Rebecca’s music has evolved and the LGBTQI community are championing her new sound
BY MOLLY SMITH, IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM
Rebecca Black has been releasing music relatively consistently since her debut single, Friday, that catapulted her to internet fame and meme status in 2011. But in recent years she has come into her own as a musician and person, emerging from the pandemic a queer hyperpop queen!
Transpiring from a feature on Dorian Electra’s single, Edgelord, Rebecca has released EPs, albums and singles that infuse the inherently overly produced sounds we expect from hyperpop, with 80s inspired synth and ballad-esque tracks – resulting in a body of work with an overarching sense of experimental pop brilliance. Despite the fans initial surprise, Rebecca has expressed that her journey as an artist has been a gradual evolution, and it didn’t take long for the LGBTQI community to champion her new sound.
In 2020 Rebecca publicly acknowledged she was queer on the Dating Straight podcast which was followed by the release of her single Girlfriend in 2021. Although the classic pop feel of Girlfriend is miles away, stylistically, from the type of music she has been releasing recently, the liberation that she has spoken about feeling as a result of being authentic is worth acknowledging. It felt like a turning point for her as an artist.
I was lucky enough to catch Rebecca at one of her sold out London shows, and the atmosphere was electric. The venue oozed pride flags, glitter and mesh. The production was an explosion of latex, coloured lights and the iconic chainsaw Rebecca is pictured holding on the artwork of her single Personal. Rebecca acknowledged how liberating it was to be able to talk about “gay shit” as she addressed the audience (which resulted in the crowd chanting “gay shit” back at her on repeat).
Hyperpop is synonymous with queer culture in many ways as historically it was rejected by straight communities due to its avant garde, flamboyant and over the top production, musically and artistically. It is widely accepted that freedom of sound, aesthetic and expression is prevalent in the world of hyperpop, which could be what makes it so inviting for queer people. Rebecca has made a name for herself in this world by unapologetically creating music she is proud of and using her work as a vehicle of expression rather than just trying to release “hits”.
Although her music has evolved considerably since she started out, Rebecca acknowledged her beginnings by releasing a hyperpop remix of Friday featuring 3OH!3, Big Freedia and Dorian Electra, on track’s 10 year anniversary. The remix is purposefully loud, chaotic and overloaded with autotune. It’s a crash course in self-awareness, doubling down on the notorious cringe of the original track, with exaggerated facial expressions and decade old pop and meme references plastered throughout the music video. Rebecca does, however, make is clear how far she’s come, by trading the girl-next-door image for latex, spikes and sports cars.
Given hyperpops’ roots in queer culture and Rebecca’s prevalence in the LGBTQI community, this is a combination I am very excited about. She acknowledges that some people will always see her as “the Friday girl” but fool on them! Rebecca Black overcame adversity to come back with more than a bang, better that ever.
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