Move over, Rick Rolling, there's a new super annoying meme in town: Levelling (or Leveling, we're not entirely sure).
While the former "thing" involved sending your friends (?) YouTube videos of Rick Astley's seminal hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" while disguising the link as something entirely different (say, the article they'd been searching for for days), Levelling has internet misanthropes doing just the same, but with a new song.
"Levels," the once anthemic but now insufferable house song by Avicii (featuring the late Etta James' vocals) has become something of a trope. The song is still a hit in clubs and bars around the nation, but it now carries a certain premature irony that somehow makes it okay for people who think they're better than fraternity bros to still like music that's tailor made for fraternity bros.
It's convenient, because you can be in a bar discussing the horrors of the Dartmouth fraternity system as revealed in that one Rolling Stone article, hear the song come on, and still have a good time.
Levelling, like Rick Rolling, is perhaps best achieved when the recipient is not supposed to be listening to music. Good time to Level: When you're at work in the middle of a heated Google Chat debate about whether "Girls" is a bad show for not including any characters of color. Bad time to Level: When your friend is about to go for a run and she asks for some tunes to listen to while on the go.
As of yet, Levelling has proved most effective within the electronic dance music community. A fine example is this tweet from icangiveuhouse, which promises what would be a very desirable track, only to provide a masked link to -- YOU GUESSED IT -- "Levels."
Perhaps Levelling is just another indicator that electronic dance music is mainstream. Ralph Lauren recently announced that Avicii will be the face of their fall 2012 denim campaign, which makes him the Megan Fox of EDM.
Even the pros are getting into the Levelling act! When Avicii himself tweeted that he had a big surprise for concertgoers attending this year's Ultra Music Festival, fellow DJ and producer Zedd immediately responded with "u playing 'Levels'?" Classic snark!
Of course, more people still know "Never Gonna Give You Up" than "Levels," so maybe you should bookmark this meme and bring it out in twenty years.
LISTEN: "Levels" And Other Avicii Tracks: