The Current State of Popular Music

Unless you’ve been living in the Middle East in 2011, you’ve probably heard the song Friday by Rebecca Black.  Released in February 2011, by mid-April the song had received over 2 million hits, a figure that has catapulted to over 120 million as of today.  Along with a growing throng of viewership, the video also garnered a volley of outspoken criticism.  Many professional music critics dubbed it the worst song of all time and the video received an 88% disapproval rating on YouTube representing a total of 2,400,000 dislikes.

Another teenage pop star, Miley Cyrus, attained a similar level of viewership for her song Party in the USA.   The YouTube video, which was posted approximately 18 months before Black’s Friday, has received an astounding 210+ million viewers with only 17% of viewers disapproving of the video; a total of 64,942 dislikes.  Furthermore, the song reached the top 10 charts of eight countries and was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Associate of America.

Why would such an enormous disparity exist between the reactions to these two videos?  First, let’s examine the lyrics; the factor most often cited by critics of Friday.  Black sings:

 

7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun
You know what it is
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right, ay

 

Let’s compare them to Party in the USA:

 

Jumped in the cab,
Here I am for the first time
Look to my right and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

Is it just me or does driving down the highway with your friends and riding in a downtown LA taxi sound exactly like the same thing?  

 

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http://www.hedgefundlive.com/blog/the-current-state-of-popular-music

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