“Fuck You” by Ceelo Green is a “break-up anthem” that charmed the frown off the face of everyone who heard it in the Summer of 2010. We see it as an example of metamodernism, and one that shows how metamodernist themes are not narrowly limited to the positive side of life. Here is a song that exuberantly proclaims the singer’s right to feel anger, betrayal and heartbreak after his ex-girlfriend begins riding around town in the ostentatious car of a wealthier and flashier man. While the words of the song tell a familiar woe-is-me story, the buoyant melody, snappy rhythm, and the conviction in Ceelo’s vocal delivery express triumph – not the triumph of a reconciled and forgiving heart, but the simple, crucial triumph of owning and broadcasting one’s experience: “Fuck YOU! This is how I feel!” His victory is not that he ends up getting the girl, it’s just that he gets to finally say how much it sucks that he doesn’t.
The video made for this song depicts several younger versions of the singer/narrator putting up with romantic indignities doled out by his various love interests from grade-school through college, in a series of decade-indeterminate, but definitely retro settings that go along with the style of the music itself. Rather than depict the singer/narrator as the “tough kid” who appears in many a music video, here the protagonist is more of a chubby, huggable Charlie Brown figure. All of these “cute” and innocent elements contribute to an overall metamodern sensibility that one would not expect to find in a song/video called “Fuck You.”