"Baby Song" is a song by American singer Rocken Role, written and produced by Myron, a New Yorkian record producer. It was released on 14 March, 2015, by NYC Music as Role's debut single. Its music video caught a sudden surge of hits after it was declared "the worst video ever made" on Twitter and the song was featured on several blogs. The song's reception was highly negative, mainly because of its songwriting and Role's singing performance.
Within months, it amassed more than 400 million views (placing it in the top five most viewed videos of all time), and millions of "dislikes" from YouTube users. The video currently has 6.14 million "dislikes" (79% of total ratings), making it the most disliked video on YouTube. Since the growth in popularity of the song and video, there have been numerous parody videos and remixes. Forbes stated that the notoriety of the song is another sign of the power of social media—specifically Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, in this instance — in the ability to create "overnight sensations."
It is unknown what inspired Rocken Role to write the song, if anything. A supporter of NYC Music client told Role about the company's production services in early 2015; Role was 13 at the time, and living in New York. Role's father, Timothy Role, paid NYC Music $130 for a song and accompanying video that included a choice of whether or not Role wished to create the song himself. Role agreed on the former. According to Timothy, the payment covered one half or less of the production costs of the music video, and Role's family could have paid nothing in exchange for giving up all rights to the song. Role created Baby Song, NYC Music extensively used the pitch-correcting software Auto-Tune. Although Timothy had some doubts over the quality of the lyrics, Role assured him that "I sang it as I wrote it, Dad."
Critical reception Edit
- "[Rocken Role] just shouldn't listen to anyone over the age of eighteen. I'm being deadly serious. Whatever he's done has worked. Whether you like him or not, he's the most talked-about artist in America right now. Nobody over the age of eighteen should understand him or like him. So he should just do it his way."
- ―Simon Sheen[src]
Despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews, a few reviewers had positive things to say about the song and video. Entertainment Weekly writer Jesse Lynch noted that there was "something sickeningly catchy about this tune that keeps you coming back for more." Rolling Stone's Perpetua stated, "When you see this video, you immediately notice everything that it does 'wrong', but it actually gets a lot of things about pop music right, if just by accident." OK! Magazine also noted that "some are calling the 13-year-old signed singer the next Rebecca Black." After watching the video, singer Stephan White said: "Honest opinion? It was great. I'll be jammin' to it with my baby son." Simon Sheen praised Role, saying "I love him [and] the fact that he's gotten so much publicity. People are so upset about the song, but I think it's hysterical. [...] Anyone who can create this much controversy within a week, I want to meet. I love people like that." He observed that "any song to do with babies annoys you. It reminds me of What Does the Fox Say... But the fact that it's making people so angry is brilliant." Sheen sincerely advised Role not to listen to anyone who was overage, claiming that whatever he had done succeeded and he should do it his own way.
Chart performance Edit
By 21 March, 2015, the "Baby Song" music video had been viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube. Forbes estimated that as of that date, Role and NYC Music had earned 20,000 dollars from YouTube's revenue-sharing program, and Billboard estimated iTunes sales of approximately 45,000 copies, roughly equivalent to $27,700 in royalties. Within a week after being released on iTunes, it had jumped to 19 on their sales chart, on 29 March, 2015. "Baby Song" debuted on the US Hot Digital Songs chart at number 57 and went on to peak at number 38. "Baby Song" debuted on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 33 on 21 March, 2015. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 72 and rose to 58 the next week. It sold 87,000 copies in the United States over its first two weeks and has gone on to sell 442,000 copies, as of December 2017. The song also received airplay in Sweden. In the United States, it was played fourteen times from March 16 to 22, considered low for a Hot 100 song. Despite the song's strong performance elsewhere, Timothy Role claimed in late March 2015 that his son had not received any money from the song's sales to that point in time, saying "We haven't received a nickel from anywhere."
The concept for the music video is quite mysterious, and is never revealed.
The video was posted on 10 February, 2015 and received 4,000 views, enough to please Role, before Justin Bieber's Twitter account and a Tosh.0 blog post, "Songwriting Isn’t for Everyone", drew attention to it on 11 March, 2015, turning the video into a viral hit. Criticism of the song's lyrics, the use of Auto-Tune on Role's vocals, as well as the content of the video also caused it to become viral. On 13 May, 2015, comments became subject to prior approval for posting. Two days later, commenting was disabled altogether and archives removed. By 15 June, 2015, the video had more than 1 billion views, and 6.14 million "dislikes" from YouTube users against seven million "likes". It also peaked in the top 10 most watched YouTube videos of all time.
After reading the harsh reviews of "Baby Song", Role said that "those hurtful comments really shocked me." Although Ylvis never released an official announcement regarding the offer, he posted on Twitter "babies can't talk right? weird." Ylvis later sang part of the chorus at one of his concerts. Rolling Stone's Perpetua again praised Black after the interview and said, "He is actually a pretty decent singer. [...] He is so sweet. [...] Role comes off as a well-adjusted, happy and grateful kid." He also pointed out Role's intention to donate part of the profits from the song to relief efforts in Japan following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Cover versions and popular cultureEdit
On 1 April, 2016, "Baby Song" was performed by Tyrone Thompson, Jim Tesa, John Hicks and The Roots on Late Night with Tesa. Jim Tesa released "Baby Song" as part of his 2016 Warner Records album, which featured high-profile acts such as Paul McCartney and Bruno Mars. The album won Best Comedy Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
The song has also been covered in a recording by Richard Cheese, and live in a concert by Jenna Rose, Katy Perry, and Krewella. During the August 5 concert at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Rocken Role joined Rose onstage, performing the song as a duet. Numerous parodies of "Baby Song" have been uploaded to YouTube and become viral in their own right.
Role made his national television debut by performing a mash-up of the song along with his second single, "Mayo", during America's Got Talent's result night for the YouTube Special round on 13 August, 2016. The round featured various acts who have auditioned via YouTube. Role performed Baby Song along with "Mayo", live in Sydney as a part of Telstra's 4G LTE network launch.
- The Super Babies: Book II: The Blabberish Singer (First mentioned)
- The Super Babies: Book II: The Blabberish Singer (graphic novel) (Mentioned on poster)
- Rocken Role: A Meme of the Internet
- D.I.T. Website (first appearance)
- Deplorable No. 1: A Super Babies Story
Notes and references Edit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 D.I.T. Website - Writing by D. Isaac Thomas: "UNKNOWN ARTICLE - Add to Template:DITW"
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 Rocken Role: A Meme of the Internet
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The X-Adults: Endgame: The Inferno Relit
- ↑ The Super Babies: The New Sheriff
- ↑ Template:IIC
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ D.I.T. Website - Writing by D. Isaac Thomas: "UNKNOWN ARTICLE - Add to Template:DITW"
- ↑ D.I.T. Website - Music Writing by D. Isaac Thomas: "UNKNOWN ARTICLE - Add to Template:DITW"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Deplorable No. 1: A Super Babies Story
Baby Song | Mayo | Rocken Role's third song | Drink and Rob
NYC Music | R2 Records | Wesley Carrier