Rebecca Black's Hit Single "Friday"
Some cultural commentators might say that Rebecca Black's new hit single "Friday" is nothing more than an egregiously horrendous song created by an obscenely rich and untalented 13-year-old that is so obnoxiously deplorable, it has quickly conquered the interwebs. But I think we can all agree that it takes more than harrowing stupidity to achieve internet celebrity. Rather, Black's "Friday," which has garnered over 3 million youtube views in only three days, is far more substantive than most listeners might think. Upon further analysis of Black's hit single, music video, and ensuing internet kerfuffle, it is apparent that her ode to the greatest day of the week is far more sophisticated than the repulsively deplorable piece of crap it first appears to be.
A brief examination of Black's lyrics reveals the true genius inherent in her song writing. Black is able to slyly sneak a casual drug reference into a seemingly inane discussion on breakfast in her first stanza, crooning, "Gotta have my bowl." Besides substantially improving her street cred (in what I can only assume is her local Bronxville middle school), Black also hints at the necessity of toking in order to get through the daily grind of modern life.
Perhaps thanks to her extensive drug abuse, Black also poses the philosophical dilemma "Which seat can I take?" Her trenchant questioning of where a human being must sit when driving with friends raises the deeper issue of where any of us really sit in the cosmic order of the universe. Yet in accordance with the existentialist philosophies of her intellectual predecessors, Black actively transcends her facticity in life, freely and willingly choosing where she wants to place her philosophical seat in life. In a display of her fierce desire to delve into all issues, Black symbolically forces herself into the middle seat in an understated reference to her personal hero, Rosa Parks.
But Black's most pithy insight into modern life comes in her bridge with the lines, "Yesterday was Thursday / Today is Friday... Tomorrow is Saturday / And Sunday comes afterwards." Truer words have never been spoken. Her repeated declaration, "We so excited," coupled with frequent staccato interjections of "Yeah!" from her peers (magical 13-year-olds who have mastered the ability to drive), also display a youthful joy and disregard of grammar rarely found within current popular musicians.
Patrice Wilson, a.k.a. "Random Black Guy who wasn't invited to Rebecca Black's party but drives around and raps about Friday anyways," then adds his initially opaque, yet extraordinarily brilliant, rap verse to the song. Perceptively musing, "Passin' by is a school bus in front of me / makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream," Wilson's verse is the perfect combination of "token rap within a pop song" and "why the fuck am I watching this" that Black needed to amplify her sound.
But what makes "Friday" so brilliant is the interplay between its backing music and Black's poignant lyrics. Although most music critics believed that pop production-quality peaked with Alpha Delta's "Harry Fucking Potter," "Friday's" grating use of auto-tune over the same four plodding chords brings the genre to a whole new level. Black is clearly lamenting the current replacement of high art with the tasteless industrialized artifacts produced on a mass scale, in order to satisfy the lowest common denominator, by using her music to reflect the existing musical trends of the institutional propagation of musical homogenization, creative appropriation, and shitification running rampant throughout American culture.
Although it appears that Black's single is an exceptionally terrible musical abomination, she covertly comments on the state of pop music and modern culture by mimicking the work of pop acts like Ke$ha, Miranda Cosgrove, and Katy Perry, rich and untalented women and girls who garner instant internet fame despite their appalling lack of skill. And there lies the surprising genius nature of Rebecca Black's song: No matter how piss-poor the quality of her work is, Americans will eat this shit up. Tell us that something is hilarious and popular, and the video will be grafted onto our national consciousness for days.