Pop culture: Is the lyric video the new music video?

Lady Gaga’s lyric video for “Applause”

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Katy Perry and Lady Gaga both released singles this week ahead of schedule due to leaks (duh, welcome to the internet and 2008). Along with their single releases, they both have released lyric videos to go along with their singles. You know, to give the drooling pop obsessed masses (yo what up thats me 2) something to look at while the real video gets made, and so the artist/record label can make official money off the ads from youtube. Holla fo that dolla. But really, have we entered a new era of the music video?

TRL! my heart strings are a-pullin'. miss u 4ever.
TRL! my heart strings are a-pullin’. miss u 4ever.

The first music video to ever grace MTV was The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star.” LOL. 4shadowing FTW. MTV gave music videos a great place to live until they decided ain’t nobody got time fo that shit. They cut down the regularly scheduled music video programming to an hour and a half after school on Total Request Live, or belovedly, TRL. In case you were living on Mars, Russia or a home where your parents banned television (my condolences), TRL was awesome. It was a place where kids got to call in (USING LANDLINE PHONES!!!!!) to request their favorite music videos and hopefully get their Britney or NSYNC vid to the number 1 spot. It was such a big fucking deal. I actually miss it.

Since TRL’s cancellation in 2008 (R.I.P. 4ever and PLEASE bring this show back on the internet. seriously. SRSLY), the music video has had a pretty much exclusive internet platform, because let’s be real: MTV2 couldn’t even keep to its word that it would be the real music video channel, and VH1 LOL. Throw in internet file sharing and the money-losing scramble of the music industry over the past decade, our poor little Music Video has suffered quite a lot in quality, budget and creativity.

first lyric video However, out of a seemingly doomed medium of sonic visual expression came a little thing called the Lyric Video. It’s a modest, bastardly child of the once great Music Video. The first lyric videos started off with horrible fonts and and a gross blue screen. You’ve seen them. They’ve come a long way since Windows 2000 though. Now they’ve got pretty colors and exciting fonts. The joy!

a still of Ke$ha's lyric video for "Die Young"
a still of Ke$ha’s lyric video for “Die Young”

Somewhere along the line, a music exec/artist/manager not completely fucked up on blow realized how many views theses videos get, how CHEAP it is to make them, and how useful it would be to slap ads on an official lyric video and make some extra dollaz.

Good job, music industry. It only took you about 8 years to figure that shit out.

Anyways, it seems more and more with big time releases to put out a lyric video while the actual video gets made, if one even gets made. The lyric video has sort of become a toe in the water to see if a real music video would be a lucrative venture or a compete waste of time and money. But is this creating a greater creative divide between video formats for songs? If the lyric video is the cheap, low-key video version of the song, then will real music videos in turn become something more cinematic? Maybe. Hopefully. We’ll see.

Taylor Swift released both a lyric video and an official video for her single “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” Swift’s lyric video has over 27 million views, and the official video has nearly 175 million views. That’s over 200 million views combined. That’s a lot of fucking views.

T swift and her font-y lyric video
T swift and her font-y lyric video

Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Ke$ha have all released lyric videos this year for songs. If it hasn’t become a huge norm to release a lyric video, it’s going to be. Especially since both Katy Perry and Gaga released lyric videos quickly after their songs leaked. It’s a great way to make a little quick, extra money ahead of a budgeted music video, give the fans something official to watch and deliver a cheaply made but (hopefully) creative video to accompany a new single.

After all, throwing money at something like art doesn’t always make it good. Put restrictions in place, like money, time and scrolling lyrics, and see how creative artists can get within those boundaries. Who knows. We may have our next piece of musical cinematic brilliance in a 2 Chainz lyric video. Maybe not. All I know is, we are entering a new era of videos made for visually enjoying and interacting with modern music. Thank god a new creative platform has come to the music industry, cuz it’s about goddamn time.

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Gross: Demi Lovato sells cars now

Demi Lovato, Car Saleswoman

EW. WHAT? Excuse me? Demi, are the first lyrics to your new song “Made in the USA” (PUKE TITLE) Our love runs deep like a Chevy? And is your chorus really cuz our love was made in the USA? Jesus. Nice try on the “Party in the USA” rip off, but no. Just… no.

