When I first saw the words "Rae Sremmurd" on paper (pixel), I went straight to my friend who knows everything about everything and said "Hey [name redacted], how the ever-loving fuck do I say this out loud?" Because there's nothing worse than saying something wrong out loud with absolute, unwavering confidence, only to be torn to shreds by listeners-on for minutes, hours, possibly years to follow.
But this is a special case, because "Rae Sremmurd" is a ridiculous pairing of "words." For one thing, "Sremmurd" looks like a teacher gave a class of Grade Ones the Quiet Time project of drawing a caterpillar using only letters. "Rae" is fine and everything but this is a duo and it's not anybody's name, so what the fuck does it even mean? Obviously now, many people know that "Rae Sremmurd" should look stupid, because it's just the made up phrase "Ear Drummers" spelled backwards.
For anyone playing at home who hasn't yet mastered the name and is avoiding it at all costs—"What are you listening to?" "...The, uh, Black Beatles, my dude": it's said exactly how it looks. Ray. Srem-urd. Simple enough.
Ellen Degeneres had Rae Sremmurd on her show yesterday, because they are a viral sensation thanks to "Black Beatles" being the Mannequin Challenge Official Theme Song and not a day goes by that Ellen™ doesn't capitalise on a viral trend. Not a day.
That being said, Ellen Degeneres herself is obviously not the person who decided her show become the panel on the right of your Facebook feed that insists on telling you what's trending about six years after you've first seen said trend. Ellen Degeneres is obviously being coerced by the producers of Ellen™. They are telling her to "engage the youth." How do I know this? Because Ellen Degeneres does not know how to pronounce the name of the guest on the very show that bears her name.
That's not particularly interesting though. You think Jimmy Fallon came up with "Lip Sync Battle?" Like fuck he did. Or that James Corden invented Carpool Karaoke? No*. It was a room full of former meme page admins—who were incidentally poached by creative agencies the minute they cracked 100k Instagram followers—45 hours into a brainstorm at a production studio, suddenly interrupted by the intern who, mere minutes earlier, experienced his first Big Light Bulb Idea on his thirteenth run for Chinese food and Starbucks that day.
So, no. That's not the thing we're here to talk about. It's that, while Ellen is a very, very famous interviewer of people with a very, very famous show, she had enough trouble pronouncing the words "Rae Sremmurd" correctly during filming (no word yet on how many takes there were), that they needed to dub it later. She had to go into a recording booth after shooting, to say it again (no word on how many takes there, either).
What does this mean, you might ask? Well, it probably means that even though Ellen Degeneres has a team of literally hundreds of people working for her at any one time, not one person in hundreds was be able to help her with this pronunciation.
Again, the madness does not stop here. No it doesn't. Where does the madness stop, you might ask? The madness stops after I tell you that Ellen Degeneres… somehow... managed to mispronounce "Rae Sremmurd" again. In her overdub. So that even the dubbed words "Rae Sremmurd"—remember, these were recorded in the privacy of a sound booth, hours after, with supervision—are also incorrect.
You can hear it for yourself at the 10 second mark. My final question then, before I descend quickly and fiercely into insanity, is this: How fucking badly did Ellen Degeneres have to mispronounce "Rae Sremmurd" the first time?
*He might have.
Probably don't follow Issy on Twitter.