We've somehow gotten to March of 2012, already well past the one-year anniversary of "Friday," without having a reasonable successor to Rebecca Black for a new World's Biggest Viral Pop Star title-belt-wearer. Well, that conquering hero may have finally shown up on the horizon in the form of Yasha Swag, the maybe-Irish, maybe-satirical wannabe gangsta behind "Go Go Go," the nutso amateur pop jam and video that's already racked up nearly 4.5 million views in about a week of YouTube airtime.
It probably says something about the state of pop music, as filtered down through the Black Eyed Peas, Far*East Movement and LMFAO, that we can hear a song like this and wonder if this really could have been some delusional (but genuine) attempt at replicating a modern-day Top 40 hit. In the post-enlightenment era of The Internet, you have to view any "this can't really be that bad, can it?" video with a certain amount of skepticism, but Yasha Swag comes just close enough to some of the goons that have actually populated the charts in recent years that you have to at least wonder a little bit: Is this just what popular music sounds like to some people?
Yasha Swag's club-ready (if the kind of clubs you go to are largely populated by spazzy 12-year-olds) anthem "Go Go Go" has a lot of the hallmarks of 2012 pop, namely the squelchy synths and lyrics endorsing general abandon in the name of partying. But the song's IQ is at paint-huffing levels, with its "Just go, go, go / Go, go, go / Gotta go stupid, stupid / Gotta go crazy, crazy / Dance, dance, dance / You gotta dance, dance, dance" chorus and lyrics about snorting coke for energy, depriving "the girls [who] wanna wife me" of his seed and "purple pink swagger / mango mixed with tango" (???) The video is even more out there, a green-screened, Bar Mitzvah karaoke-like video of Swag (with echo Swags flitting in and out of the background) dancing half-heartedly and lip syncing inconsistently. It looks and sounds like a nightmare about Z100.
For these reasons, the video has attracted plenty of viral attention, scoring millions and millions of views, with commenters and sharers focusing on how much of a "fail" the video is. Maybe, but are we sure this guy is for real? Isn't the video a little too perfectly awful, the song just a little too ridiculous? Well, yes, and no—it's hard to believe someone could make a video or song like this seriously, but if you believe that pop isn't capable of stuff like this, you should watch some of the videos Soulja Boy has made in the last year or two in total earnest. But really...a guy named Yasha Swag? Who also has a song called "Fucking on the Dance Floor"? Who talks in some ambiguous European accent about being "white, but...still black inside?" How much (or little) faith do you have to have in humanity to believe this guy is legit?
Confirmation one way or the other is hard to come by. Almost every attempt to find out more info about Yasha Swag ends at a dead-end, from his rarely updated Twitter account (sample tweet: "life is good but its missing some dragons"), to his possibly non-existent record label ("Jump Star Records"?) to his vaguely promotional but under-informed Facebook page ("omg swag flowing through my veins and the coolness cannot escape I hope at some stage of your life you guys will understand the inner you cannot be defeated!"). Googling turns up little, and it's hard to tell even what networks are driving this video's insane popularity. Conclusions about his true identity must be reached on your own—though for whatever it's worth, fellow YouTube sensation Reply Girl seems to be buying in:
So what's the big deal, you might be thinking? Yasha Swag certainly wouldn't be the first artist to go viral on the strength of his awful music video, whether the awfulness was purposeful or no. Well, here's the other thing: The song is kind of dangerously catchy. There's something undoubtedly hypnotic about those ceaselessly repetitive synths, and there's a brute effectiveness to the single-minded chorus. Listen to it once, and you might lose the entire day muttering to yourself "Gotta go stupid, stupid / Gotta go crazy, crazy." In that way, Yasha is ever so slightly reminiscent of that viral star of last year—Rebecca Black.
We're not calling "Go Go Go" this year's "Friday" just yet...but stay tuned. We might be hearing a lot more about this guy soon enough.