Image via broadwayworld.com
She’s so edgy. Image via broadwayworld.com

How much do you think Chevy paid to have Demi Lovato, singer, actress, judge on The X Factor, to put a line referencing Chevy’s slogan in her song pukingly titled “Made in the USA”? Probably a lot. Oh, did I mention yet that Chevy is also the official car sponsor of The X Factor where Miss Lovato just happens to be a judge? Interesting! Transparent. And disgusting.

It’s like the mainstream music industry isn’t even trying to creatively cross promote anymore. Sure, Britney Spears made a couple of songs for Pepsi (and this AMAZING commercial that is my favorite commercial of all time), but she NEVER had a line in one of her albums about how good Pepsi is. It’s one thing to endorse a company and their product, but it’s another to bring it into your art or music and still call it art. It’s not art honey, it’s an ad. You make ads now.

Mental illness marketing is IN

The other thing that pisses me off about Demi Lovato is that she used/currently uses her mental illness(es) as a marketing tool. Come one, come all, o dearly afflicted teens! GROSS.

On one hand, she IS bringing awareness about mental illness into the homes of middle America. On the other, it seems a bit exploitative and confusing to talk about mental illness so much, and then release songs like this empty crap that have nothing to do with anything besides bringing brand awareness to said afflicted teens. Sort of like, Hey guys! I’m bipolar and depressed too. It really sucks, but you should check out this new 2014 Chevy. They are cool now. Skip the therapist to go for a test drive, cuz this shit runs DEEP. 

She's totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com
She’s totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com

Demi Lovato is the epitome of an uneducated, blank industry pawn. It’s not like she’s the first one ever, but she’s definitely the most obvious this year. It hurts me to know that these young stars, Miley, Justin, Selena, T-Swift, don’t have college educations, because I think a lot of them would be woken up to just how shitty of an influence they are on the world. It pains me to think about what’s going through their heads when they think of the world, life, entertainment, capitalism, commercialism, sexuality etc. *Shivers*

All in all, Lovato’s career is kinda doomed. She’s not ever going to be taken seriously as an ‘artist’ because of shit like this. There’s not really any coming back from corporate shillings. Cuz honestly, what’s next? A song about using Veet on your vag because boys think pubic hair is icky? “I love to Veet my vagina/it makes all the boys say ‘Hey Demetria!'” Wait that’s pretty good, actually.

I pray for my country.

Demi Lovato struts her nip down the Teen Choice Awards red carpet

Cool look. Even cooler nip. Image via jezebel.com

Well well well, what do we have here?! A little slip of the nip I see? Ms. Demi Lovato, you are playing all your X Factor hype cards right. Congrats!

I’ve been following celebrity gossip since like, 2005. This is fucking textbook right here. Because:

A) Why wouldn’t you wear a dress that you could wear a bra under to a teen awards show? Because there’s no chance of press nipple exposure, which is necessary at all events in Hollywood apparently, even the kid ones!

Image via blauearth.com

B) You can always go with pasties. Gaga is a big fan of the blatant double X black tape nipple cover up when she wears see through things. No pasties? Definite nip slip opportunity, definite press.

I have long ago lost the gal in the back of my mind that feels embarrassed for celebs giving peeks of their nips, vag, peens, etc. This stuff is probably NEVER an accident. Except poor Tara Reid and her botched surgery exposure. We may never know. If I was on a red carpet in a sheer dress with no bra or pasties on, I would be a fucking wreck thinking about my nipple making its famewhore debut without my consent. Nip slips are lucrative people, so why try to cover up moneymakers?!

I wouldn’t be surprised if nip slips were built into her X Factor contract. Britney needs to seem like the stable one, because people really like seeing her stable with a regular job. But Demi is our wildcard here. We shall look forward to her crazy antics for the upcoming X Factor season. Nip slips, continuing the discussion of her stint in rehab, etc. are free press for a show that’s still trying to compete with the other 80 singing competition shows on TV (that are little more than what famous people do in between doing actual albums/movies/etc.)

Congrats Demi! You’re on your way.