Whip My Hair

Whip my hair by the butterfly.jpg

Date Aired
December 16th, 2010
Running Time
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For the first time, Todd can't play the song.


Todd: No, no, give me a moment! Give me a moment! I can do this. I can do this. [Hits one key] Play the song again.

Video for "Whip My Hair"
Willow: I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)


Todd: One more time.

Willow: I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)

Todd: Okay. [He slowly but surely plays the song on his piano]

A pop song review

Todd: Yes! Yes! You know what? Maybe I'm not Beethoven or anything, and maybe I can't play all that fancy classical stuff, but you know what? I figured out how to play "Whip My Hair" on my piano BY EAR! Yes! Yeah! [Pause] What the crap was that?!

Footage of Will Smith and family at Academy Awards, played against Will Smith's "Just the Two of Us"

Todd (VO): Okay, before we get into it, you guys should probably be informed that Will Smith and Jada Smith are apparently on a mission to make their entire family collectively more famous than [Image of Buddha] most religious figures. And, of course, this was first evidenced [Jaden and Willow at premier] when Will started getting his son Jaden major film roles. It kind of made sense when Jaden was cast alongside his dad [Clips from...] in The Pursuit of Happyness, the story of an awful human being who forces his kid to live in a homeless shelter while he chases a pipe dream of becoming a stockbroker. [Clips from...] It made a little less sense in The Day the Earth Stood Still though, in which little Jaden gave a truly obnoxious performance, which gave Klaatu all the reason he needed to wipe humanity off the face of the earth. [Clips from...] But there's probably no stronger evidence that Big Will is pulling some serious strings behind the scenes, than the fact that Jaden was cast in the Karate Kid remake despite being a third the proper size and age for the role. They might as well just have cast [Picture of...] a puppy.

Todd: To be fair, though, the Karate Kid remake wasn't terrible. While I'm always a little suspicious of the parents of child actors, the Smiths always struck me as pretty smart and they know Hollywood. Plus, you know, all the fame, the fans, the fortune, yeah, I'm sure little Jaden is more than happy doing what he's doing.

From The Karate Kid
Jaden: Well, I'm not happy! I hate it...

Todd: He loves it. But while Jaden's success might be somewhat questionable, it's much more suspicious...

Clip of Willow performing on Ellen

Todd (VO): ...that their daughter Willow, at the ripe old age of 9, was basically handed a career as a professional singer. And with just her debut single, "Whip My Hair," Willow Smith is already starting to make a huge splash onto the national st...

Todd: I just realized [names appear] Will and Jada named their kids Willow and Jaden. They have to be the dorkiest, most over-parenting mom and dad in history.

Todd (VO): Okay, back to "Whip My Hair." I'll give you guys a bit of trivia here. I've had more requests for "Whip My Hair" than probably any other song ever in the year or so I've been doing this. [Image of Google searches for "Whip My Hair"] The bile and outrage for this song is potent...

Todd: ...which is really surprising to me because the song is not really that successful. Usually a song has to reach a certain level of extreme overplay before I start getting any real volume of requests for it, but "Whip My Hair" [Image of Top 40 chart, where "Whip My Hair" is #27] has not really gotten that much radio time, at least around here. It's only been around for a few weeks, hasn't cleared the Top 10. If I had to guess, I would say that the hatred for this song eclipses the actual fandom for it by a considerable margin.

Clip of Justin Bieber - "One Less Lonely Girl"

Todd (VO): And, yeah, there's backlash for other things. I know people hate Justin Bieber too, but they probably couldn't name any actual Justin Bieber song.

Todd: People do know this song, and they hate it. What is it about "Whip My Hair"? Why does it make people so angry? Well, for me to explain that properly, the first thing I need to tell you is that Willow Smith whips her hair back and forth.

Willow: I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)

Todd: I see. Could you please elaborate?

Willow: I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)

Todd: You know, I'm just not getting it. Could you go over that again?

Willow: I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)

Todd: This just in, some breaking news. Willow Smith whips her hair in a motion which experts are describing as "back and forth." "Whip My Hair" is about three-and-a-half minutes long, and it uses a fairly traditional verse-chorus-verse structure. This is surprising to me because the first few times I heard it...

Todd (VO): I would've sworn to you that it was just three straight hours of just this one line. I mean, it just seems to go on and on. She whips her hair back and forth.

Todd: My critic powers are failing me a little bit because I don't know what else to say about a song which is just "I whip my hair back and forth" repeated until your eyes pop and your ears bleed.

Todd (VO): "Whip My Hair" is—and I say this as someone who willingly listened to "Hollaback Girl"...

