A lot can change in ten years. Looking back at 2010 is like looking into another universe. I was still in high school, Barack Obama was President of the United States, the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, social media wasn’t as prominent as it is now, and the biggest movie franchises of the time were Harry Potter and Twilight. In terms of the music scene, 2010 was a hot mess. The decadences of the club boom from the previous year was still lingering around like an odious fungus with more bad songs than good. This was also a year, along with the next two, where mainstream hip-hop had leaned heavily towards a pop sound, even the big names did it. As you go through the Year End chart of 2010, you will notice that the majority of these songs have aged badly. This will be the first of six revisions that I’m doing for the 2010s, so let’s get started with some dishonorable mentions.
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS I
During this time period, a lot of artists hopped on the club boom train and Enrique Iglesias was one of them thanks to I Like It, an overblown, sloppily-mixed concoction that contains a Lionel Richie interpolation and some of Enrique’s worst vocal performances to date. The song’s only saving grace is Pitbull himself, who sounds like he’s at least having fun. Also, this is FAR from the worst thing Enrique Iglesias has ever made. Just wait on the next list for that. As for this song? You could say that I don’t like it. Let’s move on.
This surprised me because it was originally on the main list itself, but it got pushed out. Bedrock is one of those songs that has been picked apart to death to the point where it’s nothing but skeleton by now. All of my criticisms of the song still hold as it’s nothing more than a bunch of leering jackoffs delivering terrible pick-up line after terrible pick-up line. Drake is the only one who comes out of this at least decent and even he’s not safe from the corniness. Nicki Minaj says she’s gonna “put this pussy on your sideburns,” which makes me picture her vagina being so huge that you can stick your entire face in it. Hell, the chorus contains the phrase, “Call me Mr. Flinstone, I can make your bed rock.” And who could ever forget when Gudda Gudda said, “And I got her, grocery bag?” Genius. Shakespearian genius. And you wonder why the Young Money collective isn’t as strong as it used to.
I never got a chance to talk about Mike Posner’s Cooler Than Me before, so this list gives me an opportunity to do so. I never liked this song at all and like a lot of bad songs, time has not been kind to it. Most of its issues come down to Mike Posner acting like an overbearing nuisance to this girl at the club he’s trying to spit game to. It reeks of drunk frat boy who should be thrown out immediately. To be fair to this song, the production isn’t terrible, at least compared to other dance songs of the time. That doesn’t mean that the song doesn’t suck anymore, though.
This isn’t David Guetta’s first charting song in the US, but it is one of his bigger hits here and one of the more obnoxious ones. Sexy Bitch is another example of Akon at his worst as while he’s comparing this one girl to the “neighborhood whore” and he doesn’t mean to be disrespectful when he calls her a “sexy bitch.” You know? There are certain things you just don’t say out loud because of how badly they reflect of you. Also, the production sounds like ass thanks to the bad mixing and overbearing synths. This could only be enjoyed when drunk or high, which most people listening to this song in the clubs are.
The early 2010s is when Ludacris just stopped giving a shit. He would often give out subpar verses and he put out the forgettable Battle Of The Sexes album, which contained How Low as its lead single. The main reason it’s on here is because of the chipmunk vocals in the chorus, which came from Bring The Noise by Public Enemy. It kills whatever crescendo this song was trying to build because it’s annoying as fuck. The rest of the production isn’t any better as the alien synths don’t mesh well with this club banger-type beat. The only reason this song isn’t on the list proper is because Ludacris can still bring in some clever wordplay and punchlines. Still, that doesn’t save this from being another mediocre strip club song. That explains why people rarely bring up this song when talking about Ludacris.
Now onto the list.
Even though ringtone rap was pretty much in its deathbed by this time, that doesn’t mean that rap dances have stopped altogether. Oh, no. They’re like a hydra; you cut off one head, two more grow in its place. Number 10 goes to one of those rap dance songs that, like most dance crazes, took the country by storm for a short period of time.
Cali Swag District are a group based out of Inglewood, California who got their 15 minutes of fame thanks to Teach Me How To Dougie. There isn’t really much to the song. The production has no melody, comprising of nothing but percussion and what sounds like a cowbell. Despite the title of the song, they do a really piss-poor job at teaching anyone how to dougie. All they have is this.
