Hi guys, welcome back to The Social Tune! ... Help me.
I've resisted doing a list like this for years. The main reason is that I genuinely prefer to be positive rather than negative (even though the negative stuff is definitely what gets more attention). It's why I decided not to do a Worst Albums list last year, or why I've always just stuck to highlighting the worst HITS of each year. But these aren't the hits... if you want to know my thoughts on them, here are your references:
-Top 100 Biggest Irish Hits of 2021 -Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2021 -Top 15 Best Hit Songs of 2021 I'm not going to lie to you: this was an absolute chore to put together! The only reason that I even considered doing it was because I didn't really want to talk about albums this year... that and doing a weekly series made my year quite single-driven. The only qualifier to end up on this list was the song had to be dropped in 2021, whether as part of an album or as a standalone, it doesn't matter. I've come across them in a number of ways; some I've talked about before, some are brand new, but all of them hold a special place of scorn and derision in my heart for just how abysmal they are.
These are the 15 worst songs of 2021... Boy, am I scared.
There are going to be a couple of easy targets on this list, and this certainly is one of them... albeit a very weird one. And I would bet money that most of you haven't heard it because who's even thought of this artist in over a decade?! Well, apparently enough people have, because this song has over a million views on YouTube... and I really don't understand why! After all, this long past his heyday, who the fuck is paying attention to Papa Roach???
Swerve by Papa Roach (Ft. FEVER 333 & Sueco)
So fun fact, the only reason that I know this song exists is that I'm friends with complete trolls. I was on a Discord call one day and somebody just went "Hey Fionn, have you listened to the new Papa Roach?" Of course I hadn't, so I was then sent this and promptly sat there gobsmacked for the next 5 or so minutes. The only time I ever think about Papa Roach these days is because of an inside joke about sad emos. Basically, if someone around is feeling unreasonably sorry for themselves, we'll break into "CUT MY LIFE INTO PIECES". It's really funny, I swear!
But in all that time, I don't think I've ever made it clear to my friends that I've NEVER liked Papa Roach. He never made music I liked or cared about, Heck I wasn't even listening to contemporary music around the time he was big! I discovered it retroactively and immediately tossed it in the garbage. I mean, yeah, I was still a teenager, but even I had some taste! I'd go for Fall Out Boy or even Panic over crap like Last Resort or Scars or She Loves Me Not. But hey, he had his fans back in the day. And now... well, apparently he's still making music, albeit a weird rap-rock fusion that feels very much like it's trying WAY too hard. That's the thing about this song and the main reason it isn't higher: I'm almost 100% certain this is a troll, a ploy for attention by any means necessary. Jacoby Shaddix is no different from 6ix9ine, except possibly less of a genuine scumbag.
I don't even know where to start with this! The production is a clash of badly-mic'ed drums and guitars that devolves into sheer cacophony with the occasional sporadic saxophone parps, the rapping is atrocious, the awful deep-voiced rasp is so slurred and unintelligible that it's not remotely intimidating, and the lyrics are pure garbage! The song is macho posturing songified, screaming at you not to "swerve in my lane", devoid of anything close to intelligent! ... But again, the reason this isn't higher on the list is that there's a part of me that honestly finds it weirdly entertaining. Yeah, it's awful by pretty much every definition, but I would much rather listen to it than the vast majority of the other trash on this list. Yet it's so atrocious that it's impossible to give it a full pass. And thus it serves as the perfect kick-off for this shitstorm.
Our next song is a controversial one... not only because I'm sure a lot of people genuinely like it, but mainly because it tackles a subject matter that is a little bit sensitive.
Mask by Dream
Now of course, when I say "sensitive", I obviously mean that... it's Minecraft, a polarising game many people are ridiculously invested in.
Okay, okay, deflecting with humour, I know! All jokes aside, this is a song about depression, feeling like you have to wear a mask in order to cover up your emotions and function in society like a "normal" human being. That's something that a lot of people can relate to, and I do commend Dream the Minecraft YouTuber for putting out a song about it. It's something that a lot of his fans probably connect to quite deeply.
