Lily Allen’s latest single, Sheezus standout “URL Badman,” takes aim at trolling, gossip-whoring Internet bloggers via breezy synth-pop hooks. And the track’s new music video follows a similar blueprint of snark and silliness: Directors The Sacred Egg blends eye-popping visuals with a loose narrative that portrays gossip writers as bitter losers living in their childhood homes.
The clip opens in an innocuous bedroom, as a blogger named Alexander is called to dinner by his mother. Allen dominates the clip from that point forward, dancing victoriously through a maze of frozen male writers, whose unimpressed expressions dissolve into psychedelic goo and grainy buffering. “I work at home in my parents’ basement,” Allen sings over stark piano chords. “I don’t troll; I make statements.”
Throughout the song, she inhabits the mind of a generic web critic (“When I’m a big boy, I’m gonna write for Vice”), labeling the persona a “broadband champion” and a “keyboard warrior that can’t spell.” (The angriest line: “I don’t like girls much; they’re kinda silly / unless, of course, they wanna play with my willie.”)
Back in April, Allen talked to Rolling Stone about the song’s highly personal inspiration. “I wrote that after I put out the video for ‘Hard Out Here’ and everyone said I was racist,” she said. “I was really alarmed by that reaction. I stand by that video, and I know what my intention was, and I’m sorry that people interpreted it in a different way. A lot of that negative stuff came from females and the feminist blogger scene. What really pissed me off was the misogynistic, hipster, male bloggers that went after me in a completely different way. And I just thought, ‘Fuck you, I’m going to write a song about you.'”
She also elaborated about general gossip culture and false rumors, adding that “people are so judgmental and convinced they know exactly who I am.”
“They come to their own conclusions and their mind won’t be changed,” she continued. “That’s the world we live in. I always try to look at people and see the best in them and give them a chance. . . But people that are probably less fortunate look at me and think, ‘Well, she’s got everything. She’s had everything. It’s been handed to her on a silver plate.’ It’s just not true. I’ve been through some really, really awful things that other people haven’t been through. We’re all human beings and life is not fucking fair.”