Rebecca Black's 'Friday': The Internet's latest bizarre music video obsession

In this era of anonymous Internet ridicule, are we really the kind of culture that shares the music video of an aspiring teenage singer just to laugh at it? When the object in question is as bizarre as Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” the online community’s answer seems to be a resounding “YES.”

Coming from the L.A.-based Ark Music Factory (which is apparently pop music’s answer to Uwe Boll), Rebecca Black is the first teen singer to successfully marry the vocal stylings of Miley Cyrus and HAL 9000. While the video to Black’s debut single “Friday” had less than 4,000 views on Friday, in the last three days it’s racked up 2 million YouTube hits [UPDATE: It has soared past 5 million views as of Tuesday morning] and shows no signs of stopping. Watch it here:

Why are people so obsessed with an inept pop song made for tweens? It might have something to do with the bridge, where Black repeats the words “fun fun fun fun” with all the enthusiasm you would expect from a Catholic missal. She also has a particular way with delivery, making the word “Friday” sound like “fried egg.” And considering the song is called “Friday,” this means you’re in for a lot of fried-egg talk.

But as with any generation-defining anthem, the lyrics here are the real star: “Yesterday was Thursday/today it is Friday/tomorrow is Saturday/And Sunday comes afterward.” Wow! A singing calendar.

Even better is the verse fixating upon Black’s potentially life-altering decision about where to sit in her friend’s car (“front seat back, back seat, which seat should I take?!”) Listen, Rebecca, I don’t so much care about the seating arrangement, but next time snap on a seat belt, okay? I know you teenagers think you’re invincible, but all it takes is one wrong turn and you become the Ritchie Valens of viral-video pop. (Incidentally, the songwriters apparently thought the “front seat/back seat” conundrum was so salient that she had to sing it twice.)

While there’s no doubt that this languidly delivered pop anthem is bad, one might wonder: Is this really that much worse than a Miley Cyrus album track? Well, actually, yes. Yes it is.

But let’s be honest with ourselves: this video didn’t jump from 3,000 to 2 million views in three days just because people are laughing at it. No, there’s something sickeningly catchy about this tune that keeps you coming back for more. Before long it gets to a point where you’re listening to it simply because it’s been running through your brain for hours and you hope that playing it the 127th time will finally exorcise this Satanic confection from your soul.

There are already remixes and covers a’plenty of this pop-music aberration, such as the inevitable chipmunk version and a freshly-recorded “Bob Dylan” cover. There’s also a minimalist, Steve Reich-esque remix of Rebecca repeating the words “fun fun fun” for two minutes without interruption.

But instead of driving you away from the original, the reworked versions actually keep you going back to it. In the end, perhaps “Friday” is an example of warped accidental genius. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself after listening to this robotic, idiotic party anthem for three days straight.

More on EW.com:

Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, TV on the Radio to perform SXSW
Hugh Martin, composer of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ dies

Bob Dylan to play his first-ever concert in China

Chris Brown raps alongside Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes in ‘Look at Me Now’ video

Comments (286 total) Add your comment
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  • Michael

    I’ve been waiting for an article on Rebecca Black! She brings a whole new level of amazingness to Fridays and fun…and picking out a seat in a car!

    • LOL

      The Bob Dylan cover is pure gold.

      • Teens will buy into

        You missed the (selling) POINT of the song. It is geared to teens,
        P-A-R-T-Y! Party on the weekend.

      • Lex

        hey, as a teenager I take offense at the idea that this is what my generation buys into–auto-tuned atrocities that demonstrate our crappy education system. (Sadly, it’s probably true…)

      • Candacetx

        that Dylan cover is beyond awesome.

      • tina

        Maybe this would help Brittany learn the calander? haha glee joke!

      • Color Me Impressed

        The Dylan version is incredible. As for the original version, ummm…..wow. So sad.

      • destaney

        wow so awsome ps please write back

    • Petunia

      I thought it was about teaching kids the days of the weekend. Friday, then Saturday then Sunday afterwards…….

    • Ken

      Finally, we have found a song worse than “My Hair Band” by Rachel Berry.

  • Kris

    “We we we so excited” apparently with all that schooling she never attended an English class. Also I must not, what is the dilemma with the car seat about? The front seat is taken all that is left is the back seat and she’s still confused?

    • Ashley Marie Eldefri❤

      oh god, this song is beyond terrible. yet its extremly catchy. and i like your comment. so true.