Here's the problem though: Dream IS a Minecraft YouTuber. He is not a singer or a songwriter, and BOY does that come across in the song, which is one of the worst-produced and cheapest-sounding things that I heard last year! It feels bad singling it out because, once again, the subject matter is so personal and relatable to many people. But I'm sorry, the song itself is just terrible! From Dream's incredibly weak voice to the awful acoustic guitar on the production that sounds like it was recorded on an iPhone. And that's if it was recorded at all, it may well just be a stock beat. In fact, Dream himself probably didn't like the song too much either, because he actually took it off all streaming platforms for various reasons of his own.
And what I REALLY don't like about this song personally is how hard it's trying to be Owl City's Fireflies, a song about reflecting on ADHD and deep-seated anxiety as he stares at the ceiling. The difference was that Owl City's song - while similarly amateurish in many ways - also had real musicianship behind it! It was genuinely gorgeous and catchy, with enough subtext to actually end up being a well-written song, whereas this is just so thuddingly obvious and on-the-nose, with lines like "they ask me how I'm doing, I say I'm just fine" and "why you so sad, kid?", which are still preferable to rhyming "tryin'" with "cryin'", or using words like "okayish"! And the real nail in the coffin was when he talks about failing his classes - like THAT'S all that's at the core of most kids' anxiety and depression - then he ran out of ideas, so he rhymed it with "They think I need glasses. I just really wish that I could pass this." It just feels so FORCED! And don't forget the random moment he calls you a bitch for no reason at all!
I do get that he wanted to open a discussion about this and fair play to him, but if you don't have enough material to write a full song, just put out a video talking about it! Instead, he put this out, sold it for money... and then removed it, so it's not even like his fans can enjoy it anymore! All my support to the guy's mental health, I hope that he gets help if he truly needs it, but this song is utter garbage and pissed me off from the first day I heard it. This just serves to trivialise a very serious topic for the sake of being easily relatable in the cheapest way possible. In other words, it's the mental health equivalent of The Lazy Song! Need I say more?!
You know, I think I slightly undersold how much I hated this song back when I first covered it... allow me to rectify that.
Way 2 Sexy by Drake (Ft. Future & Young Thug)
Not gonna lie, this might just be the biggest miss of Drake's career. I don't know if it's quite his "worst" song because... I mean, you've likely seen other Worst lists of mine that he's featured on, but this is easily one of the dumbest things I've ever heard from him. I mean sampling Right Said Fred didn't work for Taylor Swift, so why did you think it would work for you, Drake?! And while the music video certainly shows that you get the joke, that the original song was supposed to be funny, why didn't you reflect that humour in a single fucking lyric of this song???
Young Thug sounds completely checked out on this, with one of the worst verses of this career - seriously, it's like an early-2010s Lil Wayne verse - while Future and Drake appear to be in competition to see who can outperform the other in terms of awful bars, then monotonously repeating the same fucking measure on the hook over and over and over and over again. And none of it is entertaining or funny, it's just really awkward and boring.
Oh, and don't forget the ugliest production to be featured on a hit song this year! Quite apart from the terrible trap beat, the shrill synths that seem to follow Future around like clockwork and that leaden sample, they add in this chopped and screwed voice going "New York or Japan" that sounds like the fucking doll in Squid Game! You know, the Red Light, Green Light one? It just sounds SO fucking creepy and certainly the furthest thing from sexy!!!
Now thankfully, this actually wasn't a hit in Ireland, otherwise it absolutely would have topped the Worst Hits list. But as is, this is still some of the worst pop rap I've heard in recent memory. Fuck this song and the damn manchild who made it!
Welp... this certainly didn't age well.
