The craze regarding Rebecca Black’s self-published music video Friday is sort of old news at this point, but since I live in a perpetual time-warp, I figured it would be OK to write about it.
When it was first published online, everyone was talking about it, and not in a good way. People were jeering at the shittiness of her singing, the ridiculously mundane lyrics, and the general ineptitude of the whole thing. I don’t disagree. I mean, she isn’t a good singer, the lyrics are terrible, and it was largely a rather lame affair. Although, the general naivete of the song itself was paradoxically refreshing.
However, I will give her this: the production quality was actually good. For a self-produced music video, the thing looked professional. It had nice film quality, good audio quality, and looked as if they had put some thought into the lighting, production, staging, special effects, etc. Plus, she managed to find a semi-legit rapper to be featured. Overall, Rebecca’s Black’s music video is 1000 times better than your own shitty YouTube audition tape featuring you crooning along with your out of tune acoustic guitar.
When people first heard her song online they said, “LOL THIS SONG SUCKS THIS GIRL IS STUPID LOL!” But if they had heard the exact same song on the radio they would have said, “LOL HOLY SHIT THIS SONG ROCKS! I NEED TO GO BUY THE SINGLE, DOWNLOAD THE ITUNES VERSION, BUY THE FULL ALBUM, AND IMPORT THE BOOTLEG VERSION FROM JAPAN! I LOVE REBECCA BLACK LOL!” When people hear independent music on the internet, they are immediately critical. But when they hear it on the radio, they automatically give it a ton of credit it may not deserve just because it’s on the radio, and therefore “popular.”
Rebecca Black’s song Friday is just as good as anything that’s being played on the radio today. People criticize her lyrics for being terrible, but her lyrics are no worse than any random song currently topping the charts. For example, the Travie McCoy song, Billionaire:
I wanna be a billionaire so frickin’ bad
Buy all of the things I never had
Uh, I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen
OK, so he wants to be a “billionaire so frickin’ bad” and hang out with Oprah and Queen Elizabeth. How is that any less retarded than:
It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend
The answer: it’s not. In fact, Billionaire is arguably more retarded. Who actually wastes their time sitting around wishing they could be a billionaire just so they can hang out with Oprah? At least Friday sets realistic expectations. Who doesn’t look forward to “gettin’ down on Friday?” Why an unrelatable song would be popular and an identifiable one not makes no sense. People are fucking idiots.
And what about the argument that Rebecca Black can’t sing? Let me remind you that a lack of singing talent has never been an impediment to having a music career. Just take a listen to anything sung by Bob Dylan. The dude has a gravelly, monotone voice and he can’t carry a tune to save his life. Black is arguably a better singer than Dylan because she isn’t tone deaf. However, Dylan is considered to be a top-notch songwriter, so he gets a pass. OK, so that’s not exactly a fair comparison. Well, let’s compare Black to a contemporary, Ke$ha.
Ke$ha symbolizes everything that’s wrong with the music industry today. She can’t sing, can’t dance, doesn’t write her own songs, and she isn’t even hot. How she got popular in the first place is a mystery on par with who built Stonehenge. Ke$ha clearly cannot sing. If you listen to any of her “songs” you will notice that she sort of talks/warbles through the lyrics. Everything is heavily autotuned because she has no musical talent. Black, while certainly no Aretha Franklin, can at least partially carry a tune. Ke$ha can’t, but she’s popular. How is she popular? Because people like her. And why do they like her? Again, it’s because people are retarded.
So why is it that terrible shit gets onto the radio? Looking at popular artists like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Usher, Pitbull, Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Rhianna, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake (I’m still pissed at this dude – everyone knows I brought sexy back, not him.), and any of the other generic rap/R&B artists out there currently, none of them are that great. Sure, Katy Perry’s songs are tolerable and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance was pretty good, but take a look at how many of their songs are considered to be number-one hits on the radio. Lady Gaga has had 8 number-one hit songs from two albums. I’m sorry, but Alejandro, Lovegame, Pokerface, and Telephone are not number-one hit material. They are decent songs, but number one? No, just no. The same thing holds true for Katy Perry. She has had 7 number-one hit songs from two albums. Maybe I Kissed a Girl is number-one material, but the rest aren’t. They are average at best. Really, unless we’re talking about The Beatles or The Rolling Stones or Michael Jackson, pop artists typically shouldn’t have more than 1 or 2 number-one songs per album, let alone 5 or 6. Katy Perry isn’t as good as The Beatles and Lady Gaga isn’t as good as Michael Jackson. In a logical world, so many of their songs wouldn’t jump straight to the top of the charts. Alas, we don’t live in a logical world, we live on planet Earth.
How is it that so many of these songs become popular? Well, the corporate machine that is the music industry deems them to be popular. They control what the radio stations play. They decide they want to push an artist like Bruno Mars because maybe he sucked the right people’s dicks. So, they tell the radio stations to play his songs over and over again. The first time you hear it you may dislike it or feel indifferent toward it. But when you have heard it for the 40th time in one day, it gets stuck in your head and you start to like it. That’s how they make a number-one song. They just play it enough times until people start to like it. People think to themselves, “LOL THIS IS THE NUMBER-ONE SONG, IT’S NOT THAT GREAT BUT IT’S NUMBER-ONE, SO IT MUST BE THE BEST THING ON THE RADIO RIGHT NOW LOL.”
There are much better artists and songs out there that don’t get a lot of radio play. Jamiroquai is a perfect example. They produce great songs that have a combination of influences from various genres. But they don’t fit well enough into the corporate marketing strategy so they don’t get pushed in the U.S. The same holds true for many other unique, hardworking musicians who just don’t have the right image, so they don’t get chosen by the industry to become a platinum-selling artist.
That’s what it really boils down to, who is marketable. For some reason a corporate retard took a look at Ke$ha and said LOL SHE’S CAN’T SING, CAN’T DANCE, CAN’T WRITE SONGS, AND ISN’T HOT, BUT SHE’S A WILD PARTY GIRL WHO WILL DO ANYTHING FOR MONEY AND FITS INTO OUR CORPORATE MARKETING STRATEGY! PLUS SHE GAVE US ALL BLOWJOBS SO WE’LL MAKE HER SONGS NUMBER-ONE! NOW SOMEONE SHOVE THIS JALAPENO PEPPER UP MY ASS LOL!
Rebecca Black deserves some credit for being able to make a minor splash in the music world without the backing of the corporate machine. Her singing skills are average and her music writing is average, too. She’s just as good and just as bad as anything else that’s “popular” and being played on the radio today. That being said, it’s only a matter of time until her music winds up as a number-one hit on the radio.
Verdict: There is No God