This is the perfect time for me to explain why I think the mid-to-late 2000s was one of the dark years for pop music. In the time from 2005 all the way to 2010, not only was the crap REALLY bad, but it outnumbered the amount of good songs that were released at the time. Don’t get me wrong; there were still high-quality records just like in any year, but this isn’t a post about good songs, now is it? Anyways, 2006. This was the year of mediocre club music and ringtone rap. There was so many bad songs that I had to fight the temptation to expand the post into a Top 20 list. In the end, I stuck with 10 because of tradition and even if I did expand the list, there’d still be some cuts that I had to make. Let’s hold our noses and dumpster dive into the worst popular music from 2006.
I honestly didn’t want to put this song on the list, but my God, is it underwhelming as hell. After the Hindenburg disaster that was Encore, Eminem took a well-deserved hiatus for the rest of the decade. He released a greatest hits compilation called Curtain Call the previous year, which contained a few unreleased songs, including Shake That featuring the late Nate Dogg. What we have here is a boring ass strip club song from two artists wasting their talents. The production is a really piss-poor nonpresence to the song. Nate Dogg takes up most of the song and he’s is not at his best. Eminem sounds really uncomfortable here; his great and witty lyricism is pretty much absent here and was replaced by lyrics you would see in a lot of strip club songs. His verses come off more as a strip club rapper trying their damnest at an Eminem impersonation than Eminem himself. Eminem just doesn’t work on strip clubs, he’ll always sound out of place. Case in point, this and his appearance on Akon’s Smack That, which was also bad. Maybe sitting out the rest of the decade was a good choice for Marshall.
By 2006, Justin Timberlake was at the top of the world and he was no longer that ramen noodle hair guy from NSYNC. He was a now a certified superstar with some of the greatest pop songs of the decade; SexyBack is not one of those songs. It has not held up well a decade later, mostly thanks to the production. It’s like Timbaland was trying to be more experimental with this production, but what we end up with is a cluttered mess of synths, buzzing, and paper-thin percussion. Not helping is Justin Timberlake singing through a distortion filter that makes his voice sound like a broken guitar. These vocals just don’t mix well with the production. There’s nothing wrong with the content of the song; if JT wants to show off his BDSM fetish, then let him. It’s just that the writing is pretty tame for a song with this subject matter, kinda like Fifty Shades Of Grey but without some of the laughably bad dialogue from the book A.K.A. the movie. JT, you’re capable of doing much better than this.
During this dark period, the worst of mainstream rap has shone and the airwaves have been assaulted by nonstop terrible songs that pretty much makes the genre look bad (or worse). One of those songs is Chain Hang Low by Jibbs, which is a perfect representation of its time. The production is really cheap like it was made with FL Studio preset loops. The beat, alongside the chorus, samples Do Your Ears Hang Low. How creatively bankrupt do you have to be to sample a nursery rhyme sung by little children? Anyways, Chain Hang Low is about Jibbs’ chain… and how low it hangs. Seriously. This sounds like a parody written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone when they want to make fun of rap music. Unfortunately, it’s played up serious and it becomes a cliche in itself. To paraphrase Rap Critic, I’m sure the people who snatch chains for a living appreciate the fact that your chain is really long, making it easier to snatch off. You wanna know the name of this guy’s album? Jibbs Featuring Jibbs. I wish I was making this up. This is ego masturbation at its most shameless. You thought this was bad? Well… it is, but it’s about to get worse.
If you’re having a bad day, here’s a song that’ll make you want to slit your wrists even deeper. Bad Day by Daniel Powter, the number one song of 2006 according to Billboard. It’s appropriate that a song called Bad Day would be depressing as hell and one might say that’s the point. This wouldn’t be a problem if the song didn’t suck so much. The piano-driven instrumentation is dull and hard to sit through. Daniel Powter isn’t a bad singer. A bit bland, but I’ve heard worse. And then there’s the lyrics, which are vague and nonspecific. They paint a broad picture of what a typical bad day is, but there is no connection you can make to the lines. It’s one of the more calculated songs to become a hit; sell the idea of a deep meaning in the song to draw in the hipsters, but don’t go too deep to the point where radio listeners are scared off. That, plus the ridiculous overplay, made me despise this song even more. Fuck this song with a hot iron.