      • Rich

        Not only is it terrible, it’s saying 12 year old boys should start driving.

      • akhu

        There would be no Usher, Mariah Carey, etc.In other words, no asitrts would have been influenced by the GREATEST ENTERTAINER OF ALL TIME.

    • Steph

      This is just an embarrassment. It’s not a parody, it’s not aimed to amuse. It what that tween girl calls…dare I say it? Music.

      It just annoys me that a girl like that and shows like Hannah Montana are so…successful with music like this. Yet a girl with talent and a show that I’m sure no one has ever heard of, Alexz Johnson of Instant Star(aired a few years back), is completely overlooked although she could sing and write (along with her brother) very good lyrics. It’s just sad.

      I will forever read Friday as fried-egg, thanks.

      • KFed

        I wouldn’t say she’s actually “successful” per se. This song and video were created by a company that will do this for anyone with far too much money. Hers was so awful that a lot of people watched it for a laugh. This has nothing to do with real talent, if she had talent we probably wouldn’t be here, and if Alexz Johnson wants a piece of the action she can just fork out to Ark Music and becoming a global laughing stock too.

      • Winston mize

        this sog is just bad…but in a way this is the kind of music mainstreeam america tends to be liking. so kudos to Alexz for releasing her own music her own way. Voodoo is a zillion times better than this. hell everything is a zillion times better than this.

      • Kevin

        *pssst* no one thinks this song is good. It’s not a sign of sophistication that you think it’s bad.

      • Anna

        Well the only reason why this song is getting so many hits is because it is so painfully bad and people make fun of it. How she got a record deal in the first place I will never know.

      • nishka19

        Check out Alexz’s album Voodoo. The girl proved she had it when she sang dozens of songs for Instant Star (some of them actually fantastic) and her original stuff is even better. I wish she performed outside of Canada. I’d gladly give me money to her. This on the other hand is funny in that…OMG is this real life? kind of way. Did they really have to pick two girls with shiny braces as her “back seat” friends.

      • EnidColeslaw

        KFed is absolutely right. Ark Music Factory is just that; a factory. They take a teenage girl, write a dumb song for her, make a video and promise pop stardom. Check out their website for more hilarity. These parents think they are doing something for their kids by paying for this, but it’s really a joke.

    • lolya

      Nothing rhymes and it drives me nuts

      • Michael

        HA!

    • Anne

      It’s Robin Sparkles for a new generation.

      • Celimene

        That was my first thought! It’s the lost Robin Sparkles single!

      • Meg

        No. Don’t you even go there.

      • Georgia

        Ooh, can there be a mash-up? “Let’s Go to the Mall On Friday.”

      • (the Other) Amy

        HAHA I’m so glad I’m not the only one who immediately thought of Robin Sparkles when I watched that…

      • Jamie

        I’m not alone!
        “Let’s Go to the Mall on Friday”
        – Rebecca Black ft. Robin Sparkles

        Even their names are similar. XD

      • EnidColeslaw

        Gasp! Don’t you dare bring Robin Sparkles into this. She rules.

      • gates

        that would be legendary ;)

      • destaney

        hey omg that video is awsome :}

    • harry

      ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    • karissa

      haha she is so dumb she can’t even sing good and here lyrics are horrible this is a big time fale.
      there goes here 15seconds of fame.

  • Jonathan

    Are you guys serious????? You do know that this isn’t a case like THE ROOM, right? This is definitely made bad on purpose.

    • Maddy

      One of the best satires of teen pop mediocrity I have ever seen.

    • Vandelay

      Oh, it’s not a parody. The same company “Ark Productions” has been producing similarly bad pop videos for months now. Just look at the “trizzy66″ YouTube channel.

      • tn

        oh my god seriously. If you have a spare 15mins and need a hard chuckle look up trizzy66 on youtube. Sooooo many god awful music and videos from that “record label”. I like that weird little white girl with the curly hair singing about wanting to be an “ordinary pop star”

      • lolya

        All their videos feature autotuned preteen white girls singing and unknown older black guys rapping lmao

      • Aunt Sassy

        OMG – I just watched the ARK Productions web launch party video – TOO FUNNY!!!!! I think this must be where Avril Lavigne came from – they all sounded just like her.

      • EnidColeslaw

        I dunno, Aunt Sassy… as much as I dislike Avril, I think she is better than this.

