Possibly the best article ever written about Rebecca Black — I figure my prodigious body of work is tied for third — showed up in, of all places, BuzzFeed. BF’s Reggie Ugwu gets the overview in order, makes a couple of unexpected disclosures, and comes up with paragraphs like this:
Maybe more than any other 18-year-old alive, Black is all of our anxieties about oversharing online made flesh: the fact that more than 350 million photos are shared to Facebook each day and 300-plus hours of video hit YouTube every minute; the nagging sense that kids born into a world where social networking exists are worse off — when it comes to college applications, job prospects, romantic relationships. For most of us, these fears are as vague as they are persistent, a concern filed somewhere in the back of the brain near jury duty and gum disease. But for Black they’re reality. And, as luck would have it, her overexposure came just moments too soon in the history of the viral video industrial complex to translate into anything resembling a sustainable career. When it comes to making traumatic first impressions on the internet, Black is patient zero.
While she did make six figures off “Friday,” her million and odd YouTube subscribers likely bring in enough these days to pay the rent, or at least her half of it anyway.
Besides, music is coming:
The artist Black says she would most like to emulate, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Taylor Swift, whose ability to successfully switch genres — and to be graceful under intense spotlight — she finds inspiring. “She’s the best businesswoman in music right now,” Black gushes. “She’s killing it.” Black’s new songs, based on two nearly complete demos she sent me, sound like Swift — bright and confident with soaring rock drums and dramatic hooks that work best sung at the top of your lungs while cruising down the highway. Her voice is capable and Auto-Tune–free.
We will forget what I said on the release of “In Your Words” back in 2012:
I’m thinking that if Taylor Swift is wanting to be Katy Perry these days, surely Rebecca Black is bidding here for Swift’s niche: songs simultaneously wistful and accusatory.
Still, if she’s cruising down the highway, we now know she prefers the front seat.