Hello, I’m here to defend YouTube cover videos. My credentials: America’s Funniest Home Video viewer and internet browsing since 1997. A couple days ago a colleague of mine decided to absolutely shred YouTube cover videos (see: “YouTube Cover Songs Are The Worst“) You know what’s the worst? You Andrew Martin, you! While he has some good points–I think he got it all wrong. It’s not cover songs that are the worst, it’s you. You-filthy-Tube-sock you.
Before, “Call Me Maybe” was meh, just another disposable catchy-ass pop song. But now? White people — I’m white so fuck off — got their greedy claws on it (“My kid’s a star! The overweight Tupperware salesman at Macaroni Grill by the mall told me so!”) and the suburbanites are consequently fucking our ears with no lubrication.
“Call Me Maybe” isn’t just “another disposable catchy-ass song”. It’s a filthy horrible lying ass song that sounds even more horrid. “It’s hard to look right / at you baby / but here’s my number / so call me, maybe?” Oh God, is it over? Kill me, kill me now! Dudes listening to this song–she’s never going to give you her number bro. Honestly, if you’re searching for “Call Me Maybe” covers on YouTube you have serious issues. I’d rather bathe in a tub of BBQ sauce while my friends get hopped up on bath salts than type “Call Me Maybe covers” into a search bar. That song is terrible. If all YouTube covers were this horrendous I’d be pissed off like Andrew is. But, for every thousand “Call Me Maybe” turds and acoustic guitar wannabes (posting tabs in the comment section) there’s that viral gem. For all the misses and there are a lot, there are covers that are truly worthy of my three or so minutes.
Look here, you’ve got this fat, Zach Galifianakis lookin’ mo-fo, jamming out to Outkast’s “Hey Ya.” Personally, “Hey Ya” sits pretty far down on the list of my favorite Outkast songs–it’s actually somewhere near the bottom. (Don’t worry, Idlewild you’ll always be the caboose baby.) So, look here. This Stalley-esque bearded dude eliminates the track’s syrupy pop aftertaste and gives it the soulful rendition only a beard like that could. This is a YouTube cover done right. This a YouTube cover by an amateur musician with a working knowledge of video production. Holy-fucking-tit-swallow there is hope for YouTube cover songs!
But, we know this isn’t common. Most cover songs are, “[when] motherfuckers are straight-up making a boring song worse!” Though, even the misses can be entertaining. If not at least it’s some free feel-good therapy that there are people more fucked up/less talented than you. Hooray you! For instance, one Tay Zonday (whom Andrew is glad has fallen into obscurity) is fucking hysterical. (He looks like he just came out of his mother’s vagina, but his voice sounds like he’s been on a world tour of motherfucking.) Point is, even when covers are complete shit they can still be entertaining.
This video is just comedy. COMEDY. Is the cover terrible? Actually, yes, but, bear with me. So this guy covers Cee Lo’s “Forget You” (boo censorship!) and he’s singing into a condenser microphone with four mini versions of himself dancing beside him. Okay. There’s a guy in the corner of the video beatboxxing via Skype in what is obviously his parent’s basement. The whole production is just stupid on top of stupid with some doo-doo sprinkled throughout. Lives need to be got. The funny thing about it, besides all of it, is that someone thought this was a good idea. Someone thought, “Gee, let me be funny and…” and the real funny part about it is how fucking stupid it is. Lives need to be got.
Don’t get mad at YouTube cover songs, they’re not the worst. It’s you. You the consumer of garbage. You the 4 millionth view of some Justin Bieber cover. You the typist of “Insert Song” cover and expecting anything spectacular. You the optimist with your high expectations and glass half-full outlooks. (Don’t tell me the internet hasn’t sabotaged your taste buds–memes are funny, cats and sloths are cute.) YouTube cover songs represent the best attribute of the internet–freedom. No RIAA, no SOPA. Just people biting other people’s style and acting like idiots in front of a camera. If you’re going to choose to watch/perform Carly Rae Jepsen covers (and the like) and continue to subject yourself to nonsense drivel, you’re the worst. But, I urge you. Don’t hate the game. Do you also hate freedom? Hate the person who’s playing such terrible covers. Ice-T famously said, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game,” on a track with Too $hort. There’s a cover of that.