Skin by Sabrina Carpenter
The first time I heard Skin by Sabrina Carpenter was back when it first hit the Irish charts, a week or so after drivers license by Olivia Rodrigo came out. It was posed as a kind of response to that track. And you know what, at the very least when Joshua Bassett, her ex, dropped HIS response to Olivia, Lie Lie Lie, it had the decency to be catchy and annoyingly well-produced. Whereas Sabrina Carpenter is not that brave, instead attempting to paint herself as the REAL victim here.
Seriously, drivers license was a song where Olivia was just expressing her sorrow and regret about losing this guy, she barely mentions his new girl except to say she's older and makes her feel insecure, but Sabrina directs this entire track back at her as if she insulted her honour! It's HER time to clap back at this hater, telling her that she can't get under her skin if she doesn't let her. She's trying to frame Olivia as the bully in this situation, but if you've heard drivers license (which you have), you know that's not remotely true.
But the worst part of it for me is the hook, which took a few listens to click but HOLY SHIT, it's so petty and cruel! "You can't get under my under my under my skin (great songwriting there by the way) while he's all on my all on my all on my skin" ... She saw Olivia suffering, pining after this guy who'd broken her heart... and decided to rub her face in the fact that she doesn't have him anymore, that he's all up on Sabrina instead. Classy move, especially for the alleged "good guy" in this situation. I fucking hate you.
Seriously, where with every listen I liked Sour more and more, this song just curdled over the course of the year. Sometimes context matters, you guys, as is the case with this turd.
Originally, the last spot on this list was going to go to Iggy Azalea's Iam The Stripclub, a song so desperate to be controversial that it misspells its title. (Yes, I am one of the few people who still keeps up with Iggy's career, mostly because I need to fill a quota of trash music every year.) But then I remembered THIS song, a song that I had actually completely blocked out of my mind since it came out. I told myself it wasn't really THAT bad. After all, a lot of people seem to be warm or completely neutral towards it. Then I revisited it... I don't get why anyone fucking defends this!!!
Build a Bitch by Bella Poarch
I saw so many people calling this decent or at the very worst, okay and passable. But this is one of the most trash songs that I heard last year. Bella Poarch tries to present the issue that men are only after these unrealistic Barbies, but her argument quickly crumbles when she admits that she's looking for a Ken. The "deep" or "cutting" writing is unbelievably childish, ranging from "bigger boobs" to "Bob the Builder broke my heart" - seriously, an easy contender for the worst line of the entire fucking year - and even the Build a Bear reference in the chorus and title! And Bella Poarch approaches this whole song with this air of wisdom, even though everything about the songwriting is so juvenile and basic. It's really hard to swallow, especially when this song has been made MANY times before, only a million times better by literally hundreds of other artists!
The entire song just thinks it's way, WAY smarter than it really is, which is always something that wears my patience thin in record time! Plus it sounds like absolute shit: a horrible blend of bass and bells that aren't well-mixed and clash in the worst way possible on that bridge, which is a nightmare in its own right with that child choir going "La la la la la"! Laziest fucking social commentary of the year, and God DAMN do I fucking hate it!
My God, you were on top of the world, you had it all! Why did you have to go and fuck it up, Colson?!
papercuts by Machine Gun Kelly
Machine Gun Kelly was on a roll; he had just released Tickets to my Downfall, he and Travis Barker were ruling the pop punk scene together. And then the 2 of them had to go and fuck it up because they decided to step out of their lane! The thing is, the era that TTMD took the biggest inspiration from was mid-2000s pop punk and punk rock, with light elements of modern trap here and there that gave it some unique flavour, more than just a simple throwback. Whereas this is literally just a Nirvana rip-off!
Machine Gun Kelly sounds absolutely awful on this. He sings like he has a bad head cold and was then asked to imitate a toddler throwing a tantrum! Plus the production feels like I'm wading waist-deep through tar, how the fuck did Travis Barker make the guitars and drums sound this awful?! You were part of a legendary rock band, you should know better! However, the worst part is the fucking EGO of the track! You see, MGK named the song "paper cuts" after a Nirvana song of the same name off of their late 80s album Bleach. The original song was about a kid who was getting beaten up and abused in his own parents' basement, a story that was apparently inspired by real-life events. It's a genuinely horrifying song. And so of course, MGK equates it to how people have treated him in the music industry because yeah, THOSE are exactly the same!!!
