After how good the last three years were, it’s kinda disappointing to see that 2014 wounded up being an average year overall. Most of the trends from 2013 continued on here with more EDM, retro tracks, indie songs, bro country, etc. As for hip-hop? Funny enough, even though 2014 was pretty bad for mainstream hip-hop, underground hip-hop was really damn strong. I’d argue that Run The Jewels 2 is the best album of 2014 (seriously, if you want some hard-hitting beats and rhymes, listen to Run The Jewels and thank me later). We also saw more songs see charting success thanks to Vine videos and they weren’t all good. As you can see, it’s kinda hard to talk about 2014 because compared to the rest of the 2010s, it doesn’t stand out as much in hindsight. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still good songs and bad songs that came out and we’re gonna talk about the latter with this list. So let’s get started with some dishonorable mentions.
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS I
It’s amazing how we as a collective have agreed on Meghan Trainor being a mistake. I freely admit that I didn’t initially catch on to it with her first hit All About That Bass, which I thought was an admirable attempt at body positivity with a 50’s doo-wop throwback. But time passed by and I listened more to it, I realized how much of a failure it was on a concept level. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make an empowering anthem for plus-sized girls on paper, but All About That Bass trips over itself by gloating how better big girls are than the “skinny bitches” because, as Meghan’s mom said, “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” What I’m trying to say is that if you have to tear someone else down in order to empower yourself or a group, you’re doing a poor job at it. And it’s made worse by Meghan trying to hide her unlikability in a cutesy attitude. There’s also the cringey white girl rapping that taints this. BTW, get used to seeing more white girl rapping on this list. This is far from the worst thing that Meghan Trainor would release. Oh, no. That would come later. Still, this song is a pretty bad first impression.
The moment I first heard Shake It Off, it was an instant “nope” for me because it was Taylor Swift once again diving head-first into obnoxious territory. Shake It Off is a kiss off to the haters, which is already a bad sign since these type of songs are contradictory in nature. If you constantly say you don’t care what the haters think, you obviously care what they think. That applies to the rappers, that applies here as well as Taylor Swift sounds like the insecure head cheerleader. And speaking of cheerleaders, there’s that awful Mickey-esque bridge that contains more white girl rapping where Taylor Swift unironically talks about “hella good hair” and “this sick beat.” Oh, yeah. There’s nothing sicker than corny exercise tutorial music. Get this conceited caramel pumpkin spice latte shit out of here.
Iggy Azalea had an interesting rise-and-fall out of any artist in the 2010s. For one whole year, she was the talk of the town and then she fell into obscurity afterwards. I guess people caught onto the fact that this white Australian woman is rapping like she’s black and from Atlanta. I still despise Fancy to this day, but it was at least memorable. Black Widow, on the other hand, has nothing going for it. The beat is limp and cold, attempting to go for bombast, but not having enough power to stick the landing. It’s like a lesser version of the Katy Perry hit Dark Horse (which funny enough, it was originally meant to be a Katy Perry song, who co-wrote it). Black Widow attempts to frame a dangerous love dynamic, but it doesn’t work thanks to the lifeless music and the cliched lyrics delivered by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora, who exists as a blander version of Rihanna, which makes England’s attempts at making her a thing in the US more hilarious. Yeah, this spider doesn’t have much venom to it. There’s a reason no one remembers it.
Here’s a name you should get familiar with going into the list: DJ Mustard. He’s become a more prominent producer in 2014 with six songs making the Year End list and I’ll be talking about more of them on this list, starting with YG’s My Nigga (or My Hitta for the edited version). It’s a good representation of rap at its laziest thanks to a barebones beat and some horrendous writing where YG, Rich Homie Quan, and Jeezy rap about their ride-or-die homies while rhyming nigga with itself several times and interpolating a C-Murder song and a Lil Wayne song. Jeezy is the best part of this song and even he can’t save it from rising above mediocrity. Be prepared to see more shitty DJ Mustard-produced songs.
