So, sometime in March a close friend of mine introduced me to Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, and just like that, the Rebecca Black Plague claimed another victim.
It’s kinda like musical herpes: it never goes away and it comes back when you least expect it.
Now, like everyone else, I spent the next week or so cracking jokes about it whenever I had the chance, making fun of Rebecca Black like it was a damn Olympic sport. I was the Michael Phelps of Rebecca Black jokes, just backstroking everything from her annoying screechy voice to her soulless eyes to that damn black dude who embarrassed his family, his friends, and the entire black community at large by dropping a verse so bad, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame got an erection. At the same time.
Words can’t describe how much I hate these two.
But then I thought about it, and I realized it’s all satire. “Friday” is criticizing the entire vapid music industry by making a song people criticize without realizing their very criticism is the entire joke. Here’s why.
You Have Heard The Lyrics Before
Okay, first things first. Black didn’t actually write Friday. Her recording company, Ark Music Factory, did. What that means, however, is that this thirteen year old read the lyrics to this song, and thought to herself, “Wow. This is…this is just awful. It’s like a Ke$ha song. Wait a minute, I could make some money off of this.” And she did. And she was right. Pop music is filled with terrible lyrics. It’s somewhat necessary actually, since the point of most of them is not to be deep but to be easily digestible and pretty bad for you. Like a Pacific Shrimp Burrito at Taco Bell.
Fish at Taco Bell, just in case you really hate your anus.
One of the first things I noticed about “Friday” was how similar it was to Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”. Here are the first few lines of both for comparison’s sake:
|7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’
Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)- Rebecca Black
|Wake up in the morning
Feeling like P Diddy (Hey, what up girl?)
Got my glasses, I’m out the door
I’m gonna hit this city (Let’s go)
Before I leaveBrush my teeth with a bottle of jack
‘Cuz when I leave for
The night I ain’t coming back
The resemblance is uncanny, isn’t it? In both songs, somebody woke up, got ready, and left the house. That’s what all of us do every single day. Ke$ha just made things exponentially slutty by, well, by being Ke$ha. Her music is like…if the dirtiest of whores had an anthem, they wouldn’t use Ke$ha songs because they have too little class. I take showers after hearing Ke$ha so my ears can take a bath. I can’t look babies in the eye because I envy their innocence. My day gets a little worse, the sun shines a little less brightly, and orphans cry when “Tik-Tok” plays. I straight up have to go to confession.
Where this happens when the priest hears what I did
That’s the whole rotten point though, isn’t it? The people who wrote this song simply turned on the radio and heard what kids these days listen to and basically wrote a less-skanky version of any popular song. It’s like plagiarism but everyone’s too embarrassed to consider “Friday” a song. It required no effort and absolutely zero songwriting ability, and yet it’s garnered about 90 million views on Youtube. It’s that easy to get rich. Why am I going to college? “Friday” is simply a mirror on pop culture. It’s reflecting what we listen to on a daily basis, the only thing that separates it from loving acceptance is the fact that it’s not someone already famous singing it. Which brings me to my next point.
Hypocrisy: People Realize This, But Don’t Want to Admit Their Taste in Music Sucks
Let me just say this: if you love Top 40 music, studiously watch Glee, cried when Justin Bieber got a hair cut, idolize Jersey Shore, still think American Idol is relevant, have never heard “Thriller”, still hate Kanye West because of the Taylor Swift thing, just heard about Lupe Fiasco with Lasers and thought “Out of My Head” was the best song on it, have your full cell phone number on your Facebook page, taught your children how to dougie and not the other way around, or own a Snuggie unironically, chances are, your taste in music is…questionable, to say the least. And that’s not just the elitist black hipster in me talking, that’s pretty much a truism. Obviously music quality is subjective, but most 13-24 year olds have terrible musical taste, which makes it depressing that they are the ones that define pop culture.
One day all of you will be old and cynical too.
Rebecca Black is a satirist then, isn’t she? Though young, she realized how simple it was to get famous from poor art and made a video that borders on parody. She knows it’s a bad song, and that’s the very point. Self-realization is powerful, freeing the masses by using the same opiate they use everyday. She’s like…Pop Culture Neo, and far too many people are trapped in The Matrix to realize it. Her simple criticism is effective in just how successful it became in so little time. The greatest writers and musicians spend years toiling in obscurity trying to make the same point, but they never succeed. A 13-year old has trolled America into a recording contract and enough publicity to give her first official single, “LOL” – that’s not a joke, that’s her next song; watch it make fun of Usher’s “OMG” – and subsequent album the push they need to be smash hits. So to all those people hitting the dislike button 1.8 million times on Youtube, be aware that Black was probably the first one to do so.
I love this pic…I just do.