UG Articles Archive

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weird Al's newest single "Perform This Way" comes with a bit of controversy

Yeah, that's right.  Weird Al.  I know he's not similar to my typical subject matter here, but his music is awesome and hilarious and I'm gonna write about it anyway.  

Yesterday, "Weird Al" Yankovic posted his newest single, "Perform This Way," a parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way."  Now, I'm gonna be honest, I'd hadn't even heard "Born This Way" when I listened to Al's version, and it still had me in stitches.  The song's a not-so-subtle critique on Gaga's image - he points out that she's just acting crazy and dressing strangely for performance's sake.  If you've seen her before she was famous, you'll see that he's pretty much exactly right.  It's the same thing Slipknot does with the masks and jumpsuits - looking strange and sometimes downright stupid just to sell more albums. 

Anyway, the song got damn near a million views yesterday.  This is largely because of the controversy that Al mentions at the beginning of the video.  You see, Weird Al refuses to put a song on any of his records unless he gets the consent of the artist he's parodying.  Usually these artists are honored to have Al parody their stuff - I believe it was the great Chamillionaire who once said: "Weird Al is not gonna do a parody of your song if you’re not doing it big. You gotta be a big dog."  Well, it at first seemed that Gaga didn't agree. 

Weird Al sent a copy of the lyrics to the Gaga management team, who responded by saying that Gaga had to actually hear the song first.  So Al quickly recorded the full song, which he intended to be the album's "big single," something he NEVER does.  He made an exception for Lady Gaga, worked night and day, and cranked out the song.  He sent it to the Gaga camp, and was told that Gaga had said "no."

Angry at the whole situation, he released the song on youtube, and apologized to fans for not being able to include it on his album, despite the fact that he planned to donate all of the song's revenue to the Human Rights Campaign, a charity Gaga supports.  The video got, as I said, nearly a million views in one day. 

Later in the day, it became known that Lady Gaga had never actually heard the song, and that her manager had been speaking for her and being a real dick to Weird Al.  Turns out, Gaga loves the song, and gave Al her permission to put it on his record.  Now he'll be ready to release his new album in a few months.  So the controversy was all for naught, it turns out, but the song is still awesome. 

Al promises the music video for this song will be "disturbing on many levels," and it would have to be in order to top Gaga's "Born This Way" video.  I tried to watch it yesterday and had to close the window after 2 and a half minutes of stupid pretentious spoken word pseudo-poetry before the music even started.  Don't watch it.  I beg of you.

Do watch this, however.  It's the newest from Weird Al, and it's awesome:


  1. Wow, she was just a great all around singer songwriter before she got all crazy...

  2. Yeah, I actually really enjoy that performance. I watch it every once in a while to remind me that she's not actually a crazy person.