Memes about Nickelback’s 2005 hit “Photograph” have existed since at least 2007, when a YTMND user inserted a photo of a man in blackface into the picture frame being held by singer Chad Kroeger in the song’s music video, according to the internet archive ofKnow Your Meme. But as the internet lost its shit over last week, the meme has found its way into American politics via an actual, honest-to-godtweet by the President of the United States, who posted a version of the “Photograph” videothat was edited to includean image of Hunter and Joe Biden with businessman Devon Archer. The video wasquickly removedafter Twitter received a takedown notice from the copyright owner, Warner Music Group.
All of that drama has thrown Nickelback, a band mostly remembered nowfor their role in meme culture, back into the spotlight. The Canadian band’s search interest has been higher this past week than any other point this year,according to Google Trends, and that seems to be translating into streams and downloads.Per Billboard, streams and digital download sales of “Photograph” jumped by 38 percent and 569 percent respectively on October 2 and 3, the day of and immediately following the Trump meme tweet.
As Billboard pointedly noted, despite the 569 percent rise, the song picked up a total of only 1,000 downloads for the week, but “Photograph” has lived many lives. Long, long ago, in a world before a President who posts memes, the song wasn’t always a laughing matter; it was once a solid hit, having, at one point,hit number two on the Billboard chartsand earning the position of number 38in Billboard’s Hot 100for 2006.
President Trump’s tweet surely doesn’t help the song’s image as straight-up meme fodder, but alas, after over a decade of memes, maybe the song’s ability to be enjoyed seriously is just too far gone. We’ll pour out a nice, cold Canadian Molson in its honor.