From time to time, we all end up saying something weird sincerely that doesn't go over well, right? Then you have to save face with a quick "JK JK" backtrack. The opposite holds true sometimes as well. You tell a lie that no one really gets, but instead of covering it up, you just say "Fuck it" and go all in out of spite. "This is my life now," you think, embarking on a new era of self-imposed masochistic irony, like driving one of those old-timey bikes or working your job as an ironic farmer. Being a waiter/blogger, say, or listening to really shitty pop music all the time with a straight face.
That's quite possibly the case here with this new track from Chad Future, who you hopefully don't remember from this Lance Bass-stained boy band parody video Heart2Heart from a few internets ago. His new song, “Hello,” is the musical equivalent of your mom telling you to stop making that stupid face or else it might get stuck that way forever.
I feel like I've been wasting my time hating on all this other stuff my entire life up until now, never really knowing what truly despising music meant. I honestly didn't know what to say, so I asked a few of my music writer colleagues to weigh-in.
“It's like the Olympics,” said David Thorpe, the man who inflicted this video upon me, “There are new world records for how bad shit can get every year.”
“Whoa. I feel like crying just because I have no other way of coping with this,” Noisey's own Sasha Hecht said.
“What? He's talking about Justin Timberlake?” Lauren Metter asked. No, actually, the other dude in involved is this guy, Jeremy Thurber. “Wait, what other dude? I'm so confused now. This whole thing has, like, thrown off my day.”
I know exactly how she feels.
"It sounds like not-kidding 3oh!3," commented Dan Brockman, “Dude kind of looks like Julian Casablancas underneath his stupid hair.” Whoa, he kind of does, but with, like, a gallon of skin-toner makeup on. (Does this count as “yellow face,” by the way? Am I even allowed to ask if something is in “yellow face?”) "But yeah," Brockman added, “This is pretty great.”
Oh shit, maybe it is? I don't even know what's real anymore.
“Bridging the gap between American and K-pop music, Detroit born Rapper/Producer Chad Future teams up with Top 20 Singer/Song Writer Jeremy Thurber for what Billboard has called the World's first 'AK-POP' single, 'Hello,'” reads the description of the video.
That American K-pop designation is apparently pretty controversial, as a lot of fans are pissed off that it's a white dude singing in Korean, co-opting K-pop, or whatever it is nerds get mad about in comment threads.
“First thing that comes to your head when you heard the word Kpop is Korean people right?” writes one commenter. “Same thing for reggae for black people and country for white people. It just the way it is. So doing this, loses korean creditability for kpop. This has nothing to do with racism. It just what the country is known for.”
Not sure I agree with the premise, and plus, I don't even think you can still technically register as “white” once you commit to that haircut, anyway. But it's just one of the many important questions this video forces us to ask about ourselves. Isn't that what art is supposed to do? Is this art? Fuck.
Brockman cut to the heart of the question this song raises as we watch it, once at first in horror, then again and again, the tides of synth cheese eroding away our taste-standard defenses.
“I think that there is no doubt that this is well-made pop music; the question for white-person Americans is 'How seriously am I supposed to take this music/visual style?' We are all used to laughing at Lonely Island. [Speak for yourself, dude...] Or, even, maybe, LMFAO-type stuff, because those things are making fun of these conventions. But when they are presented so blatantly and without apology, the question is whether we are supposed to laugh or be into it?”
Maybe both? Although with lyrics like these, how can anyone take the song—or anything else, ever—seriously?
I fly the world doing laps on the map
2012 No time to waste
I'm gonna take you high, so high, like space
내게 안되게 전에 말했지만 다시 한 번 말할게 [something stupid in Korean]
High like space, indeed.
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