The Song: Katy Perry Featuring Missy Elliott, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) (Remix)”
The Crimes: Chart-jacking, inanity, wasting the long-M.I.A. Missy Elliott on a nothing verse, allowing lazy writers to compare Teenage Dream to Bad because, seriously, as fucking if.
The story of Katy Perry’s chart domination in 2011 is one that has been chronicled in this space amply by our own Chris Molanphy, and hoo boy is it a depressing one, if appropriately in keeping with Perry’s overall brute-force nature. Briefly: She notched five chart-topping singles from her 2010 album Teenage Dream, matching the record-setting total of No. 1s that Michael Jackson achieved with his much superior album Bad. Two of those No. 1s had their tracks to the top greased by grafted-on verses from popular rappers. (A third remix-assisted single might just do the same thing and help her break the record.) The first to do so, the t.A.T.u.-pilfering ode to intergalactic other-sex “E.T.,” got a boost from a creepy Kanye West verse; the second, the overly self-consciously ’80s-homaging “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” was the track to tie Jackson’s record, and a rush-released remix with a few bars from Missy Elliott helped take it to the top.
Elliott, once one of pop’s more compelling artists, has been stuck in major-label purgatory for years now; her album Block Party was supposed to come out all the way back in 2008, and the last officially released single she appeared on was a track from Ciara’s not-very-well-received 2009 album Fantasy Ride. So it was kind of a big deal to hear that she was appearing on a song that had any chance of getting on the radio at all, what with her being responsible for some of the greatest hip-pop songs of the past decade. Perhaps she could breathe new life into Perry’s sax-assisted chronicle of rebelling by the numbers, or at least tell the eternally annoying singer to knock it off with the “I have a younger, nerdier alter ego who’s existing in a time-warp, which is why it’s totally OK for me to not-so-subtly make fun of her despite the ‘be yourself because it gets better’ message announced by ‘Firework'” schtick?
Nope. The “remix” is merely one of those “extend the intro and slap a rap on top” constructions that became all the rage this year; Perry’s barkiness remains intact, as do all of her self-impressed descriptions of her drunken antics. Meanwhile, here’s Missy’s verse in full.
Hey yo Katy
Let’s hit em with the remix baby
It’s a Friday night now here we go
I ain’t no stripper but I work the pole
Bartender can you pour some more
And I’m so tipsy coming out my clothes
Fly high high high
And I can’t see so I can’t drive
I party till I’m out my mind
I kiss on him but he don’t mind
Then I wake up in the morn
I got a guy in my bed like hello good morn
Don’t remember how I got him home
But Friday night it was nice and long
In case you missed it: She’s talking about his penis. I’m actually surprised that Perry didn’t chime in to let the people at home know that fact, what with her never missing an opportunity to underline a joke, but maybe the verse-grafting process was too rushed and she couldn’t get to a studio in time. Or maybe the producers are saving that trick for the extra-special edition of Teenage Dream?
The 11 Most Infuriating Songs Of 2011
11. Kreayshawn, “Gucci Gucci”
10. will.i.am feat. Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez, “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)”
9. Katy Perry feat. Missy Elliott, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) (Remix)”
8. Tyler, The Creator, “Bitch Suck Dick”
7. Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera, “Moves Like Jagger”
6. Bon Iver, “Holocene”
5. Rihanna, “S&M”
4. Brian McFadden, “Just The Way You Are (Drunk At The Bar)”
3. [White Person], [White Person Cutely/”Seriously” Performing Urban-Radio Hit]
2. Lana Del Rey, “Video Games”
1. Jessie J, “Price Tag”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2011