With viral videos on the rise, entertainers no longer need talent to be a pop music sensation.
If you have that kind of cash lying around and absolutely no musical talent, you could become the next overnight sensation.
In the case of Rebecca Black, her mother wrote a check to the Los Angeles record label Ark Music Factory for that amount to fulfill her daughter’s dream of becoming a pop singer. That paid for approximately half the production cost and on Feb. 10, the single “Friday” went viral.
The song has been viewed more than 100 million times and has cracked iTunes Top 100 chart. Yes, people are actually buying this single. If you don’t know what the uproar is about, go to YouTube and see for yourself.
The truth is, I don’t know if Black has a good voice or not: The whole song is Auto-Tuned. The pitch-correcting computer software makes Black sound robotic. And the lyrics sound like they were written by a toddler: “We so excited/ We gonna have a ball today/ Tomorrow is Saturday/ And Sunday comes afterwards.”
Yes, she says “we,” and yes, she can put the days of the week in order.
After Yahoo dubbed “Friday” as “the worst song ever,” Black released a non-Auto-Tuned version of the single. I have not listened to it, nor do I plan on it. The first one was enough, and I still can’t get the awful jingle out of my head.
Due to the chaos caused on the Web over the single, Black appeared on “Good Morning America” and has many celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Chris Brown saying they support the 13-year-old singer. Simon Cowell said he wants to meet her.
Worst song ever, huh?
Society is feeding into this viral fascination by giving her more hits on YouTube and downloading “Friday” on iTunes. So what does this say about the state of pop music today?
“‘Friday’ embodies any number of current trends practically guaranteed to inspire a set of backlashes,” said Oliver Wang, a pop music critic and sociology professor at California State University, Long Beach, in a Daily Beast article.
Among them, Wang mentions, “music for teens, anemic dance tracks, Auto-Tuned vocals, super-trite songwriting and most of all, a resentment towards young people whose presence seems to disproportionately dominate social media.”
Nearly a month ago, Black received so many backlashes on Twitter that she surpassed Charlie Sheen as the most talked about topic. Reading the tweets, I could understand people’s frustration with the song, but I actually sympathized with her when she started getting death threats. The most retweeted post about Black was people hoping she “would kill herself.” That’s taking it a bit too far.
The comments on YouTube were even more deplorable.
People need to be aware that when you post something on the Internet, anyone can comment on it. Social media gives everyone a chance to voice their opinions.
Last month, Ark gave Black the option to take the video down. She refused and told Chris Lee of the Daily Beast, “I decided not to give the haters the satisfaction that they got me so bad.”
According to MTV.com, Black’s video has just passed Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Justin Bieber’s “Pray,” making her the most viewed, uh, singer.
Michelle Kapusta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.