ELMS: ‘Friday’ may be horrible, but Rebecca Black is still a person, crazies

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YouTube is an amazing thing. It provides Internet users with a wealth of videos, ranging from helpful “how to” videos to entertaining movie clips and anything in between.

If you’re at all like me, you spent a nice chunk of your Spring Break using the website to watch adorable videos of babies and kittens. I recommend “Emerson – Mommy’s Nose is Scary!” and “The Peek-a-Boo Kitten” if you really want your heart to melt.

But while I was busy browsing for more clips of things that giggle or meow, a video that is anything but cute appeared at the top of YouTube’s list of suggestions: the official music video for Rebecca Black’s disturbingly catchy song “Friday.”

Either you’re scratching your head and wondering, “Who is Rebecca Black and why should I care about her music video?” or you know exactly what I’m talking about because you’ve already commented on it, shared it on Facebook and tweeted about it.

For those of you who identify with the former, here’s a quick rundown: Black is the latest tween sensation in the industry of crappy pop music. Her hit single, “Friday,” is a song about looking forward to a fun weekend and getting ready to party. It is not at all a new theme for this genre, but it is a new kind of bad.

For starters, Black’s voice is flat and poorly Auto-Tuned. More apparent though, are the awful, pointless lyrics. All right, fine, “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday,” isn’t so bad, but this is the bridge: “Yesterday was Thursday/ Today it is Friday … Tomorrow is Saturday/ and Sunday comes afterwards.”

I don’t even know what to say.

The bulk of the video follows Black and her friends cruising around town in a silver convertible and dancing — or should I say, bouncing — around at a party, but no one in the video even looks old enough to drive, let alone party.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch it for yourself. But be forewarned, as horrible as it is, the song will be stuck in your head all day.

But Black herself should not be fully blamed for the utter ridiculousness of the song. “Friday” and the music video that goes with it were produced by ARK Music Factory, an independent record label based in Los Angeles responsible for pop singles even worse than Black’s, just not nearly as well known.

Since going viral March 11, Black’s music video has captured almost 35 million views on YouTube, and those numbers are still moving. It has sparked covers, parodies and remixes galore, and all you have to do is type in “Re” on Google to get Black’s name to show up.

But it has also prompted an unsettling wave of negative comments — more than 200,000, to be exact — ranging from simply insulting, like “This is the worst song ever,” to radically inappropriate, like “I hope you cut yourself.”

According to her bio page on ARK’s website, Black is a 13-year-old eighth-grader who loves to sing and recently landed the lead role in her school’s musical, “Oklahoma!” She seems like a normal kid, and an interview with “Good Morning America” confirmed that.

Black talked about her sudden launch into fame and about the wave of criticism that came with it, both of which she seems to be handling maturely. Black told the show that the nastier comments initially made her cry, but she is no longer taking them personally and is enjoying the spotlight while she has it.

She is also confident in her talent, and “Good Morning America” even had her sing the beginning of “The Star Spangled Banner,” proving Black to be a decent vocalist without all of the Auto-Tuning of “Friday.”

Black is the latest viral celebrity, but her newfound pop star status doesn’t entitle everyone with access to the Internet to make her out into the Antichrist. “Friday” may have no musical value whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean we have the right to determine the worth of one person based on that fact.

Besides, she’s only 13, people. Pick on someone your own demographic.

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