This past February, 13 year-old Rebecca Black’s music video, Friday went viral faster than an airborne disease. As of this writing, Black’s song has 43,195,363 (actually, now it’s 63,944,482! –Ed.) hits on YouTube. CSPAN’s coverage of President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address, however, only had 22,086 views.
“Friday” has been routinely called the “worst song ever made.” Usually, I don’t condone this type of hyperbolic language. After all, music has existed in some form or the other since the prehistoric era; archaeologists have discovered flutes carved out of animal bones that are estimated to be at least 40,000 years old. Yet, with lyrics like “Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday, today is Friday, Friday, We, we, we so excited, we so excited,” perhaps the title “worst song ever” is at least slightly warranted.
How is it that the architects of this song could be so incredibly naive? How can a songwriter look at himself in the mirror without utter contempt after conceiving the line “Gotta make my mind up, Which seat can I take? Fun, fun, think about fun.”
The culprit is a California production company called “Ark Music Factory.” Apparently, Ark targets parents with money in the bank and no courage to say no to their teenage daughters. For a fee, Ark will write a pop song and direct the accompanying music video for literally anyone, regardless of talent.
It’s unclear if Black’s parents were trying to make their daughter into the next Justin Bieber or if the 13 year-old just wanted to make a music video that her friends would think is cool. I highly doubt that they imagined the song would be popular for all the wrong reasons. As a 23-year-old male, I am immune to “Bieber Fever” but I can still recognize that at least the kid can sing; alas, the young Ms. Black cannot.
Still, upwards of 43 million YouTube hits is impressive and the iTunes sales of “Friday” have already guaranteed that the Black family and Ark Music Factory have made back their investment many times over. This strange online-celebrity status that Black has managed to cultivate will probably translate into a successful career for this precocious young lady.
Ark Music has also gained huge notoriety from “Friday,” which means they’re sure to get a new crop of spoiled tweens to make famous. I mean, they’ve still got six days left in the week to sing about!
So maybe Rebecca Black and Ark Music Factory aren’t so green after all. Perhaps they’re just cynical geniuses capitalizing on our collective desire to mock people on the Internet. If it was all just a contrived plan to make money through a truly awful song, I can’t help but extend my kudos to them.
After all, the only real victim in this whole ordeal is music but let’s face it, Nickelback has been sucking since before Rebecca Black was born.