There’s something oddly soothing in watching Rebecca Black – dressed in Patrick Bateman drag – swing a glittery weapon of gore and destruction in a moment of American Psycho/Texas Chainsaw Massacre euphoria. This visceral visual splendor comes at the end of “Personal,” the new offering from Ms. Black, but it’s hardly the video’s only eye-catching sight. From the get-go, “Personal” sets Ms. Black in one stunning scene after another, portraying a woman living the full La La Land fantasy (along with all the pills and juicing needed to maintain such an artifice.)
The visual metaphor – of this darkness under this facade of “Why, yes. I’m fine” — is a brilliant pairing with the song’s lyrics, as “Personal” sees her sing about accepting the blame for a breakup while being the “bigger person.” The song shows an emotional maturity, as Ms. Black addresses how, when a jilted lover spews all the venom and hate as one does after they’re dumped, “won’t take it personal.”
“‘Personal’ represents this reckoning with a consequence of heartbreak I hadn’t really ever understood,” Rebecca shares with HollywoodLife, “which was the guilt and heaviness that comes with being the one to put an end to a relationship when that’s not what the other person wants. I’ve learned you can’t really stop two people on roads heading in opposite directions, and it can feel so difficult to consciously make a decision that you know will hurt someone you love, while at the same time knowing it’s the necessary choice for yourself at the end of the day.”
The song’s message is universal and applicable, no matter how you identify, but it could be tied to a very important moment in Rebecca Black’s history. In 2020, she came out as queer on Jack Dodge and Amy Ordman’s Dating Straight podcast. “Every day is different. It’s something that, over the past few years, I’ve obviously been having a lot of conversations with myself about. To me, the word ‘queer’ feels really nice,” she said before sharing that this revelation of her sexual orientation came after a recent split with a woman. “I was dating someone, and I know they might watch this…but one of the reasons that we went through this breakup was because I was really needed alone time, not from them, but just in general. But I’m doing okay.”
“Personal” will be part of the project Ms. Black will drop in June, which will also collect her previously released single, “Girlfriend.” In between “Girlfriend” and “Personal, Rebecca celebrated the tenth anniversary of “Friday,” the song/viral sensation that, for better or worse, made her a household name. The 2021 remix was a reintroduction into the artist that Ms. Black had grown into. The hyperpop rendition featured Dorian Electra, Big Freedia, 3OH!3, one-half of 100 Gecs, and the RIAA Gold Record Rebecca received for “Friday.” A decade later, Rebecca solved the “which seat can I take” question, proving that she’s the one behind the wheel of her own fate. Party.