In 2017, YouTube personality Jake Paul released the music video for his self proclaimed hit single, “It’s Everyday Bro”. While the video has garnered 2.6 million likes and 4.1 million dislikes, it’s also been viewed over 228 million times. According to Genius, YouTube pays about $2,000 per one million views meaning that while this song is widely disliked, it has made and is currently making Jake Paul a lot of money.
In my opinion, the song is not good, in fact, it’s awful; and apparently 4.1 million people think the same thing. This didn’t stop the video from becoming a viral sensation however, and it lead to months of Jake Paul getting an abundance amount of press coverage, which, according who you ask didn’t turn out well in the long run. Almost everyone on YouTube was reacting to the video, some because they genuinely wanted to give their genuine opinion, others wanting to ride the trend.
The infamous hype around Jake Paul was just a catalyst for what was about to come in the next months. YouTuber music.
While the term may sound strange, and even I’ll admit that it hits the ear wrong, it’s something that’s slowly becoming more and more popular whether we like it or not. YouTube personalities such as Jake Paul, RiceGum, Tana Mongeau, Elijah Daniel and Gabbie Hanna are just a few examples of this rising trend with social media influencers. “YouTuber music” is something that catches my eye because it’s really brought attention to something that we’ll be seeing much more of in the very near future, the power of a social media following.
Now I know what you’re already thinking, “Hasn’t music always been a grassroots venture in some way? ” and you would be absolutely right! I’ve always said entertainers, especially musicians owe a lot to their fanbases, and you’ll frequently hear music artists say the exact same thing.
However, this new type of following draws attention because it asks the question, “Is it charting because it’s good, or because they have seven million followers on Instagram?” Jake Paul’s “It’s Everyday Bro” was able to chart at #1 on the iTunes charts, actually causing Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. to go down to #2. He only claimed the spot for a day, maybe not even an entire 24 hours, but that’s still ridiculous to me. I don’t care if you don’t even listen to Kendrick Lamar, but you can’t tell me that It’s Everyday Bro is in any way better than DAMN.
Now I know music is subjective and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how different it may be from your own, but you can’t deny making music is all some influencers are trying to do. There are some influencers and social media personalities that are trying to make music while still making YouTube content; personalities such as Gabbi Hanna, Elijah Daniel, and Ricky Dillon to name a couple, but they’re not who I’m talking about.
With YouTubers such as Jake Paul, Logan Paul, the Dobre Brothers and so many, many more, it’s easy to see that they aren’t creating music to share art, but more about creating more money in their pockets. When you have songs that start with you saying, “We made this song in a day” or have a video that doesn’t look like it’s put much creative thought into it, it’s clear this is just a way to make money because they’re taking advantage of their young and impressionable fanbase.
Now, I’m not trying to be a killjoy and say people can’t have fun and make music because I don’t know, maybe the enjoy the actual recording process or maybe they love the video shoots that follow the song; however I can’t ignore the fact that the music being produced for the sake of money show’s it. Make money all you want, that’s not the problem, I personally have a problem with people phoning in their creativity for the sake of making a few extra bucks. It’s not an accurate description of what music today can really be like.
“If you don’t like it, don’t listen to.” Don’t worry, I don’t. I just think it’s sad to see things songs topping on the iTunes charts, or on Spotify’s Viral Hits chart because an internet influencer has convinced a large group of people that there song is good. At the end of the day, their fans are spending their ( or their parents money) on songs that just aren’t good.
On a slightly different end of the spectrum however, we see other YouTubers such as Rhett & Link, Danny Gonzalez and Cody Ko & Noel Miller releasing music. Why aren’t I bringing them up? To me, the music they make is intended to be comedic and the listeners know that. These songs are approached and delivered in way that is supposed to make listeners laugh and if they happen to like the song, then hey, that’s an added bonus. They don’t campaign the song as if it’s something that’s amazing and something that needs to be bought.
Take “I’m On Vacation ” by Rhett and Link, for example. While this song is clearly comedic and not something that they made thinking it would be a Grammy contender, it’s still something that effort was put in to, and it shows.
Please don’t get me wrong, we’ve been able to see a positive outcome of Internet personalities venturing into music. Troye Sivan, dodie clark, Joji, Charlie Puth and Shawn Mendes to name a few. While you may not be someone who regularly listens to the people I’ve listed, or even like them, you can’t deny that their approach to the music industry has been one that’s been a professional and artistic one. Many of the few that I’ve just named spent a lot of their earlier years on the Internet making covers of other artists’ songs.
Music is an art form and a way of self expression. If Jake Paul feels that he needs to write a lyric which says, “England is my city” as a way to express himself (and yes that is a real line) who am I to stop him? However, when this becomes a problem to me is when the music industry starts to bend to the will of a viral fad. Music is a business, and businesses need to make money, but is it worth sacrificing the talent that comes with it?
Music isn’t the only medium that we’ve seen this happen to. Remember the year that every YouTube personality was a New York Times best selling author despite the fact one of them had written their variation of “Wreck this Journal”? We also can’t deny the fact that more of these influencers are appearing in television shows because children today like to see faces they recognize regardless of their actual talent.
I would love to delve more into the different mediums in which this is being seen, buuuut, this is a music blog and I think it’s better that I stick true this blog’s brand. Music has become something that is so manufactured because it’s no longer being seen as something that people can relate to and use as way to escape reality, but has become a way to make a very quick buck. Watch this video of The Backpack Kid and tell me what you think.