I mean, the reason for this song being here should be obvious, but Trumpets has other flaws going against it. The music sounds like something chewed up and spat out by Radio Disney with some of the fakest horns you could have ever gotten. There’s also Jason Derulo’s nails-to-the-chalkboard falsetto. But that’s nothing compared to why this song really sucks. It’s the writing. Jason Derulo is so in love with this girl that music starts playing in his head and it’s the most cornball thing ever on the charts in 2014. And he gave us these gems.
Is it weird that your ass
Remind me of a Kanye West song?
Is it weird that your bra
Remind me of a Katy Perry song?
Is it weird that your ass reminds me of a Kanye West song? Is it weird that your bra reminds me of a Katy Perry song? I can maybe see the logic behind the Katy Perry line, but Kanye West? Last time I remember, Kanye isn’t known for making ass anthems. Also, I’m pretty sure no woman wants her rack to be compared to another woman’s rack. I’m just saying that if you come to her with that, you blew your chances of getting some action. Speaking of blowing, this song blows like an amateur trumpet player.
Now onto the list.
Number 10 goes to a song that attempts to recapture a time where a guy would traditionally go up to the father of his bride-to-be and ask for her hand in marriage. It definitely stands out in a time of more open sexuality, but as you’ll see, standing out isn’t always a good thing.
It took a while for me to realize how awful Rude by MAGIC! was, but yeah, it’s pretty bad. Musically, it’s that watered-down, white-washed reggae sound that emulates the worst songs from UB-40 along with a weaksauce guitar solo. Nasri Atweh has no presence as a frontman and his delivery makes the writing even worse. Speaking of, the writing is the biggest reason why this song is insufferable. Like I mentioned, the dude is asking for his girl’s hand in marriage, which I think is unnecessary in this day and age, but I digress. The father rejects his request and he throws a temper tantrum in the chorus, saying, “why you gotta be so rude” and proclaiming that he’ll marry this girl anyway. The father wasn’t even that rude, all he said was “no,” which isn’t surprising since fathers are generally overprotective of their daughters. You wanna know something even worse? He keeps going back to this father and still gets rejected. Dude, take a hint. He doesn’t think you’re good enough for his daughter and I don’t blame him. If he was trying to get with my daughter, I would have kicked his ass to the curb and file a restraining order against him. Hell, we don’t even know anything about the girl and how she feels. Thankfully, this was MAGIC!’s only hit in the U.S., though they’re still successful in their home country of Canada. Good. Were better off without them.
Katy Perry was never going to recreate the peaks she had in her Teenage Dream era, though she was still scoring hits and one of those hits is the number 9 song on the list. And it’s one of the biggest misfires ever in Katy Perry’s career, which is saying a lot considering her other misfires.
Sweet buttery Jesus, this song is a clusterfuck of bad ideas and sounds. And this was the second biggest hit of the entire year. Dark Horse doesn’t work in every fundamental way you can think of. First, the production. It seems to be going for an eerie sound thanks to the pitch-shifted vocals and a laden trap beat and it winds up being dull and unfitting for someone like Katy Perry, who is completely phoning in her performance. She attempts to portray herself as a malevolent figure who destroys any man who falls in love with her and I’m not buying it for one second. Also, a dark horse usually refers to an underdog, which is the last description anyone would make of Katy Perry, who has 9 number one singles. Then there’s Juicy J, the latest rapper to deliver mediocre rap verses to mediocre pop songs at the time, who gave one of his laziest verses to date where he botches a Sleeping Beauty metaphor where he’s the one who puts the princess in a coma, which is what the villain of that story does. Does no one ever do any fact-checking while writing lyrics? This isn’t even the worst thing Katy Perry released that year. She also released This Is How We Do, which if it had made the Year End list, not only would it take Dark Horse’s spot, it would be in the Top 5. That doesn’t mean that Dark Horse isn’t a terrible song, though.
The number 8 song reminds me of something. I just can’t figure out what that something is.
