The late 90s was a weird time. Nobody really had a cell phone. We were all legitimately worried that the world would explode or whatever the fuck when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000. Mean Girls didn’t exist yet. Weirdest of all was the music at the time, and none of it was weirder than 1999’s “The Thong Song” by Sisqo. The music video is, unequivocally, the most 1999 thing to ever exist—the quaint idea that guys secretly talk about underwear, the hotdog-as-a-dick visual metaphor, the vaguely Asian iconography, the censoring of the word “breasts,” etc.—and it was all delivered by a strange little man with platinum hair and Air Force Ones doing gymnastics at the beach. And it worked! It was a legitimate, nation-wide phenomenon. Your mom probably hummed it while she folded laundry. I knew every fucking move in that dance break (I was, and remain, almost cripplingly cool).
It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t age well, and isn’t really something you can explain to subsequent generations—it’s you, sitting in the backseat while your dad belts out Billy Joel classics, and saying “ew dad, people actually liked this when you were young?” I don’t hate it even 18 years later, but it’s not a “good” song. It’s a relic best left in its era, only to be dusted off for get togethers with my old-ass friends and 90s/2000s-themed frat parties.
That’s why it’s weird as all hell that, for whatever reason, someone named JCY decided now was the time to “bring back” “The Thong Song,” only with a KEWL NEW VIBE for the MILLENNIULZ:
This, objectively, is a piece of shit. It rips out everything that gave the original what modicum of charm it had (the strings, Sisqo’s vocals) and kept everything that made it stupid (the verses are still identical, Sisqo is old and can’t sing or dance anymore). The women in the video don’t even have good thong butts!
As far as the new track, Buzzfeed (because they are and will forever be the most stupid goddamn destination on the internet) says it “feels VERY 2017,” which almost made me spit out my cold brew. This is terrible EDM, so bad it makes the Chainsmokers sound like fucking Bob Dylan by comparison. On top of that, I can think of, oh, a dozen songs right now that better exemplify today’s sound than this transistor radio recording of wet fart sounds. The only thing that’s “VERY 2017” about it is that, versus the 1999 version, everyone in the video is whiter.
Don’t let people do this shit. We all have things from our childhoods we remember, probably a little more fondly than they merit—and it’s best to keep it that way. I’m gonna go watch those kids dance to “Despacito” for half an hour and pretend this never happened.