I would like to think I got my Car Autance colleagues into TikTok. My meme links tend to clog up our work Slack chats, maybe sometimes at the wrong moments. Whoops, sorry guys, Charli D’Amelio beckons. Characterless TikTok celebrities aside, the app’s been boosting a song that folks might not realize is, about boosting, uh, um, Korean cars?
Recently, the social media app TikTok had a rap song go viral, complete with funky dancing and camerawork typical of new trends on the platform. The song itself is kind of a generic SoundCloud rap, overly bass boosted, lots of syncopation, minimal instrumentation. The whole thing was probably made in GarageBand, but the hook, as the kids say, “goes crazy”. A softly spoken woman, calmly sing-talks over the beat: “First he had a Kia/Had a bad bitch named Aaliyah,” is an earworm that won’t leave my frontal cortex. The song is goofy and mixed poorly, the bass will cause your speakers to clip, and who the hell thought to rap about Kias in a rap song in earnest?
That song, according to YouTube and TikTok comments sections, is referencing the Kia Boys. This gang of folks, mostly teens, seem to have gained a reputation for stealing Hyundai and Kias in the Milwaukee area. I am fully aware that it sounds like a joke that Lillian Kaushtupper would make on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but no — kids are really stealing Hyundais and Kias. Just look here:
Apparently, these cars have gained a reputation as being easy to steal. We ain’t responsible for your ass getting jail time, but watch as this mechanic demonstrates how the Kia Boys have been snatching cars using what looks to be an Apple iPhone lighting cable.
I reached out to the Milwaukee Police Department and a representative responded via email, saying that while they don’t comment on investigation particulars, they “have had reports of an elevated number of Hyundai and Kia models stolen in the Milwaukee area.”
Of course, we had to ask our automaker PR contacts about this, too. We learned over email that as a result of the thefts, Kia Motors America partnered with the city of Milwaukee, and they’re gifting Kia and Hyundai owners who live in the city, free steering wheel locks. If you live in the Milwaukee area and are concerned, check out your local police station, with proof of ownership. MPD says that the steering locks will be available until the end of the year.
Rest assured though, a rep from Kia says that from 2022 onward, all Kia models will come with an immobilizer as standard. None of that information has stopped the Milwaukee City attorney from considering filing suit against Hyundai and Kia, possibly using public nuisance laws.
Wow. Well, hopefully, I didn’t just Streisand Effect all this nonsense and set off a chain reaction encouraging folks to steal Hyundais and Kias in other parts of the country. Oh well, I think. Stay safe, y’all!