You might not know what the term “Millennial Whoop” means, but chances are you’ve heard it

There’s a certain pattern in pop music that I started to notice a couple of years ago. I mentally referred to it as the “Fifth-third uh-oh’s”, because it’s the lyric “uh-oh” sung repeatedly with the “uh” using the fifth note in the song’s key, and the “oh” using the third note. Patrick Metzger came up with a better term for a pop music pattern that’s been bugging me for the past decade: the Millennial Whoop.

Rather than describe it to you with words or show you the notes (both of which are meaningless if you haven’t studied any music theory), I can simply show you several examples of the Millennial Whoop in recent pop music:

(I find it amusing that the theme music at the end of the video also follows the Millennial Whoop pattern.)

Here’s a compilation of pop tunes that use the Millennial Whoop:

Here’s a follow-up compilation:

And here’s the song that features the most self-aware use of the Millennial Whoop (along with every other over-produced pop song trick): Andy Samberg’s Justin Bieber parody song, Fuck Off (warning: super-sweary; it even uses the “c-word”.)

And ads have caught onto the Millennial Whoop. Here’s an Uber ad, which I’ve set to start at the 25-second mark. You’ll hear the Millennial Whoop at 0:32:

And now, like me, you’ll never be able to unhear it.

One reply on “You might not know what the term “Millennial Whoop” means, but chances are you’ve heard it”

I don’t think pop music will get tired of the 5-3-5 interval pattern.
After all, it still hasn’t shaken the shitty over-percussive beats on 2 and 4. It’s been going downhill for a long time, and I’ve been studying/playing music for 35 years.

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