Seriously, the balls on this fucking guy... as much as I've praised Machine Gun Kelly on multiple occasions over the course of the past year or so, if you've followed anything about him in the tabloids, he just seems like the WORST piece of shit! I mean his rap persona was always pathetic, so I guess it just took a little time before it crept back in once he joined the rock scene. And the flagrant ego of this track, comparing himself to Kurt Cobain. and his career to a kid who was fucking brutalized... yeah, there's a reason the song is on this list. It's absolutely disgusting.
... What do I even say to this?
BARS (RIP T) by Tones & I
For some reason, I listened to Welcome to the Madhouse. Don't ask me why, I still don't really know. But the most I remember from the experience was that Tones & I was by far the worst vocalist I'd heard in a while. Or at the very least whoever produced that fucking album had no idea how to produce her vocals to sound decent! And I'm saying that as a Dance Monkey apologist!
Now, there were many songs that could have made this list, I even considered that Won't Sleep song that has made almost every other Worst list I've seen. But you know what, as much as I hate that song, at least it's got personality to it, whereas this is just embarrassing. I mean, I get that it's supposed to be funny - although apparently it's also supposed to be a tribute song to King T, which feels weird and kind of tone-deaf - because clearly, she doesn't, in fact, have bars. It's clear from the word go that this song was never supposed to be taken seriously, it's trying to be a joke.
The problem is that the entire thing is excruciating from start to finish! From the horrible pitching on the hook to the laziest bridge of the year to Tones & I's laughable rapping, which she tries to add character to by pitching up her vocals at random intervals. And all that still isn't enough to cover up the fact that every single element of the song is just worn-out clichés. There's nothing remotely salvageable about any of this; without a doubt the most worthless song from one of the most worthless albums of the year. Imagine if this was your fucking eulogy, MY GOD!
As much as a lot of these songs annoy me and piss me off, there aren't many that I would call disappointments. The worst thing that you can really do to get on my bad side is to release a subpar product when I know you are capable of so much better. And if you had told me a few years ago that I would be rooting for THIS guy, hoping that he would follow up a fantastic single with another one, I would have probably laughed in your face. But as is:
Motley Crew by Post Malone
This might just be my least favorite thing he's ever done. Including I Fall Apart.
Seriously, Post Malone spent the last couple of years really getting in my good graces, then followed it up with one of the worst-sounding songs of 2021! A lot of people have praised the production here and... I just do not get it. The horrible sub-bass, the weirdly acute synth line, and worst of all is Post Malone over it! When he isn't caterwauling on the second verse, he's doing this really fucking weird staccato flow in this incredibly fake-sounding, high-pitched voice with random ad-libs thrown in for no reason! It reminds me more than a little of Playboi Carti and that is NOT a comparison you ever want me making!
The only part of the song that's remotely redeemable is the build-up to the chorus, and even that's just chock-full of repetition. And once the chorus does hit, it's one of the worst of the fucking year; the whole sticky-clicky-dickey thing, or the way he somehow twists "hilarious" to rhyme with "furious", it all sounds like somebody trying to do a 6ix9ine impression, which isn't something I should be accusing Post Malone of doing! Sidenote: fuck all these songs for making me reference that rainbow troll TWICE on this list!
And again, why the fuck does he sound like this?! He sings like there's a wrench tightening around his testicles as he desperately tries to work his way to the end of the song. But somebody clearly keeps punching him in the dick too because he's certainly taking his sweet time finishing! If this was a list based purely on disappointment, this song would probably be number 1, it's fucking garbage. But hey, there was worse released this year. Somehow.
Well, this one shouldn't surprise anyone.
