If you don't know Patrice Wilson by name, you surely know his works.
Patrice "the rapping dude who looks WAY too old to be hanging out at teenagers' parties" Wilson is co-founder of ARK Music Factory, the company most famous for writing, filming and marketing "Friday" for aspiring 15-year-old pop singer Rebecca Black.
Following "Friday," Black was bullied in school, bullied online, and even received a few death threats. Now, one year later, Black has a record deal, an indie label all her own, and is a definitive part of America's pop culture vocab. So…thanks, P-Willy?
Wilson, meanwhile, recently regenerated his notoriety by releasing "It's Thanksgiving" (alternately known as "The New Worst Song Ever") to the web's major content eaters. True to form, the Internet already hates it (and also kinda loves it for all the page views it's earning), but will it ruin 12-year-old singer Nicole Westbrook's life as "Friday" blackened Rebecca's?
More importantly, what is Patrice Wilson's deal, really? Why has he chosen, of the infinite options afforded a human being in this universe, to write and produce terrible songs that earn his teenage clients death threats and record deals alike? It's a deep, psycho-existential problem with no clear answer.
But here's our answer:
1. Fame. After a few short months, "Friday" became the most disliked video on YouTube, ousting Bieber's "Baby" by several thousand clicks. It was blogged and re-blogged, hitting content aggregators like Gawker and Buzzfeed as well as respected music criticism sites like Spin and Rolling Stone. For anyone within earshot of an Internet connection, "Friday" was unavoidable. That's a massive accomplishment, even if it only went famous as a subject of ridicule. As they say in the biz, no press is bad press (until you receive death threats).
But until recently, Patrice's name remained unknown to "Friday" viewers. If he's trying to be the celebrity here, he's going about it all wrong. That's why we think a more likely motivation is…
2. Money. Black's mama paid Patrice $4000 to write and record the "Friday" video. That's a fair chunk of change. But, more importantly, ARK Music Factory retains all the publishing rights to the songs created by their studio. That means every time "Friday" was used or parodied for commercial purposes, Wilson got a cut. Still, how often was "Friday" uses for commercial purposes? Just the one that we know of. So, not a huge payday going on here. Which is why Wilson must ALSO be driven by...
3. Vengeance. Wilson's teenage years must've been troubled. The son of a minister and a chemical engineer in Nigeria, you can bet Patrice was the butt of all the classic chemical engineer/minister's son jokes in the book. Scorn. Nicknames. Torrential wedgies. How could Wilson ever forgive his boorish teenage tormenters?
He couldn't. All he could do was devote his life to transforming starry-eyed children into Internet punchlines. Maybe if Wilson could control teenagers, he could control pop culture itself, then finally rid the world of its vicious son-of-an-African-minister-and-chemical-engineer stereotypes. But sometime after the viral success of "Friday," Wilson realized the true potential of his studio. And now we know, too, PW is only a few steps away from...
4. Unlimited Power. A curious line appears in "It's Thanksgiving." As Wilson's newest teenage mouthpiece sits at the head of her feasting table, doling out arbitrary judgment and mercy to the underlings around her, she decrees "Nothing is Forbidden." Shortly after, Patrice himself appears in turkey-face, dancing and squawking wildly as the young star recites her hedonistic manifesto into a turkey leg and the lawless bacchanal intensifies.
To the untrained eye, this is nothing but a poorly-staged setpiece in a poorly-written song. But to the studious skeptic, this is Patrice Wilson's dark message of anarchy writ large. "Nothing is forbidden!" Nothing, indeed...but submission to the almighty ARK.
By the way—that name? Gotta be a front for Wilson's apocalyptic designs. Wilson admitted in an LA Times interview that ARK "was based on the idea of Noah's ark...a place to gather people together, where they could be safe." Safe from what, PW? From... the looming cultural apocalypse that only YOU know about???
Clearly, Patrice Wilson intends to create a race of amoral, ego-maniacal teenage supermen with no regard for the laws of man, God, or sensible music taste. By spreading his message of sloth, selfishness, and anarchy through ARK's army of cherubic mimes, Wilson is slowly but surely posturing himself as overlord of our new, meme-driven world of ruin. When the great taste rapture comes to cleanse the fruit of his cultural slaughter, only those protected by ARK will remain.
A grim future, indeed. But there is hope. You can do your part to stop Wilson's despicable regime:
- Never repost this video—not even to mock it (for in underestimation, the beast's true power lies!)
- Never type P—— W——'s name (for in search engine optimization, the beast acquires his ranks!)
- And, most importantly, do never, EVER sing aloud or to yourself the cursed incantation of "Friday," lest the villain PW's influence over our minds spread even further than it already has.
Oh, but do go ahead and share this post with all your friends and followers, because I'm broke and trying to build my online brand. K, thx.
Is this "Thanksgiving" gobble-gobble-gobbledygook the worst?
What do you think Patrice Wilson's game is?
Is it his fault that Rebecca Black was tormented for his lyrics, or is that a risk she should've prepared for?
Would you take cyberbullying and death threats for a record deal?
Is it Friday yet?