Put your arms out front, lean side to side
They gon' be on you when they see you hit that dougie right
Yep. That’s it, even though every video I’ve seen of people giving instructions on the dougie shows that there’s more moves involved. Speaking of verses, there’s nothing to the verses as all three men brag about how cool they are and all the women they get in the most nonchalant way possible. Like the majority of one-hit wonders, Cali Swag District could never recreate the success of this song with subsequent followups tanking and two of the members died in the years to come. Luck has turned a blind eye to these guys.
From that, we move on to number 9, which is a real clusterfuck.
This was the first song by any Asian American artists to hit number one on the Hot 100. Y’all deserve better. Anyways, Like A G6. The production is electro-pop garbage with the warbling synths and a beat that’s guaranteed to generate migraines. All of the vocals from the individual members of Far East Movement are subpar at best and coated with Auto-Tune. Hell, you can’t even tell who’s who since none of them have any distinct personalities. There’s no point in talking about the lyrics since it’s all about partying. The chorus samples a Dev song that was produced by the Cataracs, who also produced this song and others like it. I’d imagine this is what taking purple drank must feel like because it’s nothing but drowsiness, like all of your motor skills are just fucked beyond repair. Fitting for a messy after-party at the club, terrible everywhere else.
So we all know Usher is a great artist, right? He’s delivered some of the best R&B records since the 90s and is a legend in his own right. But even the legends have their slip-ups and oh, boy, can Usher slip up as evident by the number 8 song.
Usher, WHY?! Why did you agree to make this soulless goop of a song? OMG is Usher at his most “I don’t care” as he devolves into a child as he’s going “oh my gosh” and talks about how a girl got some boobies like wow, oh, wow. I wish I was joking. And this wasn’t even Usher’s fault as he didn’t write the song. No, the real culprit of this crap is will.i.am, who’s also the guest feature with a weak-ass verse and he gave this song a cold, lifeless beat with flaccid synths and crowd cheering that fails to inject any sort of energy. And don’t even get me started on the Auto-Tune that sucks the personality of one of R&B most charismatic stars. That is a fucking crime against the music world. It should not have been a number one hit.
Making this list, I’ve been getting high school flashbacks and not good ones, either. Number 7 is part of the reason why.
The New Boyz were a duo that were in the jerkin’ scene (no, that has nothing to do with masturbation) and blew up thanks to You’re A Jerk, which is another dance rap song that should be left forgotten. But they’ve made their presence known in the mainstream with Tie Me Down featuring Brandy’s little brother Ray J. The production is a great example of some of the worst pop rap that the early 2010s gave us thanks to the cheap synths and drums. Ray J delivers an underwhelming Auto-Tuned hook that could have been performed by anyone. And then there’s the non-charisma of the New Boyz themselves, who try to portray themselves as players who can’t be tied down to a relationship and neither of these two are believable in their indistinguishable Auto-Tuned sing-rap flows. There’s a reason why these two have been relatively forgotten through history because their shit has not stood out from the crowd and has aged badly.
From one headache to another, here’s the number 6 song on the list.
Man, the Black Eyed Peas always find a way to disappoint. The good faith they’ve garnered with I Gotta Feeling is pretty much thrown out the window thanks to Imma Be. The biggest flaw with this song is pretty obvious: IT IS REPETITIVE AS FUCK!! The phrase “Imma Be” is repeated ad-nauseum throughout the song like a dentist drill slowing burrowing into your brain before going into a sloppy beat switch-up that’s become a staple of the Peas during this time. In terms of lyrics, they’re a fucking joke.
I'mma be on the next level
I'mma be rocking over that bass treble
I'mma be chilling with my motherfuckin' crew
I'mma be making all them deals you wanna do (Ha)
Lookin' all fly and shit I'mma be the flyest chick (So fly) I'mma be spreading my wings I'mma be doing my thing (Do it, do it, okay)
I'mma be brilliant with my millions Loan out a billion, I get back a trillion I'mma be a brother, but my name ain't Lehman I'mma be ya bank, I'll be loaning out semen Honies in debt, baby bouncing them checks, but I don't really mind when they bouncing them checks
They got away with these lukewarm lines and shot all the way to number one with them. Jesus fucking Christ. Listening to this song is like getting stung by a million bees and even the bees would rather sting themselves than subject themselves to this nightmare. And now, here’s the obligatory scene from The Wicker Man. You know the one.