Wow. This is something else. As someone who has never been to a strip club (and never will), I’ve heard WAY too many songs made for strip clubs. But Ms. New Booty by Bubba Sparxxx? This is a special level of bad. The production is the worst, courtesy of Mr. Colipark. From high-pitched synths to fake percussion to police sirens that won’t shut the fuck up to that awful cymbal-kick sound effect from Play, nothing in this beat works at all. It’s the textbook definition of incompetence. I don’t expect intelligence to come from crunk rappers, but my God, I couldn’t stand the Ying Yang Twins here, both on the chorus and with their verse where half-way through, they rehash Wait (The Whisper Song) because I want to be constantly reminded about that piece of shit existing. Bubba Sparxxx isn’t any better in his verses, which is sad because I listened to some of his other songs and while he wasn’t great, he wasn’t that bad. It’s a shame that his biggest hit is a run-of-the-mill strip club song with terrible production.
There’s no shortage of talentless hacks in hip-hop gaining undeserved popularity and one that comes to my mind instantly is Yung Joc. From 2006 to 2008, the dude was collecting hits both on features and on his own. His biggest hit was It’s Going Down, which was more mediocre than bad, which is why I chose I Know You See It for this list instead. Just like It’s Going Down, I Know You See It is anchored by synth-driven production that was becoming pretty common in mainstream hip-hop, especially in the South, and honestly, it hasn’t aged well. The beat is weak as all hell and the same could be said about the rapping and lyrics. This is yet another brag rap song with a douchebag rapper talking down on the audience in a condescending tone about what he has. I get that hip-hop has this competitive spirit about being number one, but you have to back it up with good lyricism, flow, punchlines, something that backs you up, which Yung Joc doesn’t have. His flow is clumsy, he unnecessarily repeats words, and his lines are just rap cliches over rap cliches, plus, some really bad lines like…
She chewing on the dick like a piece of bubble yum
Who thought this was a good idea? Why would you chew on someone’s genitals? I… need to take a bath in bleach after hearing this. *shudders*
Who remembers this little number? You’re Beautiful is one of those songs that many people hate with every fiber in their body, including the guy behind the song, James Blunt. You won’t find any arguments with me, this song is insufferable. The instrumentation is adult contemporary shlock and it has as much life in it as someone who got punched by Saitama. It’s so goddamn boring that it’ll put even a hyperactive person who ate an entire bag of sugar to sleep. Even then, you’ll be awakened by Blunt’s voice, which sounds like a goat having sex with a cat. It’s so bad and it’s matched by the writing. Look, the sentiment behind it is nice and all, but when all you’re doing is complimenting this woman about how beautiful she is and nothing else, then it’s meaningless. Spouting empty gestures about beauty isn’t going to mean a thing, especially when you established that you both weren’t going to be together. Man, this song sucks so hard.
With all that I’ve said about bad rap and pop, rock music in 2006 was pretty good for the most parts. Still, there was some blemishes here and there like Hinder’s Lips Of An Angel. The instrumentation is ugly and sloppy. It sounds like a rejected Nickelback song on steroids. And of course, the bad instrumentation coexists with a bad singer and bad writing. The lead singer sounds like he either used to smoke two packs a day or he’s recovering from a really bad cold. And then there’s the lyrics and how horrific they are. Basically, it’s a dude receiving a late-night phone call from his ex-girlfriend and they both want to get back together because they miss each other. That sounds sweet until you realize that they’re both in different relationships right now. Yep. These two are willing to cheat on their respective spouses, breaking their hearts, in order to rekindle an old flame. What. The. Hell? And there are people out there who think this song is romantic and have played it at their weddings. No wonder 55% of all marriages end in divorce.
