Almost four years ago Natalie Portman and The Lonely Island created a SNL Digital Short rap parody. It was great mostly because the humor was raw, it was unexpected for Portman to deliver the hardcore rhymes, and hip-hop had really never been lampooned by a female like that before. It became one of the most successful viral videos of all time (fresh off the success of “Lazy Sunday”). Unfortunately since then, we’ve been forced to endure hundreds of shitty rip-off videos of the same premise–someone famous going against type to show they have a sense of humor and/or humanize them. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. The latest victim is Rachel Bilson.
The new “rap video” from the Hart of Dixie star is really just sad. Mostly, I just don’t get it. What is the point of the song/video? To promote her show? To show she’s funny like Zoey Deschanel? To just do something fun with her friends? I’d argue that this videos does much more to harm her image than help. A) The video concept is as uncreative as it gets. She even calls out Portman in the video, acknowledging her original clip! [You come at the king, you best not miss] B) If you’re going to rap, the delivery must be on point and lyrics have to be way above average. It’s a nice try, but both fall way short. C) The audience for this video are no way the people that actually watch the CW.
Rather than think of a new and uniquely funny idea to draw new viewers to Hart of Dixie, Rachel Bilson fell victim to the trappings of internet LOLz and made what future generations will call ‘The Avalanche Point.’ Ironic rapping to be funny is dead. Being profane to shock is lame. It’s lazy and played out. This video doesn’t just tip the scales for rap parodies, it kills everything in it’s way as it crashes down the mountain.
Don’t get me wrong, Bilson looks amazing, especially in baggy pants and the Kings snap-back. But as Jeff Ross says, she needs to stay in her lane. She’s hot. Rachel doesn’t need to burn calories rapping and making me cringe.
It’s been four years and people still making shitty music parodies. I’m looking at you, Andy Sandberg. The genre can still exist, but for god’s sake, step your game up. There’s a difference between Rachel Bilson and “My First Hardcore Song.” If you can’t tell what it is, then you’re a lost cause anyways.
Is creativity dead or are people just settling for subpar humor?