In 2004, Blender called this Starship song "We Built This City" the worst song ever. It is usually revilled whenever its heard, especially by my girlfriend Sara, who herself has claimed it to be "terrible."
Now, I love the song. Part of the charm is how bad it is. But dammit is it so catchy, and 80's, and other things I love, mainly ironic and contradictory.
The band Starship began as Jefferson Airplane, a psychedelic rock band from San Francisco formed in the late 60's. They were as anti-corporate and innovative as you could get. The irony in this song is the fact that its so corporate and non-innovative. Their follow-up to this song, also a song I like, was even worse; a love song called "Sara" and had a video that starred then Hollywood It-Girl Rebecca De Mornay as the titular Sara character. (Then again, both videos are kind of trippy: "We Built This City" features large dice bowling over people on the Vegas strip, while "Sara" seems to be more about an oncoming tornado in the Midwest than about a girl.)
What's my point? Well despite the hatred this song gets, people out there either liked or still like the song. And I know I'm not alone, I have stats to prove it: 591,000 YouTube hits, and most importantly, it was Number 1 on the Billboard charts the week of November 16-November 23, 1985.
For the most part, that describes music. Some people will love it, some will hate it. Music will never make you ambivalent, and even the truly great ones get a polarizing reaction for their music alone.
So what does it take for someone to release a song that everyone seems to agree on sucks? Honestly, I this was it.
Dear Pittsburgh...this totally wipes out any goodwill with me you built by giving us Dan Marino. That is all.
Sorry I had to go on a tangent, but, I mean do you HEAR THIS CRAP? This is why people don't like hip hop and continue to dismiss it. For every 2pac, Biggie, Bone Thugs, Jay-Z, Eazy-E, and Snoop, theres a clown like this.
If you don't "already know what it is" this is Wiz Khalifa, part of "Taylor Gang." What is this song about? Well its just about being repetitive and just saying Black and Yellow over and over again while sneaking in some trite lyrics about driving a black and yellow car, smoking weed, and making money. To me, this song is TERRIBLE, in fact, I hate Taylor Gang because of the "Taylor Gang or DIE" mentality, which has since been adopted by Los Angeles Lakers fans who scream "Team Lakers or DIE!"
So of course, this song is a hit.
No, THIS is the song that has united a country in hatred of a song.
Hold on, let me get this straight: a 23 year old can write a song that just repeats his two favorite colors over and over again, and everybody seems to love it, we've accepted the Jonas Brothers for five years (and counting), we've accepted (to a point) Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and whomever Disney feels like shoving down our throats this week, yet THIS song is the tipping point where everyone unanimously hates it? Really? What did I miss.
I'm not saying its good, its not. Its shallow, vapid manufactured pop music for the masses with no soul, which gives it something in common with everything else mentioned above.
So why is this girl getting all the crap and yet we give Wiz, the JoBro's and others a free pass (yes I know, no one gets a free pass per se, but I mean in the unanimous "this is crap" decision.)
I think I know why: guilt. I hate to bring this up, but since Janet Jackson's Super Bowl "Wardrobe Malfunction," music has been sliding more towards the end of shallow, vapid and safe. The 80's were like that too, but at least it was shallow vapid and safe with a soul, if that makes any sense.
Recent music has lacked soul. The best bands are indie bands, and rappers stopped rapping about real life the way that Pac, Biggie and Eminem used to. By 2011, we had Dr. Dre releasing "Detox" which so far sounds like it should be a Flo-Rida album (nothing wrong with Flo-Rida, just I want Dre), Eminem doing Chrysler ads, and one of the top rappers of today hailing from Canada and being famous for starring in "Degrassi."
To add to that, Nickleback passed for "Great Rock" when it should've just been "decent party rock." They're just great in comparison with everything else.
Collectively we're starting to wake up from that, even though I've been seeing this and warning people about it since 2005. But now, we're awake as a whole, and Rebecca Black, the singer of "Friday" is getting the brunt of the abuse.
I don't think its deserved though. Yes, its horrible, shallow, soulless, manufactured, and, well bad. But here's the thing: she's 13. If a 13 year old future pop star needs a song, this is the song to give her. It is catchy, and when making pop music, especially to appeal to her demographic, catchy is all thats important. And yes, I HATE the song, but there are songs that I hate more that are worse.
But my heart goes out to her, she's only trying to live a dream, and just as she has a chance to do it, you have these internet tough guys telling her to die. Now as someone who's dealt with such people on Bleacher Report, I can empathize with the poor girl on this one. Someone who left me a death threat and told me to die over something I wrote is an asshole. However the people who said this to her, well, if they're over the age of 18 (yes its possible) then may God have mercy on their souls.
Rebecca, keep your head up and keep doing what you're doing. I hope you get that duet with Justin Bieber. Yes, it will probably be the most hated song in the history of pop music, but here's something else I know: it will also get a lot of iTunes downloads, a lot of YouTube views, and will be #1 on the charts.
Oh, and to everyone else, if you truly hate something, don't watch the videos, change the station when its on the radio, and don't discuss it. Remember, in entertainment, any reaction is a good reaction, the best way to make crappy music go away is to just ignore it. The first time I looked up the "Black and Yellow" song on YouTube was to do this article, and it will also be the last, same with "Friday."
But because of idiots like me who wrote a blog about it, and more importantly everyone else, both of these songs have legs. In other words, we have no one to blame for crap but ourselves.