No seriously – let’s get to the bottom of this Rebecca Black stuff because as an avid member of the Twitterati I’ve been completely plagued by the trending topic of Rebecca Black for the past week (well until poor old Liz Taylor knocked her off the top spot). Let’s start by pasting, yes pasting, her song into this here blog post:
Urgh, I suddenly feel so dirty… Anyway, anyone on this planet can agree that this is a really really really REALLY terrible song, although it has still managed to be a top YouTube hit, with a massive 40 million hits. Just to put that into perspective, that means 2/3 of the population of the UK have watched this video. Luckily though, the majority of those people have got some sense – 61000 people like the track. While a staggering half a million have disliked it. Thank god for that.
However, let’s be a little fair – Rebecca is after all only 13 years of age and who has honestly written a good song when they’re 13? Just as an example, if you go to Bjork’s website and look up the lyrics for her 1977 debut album (when she was 11 or 12) then you might find that the lyrics are a bit weird. Although they probably sound ace in Icelandic.
Oh who am I kidding? If you must know Black didn’t write this song herself, and this is perhaps the most depressing part of the story. It was written by two adults. Yes adults. I’m going to name and shame them as Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson. Jey and Wilson need to hang their heads in shame – maybe this was a serious attempt at trying to write a song that sounds like it was genuinely written by a 13 year old, but in trying to do so there’s a weird air of trying too hard. Of course, the monotone, auto-tuned voice is a bit of a giveaway (no-one who was singing their own handwritten song would honestly sound so bored, particularly when it’s a song about the best day of the week).
Maybe what’s more disturbing is that Black get referred to as “the next Justin Bieber”. Now, I don’t know if it’s just me but that phrase really smacks of the disturbing. When I think of Justin Bieber I don’t think of an angelic teen who dates Selena Gomez but a horned devil from Hell who dates Selena Gomez. Besides, Black doesn’t have the same kind of pun-able name as Bieber which can help all sorts of marketing strategies. Bieber has “Beliebers” and a favourite of mine (which I’m not sure I just made up in my head) “leave it to Bieber”. What exactly does Black have? “Black Friday”? “Black Widow”? “Black and Blue?” Er, not sure if these are giving off typically positive tween messages like the Bieber.
Still, at least there’s something a little bit more down-to-earth about Black than her ARK label-mate CJ Fam. What, you’ve never heard of CJ Fam? Well, you’re about to. Here’s her video:
Don’t tell me that it’s not the most hilarious post-modern triumph of misplaced irony you’ve ever seen. How can she sing about being an “ordinary pop star” when she’s surrounded by all the trappings of pop-star life and has a bit of the glitz? She’s only 10 – therein lies the tragedy. It seems Black and her younger label-mate are perhaps being pushed too young into a business that broke one of its best stars, Britney Spears, and turned her into a hairless and pitiful symbol of the pressures of the pop industry.
Still, Black would make a great primary school teacher one day. I’m sure her singing would really help disillusioned kids of the future learn their days of the week. I’m sure if I was 5 I’d be quite happy to have her teaching me that.