Selling out for fame isn’t a new phenomenon. Neither is dumbing-down music to increase popularity. Pop music is often dumb on purpose. It’s that earworm thing I wrote about before. If lyrics are simple and the beat or a motif that repeats gives your intelligence a comfy chair to sleep in, you are more likely to plop right down.
Rebecca Black is only 13, for pity’s sake. She can’t get a driver’s license. She’s barely old enough to date. WTF is her mom doing, trying to jump-start her music career? Look, the girl can have all the dreams she wants. Imagination’s good. She imagined what it would be like to be a pop singer. Did mom say “That’s nice, honey. Would you like to have some voice lessons?” Of course not. That would be…sensible.
What Mrs. Black did was spend TWO GRAND on a “we can make you dawter a STAH” promo package sold by hustlers. The hustlers offered them two suitably dumb songs to choose between. One was about sex and the other was about partying on the weekend. Rebecca was creeped out about the sex, not having had any yet (whew). She recorded the partying song, they made a music video, posted it on YouTube and ba-da-bing! Gazillion views, displacing the previous Charlie Sheen freak show.
Instant infamy of this kind tends to create some backlash. Like I said, Rebecca’s 13, and her voice is immature and untrained. The few notes required in the song are auto-tuned waaay beyond necessity, making the poor kid sound robotic. Nobody coached her about her accent, and when she “sings” the too-often-repeated title it sounds like “Fry-ee-day”. In my imagination, she’s just an ordinary girl. The song makes her seem like an empty-headed, insubstantial twit. There were nasty comments in reaction to the viral video urging her to cut herself or get an eating disorder. The comments made her cry. And now she’s famous – for appearing to be an idiot.
I expect Rebecca will get over it. I hope it happens soon. Unfortunately the person who should have offered a voice of experience, her mom, acted unwisely. That’s the one I hope has learned her lesson. Fame, without regard to quality, is a nasty drug.
The girl’s had enough. Or maybe she hasn’t. She still thinks she and Justin Bieber should do a duet. (Ay-yi-yi…)
I’m not going to post the video. Go look on YouTube if you are curious, and let me know if you agree, but be warned. The song IS an earworm.