A Brief History of Rickrolling

Matt Beat of The Beat Goes On, who provides abbreviated but detailed histories of legendary rock bands, turned his sights to Rickrolling. This infamous internet meme uses the now-iconic Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up” to trick people into listening to the song and how its reappearance has made the artist famous again and again.

This is the story of the best internet meme in the world, Rickrolling. Rickrolling is a bait and switch prank, almost always using a disguised hyperlink that leads to the music video for Rick Astley’s hit song, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Astley spoke with Vice about the meme.

Nearly everyone has been RickRoll’d. But few know the real story of the artist behind the 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” nor do they know about the mysterious origins of the viral RickRoll video meme that exploded in the mid-2000s.

Astley also spoke with The Roots about the same subject.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.