheMode pic.twitter.com/l08Q1w62Dm— Ultra Depeche (@Ultra_Depeche) December 28, 2017
The concept originated on Reddit, according to Know Your Meme. On December 13, user tomboytom advocated for Frank Ocean’s “Nights” as a stroke-of-midnight tune. The post was upvoted, and after that, two tweets managed to make the choose-your-adventure meme go viral: One supporting tomboytom’s original post, the other telling people to play Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” at 11:59:08. From there, the internet did what it is wont to do.
If you play 4'33'' by John Cage on December 31st at 11:59:27, you'll get four exact minutes of tranquillity right as the clock strikes midnight. Start off your new year right.— Gretchen McCulloch (@GretchenAMcC) December 22, 2017
If you play 'In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins on December 31st at 11:56:40 the drum break will play right as the clock strikes midnight. Start off your new year right.— Phil Collins (@PhilCollinsFeed) December 21, 2017
if you play the new year by death cab at 11:59:11, it will say "so this is the new year" at exactly midnight. start 2018 with the truth— c (@anaIogboi) December 28, 2017
If you play “Glitter” by @tylerthecreator at 11:58:05 on dec. 31st the part where the mood turns all sad and he realizes the girl doesn’t like him back will happen right at midnight, so you can start 2018 crying, even more desperate for love and affection than in 2017— Garrett Flowers (@garrettflowers_) December 26, 2017
Even Paris Hilton has a suggestion!
If you play 'Stars Are Blind' at exactly 23:58 and 58 seconds on NYE, the chorus will kick off as the clock strikes 12.— Paris Hilton (@ParisHilton) December 28, 2017
Start 2018 as you mean to continue.
In addition to clever twists (see above) on the meme, two Waterloo-based software developers decided to make a single-serve website so you can create your own perfect beat drop at midnight on New Year’s. Ulkar and her husband Azhdar (who asked that their last names be withheld “just because of the nature of the internet”) launched Enter2018Right, a site that allows you to enter any song you want and, if you keep the page (or tab) open, it will automatically play that song at the requisite hour in order for the perfect midnight moment. (I have obviously chosen “Africa” by Toto. To each their own!)
Ulkar and Azhdar decided, like true developers, there was a smarter way to cue up the perfect musical drop for midnight: “We thought, ‘Well that’s gotta be hard to time [perfectly], there should be something to automate this!’” They started the project on December 23 (using the YouTube API to pull songs and writing a script that starts tunes at the right time), and by December 24, it was live. There’s more to come, though: “We added some special effects for those users who will be online right as the clock strikes 12!” Ulkar says.
They are savvy enough to give the internet what it wants, and to know how to ring in the new year right: “We plan to enter 2018 with Beyoncé saying ‘World stop, carry on!’” from Nicki Minaj’s “Feeling Myself.” That is, as long as the couple’s night isn’t interrupted. “Our New Year’s Eve is still up in the air because I’m actually nine months pregnant right now and might enter 2018 in the hospital!” Hopefully the delivery room will have Wi-Fi so this creative couple can welcome the new year—and their newborn—with their musical moment of choice.