the inside track

Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Remix Earned the Right to Be a Delightful Mess

It’s what day???? Photo: YouTube

“Friday” was hyperpop before hyperpop: born of the internet, edited into oblivion, bordering parody, and bubbling over with energy. Calling the song good or bad is almost reductive; at the very least, it’s far from the “worst song ever” label that led to years of bullying and anxiety for Black. More than all that, it’s fun — hard to like, sure, but impossible to hate, never mind to sing or dance to when it comes on. It’s made with the same playful attitude that most good hyperpop gets rewarded for these days, which is why the stacked hyperpop remix for this week’s tenth anniversary of “Friday” actually makes a good bit of sense.

On paper, the “Friday” remix has the best lineup to hit hyperpop since 100 gecs remixed “ringtone” with Charli XCX, Kero Kero Bonito, and Rico Nasty. Black’s team includes provocateur Dorian Electra, crunkcore jokesters 3OH!3, and Queen of Bounce Big Freedia, with the gecs’ newly in-demand Dylan Brady producing. And there’s reason to think all of these musicians would work well together: Electra linked with Black on their own song “Edgelord”; 3OH!3 just tapped 100 gecs for the surprising return to form “Lonely Machines”; Freedia has been the glue for other stacked lineups like Charli XCX’s “Shake It”; Brady helmed that standout 100 gecs remix.

And as colliding particles on this new “Friday” mishmash, they make a delightful mess. Each guest sounds like they’re trying to craft a different song, and despite what Brady does to soup up Black’s original track, he can’t stitch all the parts together. That’s not to say each artist doesn’t belong on the song. Electra slips into the track the best with a few short lines; it’s clear that they’ve worked with Black and know their way around a Brady beat. Freedia brings signature high energy levels, and it’s good to hear her get actual lines instead of just some ad-libs. And it’s fitting to have 3OH!3, who experienced their own waves of criticism for making music that’s questionably good but undeniably enjoyable. If Black and her team had come back with a polished song intended to rewrite “Friday” history, it just wouldn’t feel right. (Not to mention, Black is already working to prove her pop abilities on her new song “Girlfriend,” not that she needs to.) So instead, Black and her collaborators have just given us more silliness and joy — just presented as a haphazardly wrapped gift.

Some big-time collaborations practically come with a scorecard for listeners, but not this one. No artist is hopping on a “Friday” remix to show how well they can hold their own against their peers; they’re hopping on “Friday” for a good time. So what if it’s over the top?

Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Remix Earned the Right to Be a Mess