Todd: It is one of the most mind-meltingly irritating sounds that has ever been produced by any human being. This is audio Chinese water torture.

Willow: [that one verse gets pasted all over the video] (Just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)

Todd (VO): Oh, my God, it's still going on!

Todd: I could play other annoying songs over the top of this, and it still wouldn't be any worse than it already is!

As the video plays, pasted over it are "Imma Be," "The Song That Never Ends" from Lamb Chop, Kel Mitchell singing "bloopity" repeated in Good Burger and Jim Carrey screaming like a baby in Dumb & Dumber—actually described in the movie as "the most annoying sound in the whole world"

Todd (VO): Oh, my God, SHUT UP! SHUT UP!

Todd: SHUT UP!!! I get it! You whip your hair! Why are you telling me this?! What good does this information do me?! Holy crap on a stick! [Clips from Kindergarten Cop] Kids shrieking at me. Now I know how Schwarzenegger must've felt.

Arnold: SHUT UP!!!!!!

Todd: Okay, if you wanna know, there is a specific reason why Willow whips her hair back and forth. Now I'm sure most of you, when you heard the title, assumed that it had something to do with those [Image of... and after MUCH searching, Medusa, of Marvel fame] comic book characters with hair powers. No, apparently whipping your hair is something you do in response to the jealous and resentful sort of folk who would belittle your success, also known as "haters."

Willow: Pay no attention to them haters
Because we whip 'em off
And now they don't know what to do
We turn our back and whip our hair and just shake em off...

Todd (VO): Now, I can think of more appropriate responses to haters...

Todd: ...like, you know, the finger. [Puts two up and sings] I flip the bird back and forth, I flip the bird back and forth, I flip the...yeah, you get it. But whipping your hair though...

Todd (VO): ...that's kind of a new one on me. But you know what? It seems to be working for her. Maybe I should try it.

Todd pulls back hoodie revealing a blond wig and half-heartedly tries whipping.

Todd: Hmm. Let's go try it on someone else. [Goes to computer] Hey, Roses!

PushingUpRoses: Oh, hey, Todd.

Todd: Remember when I said I liked REO Speedwagon, and you said you didn't like REO Speedwagon?

PushingUpRoses: Ummm...yes?

Todd: Yeah, well here's what I think about that! [As the song plays, Todd "whips" his "hair" back and forth]

PushingUpRoses: O....kay.

Todd: Yeah! All right, who's next? Hey, Rap Critic!

Rap Critic: Yes?

Todd: You trying to take my spot as the bad song reviewer on this site?

Rap Critic: What?! No, no, I'm not trying to take your spot or anything like that. I just was trying to make a name for myself on...

Todd: Well, take this! [He does it again]

Rap Critic: [embarrassed for him] Uh...okay, well, it's nice talking to you, Todd. You...enjoy doing that. I'm gonna go now.

[As Todd continues "whipping"]

JesuOtaku: Don't you have some kind of medication you should be taking?

Nash: Todd...what the fuck is wrong with you?!?!

Obscurus Lupa: Why haven't I blocked you yet?

Todd: [back to piano after throwing wig across the room] That just made me look stupid! I look enough like an idiot already to these people! My neck hurts! Seriously, that was the dumbest-looking dance move I've seen since...um...

Video for Will Smith - "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)"

Todd (VO): Oh, right, yes, it...it runs in the family. Nod ya head, nod ya hair!

Todd: The thing is, it's not like she's a bad singer. I mean, granted, maybe Auto-Tune is involved, but she doesn't sound that bad. She's got a lot of confidence and stage readiness that you don't see in a lot of child performers. [Clip of Bieber] Ahem-ahem. It's just a shame she throws that confidence behind such a ridiculous concept.

Willow: Whether is black stars, black cars
I’m feelin it
But can't none of them whip it like I do

Todd: Willow Smith's hair-whipping is superior to your hair-whipping!

Todd (VO): And furthermore, I really just cannot get beyond the fact that I'm being given advice about how to answer critics from a fifth-grader who's spent her entire life abundantly rich!

Todd: What haters do you have?! Did your teacher make you come in from recess early? Daddy not buy you that second house?

Todd (VO): Everything about this song just stinks of juvenile kiddiness. You need evidence? Just look at the video. The world is dark and gray, and then Willow Smith lightens everything up with her magical colors. This is the [commercial for cereal] same technique advertisers use to sell Fruit Roll-Ups and sugared cereal to kindergarteners.

Announcer: [against smiling Willow] Kix—kid-tested, mother-approved.

