We millennials are a generation which believes in enjoying things ironically. From our raging interest in dank memes to our special vocabulary when talking about cute animals (pupper, doggo, woofer, subwoofer, boop, snoot), we definitely have quirks which are uniquely our own.
A phenomenon which gripped us millennials in 2016 and 17 was the rise of cringe pop– music so bad, it’s good.
The lyrics are necessarily 70% nonsense, the beat irritating, and the singer supremely confident of him or herself. Most of these cringe pop videos become famous on YouTube and go viral on social media.
Aunty Ki Ghanti
Aunty Ki Ghanti, also known by its rather startling lyrics that go, “Bol na Aunty aau kya/ Ghanti main bajau kya/ Sot main lagau kya” is the brainchild of one Omprakash Mishra, who appears in a video dressed in traditional rapper duds- dark glasses, jacket, chunky jewellery- and raps feelingly about his desire to have sex with an “Aunty” he finds desirable.
The song has been called out as sexist and misogynistic by various parties and has even been taken off YouTube, but that didn’t deter several millennials meeting up at public places in various Indian cities simply to yell the lyrics of the song and then disperse.
Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj
Delhi-based Pooja Jain, known as “Dhinchak Pooja” to her fans, shot to fame with her song Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj. The lyrics aren’t particularly profound- they speak (predictably) of Jain’s love for taking selfies. Complete with a repetitive beat and some tone-deaf singing tinged with extreme confidence, Jain immediately became an internet favourite.
Think “Taher Shah,” and you immediately picture a plump man in a trailing violet gown and black wig, singing soulfully about being “Mankind’s Angel.”
The deathless lyrics and rather unintentionally comical setting of the video entertained many and irked few- who issued death threats to Shah till he was forced to flee Pakistan.
Internationally, Rebecca Black made a splash a few years ago when she sang about it being Friday. The lyrics were rather banal, with her saying, “Yesterday was Thursday, Tomorrow is Saturday.” The song surpassed Justin Bieber’s Baby as the Most Disliked Video on YouTube, and yet, it has been dubbed “irritatingly catchy.”
The Popularity of Cringe Pop
What is also admirable is the confidence of people like Rebecca Black and Dhinchak Pooja, who have managed to stay away from the negativity of online trolls, and move on with life. Black has kept a relatively low profile but has recently released more music that didn’t garner reviews as negative as her debut.
On the other hand, Dhinchak Pooja made a transition to the small screen, where she was a wild card contestant on Bigg Boss.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Pulkit Sharma said in a piece with the Hindustan Times that the sexist and often crass lyrics of cringe pop songs have gained such massive popularity because the millennial generation is already exposed to a large amount of sexually abrasive and ironic material on the internet, leading them to develop a craving for more such novel means of entertainment, which is duly provided by cringe pop.
The formula to going viral on YouTube may remain shrouded in mystery, but it is true that our generation has a penchant for all things cringeworthy and awkward. This genre of music, dubbed “cringe pop,” fits the requirements perfectly.
An ironic sense of humour and a certain tolerance for bad music are all one needs to see the potential in this hilarious music trend.
Image Credits: Google Images