The girl who made the horrible “Friday” song is back, with a new song. One that reminds you of a Disney teen, where her voice doesn’t project from her nose, with lyrics that are almost not half bad. Almost.
In March, the then-13-year-old’s music video for “Friday” bubbled up from the YouTube warrens to one of the site’s most-watched clips ever, rivaling anything produced by Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. The consensus was that the track may be “the worst song of all time “, prefab pop, delivered in grating near-monotone, communicating solely that Black has seen calendars: “Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards.”
If you haven’t seen the video, then click on!
With a mocking grin and an exaggerated buh-bye wave, Rebbeca Black extracts what she believes to be revenge in the video for her comeback single, released yesterday: “Haters, said I’ll see you later,” she sings. Indeed she will: For Black, most of the world counts as haters. The entirety of “My Moment” is a rebuke to them—err, us. Painting a portrait of her apparent success, the video shows her jamming in a professional recording studio, getting her makeup done backstage, dancing on the red carpet at her own premiere, and, in the only clear nod to the “Friday” video, chirping her lines from the backseat of a limo (which she shares with what appears to be her mom and brother). “Were you the one who said that I would be nothing? Well, I’m about to prove you wrong,” she sings in the track’s first lines. Later, she gets inspirational: “Your life is in your hands / So take it just as far as you can.”
she’s only 14. Is this what the “Cult of Self-Esteem”—the parenting style detailed by Lori Gottlieb in a recent Atlantic cover story—hath wrought? Who knows. It’s probably not good to speculate about the family dynamics behind the Black phenomenon. Still, anyone fishing for a posterchild for supposed 21st century bred-in narcissism must be thrilled to have Black’s new single (chorus: “This is my moment, it’s my time, flying high, lime, mine“) to kick around. In Gottlieb’s story, she writes of kids not being allowed to feel disoriented when falling on the playground, because their parents are so quick to swoop in. Later in life, those kids don’t process setbacks in a normal way, apparently. The parable comes to mind reading what Black told the Orange County Register about her initial reaction to “Friday’s” sudden notoriety:
“I think I broke down in tears just about then, and I thought, ‘Well, this isn’t good. I’m getting views, but this isn’t the way I wanted them.’
“I really thought, ‘Should I have not done this?’ ” Rebecca says. “‘This is my fault, I should have gone with the other song.’ I haven’t ever gotten that much hate. I thought the world is going to hate me. My self-confidence had dropped down to the ground. I thought I’d get made fun of at school.”
After an hour of self-doubt and sorrow, Rebecca wiped away her tears and went to find her mom, who told her that Wilson from Ark had called and said they’d been receiving offers for TV spots for Rebecca and dozens of other e-mails after the video started taking off that afternoon.
Yes, just one hour of self-doubt over being widely credited with creating one of the worst songs ever. After that: dollar signs in her parents’ eyes, the board-room charting of her post-“Friday” career, and the release of “My Moment,” a song that brings the embrace of no-publicity-is-bad-publicity philosophy to brave new heights. Is this the new resilience or the new tone-deafness? Either way, Black has managed to top herself when it becomes to being unintentionally annoying—only this time, it isn’t even funny.