Hug your mum. Call that ex you’re still in love with. Jump out of a hot air balloon and swim with sharks naked before eating 20 chocolate cakes. The world is going to end today, Tuesday August 28. At 9pm GMT the first song will be beamed from space (Mars, via the Curiosity Rover) to earth and guess what? It’s a new “composition” by William (I’m sorry – I refuse to call him by his ridiculous moniker).
I’m convinced that the sometime Black Eyed Peas member is actually the President Of The World, let along POTUS. He’s bloody everywhere. Carrying the Olympic torch in Somerset, gatecrashing the Queen’s Jubilee with that turd ‘I Gotta Feeling’ and sucking the life out of 21st century pop. How wonderful it would have been if David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ had been the chosen song, or Pixies’ ‘Space (I Believe In)’ or Sun Ra’s ‘Space Is The Place’. Not just wonderful but safe. If there’s life on Mars listening to this track, we all know where their lethal lasers will be pointed.
Why is this a problem if the guy sells billions of records? Simple. William is not a music man, he’s a business man – and he’s not afraid to say it. He shamelessly uses art as commerce with an audacious shrug more than anyone has done before him. It’s not that his music is listless and limpid, it’s that, as Chris Norris says in his brilliant essay Inside The Mind Of Will.i.am, “creatively he draws no distinction between writing rhymes and business plans”. Yes, pop has always been partly about filling purses, but Willy’s model churns out the nadir. The brand is more about making billions than the music. It’s crass, hollow as hell and the songs aren’t even songs, they’re moronic jingles.
Call me old-fashioned but I like my artists to create because they have to, or at least because they have something to say. If you don’t, go and enjoy ‘Reach For The Stars’ (sample lyric: “I know the sky might be high/ But baby it ain’t even that high”). But don’t make it the first song to be beamed from the Red Planet. Unless he’s being sent there too.
Music in space has a rich history. The first song was played in space on December 16, 1965 when the crew of Gemini 6 blasted ‘Jingle Bells’. A classic tune, I’m sure you’ll agree. In 1977 the Voyager Golden Record was launched. It was created to showcase the diversity of life and culture on Earth for extraterrestial life and included music by Beethoven, Mozart and Chuck Berry as well as natural noises such as surf, wind and thunder. How brilliant is that?
In 2008, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s founding, a solid choice – The Beatles’ ‘Across The Universe’ – was beamed into space. Songs by The Beatles as well as The Doors, Anthrax and Wagner were used to wake up the Mars Curiosity robot each morning earlier this month. And today the song picked to show off the greatest example of human achievement is by William. We’ve got till 9pm. It’s been nice knowing you all.
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What would be more fitting? Let me know below.