Oh bloody hell, I’ve got to do another one! Right then, timer set etc. On the motorway this morning I passed an Eddie Stobart lorry and realised I’d got the name wrong, so please accept an official apology. At roughly the same time the radio re-tuned itself to Radio 2 and I was informed that Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ had become the most downloaded song ever.
Apparently it’s been downloaded or streamed or something 4.6 billion times in 6 months which means that Fonsi has probably accumulated enough money already to have someone use a leaf blower to blast pure, pharmaceutical coke right up his Puerto Rican arse for the rest of eternity. It also means that in theory well over half the population of the world think this song is IT!
And so it turns out you can fool (almost) all of the people (almost) all of the time. People think they’ve found the party spirit song for their lifetime: let’s all dance in the streets of Madrid and Turin and Berlin, swap sweat in the clubs of Caracas, Sao Paola and Meh-hico City to the greatest tune ever. Of course it’s nonsense – the tune and the popularity.
As time shuffles on more and more people will learn to hate it. They will despise themselves for ever having downloaded it and no length of time showering with bleach will be able to cleanse them of their dirty shame. Rest assured Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ will become the ‘Macarena’ of its generation, just as now a lot of people are starting to wrench their ears off when Clean Bandit’s ‘Rockabye’ pollutes the atmosphere around them.
What’s particularly bad is not how grim peoples’ tastes in music have become but the lengths that musicians will go to for fame and fortune in an increasing barren and corrupt musical landscape. Great artists tend not to collaborate (at least not very often) because they don’t need to. They have talent as musicians. Most collaborators don’t seem to have that much talent which is why they now club together for safety. To make it to 4.6 billion Luis Fonsi needed Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber just as much as they needed him, to get a bit more oxygen and retain a seat at the table.
Think I’m wrong? Here’s the current top 5 UK singles:
#1 Luis Fonsi – Despacito (Remix) (feat. Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber)
#2 DJ Khaled – Wild Thoughts (feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller)
#3 French Montana – Unforgettable (feat. Swae Lee)
#4 Calvin Harris – Feels (feat. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean)
#5 Jonas Blue – Mama (feat. William Singe).
This seems like overkill of the highest order but from exactly which cultural well does it draw? The Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo (feat. Raphael & Pope Julius II) or Greensleeves by Henry VIII (I know he didn’t write it but stick with me (feat. Anne Boleyn John Coltrane)), The Ten Commandments by God (feat. Moses)? Of course not. They’re all just scared they’ll get found out so they jump at someone to hold hands with.
I’m no musician but I do know a good song when I hear it and I also know what proper talent can look like. Clue: it doesn’t look like Daddy Yankee. Songs like ‘Despacito’ are for people who think Forrest Gump is a really good film or that still think Tim Henman deserved to win Wimbledon. You can think it’s all great after a bucket of tequila but you’ve just been tricked by a music industry that is so sick to its blackened, crippled soul that we’re probably going to have to wipe the whole thing out and start again. Onstupidity.com may not be your cup of tea but at least I don’t have to take a warm shower with someone else to make it (kind of) work.
G B Hewitt. 19.07.2017
Wow, I almost got through this again without mentioning Ed Sheeran. And incidentally it’s Clean Bandit (feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie). Told you so.