I’m surprised that this song wounded up lower than it did because it’s a failure from the moment it started. Show Me is produced by DJ Mustard, who delivers an oily synth melody that samples the riff from Show Me Love by Robin S and added snaps and gang vocals on top of it. You know, the usual DJ Mustard formula. We also have Chris Brown, who gave this song one of the worst choruses I’ve ever heard in the 2010s. He’s at a club hitting on a girl and he says that she reminds him of something, he just doesn’t know what it is and he wants her to show him. Bruh, he really tried to convince this girl to have sex with him by being forgetful. What rational-thinking woman would hear this obviously sleazy cornball pickup line and say “yes” to it, even if the motherfucker delivering said pickup line is worth millions? It’d be one thing if this was played off as a joke, but nothing in this song suggests that, so the only conclusion to come out of this is that these dudes seriously think this shit works to hook the ladies. And I haven’t even talked about the main rapper, Kid Ink. Mainly because there’s not much to talk about with him. He’s a bland non-presence who’s only delivering more corny pickup lines that’ll only work if you’re rich and famous. He’s overshadowed by Chris Brown’s obnoxiousness that leaves a set-on stain across the entire song. This steaming dog turd is best left forgotten.
And while we remain on the subject of DJ Mustard, here’s the number 7 song on the list, which so happens to be by the guy who helped write Show Me. That explains a lot.
After releasing songs like Birthday Sex and Down On Me, you’d think that Jeremih wouldn’t get any worse, but apparently, he can. I did a Target Practice on Don’t Tell ‘Em a long time ago and a lot of what I said about it stands to this day. It’s a boring club song featuring some of DJ Mustard’s laziest production that’s heavy on reverb and an interpolation of Rhythm Is A Dancer by Snap!. In this song, Jeremih is having sex with a girl and he doesn’t want her to tell anyone about it. With the way he keeps pushing her to stay quiet about what they do in bed, mainly repeating the phrase “don’t tell ’em” on the chorus, it makes me think that he’s embarrassed of himself because his sex game was really wack. He also compares himself to Bobby Brown, which isn’t exactly positive these days when you know about Bobby Brown’s personal life. Then comes YG, who’s being a gigantic dickhole airing out all the dirty laundry, admitting to having sex with another man’s girlfriend, who he describes as just “Twitter pussy he met on the internet.” Charming. If I was this girl, I wouldn’t even associate myself with these two because one is insecure and the other’s an asshole. Let’s move on.
There were three songs that I considered for this list: Sam Hunt’s Leave The Night On, Brantley Gilbert’s Bottoms Up, and Lee Brice’s I Don’t Dance. The former two are bro country sludges that have aged badly and the latter was just a snoozefest. Neither of them made the cut because much worse existed in the country music scene. Case in point, the number 6 song on this list.
Bro country’s rise was like a steel-toe boot to the face for country music and This Is How We Roll is just pissing on its unconscious body. It’s the next step in evolution of the Cruise remix where we have a so-called country song that doesn’t want to be country. The production is sloppy mixing nightmare that washes out all of the country elements and just went for maximum volume. Florida Georgia Line attempts to appeal to an audience that will never listen to country music. It’s honestly kinda sad to witness. Congratulations on having a mixtape that has Hank Williams and Drake on it at the same time. Luke Bryan is also on here and his braying is just as annoying as it is on his worst songs. But those aren’t the only reasons why this song sucks so much. In This Is How We Roll, Florida Georgia Line decided to rap.
Yeah, baby, this is how we roll
We rollin' into town
With nothing else to do we take another lap around
Yeah, holler at your boy if you need a ride
If you roll with me, yeah, you know we rollin' high
Up on them 37 Nittos, windows tinted hard to see though
How fresh my baby is in the shotgun seat, oh
Them kisses are for me though,
Automatic like a free throw
This life I live it might not be for you
But it's for me though
And it’s just as bad as when Jason Aldean tried it on Dirt Road Anthem. This alone scored this song its place on the list because it’s forced as hell and reeks of cynical calculation. You wanna know something even worse? This song has a remix with Jason Derulo. I’m not even joking. And it’s worse than the original. It’s criminally scary that they find a way to make a shitty song even worse.