Todd (VO): And what, she dips her hair in paint and starts spraying it everywhere? This isn't a music video, [Clip of...] it's a lost episode of Double Dare. And by the way, what parent lets their kids walk around with their hair like that? [Hairstyle looks like a heart on top of her head] That...looks...stupid!

Todd: And yes, I will make fun of the looks of a nine-year-old, try and stop me!

Willow: I gets it in mm-yeah I go hard
When they see me pull up, I whip it real hard

Todd (VO): Pull up in what? Your tricycle?!

Willow: All my ladies if you feel it
Go on and do it, do it

Todd (VO): You're 10! You don't have any ladies except your mom!

Todd: And you wanna know how I really know this song was only meant for five-year-olds?

Willow: Hop up out the bed, turn my swag on

Todd (VO): I know this because she just quoted Soulja Boy.

Video for "Turn My Swag On"
Soulja Boy: Hop up out the bed, turn my swag on

Todd (VO): If there's one adjective I didn't expect ever to use to describe Soulja Boy, it was probably "influential."

Todd: Damn kids!

Willow: Keep my head up, I know I’ll be fine
Keep fighting until I get there

Todd (VO): Yeah, you keep fighting, Willow. You fight that good fight. Your parents gave you a singing career for your tenth birthday!

Todd: Yeah, you keep up the struggle.

Willow: I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)

Todd: Wait a minute, say that middle part again.

Willow: I whip my hair back and forth (just whip it)
I whip my hair back and forth
I whip my hair back and forth (whip it real good)

Todd: "Whip it real good"? That had better not be a freakin' Devo reference!

Video for Devo - "Whip It"
Mark Mothersbaugh: Whip it good.

Todd (VO): No, no, no, no! You do not get to invoke one of the greatest of all nerd bands for some spoiled brat's obnoxious R&B song! Willow probably doesn't even know who Devo is.

Todd: You think Devo would want to see their works come out of the mouth of some squeaky-clean Disney-ready moppet who has absolutely nothing in common with their music?!

Video for DEV2.0's cover of "Whip It"
Nathan Norman: Crack that whip!
Nicole Stoehr: Give the past a slip
Nathan: Step on a crack
Nicole: Now whip it into shape
Shape it up
Get straight

Todd: One crisis at a time, Todd.

Willow: Whip your hair (whip your hair)
Don’t matter if it’s long, short
Do it, do it whip your hair!

Todd: Um...I...appreciate the spirit of inclusion which that lyric was written in, but...I think it should matter quite a bit whether your hair is long or short. Because, you see, you can't whip your hair if your hair is [building up] not long enough to whip, YOU STUPID LITTLE GIRL! That...that kind of got away from me there at the end.

Todd (VO): But yeah, if it's short, then it isn't whipping your hair. A better word for it would probably be "headbanging."

"Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" by Quiet Riot plays over the "Whip Your Hair" video

Quiet Riot: Bang your head!

Todd (VO): And headbanging is a fine gesture with a strong, proud tradition, but again, not exactly something that'll put critics in their place, you know?

Todd: It certainly didn't help Quiet Riot any.

Todd (VO): So, yes, this is an awful, awful song. I have no idea why anyone would wanna hear Baby Beyonce explain the direction of her hair-whipping over fifty times in one song. I didn't really mention this either, but the music is this horrible processed sludge that only does something worth mentioning during the chorus, where the music starts swelling like a horror movie soundtrack, which is pretty damn appropriate.

Todd: The thing is, "whip your hair" is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Did Willow Smith have anyone hating on her before this song came out? 'Cause she's got a metric buttload of them now!

Todd (VO): Yesterday she was an adorable little tyke without a care in the world. Today she annoys millions with one of the worst songs ever written.

Todd: And if you don't like it, she whips her hair at you...and you don't want that.

Shot of Mortal Kombat, where Sindel defeats Jax by whipping her hair, engulfing him, and whips it back, spinning him until he's stripped clean and dead
Voice: Fatality!

Closing tag song: Dazz Band - "Let It Whip"

"Whip Your Hair" is owned by Roc Nation, LLC
"Nod your hair" joke written by Film Brain

Todd: [singing to and playing tune of Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"] They try to make me go to MAGfest
I said no, no

I said yes, actually. Yeah, I'm going to MAGfest in Alexandria, Virginia, this January during these dates. (MAGfest! January 13-16 More information at magfest.org) I'm gonna be part of the That Guy With The Glasses panel, some 70% of the site is going to be there, including me. So...come along, and if you go, you might actually get a chance to see what I look like. [Long pause] Probably not, though. No, you should check it out. It'll be great.

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