Interview: “Weird Al” goes digital with T.I. parody

Update: A day late, but here it is.

Billboard — For the first time in his nearly three-decade career, comedy maestro “Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing his parody of a current No. 1 single — evidently just days after he thought of it.

Yankovic’s version of “Whatever You Like,” a riff on the T.I. track of the same name, will be available for download tomorrow (Oct. 7) on iTunes, where it will be an exclusive for two weeks before being released on other digital download services.

In a post on his MySpace blog, Yankovic indicates “Whatever You Like” may be the first in a series of future, more timely digital releases.

“One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in my career is keeping my material topical even though I only release albums every three or four years,” Yankovic writes. “Now, with the advent and popularity of digital distribution, I don’t have to wait around while my songs get old and dated — I can get them out on the Internet almost immediately. It kind of boggles my mind — I thought of the idea for this new song a week ago, and next week it’s getting released!”

Yankovic has been exploring the digital route for some time, he said. “I’d kind of written off the chance of ever having another hit single, since record labels weren’t really releasing commercial ones,” Yankovic told Billboard in 2006. “As much as people are griping about the Internet taking sales away from artists, it’s been a huge promotional tool for me.”

Yankovic’s 2006 album “Straight Outta Lynwood” scored the artist his biggest chart success of his career. “Lynwood” debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, his first top 10 album ever. Meanwhile, the Chamillionaire parody “White and Nerdy,” reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, besting his previous high of No. 12 with “Eat It” in 1984, and went on to spend 22 weeks on the Hot Digital Songs chart
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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

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