Ever wonder what your favorite songs sound like slowed down? If not, witness the latest meme to take Twitter by storm. Users are making videos that purport to show viewers what a slowed down song sounds like, but instead offers something so much better: audio of someone else singing the same damn song, but way shittier. It sounds unfunny when I describe it, but incredible in practice, which is the sign of a great meme.
Of course like any meme, some iterations are better than others. Clear standouts are one that “slows down” Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” only to bring you back to a classic Vine.
This is what Frank Ocean sounds like in "Thinkin Bout You" when its slowed down pic.twitter.com/rKUyf461MF— ʞɔıɹƎ 👀 (@Retr0_Astronaut) February 11, 2018
Another I can’t get enough of, this one “slowing down” Rihanna’s “Needed Me."
What Rihanna sounds like in Needed Me slowed down 😳 pic.twitter.com/0jEsxjlqr3— zander (@finah) February 11, 2018
This version of Mariah Carey's "Hero" stings in the best way, since this is what most of us sound like singing along to her.
Omg 😳 this is what Mariah Carey’s Hero sounds like slowed down pic.twitter.com/qP9qprIi8l— dylan (@visionofdelrey) February 12, 2018
What Please Mr.Postman sounds like slowed down😳 pic.twitter.com/ipC4gibpuz— Jocelyn Saribay (@JocelynSaribay) February 12, 2018
When you first watch one of the videos, the defiance of expectation is what lays you out. You’re expecting deep-voiced Rihanna; instead you get a different voice that highlights the subtleties of the original, while making it absurd. Once that initial reaction is over, the videos retain their humor simply because they’re inexplicably weird.
Though the origins of this meme are hazy, it may be rooted in a February 5 video in which user @jesse21valona played Adele’s “Hello” on a turntable, and then manually slowed the speed until the record sounded (rather convincingly) like Sam Smith was singing. It’s a funny observation that the internet improved on, as it does, by pushing parody as far as they can go.