Before we continue, here are the final dishonorable mentions.
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS II
I plan to do a Target Practice on this song eventually, so I’ll be quick with this one. Tinny, groove-less production where Timbaland wasn’t even trying, lackluster performances from both Timbaland and Justin Timberlake that are coasting off of ego alone, and a whole bunch of terrible food puns that would make the animated Foodfight movie look like Looney Tunes. I’m just saying, most of these puns would have you banned from any restaurant within a 5-mile radius and for good reason.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jay Z on his off days. Young Forever is from The Blueprint 3 and it’s the worst single from that album. The production is blocky and limp, relying way too much on the sample of Forever Young by Alphaville, Mr. Hudson’s hook is weaksauce, and Jay Z is clearly just phoning it in with a stilted flow. Also, leave it to Jay Z to take a great anti-war song and flip it to be about himself. Some things last forever, youth is not one of them.
Trey Songz is one of those R&B singers who just exist. He’s not terrible as he is capable of making good songs, but he’s not great, either, and he’s capable of making some really bad songs like Bottoms Up, which is a braindead club song about drinking till your liver gives out over dated production that feature fake horns and bass-heavy percussion. Despite this being a club song, Trey Songz doesn’t sound like he’s having fun at all. Hell, the entire vibe of the song doesn’t feel like people having fun. Nicki Minaj shows up for a schizophrenic verse where she makes references to Anna Nicole Smith and Haiti, which was still recovering from a devastating earthquake. This song is just plain unpleasant and any amount of alcohol to wipe it out of memory isn’t good enough.
To be fair, the reason this song doesn’t work isn’t entirely Nicki Minaj’s fault. It leaked before it was even finished and Nicki and her team wound up releasing it as the official lead single for her debut album. Even with all of that, Your Love is a cheap love ballad with a beat that samples an Annie Lennox classic and Nicki’s Auto-Tuned hook where she says “you da illest” and she’ll “die hard like Bruce Willis.” The rest of the lyrics go really far into cheese territory and even raise some eyebrows like when she says she loves this dude like she raised him and not understanding that geisha and samurai were in Japan, not Thailand. This was at a time where I was rooting for Nicki Minaj and I wound up disappointed in her. This wouldn’t be the last time this would happen, though, as we go through the decade.
I had forgotten this song even existed and MAN, is it bad. Rock That Body was another example of the Black Eyed Peas testing people’s patience thanks to the ugly mechanical synths of the production and Fergie sounding like a goddamn chipmunk. All of the individual members of the Peas have verses, but none of them are that memorable or even good. Not even a sample of It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock could save this song from being insufferable noise.
Ten years ago, Justin Bieber was one of the most hated artists in the world, which is no different from now. Anyways, most of that hatred in 2010 was aimed at his hit song Baby, which is what I believe is the 2010s We Built This City in that while it’s not good, it’s WAY too overhated. Seriously, the Biebs has made worse songs in that time period like a collaboration with another young star, which is number 5 on this list.
I’m still flabbergasted that someone willingly released a song with this title in it and expect people to take it seriously. Eenie Meenie. I mean, that title alone is enough to put it this high on the list. The production is a sugarcoated Kidz Bop version of Sean Kingston’s Fire Burning and sounds incredibly flat. Bieber and Sean Kingston are both ogling a girl who can’t choose between the two and I’d rather she leaves those two behind because of how little charisma and chemistry they have. Hell, the fact that she’s doing Eenie Meenie Miny Moe contradicts the indecisiveness. Also, that rap bridge is ten levels of lame and further shows why basing a song off of Eenie Meenie Miny Moe is a bad idea in the first place if the chorus didn’t convince you enough. I feel like even Sean Kingston and Bieber are embarrassed by this song because they haven’t performed it in a long time. Chances are they probably never will, which can only be a good thing.
Number 4 goes to a song that should be one of the first examples of the textbook definition of vanilla.
Well, here’s some supermarket background music for ya. Leave it to Train to make the most whitebread piece of garbage in the form of Hey, Soul Sister, an ironic title since there is no soul in this song whatsoever and it doesn’t hold a candle to Lady Marmalade. “Which version, Labelle or Moulin Rouge?” Both. When your song features limp-dick ukuleles and Pat Monahan singing like he got bludgeoned in the testicles with a steel sledgehammer, you’re not generating any kind of soul. But the worst thing about this song is the writing. Pat Monahan said he wanted to write a song like INXS and this is what he gave us outside of a bunch of 80s references.
