Months ago I co-wrote a satirical essay about how Danielle Bregoli of Dr. Phil ‘cassh me ousside’ fame represents the uprising of the working class and the socialist emancipation from the bourgeoisie. I was worried about the longevity of the piece, as any certified millennial knows: memes fluctuate like the seasons, swirling through the intangible and inscrutable face of the internet; coming and going, rising and falling; akin to the unpredictable and unstable economy of the world we inhabit in 2017.
But months later, amongst the fear of impending nuclear war, Donald Trump being Donald Trump x4, and the destructive path of hurricanes across the Carribean and parts of the US, the unrelenting meme, 14-year-old Bregoli, hasn’t diminished. In fact, she’s been hurled back into the abyss of the internet; this time accoladed with a record deal and her very own set of trap-rap singles. A project she announced under the stage name ‘Bhad Bhabi‘, complete with a suitable catalog of three misspelled tracks. It seems that the adults in Bregoli’s life are more concerned with the piles of money that will surely be coming in as a result of this pursuit than Bregoli‘s education, or even the low-key sexually exploitative and inappropriate themes’s the adolescent meme-turned-artist indulges in.
So here I am again, not knowing whether to be serious or not, slightly uncomfortable, unsure of whether I like Bregoli’s corny but catchy bars or if I’ve just been conditioned into nodding my head to this shit. Imagine Alex from Clockwork Orange in that scene where his eyes are forced to endure horrific scenes until he’s an even more disturbing, passive, unrecognisable individual. That’s me now: cynicism astray, natural instincts in chaos, ear-drums unresponsive, eyeballs twitching. But as I have no answers to any of these questions there can hardly be a suitable conclusion.
Why does a walking meme with a record deal have any of us stumped when this brand of music has been in the works for a while now? Memes have translated to economic success for some time. There are even professional meme-creators commissioned to produce memes to increase the popularity of rappers. There are douchey Disney stars like Jake Paul diving into rap, whether ironically or not, who’s to know anymore? Such divisions have been muddled beyond the point of recognition. It doesn’t matter what’s real. If it translates to coins, it’s working.
In terms of the music quality. Bregoli’s output is not much of an affront to the mainstream trap we’re consuming. She gentrifies hiphop culture and style, and it’s embarrassing listening to a fourteen-year-old rap about drugs and sex. But, on the other hand, could you not imagine Migos spitting over the hi-hats of ‘These Heaux?’
Bregoli… I mean, Bhad Bhabi, takes on the triplet flow of charting rap hits that you might hear at any club, with ease, confidence and a hint of personal style, racking up millions of views in the process.
In the general scheme of things, Bhad Bhabie isn’t… that terrible? *Shudders.