Fancy Like by Walker Hayes
I thank my lucky stars every day that Fancy Like did not chart in Ireland. Because had it done so, I would have had a FAAARRR worse year... and my year wasn't all that great outside of the music! The thing about being in Ireland is that we don't really get much country music. Instead, we get a lot of House and EDM, which certainly have their challenges... but after seeing the country music that hit the 2021 Billboard year-end, I will gladly take the generic dance music!
This song epitomises everything I hate about modern country; the trap elements are more egregious than ever, especially on that horrible bass that comes in on the hook and cuts out any of the organic instrumentation, namely the guitar that sounds like absolute shit anyway! And Walker Hayes is just parading around, spouting a bunch of gag-inducing clichés... which is exactly the point. Once more on this list, the entire song is supposed to be a joke, you shouldn't take it seriously. It's funny that he finds Applebee's fancy or that he and his wife are "squeak-squeaking in the truck bed all the way home". The problem is that none of it is remotely charming.
Walker Hayes is exactly the type of guy Adeem the Artist was talking about on I Wish You Would've Been a Cowboy; somebody parading around a culture that isn't theirs and dumbing it down to a parody while reaping all the benefits. If you haven't heard that song or that artist, seriously, check them out, they're SO worth the attention. Regardless of anything else, it's leagues better this! Fancy Like is one of the worst slices of modern country to come out in years. Not even Kesha could make it salvageable... Jesus Christ!
You know, I think a lot of people gave a pass to WITHOUT YOU by The Kid LAROI this year because we just kind of got used to it. Which is pretty sad when you consider a line as misogynistic as "can't make a wife out of a ho" got him so high on the global charts. Say what you will about that song though (I certainly have), at the very least... I suppose it was mildly catchy? Whereas this is just fucking trash.
Commitment Issues by Central Cee
The thing about WITHOUT YOU is that it does at least try to paint the artist as sympathetic. It fails miserably but it does try. Commitment Issues is not that smart, because while LAROI knew to sound invested, Central Cee does not sound like he gives a shit about this relationship. Also, the title is very misleading, because it certainly isn't about any commitment issues. Rather, it's about the fact that he sleeps around with other women and then gets mad when she gets upset at him!
Honestly, I could talk for hours about just how bad this song is, purely in terms of the songwriting! But let's focus on the production for a second: that weird warping bass, the single trap high hat that never quite goes away, and of course, the fucking yodeling chipmunk in the background- what the fuck IS this beat?! I know he's trying to elicit sympathy - and Hell, the production's certainly trying harder than him in THAT regard, sounding like a wounded animal begging to be put down - but Jesus Christ dude, couldn't you have made it SOUND better??
And again, these lyrics!!! The song is just a walking contradiction, every single line where he talks about commitment issues is immediately followed up with a non-sequitur about stealing stuff for her. He then openly admits that he insults her in public, but hey, a simple apology is definitely gonna make it all better, right?! Oh, and since he has no idea how to convey emotions, he keeps just sliding back into braggadocio because he's so fucking insecure. Instead, we focus more on how he's making you wet, making your legs shake and giving you "a fuck that your ex can't give you", because THAT sounds well-adjusted! Especially when he follows it up on the VERY NEXT LINE by admitting that he shouldn't have called her a bitch because she's pissed at him now!
But the line that really baffled me for the entire year was "should have deleted that text so you wouldn't have known that I fucked those hos"... is that really the only lesson you're taking from this, Mr. Commitment Issues, that you should cover up your tracks a little better?! Again, this song is about a guy being a fucking asshole, who's unwilling to accept any responsibility or help. He even tries to blame HER by saying "don't act like you care how I feel, don't you act so spoiled"- OKAY what the fuck is wrong with you??? YOU cheated on her, YOU're playing the victim and SHE's the spoilt one???
Look, Central Cee definitely was one of the most polarising people in the UK drill scene this year, and he does have some talent. But there isn't a single song he's made that comes close to making up for this. You're currently at a net negative, my guy; do better!
