The last time we saw Yung Jake, he was data moshing Justin Bieber’s face and celebrating the glitched out effects of pixels bleeding into each other. This time around, the Net Art anthem writer stepped completely out of the YouTube screen to mosh our browsers into a sensorially overloaded surf across the net. It basically takes other web browser music videos we’ve seen and carpet bombs them.
e.mbed.de/d is an inspired response to the popularity his song Datamosh garnered. He sings about posting a video that blows up and goes viral across the web. We get a real-time look at hyperbolic viral process as we leap from Justin Bieber tweeting about it, to people posting about it on Facebook, and even torrents appearing on PirateBay, etc. Of course, this leads to the song being featured on exponentially larger blogs from Art Fag City to Pitchfork to Terry Richardson’s site.
In Yung Jake’s surf across the web, everything is subject to some clever wordplay (“rhyme zone/rhizome”) or a visual pun that extends even to the video’s presentation (“loaded” the “e” from Flickr). He single handedly takes over the web in all his viral glory, terraforming its entire structure into a another peg on the ladder to internet fame. The internet becomes a flashing fireworks display of embedded video upon video stacked on top of each other until the rapper is literally everywhere.
This all culminates in Yung Jake becoming a meme and becoming “embedded” everywhere as the “likes” on his YouTube video continue to rack up. He actively appropriates the motifs of fame and fortune and women familiar to hip hop and channels them through an internet aesthetic. In doing so, he comments on how important these numbers have become to us in terms of how we validate what we find interesting on the web.
We asked Yung to provide some input for us on his perception of Net Art, the motivation behind the video and how he put it together:
Net Art is a scene just like rap or memes or punk. It’s something that you are either interested [in] or not. I foresee it becoming much bigger in the future because the Internet is starting to reference itself (trend in screen shots, memes, Internet themed videos, etc) and people like that.
e.mbed.de/d and Datamosh both are works that reference their medium (I think that is stated in both songs) [and] this is something that we see a lot of within the Internet. For example, ppl utilizing the confines of Facebook timeline’s banner image as a way to express that containment.
I think of my work as fluid pieces—I don’t come up with the visuals first or write the lyrics first. They just happen. #based. After observing Datamosh in the world, it inspired me to make a song about the time after a song is released. In a way E.m-bed.de/d is about Datamosh. In both, I’m exploring what gestures can be made with a given effect or freedom. Only with E.m-bed.de/d, I can also talk about the rhetoric outside of the rectangle of the YouTube video. Also, this idea of YouTube views validating how worthy something is interesting to me. So I said “fuck that.” And did that shit myself.