Independent Rapper Superstar Pride’s ‘Painting Pictures’ Removed From Streaming Services After Becoming Billboard Top 25 Hit
Heartfelt bars, a Faith Evans sample, and a haircut worthy of a TikTok trend is all it took for unknown 20-year-old rapper Superstar Pride to score a smash hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with his song “Painting Pictures.” Released last October, “Painting Pictures” debuted at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100 on Feb. 22 and climbed to No. 25 this week. It’s a remarkable feat for an independent rapper hailing from Mississippi whose song blew up thanks to a TikTok trend that pokes fun at his haircut. Unfortunately, just as the song blew up, it was removed from Spotify and YouTube this week.
“Painting Pictures” is produced by StunnaMade and Global Knockz and samples Faith Evans’ 1995 hit “Soon As I Get Home.” On the track, Superstar raps about his family history, tells off a woman who claims he impregnated her and shouts out his mother for the way she raised him.
The lyrics “Mama, don't worry, you raised a gangster, I’m a survivor” has become a fan favorite and viral sensation. A clip of Superstar reciting those lyrics has been used to soundtrack various TikTok videos with millions of views.
On TikTok, users have been recreating a clip of Superstar performing the song in front of a microphone at a tennis court. In the clip, Superstar sports a haircut that’s short in the front but long in the back. So, TikTok users have recorded themselves mouthing his lyrics in front of makeshift mics with semi-trucks, airplanes and entire houses tied to the back of their heads.
@superstarpride “ Mama Don’t Worry “ #fyp #trending #viral ♬ PAINTING PICTURES - Superstar Pride @yourfavchocolatee UndefeatedMoma dont worry..#fyp #fy #foryoupage #momadontworry #pov #fypシ #fouryou #trending #blowup #viral #fypage #fypシ゚viral #fypdongggggggg #viralvideo #airplane #funny #funnyvideos #hiphop #lol # # ♬ PAINTING PICTURES - Superstar Pride @hbe.babyj Nah we definitely won this @noahbannedagain #fyp #mamadontworry #viral #funnyvideos #miltok ♬ PAINTING PICTURES - Superstar Pride
Reached via Instagram DM, Superstar told XXL that despite the fact TikTok is known for dancing it also “gives local artists a chance to introduce themselves to the world.” He added that he finds the memes “hilarious.”
It’s unclear why the song was removed from DSPs this week. The likely culprit is sample clearance issues since Superstar sampled “Soon As I Get Home,” a song that was released on Bad Boy/Arista and credits Diddy as both a songwriter and producer.
Superstar would not be the first rapper to have his first major hit face legal consequences for not clearing a sample. Back in 2017, the late Juice WRLD’s song “Lucid Dreams” became a viral sensation. The song eventually peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the rapper interpolated Sting’s 1993 hit “Shape of My Heart,” which was not cleared prior to release and almost led to a lawsuit. Thankfully, that didn't happen as “Lucid Dreams” went on to become a diamond-certified smash. However, the song’s producer, Nick Mira, revealed that due to the sample Sting owns 85 percent of the rights to the song.
If "Painting Pictures" doesn't get back on streaming services, it's likely to fall off the charts next week. Despite that setback, the song's success has led to a major label bidding war for Superstar Pride according to HitsDailyDouble.