It was the Oxford English Dictionary's 2013 word of the year, it's what Ellen used to break Twitter while hosting the Oscars, and now, it's the subject of a viral music video by breakout EDM duo The Chainsmokers: "#SELFIE," released by electronica maestro Steve Aoki, is a fairly standard bleepy four-on-the-floor track, but it sets itself apart by accompanying a young woman's lengthy, vapid monologue about how best to capture herself in the club bathroom mirror. Think the "Oh my God, Becky" opening from "Baby Got Back" crossed with Paris Hilton's "Drunk Text," (AKA, my favorite song of 2012), mixed in with a little "Shit Girls Say." "I only got 10 likes in the last five minutes — should I take it down?" she agonizes, before insisting her friend help choose a filter. It's those kinds of "I wish I didn't relate" moments, mixed in with a little club-savvy humor ("It's not even summer — why does the DJ keep playing 'Summertime Sadness'?"), that have the song debuting at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and its YouTube views at over 2 million.
Speaking of which, the video is a project unto itself: Prior to the song's official release, the band solicited selfie submissions from fans, with clips of the song specially timed for Vine and Instagram and a "How to take a #SELFIE" YouTube video. Their advice? "It's important to be as into yourself as possible at this point in time." Apparently, that was enough to elicit over 2,000 responses in the first week alone — all of which flash past at some point during the video. Oh, and David Hasselhof is in there for some reason, holding a red floatie behind his head, because once, long ago, someone was willing to pay him to.
Is it art? Maybe not. But it's certainly entertaining — the kind of social satire that treads dangerously close to what it's satirizing but still manages to come out on top. (Their "Go Fuck Your #Selfie" t-shirts are just icing on the cake.) The more important question: "What should my caption be?" The answer seems pretty clear.