With a new release, Rebecca Black Was Here, the singer has definitively overcome the tale of her infamous start.
Ten years ago, the most Googled name in the world belonged to a wide-smiling 13-year-old girl everyone seemed to be laughing at. She was Rebecca Black of “Friday,” the calendar-themed sing-along that reached megafame by being, in many people’s judgment, the worst song ever. Amid cheesy production by the ARK Music Factory—a now-defunct Southern California firm that Black’s mom had paid $4,000 to make the song—Black’s auto-tuned voice bleated about cereal, front seats, back seats, and “fun, fun, fun.” In the music video, which featured tweens riding around in a convertible, and on talk shows where hosts quizzed Black about why her song was so hated, she never seemed to drop her grin.
Black is now 23, and she’s still smiling. The cover of her new six-song project, Rebecca Black Was Here, would be a glamour shot—coiffed bangs, dangling jewels—if not for the green-black slime smeared on her teeth and chin. Over the past year, Black has been wriggling back into the public’s consciousness as a hip Gen Z avatar—while coming out as queer, making a hilarious remix of “Friday,” and recording adventurous pop singles for a devoted fan base. The sweetness of her teenage persona isn’t gone, but it now comes with a punkish, even gruesome, twist.
“As somebody who had been out of control of the narrative surrounding me as a kid, it’s fun for me to play with perception,” Black told me over Zoom while sporting George Michael–esque cross earrings and a burgundy-tipped bob cut. “There is a very different person there—I would hope that I’m not still acting like a 13-year-old.”
1.Better in My Memory
5.Worth It for the Feeling
OVERALL RATING: 4 stars