Rebecca Black is likely to be the most infamous case of a 13-year-old being the target of a worldwide Internet hate campaign, or at least the only one to experience a level of vitriol that still astounds to this day. The infamous release of ‘Friday’ resulted in years upon years of online harassment, which the now 23-year-old Californian continues to struggle with.
However, Black avoided going underground to hide from anonymous bullies and over the last 10 years has grown an impressive cult following online, now aligning herself with an extensive crowd of hyperpop stars and inspirations – Charli XCX, Dorian Electra, 100 gecs, etc. This resulted in the release of a ‘Friday’ remix on February 10th, the ten year anniversary of the original music video’s release, now featuring verses from the above mentioned Dorian Electra, early 2000s icons 3OH!3 and house music legend Big Freedia.
One would think that ‘Friday’s’ heavily autotuned mix would be perfect for a 2021 reworking, given the barebones of a hyperpop track already lying within the instrumental to the original song. Grating electronic sound and general audio maximalism is a niche that could easily be catered to, whether it is in an ironic sense or not. But somehow, ‘Friday’ has become even more insufferable.
Rebecca’s original vocals are remixed to a gratingly high pitch, a staple of producer Dylan Brady’s (one half of 100 gecs) most recent tracks and therefore missing out on an opportunity to show off the development and improvement of Black’s voice. Furthermore, each featured artist receives a less than 20 second slot for their verse before returning to Black’s chipmunk-esque vocals, making the additional three artists seem easily replaceable. However, Big Freedia’s unique loud-mouth vocals are a welcome addition to the Remix, the New Orleans-born star adding to a back catalogue of unwaveringly iconic features alongside her previous work with artists ranging from Charli XCX to RuPaul.
The remix of ‘Friday’ may well have been done as a light-hearted reflection on the last ten years for Rebecca Black, but as her discography strengthens with new releases like the beautiful ‘Girlfriend,’ this track is the definition of a missed opportunity.