“You say you’re obsessed with me, so I took a second…and I said me too.”
We need to (tik)talk about Addison Rae.
It’s been well over a year now since the 21-year-old TikTok dance titan and He’s All That thespian, born Goddison Slé Easterlegend, unleashed her debut single “Obsessed” upon the world; a delightfully cocky, monotone, Selena Gomez-adjacent breathy pop bop about being obsessed with…herself.
“Say you’d die for me, I’d die for me too. And if I lost you, I’d still have me. I can’t lose…”
Like so many great works of art before, the song was inspired by real-life events.
“I was driving. Right before the studio, I had dropped off [my boyfriend at the time] at his house, and he looked at me and was like, ‘I’m obsessed with you!’ and I was like, ‘me too!’ It was like, kind of an accident, I mean, I didn’t really mean that, I kind of meant, ‘I’m obsessed with you too,’ but he was like, ‘Oh, are you obsessed with yourself?’ and I was like, ‘You know what? I should be!'” she explained to Zane Lowe on Apple 1 upon the song’s premiere last March. (Basically, the “so you agree…you think you’re really pretty?” scene from Mean Girls.)
Shockingly, the news of a TikTok star dabbling in original music didn’t exactly go over…well.
The song, and its sole live performance on The Tonight Show, almost immediately garnered stan vitriol, mockery, viral dunk tweets, forum skewering, and the general sort of outrage one could only too easily predict would come from a wildly popular social media star’s first foray into the music scene.
That creator credit-free Jimmy Fallon TikTok dance segment certainly didn’t help matters…although it did give us the ahead-of-its-time “Addison Rae on Jimmy Fallon but she’s dancing to Kate Bush“ meme edit, so.
Despite the backlash, even bluntly being asked in interviews about why people hate her song, Addison kept it moving, forging a friendship and musical partnership with Demon Twink magnet Charli XCX, who defended Addison online and declared her to be “a great popstar.”
she’s great. she comes with great lyric concepts. they all sound like vroom vroom lyrics. it’s super cute. I think she a great popstar 💞 https://t.co/uTuedlbelo
— Charli (@charli_xcx) April 16, 2021
By last summer, she was telling Variety that an EP would be out “really, really soon,” with four songs that were allegedly “ready,” including collaborations with the superstar “Obsessed” team of songwriters and producers: Sarah Hudson, Madison Love, Tia Scola, Leland, Benny Blanco and Blake Slatkin.
Around the same time, she uploaded the tease(s) of a lifetime: “I Got It Bad.” And that’s when the shift truly began.
The objectively perfect, so-immediately-catchy-it-hurts serving of in-too-deep horny pop, which channels everyone from Heidi Montag to Paris Hilton to Hilary Duff to Britney (and was crafted by “Hard to Forget Ya” producer Oscar Görres), caused a gradual about-face in her comments, stan-wise: from ironic (“queen of pop!”), to begrudging (“wait, why does this actually sound good?”), to earnest, panicked demands. (“RELEASE IT NOW.”)
She became aware of the hype, and was amused by it…but also mostly unbothered.
“I’ve seen so much stuff about my unreleased song ‘I Got It Bad.’ I think it’s so funny right now. I don’t know [when I’ll release it]. We’ll have to see, I guess. It just depends,” she casually told Glamour at the start of 2022.
— ༺𝒢𐀔𝒥༻ (@gothjafar) July 8, 2022
Still, nothing. No more music was released, despite tweeting profundities aplenty about music.
By the end of January, rumors swirled that Addison had put her own spin on the much beloved, highly coveted, still unreleased Josh Alexander and Billy Steinberg co-produced “Nothing On (But the Radio),” a demo initially co-written and recorded by faithful Straight Pride ally and Top Gun soundtrack singer herself, Lady Gaga, for Born This Way.
A snippet of a new version of the song hit social media, causing a slight Gay Twitter panic (and/or outrage, depending on which Little Monster you asked), as the people pondered whether it was really Addison Rae on the track. The confusion prompted paparazzi to bug her about it on a late night outing. When asked if it was indeed her voice, she replied: “It is.”
By April, presumably thanks to LGBTQ hackers fed up with waiting, that song made its way onto the Internet in full. “I Got It Bad” followed immediately after, too – a song that, in another, fairer universe, would be dubbed one of the year’s best pop songs.
Elon fucked up! pic.twitter.com/jdx0ROfRQW
— Bradley Stern (@MuuMuse) April 25, 2022
She mostly stayed silent on the matter – but did confirm my strongly held belief that Elon Musk fucked up by not offering to buy “I Got It Bad” instead of Twitter.
Many more songs have since slipped through the digital cracks of Addison’s hard drive, and onto social media: “2 Die 4,” “U Had It Coming,” “Could Have. Been U,” “Love Hate Miss,” “Chords That Cry,” “Mess Over U,” “See U Again” – the list goes on and on.
The lost album 😢
— Addison Rae (@whoisaddison) July 6, 2022
As of this past week, Addison took notice of one of the many stan compilations of the snippets, only to drop the most devastating description: “The lost album 😢,” she declared, much to everyone’s dismay.
However, a follow-up provided a glimmer of hope: when threatened with a petition to find the album, she responded: “I’m looking.”
I’m looking https://t.co/zP0735b8Rf
— Addison Rae (@whoisaddison) July 7, 2022
And that’s where we’re current at: an Addison Rae debut studio album, lost at Stan Twitter sea…for now, anyway.
So what’s it going to take to get this album out, then? Who are the Addison Rae gatekeepers? Do we need to cyber-bully a record label? Hashtag campaign? A Change.org petition? Executive order? Just tell us what to do, Addison. We, the Sunraes, are here for you. Because the idea of this many bangers-to-be collecting dust? It’s…definitely something that could ruin my life.
In all seriousness, a quick listen through some of the surfaced songs, or even just that compilation of snippets, should make it abundantly clear that the (current) 4th Most Popular TikToker in the World is sitting on some gold: that’s some fun, delightfully unpretentious pop, and it would be a shame for it to never (officially) see the light of day.
Sure, the general public might be too boring and tasteless to fully appreciate the contributions of the reality TV star/socialite/influencer-turned-pop star over the years, but the ones that get it, get it. And damn, we got it bad.
UPDATE (August 18, 2023): The wait was bad, but we got it at last. Pop music is saved.