This song is definitely an odd choice for this list. I admit that. And I stand by placing it this high. Wholeheartedly.
Run by OneRepublic
Remember One Republic? Those guys who had a handful of minor hits around the turn of the decade, including Counting Stars, one of the biggest hits of all time? Well, in more recent years, their output has dwindled, not really bringing in the same audience that they did a few years back. And their new album from this past year was particularly negatively received, with this being pushed as a single and immediately flopping. But while some would argue there were "worse" songs on the album, I can't think of one that epitomises everything awful and lazy about this subgenre more than this.
I'll say it: out of all the songs released in 2021, overall, this is the one that tried the least. Each and every element of it feels like it was made up in a "Kid's First Beats" software, I don't believe for a second that a single organic instrument came close to a recording studio in service of this, because the entire thing feels like it was thrown together on a laptop! The cheap guitar line, the laughable drum machine, and especially that fucking whistling that REALLY got on my nerves, the entire song is a product, a corporate shell designed to sell me something. Run is supposed to be an inspirational anthem above running into the rising sun and beating the odds no matter if the sky falls. And yet the song evokes absolutely nothing. Ryan Tedder sounds beyond checked out, giving a truly impressive performance in his own way, where every vocal tone, every inflection, even the part where he's supposed to be belting all-out, all just sounds like he's half-asleep. I know that the generic writing and basic beat are definitely lending to it but he certainly isn't helping at all!
And again, the worst part is that it ALL sounds like an advertisement! I swear to God, if you took 5 seconds from any section of this song, it would sound like it's trying to sell you something. It's easily the most blatant example I've seen about since X Ambassadors' Renegades, but at least that song had more pep to it! Also, that was specifically written for an ad, whereas this hasn't been picked up by any brands because I think even advertisers have some taste! Again, there was worse released in 2021, but out of all the songs that came out last year, this is easily the one I hated the most for a complete lack of effort. If you don't want to make music anymore, just retire already!
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
Life Goes On by Oliver Tree
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
Okay, now that that's out of the way... yeah, this song is one of the worst alternative pop songs that I've heard in years. For all of you people who complained about Heat Waves by Glass Animals, just remember that it can get far, FAR worse if you dive just beneath the surface. And with the most annoying, honking, squawking production of the year, along with the most inanely repetitive lyrics you can imagine, all while trying to hide behind the veneer of faux-pretentious commentary that somehow feels more pretentious than ever, Oliver Tree proved that. I'll bet you his writing process for this hook was no different from my copy-pasting the phrase "shut up" 50ish times!
Were irritation was the only factor behind this list, this would run away with the number 1 spot. Fuck this song, I'm tired of people making excuses for Oliver Tree!
Look, I don't hate this band. Not really. At least I don't think I do.
For many years I have been one of the people saying that they're not that bad, constantly coming up with some excuse for them or pointing to different albums that worked, even in a so-bad-it's-good vein. But at this stage, they have completely lost me.
Cutthroat by Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons' disastrous recent album was chock full of absolute dogshit. Unlike Origins, the album that preceded it, this one wasn't even any fun, it just pissed me off from start to finish. And there were plenty of songs that could have made the list, like the incredibly annoying elongated syllables and yodeling of Follow You or the absolutely infuriatingly chipper and atrociously-produced Monday. But ultimately, it was this song that really stuck with me, because... why?! Did they actually think this was okay to put out for public consumption?!
Apparently, the man behind this monstrous song was legendary producer Rick Rubin, a man people come to in order to make it big, a titan of a hitmaker across multiple popular genres. And yet despite a very impressive back catalogue, his recent output has included some of the most soulless, corporate fluff imaginable... and also that last Strokes album, shockingly enough. But at least when he's watering down Eminem or Red Hot Chilli Peppers, you can at least make sense of his vision, they will appeal to somebody out there. But who the fucking HELL does Cutthroat appeal to?! This is by far the ugliest song on this list sonically, starting off with those sporadic drums that somehow still have absolutely no weight or punch to them, the incredibly limp handclaps, and don't even get me started on that pathetic watery bass that sounds like the wet heartbeat, somehow! And yet despite all those elements, it's trying to sound weirdly sparse, resulting in the mix feeling really hollow. It all builds to that awful hook, where the backing vocals come in to say "cutthroat" so faintly that you'd miss it if not for the lyric video, not to mention they just sound absolutely fucking ridiculous. And of course, the part that everybody has pointed out: Dan Reynolds himself.