Before we continue, here are the final dishonorable mentions.
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS II
I had a hard time picking which Maroon 5 song was going to make this spot, Maps or Animals. Both songs suck, but I ultimately went with Animals because I think it’s worse. It’s Maroon 5 trying to be dangerous and it doesn’t work. If anything, it’s more laughable than anything. You have Adam Levine hunting you down like a predator metaphorically and while that should sound creepy and stalker-ish, his screeching doesn’t give off any sense of menace, just hilarity. And you also have the production, where the drums are overbearing the guitar riffs. It almost sounds like it was made by a band, but not really. Just another addition to Maroon 5’s mediocrity.
Boy, did this get close to making the top 10. If I expanded this list to 20, Burnin’ It Down would have easily been number eleven. It’s Jason Aldean attempt at making a pseudo-R&B sex jam. But the problem is that not only is this song not sexy thanks to the slimy drum machines and muddy guitars that make up the gutless production, but the lyrics are nothing more than sex jam cliches while Aldean croons like a drunk Kermit The Frog trying to get it on with Miss Piggy. It’s just a sloppy passionless dreck. Oh, and it was also co-written by the guys of Florida Georgia Line. That explains way too much. Let this one burn until it’s nothing but ashes.
About a month ago, Todd In The Shadows asked people on Twitter how good T.I. was. I replied that he had a good streak in the mid-to-late 2000s and after that, he just existed. The music T.I. was releasing in the 2010s just didn’t have the same fire as his best work and No Mediocre proved that he lost it. It’s another DJ Mustard-produced sludge that relies way too heavy on repetitive steel drums. But that’s not the main issue with this song. No, that goes to T.I., who claims to not want a mediocre woman, just bad bitches. And he sets out a guideline of what makes a bad bitch, from the way they look to the kind of car they drive. It’s T.I. phoning it in with lackluster lines and we get a guest verse from Iggy Azalea because she was signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records. So you have T.I. to thank for Iggy Azalea being a thing. Ironic that a song called No Mediocre wound up being, well, mediocre.
I mean, look. The American Apparel underwear line alone is enough reason for this song to be mentioned here. I hope American Apparel were satisfied with that product placement. On a serious note, She Looks So Perfect is the breakout single from 5 Seconds Of Summer and it’s basically a Kidz Bop version of a pop punk song. Basic-at-best instrumentation, indistinguishable vocals, a bunch of hey’s being chanted throughout, and generic teenage love lyrics that go through a checklist of cliches. It doesn’t really rock, it’s a pale imitation of much better pop punk that’s out there, but generated for a teenage female audience. There’s no reason to go back to this song besides to laugh at it. Next.
In December of 2013, Beyonce dropped her self-titled album to the surprise of everyone and critics went gaga over it. Me, personally? While I respect what it was trying to do, I thought it was just okay and it didn’t always stick the landing. While people have said that Drunk In Love is one of the weaker songs on the album (which is correct), I think Partition is the worse single. It’s the type of sex song that mistakes explicit raunchiness for sensual where Beyonce takes 45 minutes to get dressed up and then her and Jay do the business where he “Monica Lewinski’d all on her gown.” Yeah. Add to that the production that attempts to create a sensual atmosphere, but ends up being dull and boring, plus Beyonce at her most checked out and you have one of her worst songs. This is an easy skip.
For those of you who are tired of me talking about Chris Brown on these lists, so am I. There’s only so many ways to say “Chris Brown is awful” before it get monotonous and I was glad that he didn’t make the Year End list for 2013. Unfortunately, he did make the Year End list for 2014 and I have to talk about one of his songs again. So my number 5 pick should be a surprise to no one.