Your lipstick stains
On the front lobe of my left side brains
Your sweet moonbeam
The smell of you
In every single dream I dream
A game show love connection
We can't deny
My heart is bound to beat right out
My untrimmed chest
And who could forget THIS lovely, meme-worthy gem?
So gangster, I'm so thug
Dude, how does anyone take any of this shit seriously? It’d be one thing if this was a joke, but no. Train is being sincere with this song and the fact that it became as successful as it did is damning.
2010 was when Kesha blew up. She had the number one song of the year with Tik Tok and gained even more hits through the year. I’m no fan of her early work as I view it as just more of that sloppy, trashy party shit that’s dominated the year, but I can see why people would like a song or two. Still, there are certain things that are not worth defending and I would love to see anyone defend my number 3 pick.
When I first did this list, Blah Blah Blah topped it originally. I viewed it as one of the worst additions to the club boom, which it still is. The grating, incoherent synths, the clap that’s WAY too loud, and the egregious amount of Auto-Tune that’s slapped all over Kesha’s vocals make for a headache-inducing listen. The content of the song is Kesha basically going, “shut up and fuck me,” and I get that it’s trying to flip the objectification on its head where it’s the guys being viewed as sex objects as opposed to the women, but it’s all delivered in a sloppy way that’s just hard to get into. And then there’s 3OH!3, who showcase their asshole tendencies like the petulant gnats that they are and make you question why they were a thing in the first place. This shit is plain annoying and I’m glad Kesha has moved on from this era.
Oh, but we’re not done with Kesha and 3OH!3 just yet. Here they are at number 2.
If there ever was a song that made me wanna throw up, it was My First Kiss. First off, the production is garbage, consisting of a bunch of claps and thin synths and guitars. Whatever groove it’s trying to create has no punch to it. For a song with that title, this feels less like someone talking about their first kiss and more like a bunch of fratboy douchebags projecting a ton of obnoxious bravado and horniness where they obviously wanna fuck. Even though Kesha is featured on this song, she’s completely wasted here (not that kind of wasted, the other kind) as she’s basically provides glorified background vocals and no verses. Thankfully, in the 2010s, America realized how one-note 3OH!3 were as artists and kicked them out of the curb while Kesha is still around making better music. At least some form of justice exists in the world.
My number one pick goes to an artist who should have been given the boot right after a huge scandal that they were involved in the previous year. But because the industry is full of shit-eating enablers and spineless yes-men, this motherfucker is still around making awful music and being the ass-cyst that he is. Let’s jump right into it.
Having Chris Brown stick around and stay relevant was one of the worst decisions we as a society have ever made. The man has yet to show us that he’s grown as a person ever since the Rihanna incident and has continued to be awful. This brings us to Deuces, which is what I can describe as continuous misery, accented by the production with the bleak keys and blocky percussion that sounds like constipation. Nothing good is coming out of this one, so you’d better turn back while you can. Anyways, this is a break-up song where Chris Brown, Tyga, and Kevin McCall are basically dissing their exes and all three are unlikable shit stains who deserve no sympathy from anyone. A lot of projection is going on here as they try to frame the ex as the shitty one. It’s very telling that Chris Brown would make a song like this a year after beating Rihanna to a pulp. Very telling indeed. Tyga brings in the same presence as a rotting carcass and Kevin McCall might actually have the worst verse as he makes a tasteless Ike and Tina Turner reference and says, “I’m a dick, so it shouldn’t be hard to swallow.” Charming. Songs like this are part of the reason why R&B was in such a pathetic state in the 2010s because no soul, charm, sincerity, or even talent is put into these songs as they’ve adopted the misogyny and ego of the worst sides of hip-hop. Plus, it enabled Chris Brown and Tyga to stick around and infest the charts like the diseased vermin that they are. Expect to see more of those two in future worst lists. And that is why Deuces is the worst hit song of 2010.
And those were the worst songs of 2010. In two weeks, I’ll be doing the Worst Songs of 2011.
SONG OF THE WEEK
Heal My Desires-Emotional Oranges