Rebecca Black: Awful or Genius?

March 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Rebecca Black, an unknown 13-year old girl from Anaheim Hills, California put all of America in a tizzy when the video for her song “Friday” went viral around March 14, 2011. With its lyrics that state the painfully obvious & a low budget video, Black was met with instant critique that ranged from the “Eww, WTF is this shit?” commentary to the hurtful: “OMIGOD, I hope you go cut yourself & DIE!” When I first heard the song, I immediately laughed. I thought, “This cannot be real!” Being a dedicated listener to pop music, the song came off as a joke to me, because aesthetically it was a sound I was used to.

As soon as the “Friday” video was uploaded to Youtube with 43 million views and beyond, the song spread like wildfire. Social media proved its power and influence as the song become inescapable, clouding newsfeeds on Facebook and becoming the ultimate GIF on Tumblr. It came to the extreme point where Rebecca Black was a Trending Topic on Twitter for an unheard of 12 days straight!

After a few listens, I honestly think the song is genius. It is not a good song by any means, but it does serve as the epitome of music today. “Friday” has all the perfect elements of a 2011 pop song: basic, straightforward lyrics with no underlying metaphorical meaning (which was not written by Black at all), a heavily auto-tuned voice that masks any tone or pitch problems & provides a robotized sound that could be attributed to any singer of today, and an electro synth-heavy beat that’ll have people privately bopping their heads in the comfort of their bedroom or car.

So why is it that we accept Katy Perry’s “California Girls” and Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart” but we bash a young girl for inadvertantly exploiting pop music’s secret formula? I believe that we as music consumers have been brainwashed into accepting a generic form of music & become irate when that form is broken or poked fun at. The song & video is hilarious, point-blank. Rebecca Black may not have known what she was getting into when she released “Friday”, but I doubt she gives that a second thought as she struts herself all the way down to the bank. This little girl made approximately $27,000 in royalties, I know I’m not making that money right now. Who else is? I have to say, the joke is on us America.

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