Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Mason Ramsey – Famous

The Wikipedia views of its “Yodeling” article spiked from a few hundred to over 5,000 a day.


Juan F. Carruyo : Novelty records made by children used to rely on charisma, personality and the charm of a couple off-key notes to remind the audience that they were prodigies. Nowadays they pump ’em full of autotune and crank up the corn factor so that whomever is milking this poor kid’s 15 minutes of fame makes sure they get every damn dime. 

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Hell yes, a meme that got popular because yodeling isn’t taken seriously amongst generations of people whose only exposure to it is Sandy singing about Texas in Spongebob. And now the kid who’s the star of it all has an ultra-generic country pop tune charting because people want memes to reach their logical conclusion of being as successful as possible — truly hilarious. While I hate this on principle for not actually being funny, it’s also not interesting as novelty. It’s not as profound in its naivety as The Shaggs or The Children of Sunshine, as musically worthwhile as Jr. and His Soulettes or Chandra’s Transportation, or as heartwarming as an album of babies improvising with toys or recordings of a music therapy class. It’s a blatant, exploitative cash grab that’s built on musical ignorance.

Alfred Soto: An 11-year-old who sings country? Of course it’s cornpone. Critic-proof like a CD of versions of “Oh Susanna” bought at Cracker Barrel, “Famous” is designed to make y’all go awwww.  

Will Rivitz: Sweet, romantic, aw-shucks country music succeeds or fails on the strength of the lead singer’s conviction. The more the artist can sell the hammy warm-and-fuzzies, the more charmingly and sincerely they can represent the purity and strength of their love, the easier disbelief can be suspended, the easier the listener can resonate with the song’s emoting. Mason Ramsey’s tinny, quavering voice sells this song’s passionate romance about as well as the average 11-year-old could convince an adult that what they have with their crush is true love.

Stephen Eisermann: Can we not teach young boys to put this kind of pressure on girls at such a young age (or, ever, really)? Also, does no one else feel gross about having an 11-year-old sing about love like this? It was weird enough having Bieber do this at 14. This feels even more exploitative. 

Katherine St Asaph: Mason Ramsey, being a child, has nothing to do with the song beyond reciting it; credit/blame adult writers Sarah Buxton, Tyler Hubbard, Canaan Smith and Corey Crowder for this dippy plea to be referred to in headlines, or at least the local paper, as “Trey Trekker Humphington III’s wife” — because outside Down-Home Humility Glurgeland, the people who are “famous for loving you” are women. Which artist do you think would’ve gotten stuck with this song had no one virally yodeled?

Julian Axelrod: I don’t know if this is charming or creepy. I can’t tell if this is an implicit rejection of fame cleverly applied to a child thrust into the spotlight against his will, or the gross sexualization of a kid who hasn’t even hit puberty yet. But here’s what I do know: We now have a country radio hit that sounds like Reba McEntire sucked helium and sang a gay love ballad, and that rules.

Iain Mew: If ever there was a song that could have done without being in unspecific country girl second person, this is it. 

Will Adams: Cool that he got to meet Ellen, I guess.

Reader average: [6.66] (3 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

6 Responses to “Mason Ramsey – Famous”


  2. hmmmmm — on the exploitativeness scale I feel like recordings of music therapy are probably worse than this because of the fuzziness about what the participants consented to

  3. You’re right. I think my understanding of the material primarily as an educational resource for other music therapists had me overlooking the potential exploitative nature of the recordings.

    All this makes me think about how The Shaggs were forced to make music due to something a fortune teller told their dad, or how Daniel Johnston was exploited for money via his manager et al. It’s tough, and something I don’t know how to completely reconcile considering I find a lot of this stuff enjoyable. The same goes for a bunch of films that are touted by detractors as ‘poverty porn’ (e.g. The Florida Project or American Honey) but even the more ‘valid’ works (e.g. Pedro Costa) or historically important ethnographic films (e.g. Robert Gardner, Jean Rouch) feel no different considering I’m still consuming it primarily for entertainment (regardless of whether I want to educate myself or not). All of which is to say that while I did get irked by how this song felt exploitative, it’s everything else that presumably annoys me more, and me bringing up the exploitative bit is just me wanting to hate this as much as possible.

  4. I do not understand why any of you gave this points.

  5. (but Julian’s blurb is legitimately the funniest thing I’ve read this week)

  6. hey thanks Andy!