Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rebecca Black

First of all 2 apologies are in order, the first for my absence. I've been fighting off a pretty tough cold and still had to deal with school and all of that fun stuff so I haven't really had too much time to type much up.
The second is for the topic today.

We've all at least heard about this video, if not then you probably only realized the internet existed yesterday. This thing has even found it's way on to select radio stations, if not the song itself then at least the topic of it's popularity.

I'm not really going to discuss the music too much, more so how it came into being. However here are a few quick thoughts on this piece of "music"

The first thing most people notice is that this thing has auto tune. In fact, this song alone has brought the idea of auto tune forward to many people who did not know existed. The effect itself hasn't been in existence for that long and it has only been in the past year or 2 that people even became aware of it.
This song gave it a great deal more attention then it previously had which I think is a good thing because people want artists to actually be able to sing without computer aids.

An interesting fact about auto tuners (this comes from a colleague who was actually at the show in a position to be setting up/tearing down effects) Britney Spears at one of her recent concerts was actually routed through 3, that's right 3, auto tuners (or pitch shift/correct as it is called in the industry). The reason for this is to get the correction on her notes without sounding like Rebecca Black. The other 2 pitch-shifters are there solely to smooth out the first ones effect.

So yeah, lots of auto tune, she sounds like a robot sometimes for gods sake.

Next up is the lyrics. What honestly is there to say other then some dumb ass at the Ark Music Factory (the hellhole this song came from) is sitting at a desk there pumping out as many songs as he possibly can just so these spoiled teens have something to sing. We'll address the company itself later, however the fact that these lyrics were obviously pumped out like any production line product really doesn't add to the song. It's mindless, enraging, annoying, pretty much everything negative, there is really nothing positive you can say about the lyrics.

Rebecca Black is 13. Anyone else find it odd that there was a 20+ gangster not only in her video, but also "rapping" about following the bus? Who in their right mind thought that this would play at all into the videos original concept. Also last time I checked, 13 year olds can't drive, so as to which seat you should take Rebecca, try the short bus where you belong.

It is being argued all over how much Ark Music Factory is actually making off of this video. I've heard people saying that Black herself is making ~$25k a week from it which would lead me to believe (if that number is accurate) that the company is making $80k-$100k a week from it. Going straight through this company, she will only be receiving artist royalties along with the performance and (but hopefully not) mechanical royalties from any radio play. However looking through the info I can find on this company, they seem like the types that will bleed you dry, no matter the age. I can almost promise that they are making at the very least 75% on any income she receives by acting as everything from manager to promoter to distributor. This figure is probably much higher because of the low cost on their end to fully produce a music video and put it into the market so I'm really leaning more toward 85% or higher.

So yeah, the "company" or whatever they choose to classify themselves as are dirtbags.

Now all of this is fine an dandy because truly, the worst thing about this whole situation is the public reaction. There is no reason on the face of this earth, or any other planet in Charlie Sheen's case, this video got the coverage it did. The blame mainly lies on the internet, taking it's turn to troll the hell out of the girl and do all they can to make sure this video goes where it belongs, down the toilet. The issue with this is because the video suddenly was flooded with views (even though they were for negative reasons) it spiked up the trending spots on youtube and quickly became the top video. Thankfully, for my own sanity, youtube doesn't pay out like it used to so she is gaining very little income from them. This is when the entire worlds population of tweens with access to the internet discovered their next superhero.

Hate me all you want for saying this; Justin Beiber can actually sing. I've seen multiple live performances on TV as well as know some of the tech staff that put on his show in Toronto. This kid, while 50% of the world hates him, actually has talent. Rebecca Black does not. With years of practice and coaching, she might one day have a somewhat respectable voice, but if you've watched that video of her singing acoustically, it's fucking awful. She sings like you would expect any average 13 year old girl to sing, like a little girl with no training. It really makes you understand why they auto tuned the shit out of her on the video. People are praising her, calling her the next Beiber, but as soon as the world (not just the youtube lurkers) hear her sing live her "career" is over. This girl has absolutely no talent when it comes to singing, I'm sure she's probably nice and a good student and all of that, but singing currently is one of her major weak points.

All in all this post is sort of hypocritical because of what I am going to ask of all of you. Ignore this girl, ignore any media attention about this girl, call in and complain if you hear it on the radio and most importantly, tell your friends and family to do so as well. This is a media driven society, her fame will last only as long as people pay attention to her. We stop listening, they stop covering it.

Bon Jovi was recently cited as saying Steve Jobs ruined music. Places like the Ark Music Factory ruined music, I mean come on, it even has fucking factory in the name. Are production line songs really what we want to be listening to in 5 years? because if we keep giving videos like this attention, the industry will shift towards producing them because it is what is making money. Do your future selves a favor, ignore this abomination and let it settle back into the bottom of the toilet before it causes an even greater shitstorm.

Please excuse the language in this post, it is a bit more then normal. I'm sure you can all understand where it is coming from in regards to this video, however I am honestly shocked and appalled at how much attention this thing has received. And more so ashamed that it was my generation that made it possible.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

ps - here is the death metal version
you know you want to watch it


  1. Well I don't think no matter how big Rebecca Black will be or the momentum created by her and Ark will universally shift the music industry into a production line esque industry. Churning shit everyday. It's popular because it's terribad and everyone knows that. Whether to as should she be receiving the coverage she is getting now I think it just happens, it's a fad. It'll die away eventually and no harm done.

  2. good stuff, keep up the good work

  3. I really hope Rebecca Black isn't part of any past, present, or future of music...

  4. hey man, justin bieber can sing... pff! but yeah, it's sick what companies do for profits, expect it!

    auto tune is the worst invention ever

  5. The old rapper in the middle of the video weirded me out too. At first I thought he was chasing them.

  6. Agreed with the ignoring mainstream music.
    Anyone hear about Lady Gaga using subliminal audio that basically forces yourself to get the song stuck in your head? Hella forgetting the purpose of music if its true.

  7. I agree with you on every single argument you stated. Not only were you professional about stating your dislike, you gave facts to...not just some bs rant.

    And thank goodness you mentioned that Bieber can sing, because he can. I've been in countless arguments with people who are into Asking Alexandria and Sleeping With Sirens about how those lead singers can sing whilst Bieber cannot. I have seen a lot of these bands of the new age screamo genre live and the singers are just terrible. Now if I expect to go see a band live, they better sound like the same on their albums. Bands like Enter Shikari, Rise Of Science, Ceremony, Trash Talk sound just like they do live as they do on record. If a band sounds shitty on record, then when I go see them live they better sound shitty, haha.

    I've trained myself to not listen to main stream music, not because it's not cool or anything...but for the fact that it's not the same. For decades the main music industries have been forcing bands to make hits will make them money....think of it when it came to metal in the 80's. It started out as only the "freaks" liked it, but in the last turn of the decade...everyone loved metal. For this reason alone, I try to listen to music that stands out, and doesn't follow the trend. Indie music, of all genres, has my soul and heart. And, I only listen to music that gives that back in return.

  8. this was a good read. I listened to the metal version. LOL. That was pretty quick for a new version of "The most annoying song in existence". OH, Rebecca Black. Thats all she will be known for, for the rest of her life.

  9. I was about to say watch the death metal version but you got it!

  10. I just cant listen to this girl. AT ALL

  11. if what you said is true im shocked! that much money for such a lack of artistic value? what has the music indsutry become?? breaks my heart to see such music. i mean all credit to the girl for trying but lets be real, that aint good music

  12. I'm going to like the music I like, and hopefully there will be people doing it for the right reasons. So yea.

  13. i hate her voice i dont know how she has that much people behind her.