Ark Music Factory is probably not as bad as a sweatshop, but the end result is far, far more degrading and dehumanizing.
Ark Music Factory is a company headquartered in LA that provides a unique, "buy your child's love" modus operandi. Their whole schtick is that, for $2,000, they will write you a catchy pop song, have you record it in a professional studio, heap layers of steaming Auto-tune on top of it, and feature you in a music video with decent production values. It's the type of thing you'd see a girl from My Super Sweet 16 do. The company's main producer and songwriter is Patrice Wilson, also known as "that inexplicable rapper from that 'Friday' video":
"I do Usher impersonations at birthday parties to feed my cocaine addiction."
One of the signature aspects of Ark Music Factory productions is that ol' Patricey up here usually contributes a rap verse at the 2/3 mark of each Ark song. He has stated that his rap appearances give the music videos a "flair of maturity and professionalism that you can't replicate with a home video". It's true. Many popular teen pop songs have a rapper cameo - just look at Justin Bieber's hit "Baby", the single-most viewed video on YouTube (closing in on 500 million views): it features a rap verse by Ludacris. The difference with Ludacris and Patroosey is that Ludacris can rhyme. As we will note later in this article, over the course of 5-6 videos, 5.0 Cent here only rhymes a verse once.
We will leave you with this photo of Tyler Perry-Lite murdering the soul of a 7 year old by smiling:
Here we go: the full rundown of every single major Ark Music Video production. But first, we'll start with this "Ark Intro" video, proving that people are capable of fucking up a simple introduction.
Alright, this is going to take some analysis. Aside from the fact that the speaker, for whatever reason, feels the need to repeat every single fucking line twice, it seems to be snowing up in outerspace. We just... whatever. Let's breeze through the producer credits... and, ah! There we go. CJ Fam, the first "artist" they decided to introduce. Um, yeah. She is 8 years old, and got "noticed" by performing at Ronald McDonald fundraisers.
Wait, hang on. At 1:44, did they just say Kevin James is signed to Ark Music?
It comes with a B-side: "Tired Fat Jokes"
Oh, oh. Kenny James. Man. Alright, moving along... You know, just about every single one of these performers has a stage name worthy of a low-budget porn star. Alana Lee? Devin Fox? Sophia Linkletter? Wait, hang on one second. Look at that text effect, when Sophia's name shatters into glass. We've seen that before. That's from a Video Copilot After-Effects tutorial. Hover over the main image, it's the exact same effect.
Credit where credit is due: At least they had the sense not to trust themselves to do it
So, this reportedly repsectable music label doesn't only completely plagarize a video effect, but it's one intended for absolute beginners. Nice. Okay, let's delve into the actual videos now.
Since Rebecca Black's Friday has been parodied to high hell after receiving 100,000,000 views in less than a month, we won't waste too much time treading over familiar ground here. We'll just leave you with these two interpretations of 2011's most ubiquitous slice of rotting gunk:
This is Ark's second-most popular video, mainly riding off the coattails of "Friday" viewers that decided 1 Ark Music video just wasn't enough to satisfy their horrible, horrible needs. If you think Rebecca Black's voice had been autotuned to a toxic death, wait until you hear
Alana Lee cyborg's voice.
To fully capture the secreting awfulness of this video, we'll just run it down a timeline.
0:00 - 0:10 Nothing overtly-cringeworthy, aside from Alana's terrifyingly processed "voice"
0:11 This kid looks exactly like a real-life version of Ash Ketchum
Butterfly... of Butterfree? Heh, get it
we are horrible we are so sorry oh god
0:22 Do kids still pass notes anymore? Didn't the advent of texting completely eradicate that? Also, is he passing a fucking envelope to the girl behind him? There could be anthrax or some shit in there. Remember kids, Don't Open Envelopes that Could Store True Anthrax Spores, Yo!
0:37 Cue slowest moving butterflies of all time.
1:11 Wait, she's actually drawing a butterfly? Ark isn't exactly the greatest when it comes to
1:27 Hang on a second, the bullies are picking on her... for drawing a butterfly? What? Also, you gotta love the super-quick edit to the trash dunk. Soooo intense. O.M.G.