Oh, God. This song. Out of all of the songs in history to hit number one on the Hot 100, D4L’s only hit, Laffy Taffy, is one that makes me go, “really? THIS piece of shit?” What good qualities is there in this song? Answer: none. The beat is awful, it’s the same 4-note, farting synth loop along with 808 snaps and percussion that repeats throughout the song. This sounds close to something DJ Condiments would’ve made early on in his career. The rappers of D4L couldn’t rap a Christmas present, especially the first guy who sounds like he’s crying because someone set his entire collection of Jordans on fire. It’s really repetitive, especially in the chorus that goes “shake that Laffy Taffy.” Let me remind you that Laffy Taffy candy looks like this.
It looks less like butt cheeks and more like… vagina lips. So this chorus is saying, “shake your vagina lips?” I don’t even want to know how that works. Outside of the chorus, we get more euphemisms for sex using candy puns and most of them are either nonsensical or are severely unflattering.
Girls call me Jolly Rancher (Oh)
’cause I stay so hard
You can suck me for a long time
(Oh my god!)
I know other people have said this before, but it bears repeating: Jolly Ranchers are an inch long and they shrink after repeated sucking, so in more ways than one, you’re saying you have a small penis and you’re a one-pump chump, meaning this is a lyrical backfire of epic proportions. Ignoring the terrible candy puns, this song is just like Play and Wait (The Whisper Song), an hip-hop sex song that’s just plain disgusting. And it came so close to being number one on this list.
Before we get to number one, here are some dishonorable mentions.
- Beyonce ft Slim Thug-Check On It
- Pussycat Dolls ft Snoop Dogg-Buttons
- Dem Franchise Boyz-Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It/I Think They Like Me
- Rascal Flatts-What Hurts The Most
- T-Pain ft Mike Jones-I’m In Love With A Stripper
- Nickelback-Savin’ Me/Far Away
- Nick Lachey-What’s Left Of Me
- E40 ft T-Pain & Kandi Girl-U And That
- Juelz Santana-There It Goes (The Whisper Song)
- Young Dro ft T.I.-Shoulder Lean
- Chingy ft Tyrese-Pullin’ Me Back
- Ray J-One Wish
- Daddy Yankee-Rompe
- Teddy Geiger-For You I Will
Usually, I would do a build-up to the number one song with a drum roll, but I think it’s appropriate for this selection to have a different build-up. So…
The worst song of 2006 IS………………..
Yes, yes. I know. I know what you’re thinking and you’re not wrong. This is pretty much an obvious choice and I know I’m not the only one who thought this was the worst that 2006 has to offer. Well, here it is, ladies and gentlemen: London Bridge by the Dutchess herself, Fergie. What is there to say about one of my old Target Practice victims? It’s an atrocity unlike any other. The production, courtesy of Polow Da Don, is a goddamn nightmare to sit through. All of the horns, percussion, and various sound effects are off-key and off-rhythm, creating a feeling of unsettlement. It’s pure, unadulterated chaos with a hook based off of a nursery rhyme. First, Jibbs, now this? I wasn’t paying attention to music trends back then, but did I miss a point where artists were inspired by nursery rhymes to make songs? Whatever. Performance-wise, Fergie is at her worst in this song as she provides more luxury rap BS, bragging about how hot she is because she’s never done that before in her other songs. And through the whole thing, she comes off as an unlikable bitch. This entire song is like a horrific trainwreck in slow motion with all of the blood and body pieces flying all over the place with the debris. No, I take that back. That scenario that I just described would be a more captivating, less irritating, and less cringeworthy experience than this fucking piece of shit song. Congratulations to London Bridge for being the worst song of 2006.
So those were the worst songs of 2006. BACK TO THE 2000s will continue in January with the Worst Songs of 2007. Coming next month are two lists that you have all been anticipating for like a Marvel Studios movie: the Worst Songs of 2016 and the Best Songs of 2016. You don’t want to miss out on it.
SONGS OF THE WEEK
False Alarm-The Weeknd
Pump It Up-Joe Budden
On The Road Again-Willie Nelson