    • Liz Lemon

      Lmao. It’s definitely making fun of all the Disney pop stars. No doubt. Brilliant. lol.

      • Steph

        I wish, but sadly they are seriously trying to make…music.

      • lolya

        They’re not making a parody. Look at all the other “stars” from the Ark Music Factory. I looked at their website last night, it was weird as hell. An obvious exploitation.

    • Catherine

      THE ROOM was totally made in all seriousness (just take a look at actor interviews that AREN’T Tommy Wiseau…).

    • Superman

      ark music factory isn’t a comedy group, last time i checked.

      • Gurpreet

        Opa! Queria redemoncar a banda El Efecto pra participar do próximo Music Alliance Pact!Abraços

  • Kris Gardner

    I watched 58 seconds of this and realized I was never going to get those back…..ever. Hopefully this will never be shown to suicidal teens because it is basically a visual trigger to off themselves. Horrible……just plain horrible.

    • LOL

      It’s still better than Radiohead.

      • obvious

        obvious troll is obvious.

      • dywai

        HAHAHAHA!! I think i have now listened to this more times than any lame ass Radiohead song.

      • George Estremera

        I don’t know about that, or why everyone’s picking on Radiohead.

      • phoo

        what are you

      • Eddie

        Please do not mention Radiohead. The fact that you’d rather listen to this than them is the main reason why everyone thinks teenage kids today are braindead. Because they indeed are.

      • braindead teen

        I don’t think we will ever know to stop generalizing a group of people. There are the stupid, evil, smart, mature, etc in every type of group of people.
        And why do older generations like to bash younger generations so much? it happens the other way around too, but all the stupid circles of idiosyncracy need to be broken

      • jennrae

        OMG, you are so going to hell for that Radiohead comment. Although, I have to say, when people openly talk sht about Radiohead it makes it so much easier to separate the idiots from the smart people (pssss…not you).

    • Zaki

      beJesuswindmills on February 13, 2011 This Automatic Feathering Flat Blade Radial Windmill Is tnnuirg a 14hp Alternator self starting in 2-3 mph winds Very powerful example Of measurable reaction equal to the force of the big winds that blew yesterday

    • Haami

      Rahkayelle on March 19, 2011 BRRRRRR! I have serihvs down my spine! This alarm doesn’t play where I’m from, but I remember watching an American television station and this alarm went off when there was a suspected child abduction.

  • Megan

    Look at the production values, guys. This is not an unintentionally crappy song…it’s definitely a parody, and the people who made it, by not disclosing it is, are truly creating a buzzworthy pop culture event. Especially considering that major entertainment outlets like EW actually think it’s just another bad pop song.

    • heather

      This isn’t fake, check out their youtube channel. There are dozens of other equally bad (but less funny) videos with teenage kids, and I don’t think these kids are willing to humiliate themselves for the sake for pop culture parody.

      Hollywood is just plain delusional.

    • maya

      looks up the youtube channel. it’s definitely not a parody. they’re TONS of girls doing the same thing

    • Annette

      It’s funny because their is a black raping about her and she’s not even around! Kind of creppy!

      • Stash

        So I normally don’t play the grammar police on comment boards, seeing as it’s a fool’s errand… but this is just really problematic.

      • Mike

        OMG that was the best comment I have ever read. Please don’t learn to spell, ever.

      • underfor5

        ^ agreed.

      • HA!

        Priceless.

      • Lulz

        I lol’d at the following comments.

      • JC

        Thank God for you and your inability to spell. You just made my day. Brilliant.

  • jack

    lmao this is just awful. I think people are only watching it because it’s hilarious

    • Liz Lemon

      It’s supposed to be funny.

      • Superstarseven

        No it’s not.

      • Lauren

        Poor Rebecca. I think she’s actually a nice girl (see that article about donating profits to japan) but she just can’t sing!

    • Heather P

      No EW. You’ve got it wrong. People ARE passing it around because its so bad. I was sent it by my teenage nephew. He and all his friends agreed. Horrible. I watched about 30 seconds of it before I had to turn it off.

  • ChuckC

    Realize, people, she did not write the lyrics.

    • BJG

      true….BUT SHE CAN’T SING!

      It’s all autotune.

      Parody or not, it’s just awful.

    • Gazza

      she didn’t look too comfortable in the video…

    • kelli

      She can *read* thought right? i mean she read the lyrics and thought this would make her… what? a star? omg.

