Ah good, you’re here. Please, have a seat, be comfortable.
America, we need to have a talk.
Now, we all make poor decisions. Pete Best left The Beatles, M. Night Shyamalan made movies past Unbreakable, and I bought a Maroon 5 album (I was 13). So I can understand where you’re coming from. We stood by when Ke$ha was given a career. And a lot of us were a little concerned when “I’ma Be” went #1 earlier this year, but hey, it was just a phase. Then “Like a G6” peaked this week and we started to worry.
And now we need to have an intervention, because this needs to stop.
The viral hit “Whip My Hair” hasn’t charted yet, but with seven million views in just as many days, it’s only a matter of time before this baby parks it in the Top 40. I realize that I usually do Radio Rants on what’s big on the charts, but this is a preemptive strike.
This is usually where I give some background info on the artist. It’s not hard to imagine what got Willow Smith into the music business, but with this being her first single (which leads to an album, which…oh, God) and her being nine, I don’t really have a lot to go off of. I mean, what do I say? She went into kidnergarden when I had my first girlfriend?
So…the song. “Whip My Hair”. First of all, can I mention that I hope she doesn’t get forced into a career? Other kid stars like Bieber, Miley, and the Joe Bros at least get dressed age appropriately (mostly), but Willow almost looks like one of those creepyass child beauty pagent kids that was trying to win the Rihanna look-alike round.
But anyway, the song. The producer here, (Jukebox) apparently decided the originality wasn’t really an objective, because despite being a new song, “Whip My Hair” manages to sound like Bieber meets Rihanna with some scant AutoTune thrown in for good measure (then again, she is nine). And not in the appealing ways, either. The beat isn’t particularly great, it’s not especially danceable…the whole thing just blends into whatever else is on the radio.
And that chorus. Kill me, that chorus. This is something I’ve noticed this year with songs, but it seems that we don’t quite believe in performers singing as much as shouting at us. Case in point, “I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH. I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH. I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH. I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH. I WHIP MY HAIR BACK FORTH.”, and no that’s not all the times it repeats. It’s like a higher pitched version of Nicki Minaj’s really annoying voice that seems to never end. The song would actually be tolerable if it weren’t for this abomination.
Otherwise, the verses run a very typical gamut of teen pop. The melody’s tolerable enough. These lyrics (which, unless my research fails me, were written by Willow) are trying-too-hard-lame at worst and so okay it’s average at best.
This whole enterprise confuses me from the first “I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH” to the very merciful last one some SIXTY SEVEN times later. The song’s annoying enough to be actively grating if you listen to it, there’s nothing special to it. Except that it’s by a nine year old whose dad seems to have entered a “Whose offspring can make worse music?” contest with Billie Ray Cyrus. And people love it. I’m seeing a lot of press/praise about how the song has a kid-friendly and positive message and that absolves it from being pretty terrible, but I have a counter.
Of course it is! A nine year old doing a pop single? There’s literally no way it can’t be kid-friendly and have a positive message. Not that I’m knocking the “be yourself” train, but when the writer/performer is too young to try to get into a PG13 movie without her parents, I hope to holy hell that it’s innocent sounding. Whatever. It’s here, it’s pretty much a novelty record, and it should be out of the way soon.