“I’ve Gotta Feeling” that we haven’t seen the last of Rebecca Black

Ashley Goetz

Two questions: Have we had enough of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”? Can you get enough of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”? The hit song, for there is no other way to describe it, has been defended by Rolling Stone (among other things), “read” as a radical text and taken down by the Daily’s own, Vanessa Ramstack.

Oh yeah, it’s been viewed by almost 50 million people (the official video, linked above) and carries a “dislike” to “like” ratio of 8:1, with about 800,000 “dislikes,” (both figures as of the time of this writing).

Oh, to be 13 again! I for one, have probably contributed about 20 viewings to that 50 million figure. Every time I watch it, I think I’m subconsciously pretending like it’s some Dadaist deconstruction of pop music and American pop culture. If only I could be so lucky, and if only the song weren’t actually so patently inane. I’ve taken to showing the video to people who haven’t seen it, and after the first couple of showings, it’s simply to see their reaction.

Two showings at work produced visible anger in two people. Apologies to my coworker who has twice had to walk to the back room to avoid Black’s otherworldly robotic droning of the word Friday. Another friend wanted to beat up the rapper who appeared in the video. Aside from the anger, a few other people got the joke, and just kind of went along with it with befuddled amusement. Others just cocked their heads and did their best to deal with the cognitive dissonance that the video creates.

What gets me is the song has already been done. Think not? Take note of the embedded video above. Indeed, it’s an indelible fact that the Black Eyed Peas and their song “I Gotta Feeling” are on the same level as Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” This hit me, appropriately, this past Friday night (excuse the typos in the Tweet). The first couple of times I heard “I Gotta Feeling” on the radio, I thought it was performed by a group of auto-tuned Jewish frat boys who buddied up with some low budget/upcoming? R&B songstress.

I mustn’t have been the only one who heard the lyrics, “Fill up my cup, mazel tov,” and been mislead. Oh, how I was surprised when I learned that, what I termed at the time, “The Worst Song Ever,” was penned and performed by, what I term now as “The Worst Group Ever.”

However, much like my hatred turned affinity for Bob Seger, I’ve come to terms with “I Gotta Feeling,” if not the group that produced it. The song is great for acting like a total dork when driving around with your friends, and if you’re at a wedding and in a suit, well, it can produce pure horribly cheesy emphatic joy. Or something. Coming to grips with “I’ve Gotta Feeling” meant I was fully prepared for “Friday” straight out of the box.

If one can take lyrics like, as already noted, “Fill up my cup, mazel tov,” why should anyone have problems with something like, “We we we so excited,” or “Gotta have my bowl, gotta have my cereal?” And let’s not even pretend that Fergie’s enthusiastic and seemingly random orders to “Drink!” or “Smash it!” didn’t at least somewhat inspire Black’s inspiring lyrics of “Fun fun fun fun.” The reason that Black’s song is so gawl-darned fascinating is because the bar was already set so low; we’ve seen the show already. Any close reading of the songs side by side comes up with one thing: Catchy-as-all-hell-inanity. People are already scrambling to figure out how much money Rebecca Black is making off here public humiliation/beatification. If the Black Eyed Peas have taught us anything, it’s that there’s more than one way to ruin a Super Bowl half-time show. I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve got the feeling that Rebecca Black might just teach us the same thing in 2023.