The first line of the song is “You thought it was over?” and my response to that is, “No, I WISH it was over.” Loyal is one of those songs where every person involved deserves a nice punch to the face because they’re massive dickholes who thrives on inflicting misery to everyone they meet. Chris Brown rants about how “these hoes ain’t loyal.” Yet this is contradicted by the fact that he’s stealing other dudes’ girlfriends. Bro, how are you gonna question the loyalty of these women when you’re the one tempting them into cheating? That’s some supervillain shit right there. There’s also the stupidity of him claiming that he can make a broke girl rich, but he doesn’t fuck with broke girls. Point is that Chris Brown is a hypocrite. Lil Wayne comes out the best out of anyone with a few solid lines despite the fact that he’s still talking about not trusting women and Tyga delivers a forgettable run-of-the-mill flexing verse that you could remove from the song and not miss anything. What’s not helping is the production, which has a simple video game synth line that’s washed by the swampy bass and slow beat. It generates an atmosphere that’s not fun to be in and adds to the misery the lyrics deliver. Who wants to relate to a bunch of jackasses who destroy relationships for fun and then shame women for being disloyal, even though they (not the women) were the ones who instigated and encouraged that behavior? Seriously, fuck this song and everyone who enabled it.
So I mentioned in the preamble that there were songs that got big off of Vine and my number 4 pick is one of those songs. It started with people making fun of it, but then it starts charting and people were calling it one of the best songs ever. I mean, opinions are opinions and all, but have we listened to the same song?
So many things wrong, I don’t even know where to begin. Even though Lifestyle comes from Rich Gang, the entire collective of Young Money and Cash Money, the only member of that group who’s on this song is Birdman, who only contributes an outro. Really, this song should be credited to Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. Let’s talk about Young Thug. He’s been praised for his unorthodox vocal inflictions, which I find annoying and tedious, especially when he’s buried in Auto-Tune and slurs his words to incoherence like he was drunk off his ass while he was recording this song. Hell, every Vine video I saw of this song was making fun of the incoherent chorus where Young Thug says he “did a lot of shit to live this here lifestyle.” Speaking of lifestyle, the writing of this song is pretty bad since Young Thug does a shitty job at explaining the things he did do to live the life he’s currently living. He mentions doing it for his family, but that’s not enough. Most of the song is just empty bragging and gross sex references like where he gets ED and blames it on the girl, he has 40 women in his bed (which is mathematically impossible), and he’s pissing all over them. Lovely imagery. Rich Homie Quan delivers a forgettable verse that’s even more empty where he compares himself to Lupe Fiasco, which is insulting considering that Lupe would dick-slap everyone involved with this song lyrically. Even if I can forgive the shitty lyrics and the irritating performances (which I’m not), the beat fails to give this song any energy while wasting a decent piano. This is not a lifestyle I want any part of. Next.
I didn’t think people would make what would become my number 3 pick a hit song. I thought people would view this as a joke and let it sink. But the opposite occurred and this is what happens when you have expectations. You’re bound to subject yourself to disappointment.
Over several decades of Billboard history, we let a lot of stupid shit pass and Wiggle is one of those stupid songs that shouldn’t have been a thing. Just… holy shit. What even is this disaster? Let’s begin with the obvious: the production to this song is horrendous. It starts with an intro that sounds like something straight out of a Western movie until it devolves into another overbearing bass-heavy beat with a melody driven by a recorder a.k.a. one of the worst-sounding musical instruments in the world that’s usually played by kids. Oh, and the word “wiggle” is repeated ad-nauseum. That’s what makes up the drop of this song. We are in trouble. The rest of the song isn’t any better as Jason Derulo goes crazy over women’s asses in the most juvenile way possible, saying their butt cheeks are like two planets and telling them to go ham sandwich while twerking. Snoop Dogg makes an appearance and he’s just become a self-parody of himself. This song is so ridiculous that I don’t even know if it was meant to be a joke or not. It doesn’t go far enough to fully register as a joke since the delivery doesn’t suggest any satirical tones. Even if it is supposed to be a joke, it’s not a funny one either since all Derulo is doing is being hyperbolic about his love of asses. This is annoying and useless. There’s no good reason to come back to this song at all. Next.
