There's a word for that artistic boondoggle of a performance Rihanna did this past weekend on SNL. It's actually an artistic movement called "seapunk." Seriously. For context, there's this, the actual Rihanna performance that everyone is talking about:
And the reaction for anyone who didn't know what was going on was like.... like... like... Okay, wait. Here's a gif that's basically sums up our feelings:
And when those feelings turned into thoughts, it's probably not unlike Mashable's Brian Anthony Hernandez, who wrote "Rihanna Turns ‘SNL’ Stage Into Sensational Screensaver." Fitting right? Well, as we found out, Hernandez's reaction while completely logical, is actually one of someone that's uninformed of the "seapunk" movement. You don't want to be that guy or gal sitting all clueless while your dorky friends talk about a budding art movement? Maybe? Well here's your seapunk cheat sheet, some lines you can use on your friends tonight in case you wanted to pretend or are actually interested in the seapunk movement:
"Let's not forget that Azealia Banks did it too."
Degree of Difficulty: 1/10
What You're Banking On: Your friends know who Azealia Banks is. You get double points if they don't.
What You're Saying: Well, you're simply stating that Azealia Banks, one of the most exciting female rap stars who isn't named Nicki Minaj, is co-opting the seapunk movement as well. And here she is:
"You know, seapunk has found a home on Tumblr and YouTube."
Degree of Difficulty: 2/10
What You're Banking On: That your friends care about Tumblr. That your friends have no idea what seapunk is.
What You're Basically Saying: Like a lot of web cultures, seapunk has found a home on Tumblr. This is best done over GChat or IM when you can send your friends a link to this:
"You know what bugs me? It's that there wasn't even a shout-out to Jerome LOL"
Degree of Difficulty: 6/10
What You're Banking On: That your friends have no idea who Jerome LOL is. You might be in trouble if they do.
What You're Basically Saying: Rihanna and Banks ripped off a visual artist who goes by the name Jerome LOL. You see, Jerome LOL kind of made the undersea-Windows 98 screensaver-screen-burning imagery a thing. Buzzfeed points us to this LOL video which is different than their usual LOL videos:
"... and Jerome LOL is pissed!"
Degree of Difficulty: 5/10
What You're Banking On: That your friends actually care about Jerome LOL.
What You're Basically Saying: That Jerome LOL is pissed.
"What this really is, and at the risk of sounding like Bebe Zeva, is the man keeping artists down."
Degree of Difficulty: 8/10
What You're Banking On: That your friends might be art snobs. That your friends care about art snobs. That you're friends won't make fun of you for knowing who Bebe Zeva is.
What You're Basically Saying: That pop music all just kind of eats itself—it's not unlike that time when Beyoncé ripped off that Italian performance artist for a performance at the Billboard Music Awards and then everyone forgot about it or how Gaga turned gothic into pop or what Katy Perry did with drag queens and wigs. What you're getting at here is that mainstream pop music will eat, digest, and spit out a digestible form of whatever isn't mainstream to the shocked and awed masses. But hopefully you will do it and not sound as insufferable as teenage fashion blogger Bebe Zeva has been on Twitter today:
@spencercniemetz imo, if u support azaelia banks in any capacity, u support capitalist exploitation & the reinforcement of a classist system
Or, if you don't want to go through a timeline of Diplo and MIA, and LOLs, and seahorses or whatnot you could simply save yourself all the trouble sounds like out-of-touch dad for a moment, and just tell all your friends:
"Boy that was weird. Rihanna made me think my television was broken."
Every group needs someone to get the conversation started.
Image by: jakefogelnest.com
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.