  • Adeena

    I thought it would be a funny, unintentionally awful tween thing, but 10 seconds into it, it’s clear it’s a very smart satire of every crappy teen pop single to come down the pike since 1999.

    • KB

      And 10 seconds later, you *should* have noticed Ark Music’s YouTube page, which features countless other videos by white teenage girls. They all range from mediocre to horrible, but the goal was not to create a parody, but the next Justin Bieiber. “Friday” is awful and hilarious and 100% serious.

      • Jamal

        Agreed I’m tired of people saying that this is a parody Joke and what not.

    • Walberto

      It would be soolooooooooo much different. For the worse. I don’t think it would have moved on as much from the old days. It would be boring or cheesy

  • WOW

    I truly can’t believe people are really thinking this is a serious song. It’s a friggin’ joke, and the joke’s on the people (including EW, for shame) that have truly fail to realize that this is parody…

    • Eddie

      I didn’t fall for it. It’s clear to me that the producers purposely failed to mention that it’s parody in order to get more hits, and their 15 minutes, which seems to be working. Youtube parodies are a dime a dozen, so by making it look like it’s serious, you actually have more people debating…

      • Superstarseven

        Eddie, I’m so glad that you didn’t “fall for it”. Look at you all smart and above the idiocy that’s going on in social media.

        Wow.

    • EnidColeslaw

      I really don’t think it’s a parody. Ark Music Factory seems like a real “business” and these kids would all have to be in on the joke. It doesn’t seem feasible.

  • Sarah

    It hit 2 million views because it was featured on tosh.0.

    • Sydney

      EXACTLY!!!

    • lauren

      not really. i don’t watch Tosh.0. there were memes all over tumblr with the video so that helped it get views. ALL OVER TUMBLR.
      and i refuse to watch tosh.0. ever.

      • Yngwie Mackadangdang, Jr.

        awww… I was on the Tosh.) hater bandwagon for a while, too. But then I spent a few nights at my brother’s house, he was watching it, and I found myself laughing my a$$ off, despite my hipster-esque need to hate on it. He’s actually very funny.

  • Superstarseven

    Sorry Jonathan. There isn’t meant to be any irony in this. Absolutely nothing points to this song and video being made as a joke. Please link to evidence otherwise, I can’t just go on your “hunch”.

    • Anne

      In order to take this seriously, I have decided to believe that the lyrics were written by the songwriter played by Dana Carvey on SNL (“Choppin’ broccoli!”) and that this young woman is ACTUALLY the female android created by Data to be his daughter, the one Starfleet tried to take away from him before her positronic neural net collapsed.
      *
      It’s the only way I can make sense of it.

  • MJ

    I don’t know if this is satire or not (I don’t think it is)…but I think people would be amazed at how many songs/videos are out there that are this bad unintentionally. I edited music video’s part-time for 7 years in L.A., including a lot of Christian bands, and their songs and video’s were really this bad and they didn’t get the fact that they were truly AWFUL. They loved it! (I know this may make it sound like I’m a sucky editor but don’t blame me! I can only edit the footage I’m given!)

  • loorertM

    I think it’s an amazing parody. The best part of the whole deal is that the video was shot in such an earnest, sincere way, replicating the polished/crappy look of a real crappy-teen pop ditty, that people are really thinking there’s no irony in this.

  • John

    I LOVE IT!!! I hope these people make more parodies, in this same vein.

    • Seymour

      Sadly, I don’t think it was a joke.

  • Superstarseven

    I like how people try to justify it by thinking it’s a parody. Guys, this was released by a record label that specializes in putting out music by young kids. Why in the world is Rebecca Black’s song singled out as a clever and ironic spoof of pop singles from the last 10 years? Please. Look at the other videos that ARK music factory uploaded on their Youtube profile and then tell me if they intended “Friday” to be nothing more than an insight into today’s soulless, mass-produced, pop single spewing music world. Occam’s Razor, guys.

    • MJ

      I completely agree! This isn’t a joke or a parody, this is a serious music video they’ve produced for this girl. People think that if a video doesn’t get shown on MTV that it doesn’t exist. There are THOUSANDS of music video’s produced every month that most people will never even hear of but they still make the label money within the demographic. There’s a whole world of horrific music and music videos out there that is SERIOUS, not PARODY!

      • LOL

        I’m waiting for the Charlie Sheen remix.

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