Video spoofs and music comedy became wildly popular in the 80’s with icon Weird Al Yankovic, but according to recent Billboard rankings, it appears the comedy and music will continue to thrive collectively even in 2013. January was an exceptionally productive month for reviving these types of songs and music videos with the production of “YOLO” airing on Saturday Night Live on January 26th. “YOLO” is a comedy song written and recorded by The Lonely Island and features Adam Levine, the lead singer from Maroon 5 along with recording artist Kendrick Lamar. The song touts lyrics about living safely “You Outta Look Out” because “You Only Live Once” and was influenced by The Motto (YOLO) a song originally recorded by Drake and featuring Lil Wayne. After airing on Saturday Night Live it was released as a single the following day. The song reached number 60 on America’s top 100 billboards, but got as far as number 26 on the Canadian Charts.
The popularity of this song also brought back some of The Lonely Island’s previous comedy songs from SNL including, “The Creep” with John Waters and Nicki Minaj from 2011, and “I Threw it on the Ground” from 2009. But the best selling comedy song on the charts in February was “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
“Thrift Shop” hit number one on global billboards and remained the number 1 song on American Billboards for at least 4 weeks. Macklemore, who promotes many serious social agendas in his music also showed his lighter more comical side in an earlier music video “And We Danced” which appears to poke fun at the 1980’s David Lee Roth videos.
Although “Thrift Shop” is not a spoof, it is incredibly humorous and fun. The song makes light of buying hand me down products from Goodwill. The rapper, Ben Haggerty, better known as Macklemore, raps about how he can purchase $20 worth of goods at a thrift shop and still be more popular than the guys out there buying 50 dollar t-shirts. The song was intended to be a message about consumerism and how it takes advantage of and brainwashes our culture. I think he got his point across, but in a cool and funny way. Millions of people downloaded the single hit from iTunes within the first few weeks of it’s release.
While Weird Al has lost some of his popularity in recent years, comedy continues to play a huge role in the hip hop and rap industry. According to Billboard charts and the millions of YouTube hits, it is obvious that these two venues will continue to be a global trend for years to come.
“SNL: The Lonely Island Returns with a New Digital Short” IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
“YOLO” (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar) – Single. iTunes. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
Trust, Gary. “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ ‘Thrift Shop’ No. 1 On Hot 100 for Fourth Week”. Billboard. Retrieved February 13, 2013.