When’s the last time you thought about Rebecca Black? I’ll wait.
It was a while ago, right? Rebecca Black was 13 when “Friday” came out, and she’s 19 now.
Imagine being her when it went viral. She’s barely a teenager and has just put out a music video that, by all accounts, should have come and gone. She was happy, ecstatic even, when it passed 4,000 views. We know what happened next. We all do embarrassing things when we’re 13, but her embarrassing thing went viral. To date, the video has more than 107 million YouTube plays (and that’s not factoring in that it was deleted and re-uploaded more than once), and has been parodied and covered by everyone from late night hosts to the cast of Glee. Bad Lip Reading, the YouTube account with more than 6 million subscribers, was launched on the back of its Rebecca Black video.
What followed for Rebecca Black was, we can only assume, a living hell. Bullying and teasing are realities of being a teenager before you factor in a viral video that has grown-ass comedians taking potshots. She was a child, and she was bearing the brunt of insults that’d crack an established pro. To her credit, she pushed through. And while you might only know her for her nasally need for fun, fun, fun, she’s 19 now, and nothing helps you improve like the passage of time.
She’s been putting out singles consistently since “Friday,” which, for all its absurdity, still gave Black a Heatseekers #1. But her most recent song, “Foolish,” is what we want to talk about. It’s… pretty good!
The video for “Foolish” has been live for a minute now; after two weeks, it’s only just pushing 200,000 views. “Friday” cracked a million within a month. But context is important – “Friday” blew up because Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Michael J. Nelson made fun of it on Twitter, and that was picked up Tosh.0. It racked up views faster than we could hit refresh, but it also quickly became the most “disliked” video in the platform’s history. “Foolish” is growing more modestly, but you can’t argue with the ratio here:
With its driving bass line and breath-y hook, “Foolish” is the opposite of “Friday.” It’s calculated, but with room to breathe, and Black’s singing voice sounds like she actually can. Sing, I mean. In the years since “Friday,” Black had reinvented herself as a prominent Vlogger. “Foolish” reignites her singing career, the right way. She might just move past “Friday” after all. Until then…