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Willow - 'Whip My Hair'

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:25 UK time, Monday, 29 November 2010


Fame - like sugar, saturated fat and films containing sex, violence, and swearing - is not good for young people. It's bad when you're the famous person, it's bad when the famous person is a member of your family. It's just bad.

You grow up unsure of people and their motives, you grow up surrounded by people who perhaps do not have your best interests at heart, and you grow up knowing that there is a ticking clock about your head, and when the alarm goes off - it could be now, it could be thirty years from now - that's it, you've just got to grab what you can and run off to obscurity.

This isn't just my opinion either, even the film Alvin & the Chipmunks has the same basic message: don't grow up too fast, don't get everything you want, whenever you want it, and don't trust people who have a financial stake in keeping you working.

At least Willow Smith is not alone. She has a famous dad, and a famous mum and famous brothers. If anyone can get through this with her head on the right way around, it's her.

(Here's the video. It's messy)

And let's be clear, she is famous. The internet meltdown around this Rihanna-meets-Eve wallshaker has been nothing short of rabid. There have even been parodies on TV - notably one in which US chat show host Jimmy Fallon sang the song as if he was Neil Young, with the actual Bruce Springsteen joining in halfway through. That's a sign that your song is well known, when chat shows can reference it without having to explain what they're on about.

Luckily, all of the attention is justified. Even if it wasn't such an addictive rush of a song, Willow has an uncommonly deep and expressive voice, given her tender years, and she's nowhere near as bratty and annoying as, er, other young stars can be sometimes. And even though the song would still suit an older voice, there's something about the innocence of youth which just makes it more fun.

Yes, if you listened to nothing but 'Whip My Hair' for a week, you would be sick, but that doesn't make it bad for you in small doses.

Fame, on the other hand...well let's just see how this one pans out, shall we?

Four starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Pop Music Speaks says: "Going to become a beloved track of the year at the schoolyards and a guilty pleasure for teens and even the older crowd"

Pretty Much Amazing says: "I guarantee this is the best thing you will watch today. "

Hello Beautiful says: "It's a bit Rihanna, Lil' Mama, and Ester Dean rolled into one."



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