Whenever I hear a snippet of Willow Smith's rap/pop single "Whip My Hair," I'm reminded of my MTV News colleague James Montgomery's take on the tune back in October: "A very effective instrument of psychological torture or a smashingly great pop song. Probably both."
The punishingly great song still seems to be everywhere, not just on the radio (nine weeks after its debut, the song is still a radio staple and sits at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100) but often blaring out of your officemate's computer speaker, because "Whip My Hair" has gone viral. The tune has become an Internet meme all its own, inspiring high-profile send-ups and low-tech covers — all available for your workplace procrastination pleasure. Check out our five favorite.
Last year, the talk show host donned a floppy hat and a harmonica neck brace for a Neil Young-inspired covered of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song. In November, Fallon brought his Young impression back to the stage, turning his satiric talents away from Will Smith and toward his precocious daughter. As an added bonus, the Boss showed up midway through as a '70s-era version of himself. Not only was it funny as hell, but it was damn fine music too.
The beauty here is in the simplicity — the head-spinning, hair-thrashing simplicity of mashing up the 1973 horror hit "The Exorcist" with Willow's unrelenting record. At just over one minute long, the video is hard to watch all the way through without experiencing waves of nausea (which, considering all the vomiting in the horror classic, is appropriate).
The fine folks over at Jezebel discovered 17-year-old Katie Gavin's strum-tastic cover of "Whip My Hair" on Monday (December 6). Gavin's got an ear for catchy pop reworkings, some smoky soul to her voice and a head full of whip-friendly red locks to help get her point across.
An enterprising YouTube user took Sesame Street's "I Love My Hair," an upbeat ditty preaching a message of self-acceptance, and turned it into a riotous music video with a Muppet playing the role of Willow Smith. Let the pop culture affirmation begin!
Listen, we have no idea what this Russian gal is singing about — she loves Megan Fox? Hates the Holy Bible? — but this video remains our favorite of the bunch 'cause it's just so darn trippy. Fast-forward to the 27-second mark and marvel as the multicolored madness unfolds, complete with Photoshopped images of the former "Transformers" star, delightfully low-budget special effects and a handgun that looks a little too real. Plus, like, this must have taken a really long time to put together.
Which viral version of "Whip My Hair" is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!