Archive for November 21st, 2012

Patrice Wilson, the man behind Rebecca Black’s internet sensation “Friday,” is back with another internet sensation. To anybody who has heard “Friday,” which is basically everybody at this point, Nicole Westbrook’s “It’s Thanksgiving” will probably sound familiar. Just in time for Thanksgiving, I thought that I would take a few minutes to break down Wilson’s recipe for terrible songs with tens of millions of YouTube views. First, though, let’s revisit Rebecca Black’s Friday, which is actually worse than I remembered:

If you haven’t slipped into a coma, here is Nicole Westbrook’s “It’s Thanksgiving” for comparison:

Since your ears are probably bleeding, it is fortunate that the rest of this post will be in text form. What does it take to write a song and make a video that is so reviled that people can’t turn away? This appears to be Wilson’s recipe:

  • One earnest young girl who likes to sing. This girl’s parents must have enough money to pay for a vanity song and music video.
  • Kids to play the earnest young girl’s friends. These kids must be excellent actors because they have to appear as if the video they are in is not completely ridiculous.
  • Discussion of the passage of time. “Friday” includes such informative lyrics as “Yesterday was Thursday, today it is Friday… tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards.” No doubt looking to build on his past success with the use of calendars, “It’s Thanksgiving” embraces the entire year, with a chorus that states: “December was Christmas, January was new year’s, April was Easter, and the fourth of July but now it’s Thanksgiving!” Wilson is also planning for the song’s longevity by setting this video in the future – Thanksgiving will be on November 28 in 2013.
  • Rapping. It should be noted that no actual rapper would be caught dead reciting these lines.
  • Poor grammar. “Friday” includes the brain-cell killing “We we we so excited. We so excited.” These lyrics are displayed on the screen so that viewers can be sure that there is, in fact, no “are” in the lyrics.
  • The seemingly random appearance of Patrice Wilson himself. In “Friday” he appears in a car with a brief rap in a scene that is completely unrelated to the rest of the song. In “It’s Thanksgiving” he plays a larger role, singing the chorus and joining Nicole Westbrook’s party. None of the kids seem to be concerned with the fact that an overly-excited adult dressed as a turkey has crashed their party.
  • Combine the above ingredients in a video and bake for three and a half to four minutes. Serves tens of millions.

Watching these videos, and especially Wilson’s enthusiastic turn in “It’s Thanksgiving,” I have to wonder whether he is in on the joke. As an adult without any visible head injuries it seems that he must recognize that these songs are terrible. A secondary question is whether the young girls who sing these songs and the parents who pay for them recognize how bad they are and the negative attention that they will receive if the songs catch on with the internet-viewing public. Nicole Westbrook’s friends and family members are probably never going to be able to hold a turkey leg at a Renaissance Festival without mocking her.

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