The man has never sounded worse than he does here. Even when he's "singing" (to put it VERY generously"), he's putting on this incredibly over-the-top performance where it sounds like he's trying to do some sort of Nightmare Before Christmas, whimsical-yet-haunting schtick. Kinda like a manic serial killer singing to himself as he hides in the bushes, waiting to leap out and cut your throat. But even if that was effective - which is a laughable concept considering the unsubtle backing vocals scatting and humming to themselves, it just sounds fucking ridiculous - once the chorus hits, the payoff is dogshit, as Dan Reynolds just screams the chorus at you, which will probably absolutely destroy his voice if he performs it on tour. Maybe Shredthroat would be a better title, eh buddy?
The entire song just sounds like absolute ass and nothing about its creation makes any sense. It's completely beyond me how anybody thought any part of it could be a good idea. It's by far the worst song Imagine Dragons have ever made and was a very strong contender for the worst song of 2021, by a mile. However... well, let's get to it.
You know, it's kind of unfortunate in a year where I've been trying to promote Irish music, that 2 Irishmen should come so close to the number 1. In fact, for a long time, I was very sure they would top my list. After all, what could possibly be worse than this?! Cause if you've been following my blog in any capacity, especially a few months ago, you should have already seen this pick coming.
Babyproof by Versatile (Ft. Offica)
To those of you who have not heard this song before, brace yourselves.
I have listened to a fair bit of Irish grime and drill this past year, to the point where I can tell the good from the bad, and even have some genuine favourites within the genre. So when I say this is the worst rap song of the year, know that I'm basing it on more than just the accents and that I'm coming from a place of basic knowledge. I mean, the voices certainly aren't helping; I've lived in Dublin for 5 years and this type of misogynistic "lads, lads" mentality isn't exactly rare or hard to come by. Thus, whenever they use local phrases like "she hop on the mickey because of the clout" in order to describe women as clout-chasers, or "they want him to blow his muck" for ejaculate (which... just... EW), I will admit to nearly gagging from pure disgust.
In fact "disgust" really is the only word that comes to mind whenever this plays. The beat is revolting, a slow trap skitter, overwhelming bass that swamps the mix and never quite leaves, and this HORRIBLE pitched-up warbling that reaches chipmunk levels by the end of the song. The instrumental is nothing short of nauseating, and the multitracking on all the rappers' vocals only adds to the nightmare. That being said, that's not what guaranteed this song's spot on the list; that honour would go to the content, which is some of the most backward-thinking, dehumanising, and genuinely infuriating content I've come across all year!
See, The Kid LAROI may think you "can't make a wife out of a ho" and Central Cee may be the most insecure male alive, but at least neither of them were specifically out to insult or objectify women. They're both just working out their emotional issues, albeit in an admittedly very toxic and unflattering way. Meanwhile Versatile is just fucking offensive, as they flat-out say that any woman that gets stuck with them (and yes, "stuck with" is another horrendous euphemism for sex) had better be babyproof. Because Lord knows they will fight you if you DARE get pregnant and ask them for child support! After all, it can't possibly be his kid, because his "pull-out game is second to none"! ... I'm genuinely a bit speechless. The fact that a song this ugly could be made in 2021 is almost beyond belief... almost. But again, I know the kinds of men this type of song will appeal to; a bunch of "legends" who'll fuck and leave women left and right without a second thought for them as people.
