I’m a bit late for this, but let’s start looking back on 2015 in pop culture. For starters, it was WAY better than last year. Lots of great movies, music, and other pop culture moments. My shortlist for best song of the year was substantially longer than my worst, which is a good sign. But of course, there were a few sour notes, and here are the ten greatest offenders. All these songs appear on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100. A few of them near the top.
No Type – Rae Sremmurd
I’m consistently surprised by the staying power of Rae Sremmurd, and with their album making more than a few “best of” lists, I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon. They’re annoying and not particularly talented. In this song, they say they have no type, only to immediately give a specific type of woman they not only prefer, but outright demand (i.e. bad bitches). So yeah. They’re liars, too.
Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor
I don’t care for either of these artists, but I’ll admit that this is a pretty cute song. There’s just… one thing. A moment that will go down in history as one of the worst lyrics in Top 40 history: “Let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on”. I’d be somewhat understanding if it were a throwaway line near the end, but it’s literally the first line and focal point of the entire song. What if, thirty years from now, someone made a song called “Let’s Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor and Marvin Gaye and get it on”? Then what?
Alright, now on to the list.
10. SOMEBODY – Natalie La Rose feat. Jeremih
The age of the DJ Mustard beat faded to oblivion just as quickly as it arrived, and now all we’re left with is a few grim reminders. Case in point: “Somebody”, the first and only hit from interchangeable R&B songstress Natalie La Rose. She and professional R. Kelly impersonator Jeremih come together for a song about partying or, more precisely, wanting to “rock with somebody”. Blatant, unapologetic Whitney Houston “inspiration” aside, the song is outright boring. La Rose takes what little time she has (on her own song) to talk about how she “be in the party in the club like ‘whuuuuut'”. Jeremih’s parts aren’t much better, but he’s been around long enough to justify not trying.
9. FIGHT SONG – Rachel Platten
Every couple of years, the media comes up with someone gunning for the position of “next Kelly Clarkson”. Some of them work out (Demi Lovato, Adele), while others do not (Natasha Bedingfield, Katharine McPhee, Shontelle). One of this year’s biggest attempts was by Rachel Platten, who dominated the charts with an emotional strong-independent-woman ballad about taking control of her own life. This is her song! One problem, though. Kelly Clarkson herself also released a new hit song earlier this year, “Heartbeat Song”, and it just happens to be pretty much exactly the same. I wound up giving Clarkson the advantage here since her song is marginally more enjoyable, but both songs are the same vapid “I’m feeling better than ever for some reason” ballad that Clarkson and many others have been making for a decade. Remember “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”? Basically that, but less catchy and more fake deep.
8. GOOD FOR YOU – Selena Gomez feat. A$AP Rocky
A solid A$AP Rocky verse keeps this song out of the top four. I’ve never been a fan of Selena Gomez. Ever since she started making this string of fuck-you-Disney “sexy” songs, I’ve just found her wholly unremarkable. But “Good For You” is the worst one yet. It tries so hard to sound sexual, but she isn’t even saying anything sexual.
7. LAY ME DOWN – Sam Smith
In fairness, I could really have put any of the three or four Sam Smith songs in this spot, but that’s the problem. They’re exactly the same. I didn’t even remember this song before I started working on this article, and I’m still not sure if I do. That’s why I chose this song. Not only is it bad, not only is it indistinguishable, but it’s not even memorable. It’s just the same droning “I miss you” dirge that Smith won WAY too many Grammys last year.
6. SEE YOU AGAIN – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
I think I’m more forgiving than the average pop music critic, but Wiz Khalifa is a really shitty rapper. He often fails at the simple art of structure and basic rhyme scheme. Also, he might be a dumbass??? Like, on this Paul Walker tribute song, Charlie Puth speaks in no uncertain terms about death. It’s actually kind of noteworthy that Puth does such a good job expressing mourning. But Wiz seems like he’s talking about… actually losing a friend? Like, look at this:
I know we loved to hit the road and laugh
But something told me that it wouldn’t last
Had to switch up, look at things different, see the bigger picture
That really sounds like it’s about two friends going their separate ways. Sure, he said “I’ll see you in a better place,” but he also says “Remember me when I’m gone.” Weird, right?
Also, the song is super lame.
5. HOUSE PARTY – Sam Hunt
For those of you lucky enough to not be acquainted with him, this is country’s Fuckboy of the Week, Sam Hunt, and this drivel is his big hit. The song is apparently about a late night booty call from a girl. We don’t know their relationship or anything, she’s just a girl. He goes into a solid amount of detail about the event itself, but the lack of context makes it hard to find sentiment in. It doesn’t help that half the time he sounds like a 19th century southern grandpappy.
It don’t take but two to have a little soirée
He also, bizarrely enough, continually taunts this apparent love interest by calling her a “homebody”. I didn’t know anyone still used that word, but maybe I’m out of touch.
4. AYO – Chris Brown and Tyga
Collaborative albums are tricky business. If the two artists aren’t in sync musically, the project can turn into a cluttered mess (Drake/Future, B.o.B/Zaytoven). But Chris Brown and Tyga didn’t experience such a problem when it came to their joint album, seeing as they’re both insufferable jars of dicks. Case in point, “Ayo”, a song in which neither artist exerts an iota of effort.
3. STITCHES – Shawn Mendes
Despite his five million Twitter followers, I’ve yet to observe that anyone cares about Shawn Mendes. The music industry’s latest in a long line of Bieber clones suddenly and unceremoniously climbed the charts with “Stitches”, an insincere and pointless “I want you back” song. It’s a wholly unremarkable song littered with cliches and with no significant shifts up until the “Needle in the thread, gonna wind up dead” bridge, which serves to create the illusion of a deeper metaphorical meaning to the “stitches”, which don’t actually signify anything.
2. DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND – Meghan Trainor
While Meghan Trainor’s previous hits were innocuous, Target-commercial-ready throwback jams with the occasional dip into antiquated 1954 gender roles, they’re front and center in “Dear Future Husband”, which, as you may have reasoned, is an open letter to her future husband as well as an inspirational message to girls everywhere that they’re definitely going to have a husband, but don’t worry, because no matter how much you hate each other, he’ll treat you right as long as you buy groceries and suck his dick (the line says “kisses”, but it’s clearly a euphemism in context). This is your progressive, body-positive role model, everyone. The song sounds like it was written by Ralph Kramden, not a Grammy-winning pop starlet in 2015. The same year same sex marriage became legal nationwide, a mainstream pop song contained the line “I’ll be the perfect wife, buying groceries.” Meghan Trainor, people.
1. WATCH ME (WHIP/NAE NAE) – Silento
Why did we allow this to happen? Why did so many of us look at this song and decide that it was okay? Some people have compared this song to “Crank That Soulja Boy”, but I think there’s a key difference. Even if Soulja Boy didn’t produce the song (Did he? I don’t know.), he still put some amount of effort into it. He came up with his own dance and made a unique song about it. What Silento did was take some dances he found on the internet, including some lifted directly from “Crank That”, and invited you to watch him do them. Don’t do them yourself or anything… just watch. I’m sure you all heard the song, since it was inexplicably ubiquitous this summer, but that’s literally all there is. How does someone take such a nothing premise and make it so annoying? Silento’s grating voice turns this nuisance into an outright travesty, and we made it 4x platinum.
Those are my picks for the absolute worst hit songs of 2015. My year-end lists are taking a while because I have to write them on my phone, but worry not. They’ll be here. While you wait, like this post if you like it, comment with any other songs that got on your nerves, follow this blog or my Twitter @thememe_supreme for more of my ravings, and have a happy new year.