You know what’s worse than a culture vulture? People within the culture who enable these culture vultures because they want to make money off of them. That’s capitalism for you, stabbing your own principles in the back for some cheddar. The number 2 song on this list features a culture vulture who stood out in 2013 in the worst ways possible, two rappers who stopped caring a long time ago, and one of the most prominent and tedious producers of the time not named DJ Mustard.
From the first time I heard about this song to when I inevitably listened to it, this was my reaction.
All of the wrong ingredients came together and formed 23, a Michael Jordan tribute spearheaded by Mike Will Made-It. He was so proud of this song that he made himself the main headliner. I see nothing to be proud of here because this shit is atrocious. First, the production. It’s more of that swampy sludge complete with annoying beeping synths and gang vocals. It’s some of Mike Will Made-It’s worst production to date. Then there’s the rappers. Both Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J deliver generic verses that are interchangeable with their own songs that are full of references to weed and shoes. And not one of them has made a basketball reference at least once, which is weird considering that this song is named after the jersey number of Michael freaking Jordan. But we haven’t even gotten to the worst part of the song: Miley Cyrus. Outside of financial and marketing reasons, why the flying hell is Miley Cyrus on this song? She sounds WAY out of place here and sticks out like a sore thumb. Even worse is that she decides to rap here and sweet mother of Mary, she should be banned from rapping forever. Her flow is stilted, her voice is like a sick cat, and she’s forcing the whole party girl thing hard here and it’s too much. She makes Vanilla Ice look like Eminem. This is an embarrassment that reflects badly on everyone involved and it nearly topped this list.
For longtime readers, my number one shouldn’t be that surprising. When I first did this list, it was at the top and as you can see, that hasn’t changed at all. It’s not just that it’s bad, it’s infuriating because I know what the artist in question is capable of and for them to go as low as they did and become the biggest disappointment of the entire decade still pisses me off to this day. So let’s just get it over with.
I’ve ranted about this failed abortion several times on this site, whether it’d be through a Top 40 Review, a Target Practice, or a list like this. Just when I thought that I had exhausted everything I needed to say about it by now, I go back to it and find myself angry again. When Nicki Minaj was getting ready to release her third album The Pinkprint, she made it seem like the album was gonna be more personal. I thought Pills N Potions was a bit boring, but it was inoffensive enough and it did lean towards the intended direction. Then came Anaconda, which made me look at Nicki Minaj and go, “you are dead to me.” This song was the breaking point for me where I just gave up on her. Let’s begin with the production, which relies WAY too much on the Baby Got Back sample. The chorus loops the line “my anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun” line before delving into a bass-heavy drop with another pitch-shifted sample. It’s some of the laziest uses of sampling outside of J.R. Rotem. Then you get to the lyrics where Nicki Minaj paints herself as a bimbo who has sex with drug dealers that buy her expensive gifts while she gets high off her mind. Plus, there’s that long-as-fuck outro where Nicki Minaj rambles like an escaped asylum patient that includes some skinny-shaming because why not burn more bridges. What pisses me of about this is that there’s people who look at this and view the song as an empowering feminist piece. I would question the sanity of anyone who thinks being a criminal’s sex toy is as empowering as being your own boss and buying your own shit. They’re probably the same people who don’t realize that the Joker and Harley Quinn relationship is an abusive one. Nicki promoted this song with heavy sexual provocation in both the artwork and the music video (which only got the views it did because most of the viewers were men looking for softcore porn to jack off to). It’s not even that provocative, it’s just tiring and a sign of artistic rot coming from an artist who’s capable of doing much better than this, but chooses not to. At the end of the day, if you take away all the gimmicks and looked at the song alone as its own thing, it’s a cheap and shallow shell that ultimately has nothing to say. Anaconda, the worst hit song of 2014. Nicki, you could have been not just the greatest female rapper of all time, but the greatest rapper of all time period. The fact that you became a shadow of what you could have been hurts as someone who was rooting for you at the beginning. I hope you’re happy with yourself.
And those were the worst songs of 2014. In two weeks, I wrap up my revisions with the worst songs of 2015.
SONG OF THE WEEK
The Spirit Of Radio-Rush