This being the week of National Day and all, it’s great to see political figures of different stripes get together as one to sing.
Oh, you were thinking of something along the lines of Count On Me Singapore? No, friends, they’re crooning a Japanese pop ballad familiar to players of the Yakuza video game series: Baka Mitai.
Photographer and video producer Adrian Chan is to be blamed/thanked for this rapidly-viral clip posted earlier today (Aug 7), for which he apparently had to re-activate his Facebook account.
Hopping on the internet meme of the month — in which still portraits are deepfaked to appear as if they’re singing Baka Mitai — Chan put a local spin on it with a collage of Singapore’s politicians across the political aisle. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Pritam Singh, Jamus Lim, Charles Yeo, Chee Soon Juan, Tan Cheng Bock, and many more warble the melancholic tune in unison.
If it doesn’t make sense, well, welcome to the state of memes in 2020. The origin of the meme is rooted in a YouTube video from 2017, in which a drunk fan of the Yakuza games recorded himself dramatically lip-syncing Baka Mitai (“I’ve been a fool” in Japanese).
The song itself appears in the karaoke mini-game portions of Yakuza 0, Yakuza 5, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
It was only last month that the video saw a resurgence when a Twitter user utilised deepfake technology to generate a video of tech YouTuber Linus Sebastian singing the song with his facial movements matching the lip-syncing Yakuza fan.
Since then, others have taken part in the “Dame Da Ne” meme, with the title taken from Baka Mitai’s lyrics. People have done it on former US president Barack Obama, Thanos, a puppy, and now there are even tutorials on YouTube on how to replicate the deepfake meme. Which apparently requires quite a bit of elbow grease, so props have to be given to Chan for taking the time and effort for his contribution.