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Weezer Gives In, Covers 'Africa'

14-year-old dedicated Twitter account to getting rock band to cover Toto hit
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2018 12:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – For months, a 14-year-old girl has had one goal: Get Weezer to cover "Africa" by Toto. On Tuesday, that goal was achieved when the rock band released its cover of the 1980s hit, which has lately experienced a resurgence of popularity (last year, Vice called it "the internet's favorite song"). Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson called the move a "victory over culture" in a statement, the AP reports. "The Weez inhabits the boundaries between multiple dimensions," he continued. Noisey interviewed the teen, giving her name only as Mary, back in December when she first started her Twitter account, @weezerafrica. She couldn't quite put her finger on her motivations, noting that the whole thing started as a "goofy joke." But for months now, she has been tweeting exclusively about her campaign to get a Weezer cover of "Africa," even getting a laugh from Wilson himself along the way—and counting Toto's David Paich among her supporters.

"Looks like @Weezer finally blessed the rains..." she tweeted Tuesday along with the band's long-awaited cover of the song. (Which came just days after Weezer "trolled" the campaign, as Consequence of Sound put it, by releasing a cover of another Toto hit, "Rosanna.") Many were pleased with the "Africa" cover, with GQ calling it "pretty dang good" and Nerdist going with "pretty damn fun." But Ann Powers was not impressed, writing at NPR that the whole thing takes us "deep into the internet's heart of beigeness." Both Weezer and "Africa" are inocuous, neutral; there's also nothing new or exciting about Weezer's version of the song. Indeed, she writes, there's nothing at all about this whole undertaking that merits it being treated as a big deal, and yet that's exactly how it's being treated. "A band many people feel kind of weird about covered a song many people feel kind of weird about, pretty much note for note, and it's a major internet event. People like me are even writing think pieces about it." (Read more Weezer stories.)

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