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Did Yoko Ono Just Make EDM?

Move over Björk. Yoko's "Bad Dancer" is our new weird club anthem.

by Drew Millard
Nov 5 2013, 4:16am

The greatest conceptual art prank Yoko Ono ever pulled was breaking up The Beatles, because in retrospect The Beatles were disingenuous, overrated trendhumpers who knew their way around a hook and not too much else. That is, until now.

Because above you, in that YouTube player, rests the music video for Yoko Ono's "Bad Dancer." Before you go ahead and press that little red button with the sideways triangle on it, just know that your paradigms are about to be shifted like a pile of loose paper sitting on a desk in an earthquake, scattered in every direction at once, never to be seen or heard from again.

To get to the important question, though: is it trap music?

Yes. No. Maybe. Fuck.

It is a trap, a black hole from which you will never escape. A place where all human thought goes to die. It's all there, deep in the folds of Yoko's lingerie as she bends Reggie Watts up against a wall to dry-hump him, as Mike D and Ad-Rock bounce up and down unhappily, as a pear-shaped Questlove stoically ballroom dances with Yoko Ono, who is, again, lest we forget, the woman who broke up The Beatles.

"Bad Dancer" is proof that regardless of what we think about art, a work cannot be judged in a vacuum. If it did, then we could just watch "Bad Dancer" once, say, "Fuck that shit," and move on. But because it came from Yoko Ono, a woman who once performed a piece asking the audience to snip all of her clothes off, it becomes a transcendent—even urgent—work of High Art, wherein Heems' nonsensical shimmyings takes on a discursive meaning purely by virtue of context (this is another thing about being Yoko Ono: if she tells you to appear in her insane music video, you say yes, no matter how sphincter-clenchingly bad the song is).

So, "Bad Dancer." It is stupid, yes, but only as stupid as the culture that produced it. It is Yoko Ono holding a mirror up to our own consciousness and cackling. Or it's just trend. It's all up to us, and that's the point.

Drew Millard will take Yoko over John any day -@drewmillard

reggie watts
Yoko Ono
bad dancer