The Internet — the hip hop soul duo of Syd the Kid and Matt Martians from Odd Future, not the global interconnected computer network built to facilitate the distribution of pictures of puppies and Ryan Gosling — makes its debut today with the physical release of its first album, Purple Naked Ladies. But the, er, Internet isn’t the first Internet-themed act, though – LMFAO, anybody? – and even more IRL-rooted artists have recorded songs about tweeting, Google results, Facebook, and other nerd stuff like that. Here are five of our favorites.
1. Chris Brown, “Follow Me Like Twitter”
Brown’s first official mixtape, In My Zone, features no songs about assaulting your pop starlet girlfriend, but it does see the crooner deliver lines like “we can Ustream all the footage, baby” as he insists that the lady of his fancy “hit me up on Twitter, baby, we can kick it off.” Romance!
2. Paul Wall, “Internet Going Nutz”
From the opening sexy purr of some lady telling Paul Wall “you’ve got mail,” this mid-’00s era track features some dated references to online life that are so 7 years ago (“hit me up on my Sidekick,” Paul?). Still, Paul is up on screen names and online dating in this trip down memory lane.
3. K’naan, “People Like Me”
Most Internet-themed songs are funny or goofy, but Canadian-by-way-of-Somalia rapper K’naan drops a heavy verse on the closing track of his 2009 album Troubadour about a soldier stationed in Afghanistan frantically watching the MySpace and Facebook pages of his girlfriend back home to see what other dudes are leaving comments. It’s sad ’cause it’s true.
4. Ben Folds & Nick Hornby, “Password”
Songs that are both a bummer and kinda funny are par for the course with Ben Folds (and his lyrical collaborator on the 2010 album Lonely Avenue, High Fidelity author Nick Hornby), and “Password,” a song about a dude trying to guess his ex-girlfriend’s email password, is both of those things. Cyber-stalking songs are rarely so uncomfortable.
5. Kate Miller-Heidke, “R U Fucking Kidding Me”
Australian chanteuse Miller-Heidke wrote what may be the only genuinely funny Facebook-themed song of all time with “R U Fucking Kidding Me,” about getting the most dreaded friend request of all: the one from the shitty ex. Bonus points for Miller-Heidke for perfectly timing the punchline in the first verse. “I certainly don’t want you poking me,” indeed, Kate!