Why Rebecca Black is a genius, and why we hate her

2011-03-30 00:00

THANKS to all the hate rants and thumbs-down votes that Rebecca Black’s song has been receiving, I’ve had “ It’s Friday, Friday something something Friday ” stuck in my head the entire week.

For more than a week, Rebecca has been trending worldwide on Twitter due to tweets like: “Roses are red, violets are blue, if Rebecca Black wins any awards, Kanye you know what to do!” The 140-character tirades have only helped to increase her YouTube video hits from 4 000 to 13 million in less than a week. Her current view count is sitting at about 60 million.

If there is one thing that the Paris Hiltons (that includes Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Julius Malema) have taught us, it is that there is no such thing as bad publicity. And thanks to it, Rebecca may become a millionaire in her teens while we critics return to our average unknown lives.

Rebecca aside, most pop music is cheesy. What makes pop songs popular are their low-IQ lyrics, catchy beat and ability to lodge themselves in your memory like your first heartbreak.

Ever had a dumb tune stuck in your head for days?

The truth is that we love bad music.

When a colleague of mine heard about Rebecca’s days-of-the-week song, he dug out a sixties track by The Scaffold, with lyrics that drone: “Today’s Monday, today’s Monday, Monday is washing day”. And we liked it.

So why does Rebecca’s song get flack but something like Chelley’s equally-monotonous Took the Night becomes a craze? For those of you who don’t know the lyrics of Took the Night, it is the pinnacle of inanity with lines like: “One two four three none of these [chicks] look better than me. Better than me. Better than me. None of these [chicks] look better than me.”

When I first heard that song, I felt violated, as if my ears had been raped. But after laughing at some air-head girls dancing like they were the shizz to that song and after making my own jokes about it, it became my ring tone. And then it entered my in-group slang dictionary and it is now quoted in almost every arb conversation that I have with my friends.

As for the really bad vocal skills that Rebecca employs on her track: well that just makes the song even more fun to sing. I recently went to a 21st birthday party and one of the tunes that got everyone on the dance floor and singing in animated voices was Aqua’s Barbie Girl.

The Bee Gees would not be as famous if they had bellowed out Staying Alive in tenor voices, à la Pavarotti. Songs by Shaggy, Macy Gray, Duffy and Elvis Presley are all easily adopted shower songs because they are less embarrassing to mimic than trying to hit the right notes with something by Evanescence or Sarah Brightman. No one can tell how bad a singer you are if you are singing a badly sung song.

Rebecca’s song is not really the issue. In fact, the song is genius. The real reason behind millions of people bashing her song black and blue must be that people are tired of the banality of the increasingly famous teen pop celebrity. It’s an epidemic that seems to be spreading rapidly, with outbreaks like pubescent Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana) and Jenna Rose and their die-hard immature cult followings and leagues of wannabes.

On Twitter last week, Joe Jonas from the band the Jonas Brothers tweeted the name of Carla Bruni’s song Quelqu’un M’a Dit. That’s it. The result: the first lady of the French Republic became a worldwide trending topic for the whole day.

These teen “talents” have a following that could take over the world, leaving the rest of us rocking in a foetal position with our ears bleeding.

The Internet is giving “the kids” a means to revolt against the old adage that children should be seen and not heard. They now have a voice, one that they are not afraid to use and we have to listen to them.

I also wrote songs when I was 12 years old, about clothes, crushes, days of the week and apple trees, but you won’t find me whining on YouTube, making millions in the process.

Man, I hate that Rebecca chick.

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