Well, newsflash, for all their antagonising, these 2 cowards always refuse to do interviews to actually face some of the criticism they richly deserve. I don't even care if it's trolling, it's abhorrent, and Offica should be ashamed to have his name on this. In fact, that's the other word that comes to mind: shame. Disgust and shame, that's all I feel when this song plays. Fuck off Versatile, anybody who finds you cool is just as fucked up and lame as you clearly are. And I only hope Dublin wakes up soon and stops supporting either of you.
And yet, despite that atrocity... there was 1 worse... How is that even possible?!
Look, I've said it before and I'll say it again: rich celebrities pandering and thinking that they know me is one of the most obnoxious things in the world! And while it may seem extreme to call it his worst song after some of the trash he's released over the years... yeah, I have never hated Justin Bieber this much before.
We're In This Together by Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber has been hanging out with Chance the Rapper too much. No seriously, everything about this feels like a Chance song, from Bieber's flow to the gospel-like instrumental to even the preachy God-tinted lyrics, where he goes on and on about all the things we should be grateful for. After all, even in these difficult times where people are dying left and right, at least we can be reassured in the fact that it's all part of God's plan, and that we're all going through it together. ... I can barely put my hatred for this song into words, MY GOD!
For context, I grew up Catholic. Then at a certain age, I decided that the Church as an institution can go fuck itself, and my own personal beliefs aside, I have cut ties with all religion as a whole. In other words, I understand where Bieber is seemingly coming from... SEEMINGLY! And I emphasise that word so much because this song is one of the most manipulative, self-obsessed, and disgusting songs of 2021! Oh sure, it boasts good intentions, and he even spends the last part of it blessing you and your whole family, one at a time, in a way your conservative grandmother would certainly approve of! And while yes, there is a part of me that wants to tell him to shove his blessings up his privileged ass to join his own head - especially after that "even in a pandemic God is still planning" line, FUCK YOU, YOU TONE-DEAF PRICK - but no, that's not the main reason I loathe this song.
If you read the comments on the YouTube video, they're all calling this uplifting or inspiring, but do you know what most of the song is actually spent discussing? Not God, nor hoping for tomorrow, nor even being in it together, but about Justin Fucking Bieber! Seriously, he spends most of the song talking about his come-up, his own success, how he was a troublemaker in school who just seemed to be so good at everything he tried! No really, the fourth line of this song is "Anything I did, I was pretty good at it" and it doesn't stop there! He also has the gall, on THIS SONG of all things, to state "I had to learn about humility"... are you not hearing yourself?! You already sounded tone-deaf, preachy, egocentric, and self-obsessed - all while supposedly being charitable, I'll remind you - but you also show that you have zero, ZE-RO self-awareness!!! You're so high on your own ego and so obsessed with this idea that you've grown and learned to be a better person, that you can't see just what a massive tool you are!
And as usual, he takes some time to play the victim, moaning about the fact that people judged him as per fucking usual, even when he's supposed to be making an uplifting anthem. And again, the humble-bragging just makes me want to punch his lights out! "We're all in this together and also I was a millionaire at 17, women were throwing themselves at me, and yet somehow I managed to stay so humble." FUCK OFF!!! GOD, this fucking song! One of the most condescending and abhorrent listens to the year! Oh, and did I mention he dropped it right around Easter? You know, just to REALLY hammer home the fucking Christ comparison. Way to make everything all about you Bieber, even when it's supposed to be about everyone else! Imagine Dragons might sound worse, Versatile might have uglier intentions, but at the very least they know it! This song is the most infuriating song of 2021, as well as the absolute worst! Possibly the most pissed-off I have been at a song since John Mayer's Daughters, congratulations Bieber, you prick!
And that's it, those were the very worst songs of 2021! Sorry for the delay in getting this out, January ended up being incredibly busy, though in all the best ways. In fact... well, keep your eyes peeled, something special might be coming soon. In the meantime, please make sure you subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter so you don't miss a thing. Stay safe, and until the next time, I'm Fionn and this is The Social Tune signing off.