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2013: A Year in Memes

2013 In Music

By Jeremy Gordon

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Pry the keyboard from my hands, claw the eyes out of my head, strip me naked and leave me for dead on the side of the road, but you will never take my memes. Boil the sea to a crisp, salt the soil into desolation, cloak the sky with smoke and fire but you will never, ever take my memes. Were all these memes really all that funny to begin with? Will we laugh when we revisit them in the future? Will we sneer? Only time will tell, friends.

Starbucks Drake Hands

Were that we all so confident to hit on a stranger by sending her a video of us coyly smiling as we massage our face with our hands while Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” plays in the background. Were we all so confident to brush it off when our goof was taken as total seriousness and somehow became national news, prompting parodies from athletes and actors alike. Were we all so confident to have that haircut. In 2014, let’s all take a lesson from Brody Ryan and do what our heart tells us is right.

 

Unflattering Beyoncé

Yes, Beyoncé is an alien goddess blessed with a voice from out of this world, a body from out of this universe, a career and lifestyle from out of this plane of consciousness. She could buy you with a snap of her fingers, demolish your confidence with a roll of her eyes, have you hogtied and chopped up into Lunchables-sized pieces with a single text message. Her daughter will probably grow up to become planet Earth’s first queen. Still, she looks weird as hell when caught at the wrong angle at the wrong moment, which no publicist is capable of shouting into nonexistence. Let her have the nineteen billion other positive things in her life; in this instance, she’s just like the rest of us weirdly-chinned, intensely-eyed, ham-thighed freaks.

 

“Trap Lord in stores August 20”

Maybe not so much a meme so much as a Twitter joke ground into obsolescence by a handful of people, but it was hard to deny the awkwardness-in-a-bottle of A$AP Rocky’s wildly unrehearsed monologue at the MTV Video Music Awards. “Fuck it, I’m winging it” is a strategy reserved for the likes of Brett Favre and Batman, not when you’re supposed to be saying something poignant next to Jason Collins, who was 2013’s poster child for poignancy. That was also the moment when everyone realized A$AP Rocky might be a little full of shit.

 

Miguel Leg Drop

Bless Miguel for his ambition as he tried to leap over the crowd during his Billboard Music Awards performance, which ended up with the “Adorn” singer leg dropping a poor, unsuspecting fan like he was Hulk Hogan finishing off Andre the Giant. He completely fucked up, but still. It was a Photoshop gift that kept on giving until it came out that the victim might have suffered a neurological injury, and was considering suing for unspecified damages. Nothing has happened since, and here’s to hoping she’s doing fine.

 

Drake Dada

God, Drake. No other musician seemed to do more things in 2013 in complete awareness that he would immediately become a GIF set or Photoshop slideshow, and “Drake Dada” was his Mt. Everest. Because of his dated Damani Dada clothing on the set of the “No New Friends” music video, Aubrey was inserted into every possible scene in every possible context: tripping an old lady, hitting a home run, dancing to “Hakuna Matata” with Simba, Timon and Pumba, hooping with the Fresh Prince, and beyond. (There was even some cross-pollination with the Miguel Leg Drop meme, proving that culture is circular and shit.) In the end, Drake won because he allowed everyone to take the piss and still dropped one of 2013’s most-loved records. That’s real power.
 

Cousin Terio

Ask the Fanning sisters about being robbed of a regular childhood at an extremely young age, but it’s safe to say that that Cousin Terio’s recurring act of dancing goofily for the Vine masses is not something that will age well as he grows older and less precocious. Snapshots of him standing in luxury hotels, surrounded by beautiful women and/or Dwyane Wade, makes you wonder if he shouldn’t just be in school. (Let’s not even get into the unconscious minstreling in laughing at an overweight, mostly mute African-American child as he dances for our entertainment.) With athletes like Desean Jackson and John Wall aping the young guy’s dance moves, Terio became 2013’s unofficial mascot and is apparently trying to make a career of his whole being. But it’s natural to be a little worried for his well-being, right? Stay safe, kid.

 

“Bitch I might be”

It was hilarious to laugh at the idea of Gucci Mane pleading “Bitch I might be” when asked if he was guilty of assaulting someone with a champagne bottle at a court hearing, right? At least until it came out that he was dealing with some real shit, to say nothing of what he wasn’t willing to admit in public. Ugh, let’s just move on.

 

Bound 2

Alas, for the meme that might’ve been had James Franco and Seth Rogen arrived so quickly with the “Bound 3” parody, thus rendering all Photoshops-to-be irrelevant and ultimately unnecessary. But there was a brief moment, pregnant with possibility over what could come from swapping faces in and out of the iconic shot of Kim Kardashian backwards straddling a motorcycle as her and Kanye stare into each other’s eyes, possibly mid-coitus. Kanye and Kanye, for one, and even Noisey contributor Bauce Sauce in one of the scenes. Post-Franco and subsequent explanation from art world criticst hat “Bound 2” was definitely sort of making fun of itself, nothing else was needed.

 

Doge

In the hands of doge, every music review became that much easier to write. Yeezus? “Wow. Such ego. Much confidence. So Nine Inch Nails.” Vampire Weekend? “Wow. Much reflection. So twinkling. Such references.” You get the idea. Doge wasn’t technically a music meme, but it became the lingua franca of distanced irony for every Internet-addled kid who decided words just weren’t worth it anymore. To anyone who proclaimed it “over” by the time Gawker came around to explain for the simps, I say: Wow. Such premature judgment. Much cynicism. So early.

 

Harlem Shake

10/10, would watch again.

 

Jeremy Gordon technically lives in Bushwick but you can find him on the internet. He's on Twitter - @jeremypgordon

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