Side Note

Happy holidays, “thank u, next”

Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” has quickly become a cultural touchstone for 2018, due to its ripped-from-the-headlines lyrics and a music video filled with references to Elle Woods, Mean Girls, and other teen-y rom-coms of yesteryear. And what would a cultural touchstone be if fans didn’t put their own spin on it? Here are three novel mash-ups to brighten your Friday.

First, Pitchfork staff writer Noah Yoo made a mash-up of the Grande song with the theme from Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, the 1983 film featuring David Bowie and Ryuichi Sakamoto as unlikely kindred spirits in a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War. He’s not the first to point out the similarities between the first five seconds of “thank u, next” and those of the theme:

What's a successful pop song without a holiday mash-up?

But then again, it makes a lot of sense that an R&B/synth-pop song is redolent of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s work. Sakamoto is often credited with being a pivotal act in the development of dance-pop, electro-pop, and most genres of electronic music. Just this year The Guardian called him “a godfather of techno and hip-hop.” The more you know!

If you want a more recognizable names, look no further: producer amorphous used Beyoncé’s “Me, Myself and I” for his “thank u, next” mashup. To paraphrase a YouTube commentator: This mashup is the star-studded break-up anthem we’ve been waiting for.

Also, enjoy this cursed thing, I guess.