Top 10 Worst Songs of 2018

Hayden Kim, Staff Writer

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Here is the follow-up to my previous article.  The rules are essentially the same: all songs on this list have to be on any Billboard top list at least once, it has to be relevant in 2018, and each artist (not including featured artists) can only have one song. This list was really challenging to make. Not because there is a lack of bad songs, but because most songs are just… “meh”… The fact that most of these songs were big hits, is a bit worrying. This list gave me a brain tumor trying to compile so let’s just start with my top 10 worst songs of 2018.

 

  1. “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes

“Mo Bamba” was released June 16th, 2017 and went viral around mid-2018 peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 8th. This song is the definition of bad rap. It has a weak beat, weak chorus, a weak hook, and weak flow. There is no substance here. The only reason this isn’t higher on the list because it is freestyle. I can’t judge a freestyle the same as a rap that has been worked on for months. But when the chorus takes up 75% of the song, you went wrong.

 

  1. “Pyscho” by Post Malone (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)

The one song where Post Malone could go absolutely crazy and he takes a nose dive. “Psycho” was released on February 23rd and floated around the top 5 on the Billboard “Hot 100” from early March until finally peaking at number one on June 16th. For a beat, he chose to start with the plucking of an electric guitar with some synthesizer notes and light bass. That is a weak bass line. The lyrics are weak as well. He starts flexing and bragging about his material belongings, which I expect from a rap song. However, he constantly sounds like he is high on drugs so I am so distracted by how much he slurs his words rather than his actual (yet unintelligible) lyrics. In the second verse, he starts using autotune and just kills the song’s flow. There is no semblance of a rhyme scheme. Post Malone has been a huge letdown this year.

 

  1. “FEFE” by 6ix9ine (Feat. Nicki Minaj & Murda Beatz)

What is this song? What is the point of this song? “FEFE” was released on July 22nd and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard “Hot 100” on August 11th. The beat isn’t bad; it is just like too many other songs. But it’s the lyrics that make it truly bad. This song is probably the single most misogynistic song I have ever heard. Rap has been notoriously misogynistic for decades now and we consider many of these songs as classics. The difference is that we know that this misogyny is all part of a persona or act. Let’s take NWA for example, every member from NWA was a music nerd. Sure, they were probably friends with actual gangsters, but Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre were all nerds. 6ix9ine is dead serious. It isn’t an act. This is his way of revealing his true beliefs and in the new “Me Too” era, that really disturbs me.  It should disturb you too.

 

  1. “Lucid Dreams” by Juice WRLD

“Lucid Dreams” was released on May 4th and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard” Hot 100″ on July 7th. The beat isn’t necessarily bad except for the fact that it does not stand out from the rest.  The lyrics are confusing and honestly really stupid. Juice WRLD explains that many of the lyrics about sleep are referencing his sleep paralysis but then comparing it to a heartbreak? He then goes on to say, “Who knew evil girls had the prettiest face?” is actually “a false statement, I’ve come to find out.” So what is he trying to relay? What is his message? Is it a love song? No, because he says that “I kind of figured out that I probably don’t know what real love is, nine times out of ten, I don’t.” Is it about his sleep paralysis? No because of the constant references to a woman. This song can’t quite figure out what it wants to be.

 

  1. “Friends” by Marshmello and Anne-Marie

“Friends” was released on February 9th and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard “Hot 100” on June 2nd.  The message of being “friend-zoned” isn’t a bad message. It is the way they said it. For starters, they make it out in the music video that Marshmello loves Anne-Marie, which is just not right and really weird. But it also takes the perspective of the girl and turns it into a song based on anger. Anne-Marie rejects Marshmellow with such anger and with the upbeat EDM instrumental, doesn’t seem right. This song just seems incoherent. After 6th or 7th listen, I felt the cringe and awkwardness. The only thing song does it teach me how to spell “friends”.

 

  1. “Delicate” by Taylor Swift

How far Taylor has fallen. “Delicate” was released on March 12th and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard “Hot 100” on July 28th. This is part of Taylor’s sixth studio album “Reputation” and oh-boy, it is bad. Taylor’s obsession over her reputation makes her out to be some fame hungry, insecure, fading pop star. Her day’s of “Shake It Off” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” are over. This brooding, depressing, whine fest of a song is just awful. The instrumental is non-existent with its disappointing synthesizer and bass attempting to carry the sub-par vocals. Is she trying to write a love song or take a dig at her haters? The two verses are trying to hint at a complex relationship between Taylor and her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. But the intro and pre-chorus seem to be digging at her haters with the line “My reputation’s never been worse, so you must like me for me…” This song is just a blob of nothing. There is no substance, no clear message and no musical appeal.

 

  1. “Filthy” by Justin Timberlake

“Filthy” was released on January 5th on the already forgotten album “Man of the Woods.” It peaked at number 9 on the Billboard “Hot 100” on January 20th. This song is an experiment gone bad. He tried a more funky electro beat that just doesn’t work with his voice. But sample with the breathing in that makes some appearances in the beat just sound forced. He also tried to integrate a rock guitar riff during the chorus that doesn’t transition well between the electro beat. Not only that, but this song has no verses and is just a drones on, trying to put an emphasis on the beat and failing miserably. All in all, this was a failed experiment by a falling superstar on an already forgotten album.

 

  1. “In My Feelings” by Drake

“In My Feelings” was released on July 10th as the 5th Single on his 5th studio album “Scorpion.” This song remained at Number One on the Billboard “Hot 100” for 10 weeks spanning from July 21st to September 22nd. So as it turns out, Kiki and KB are actually the same person. They both refer to model and media personality, K’yanna Barber… I don’t know who this is but… she doesn’t make the song any better though. The beat isn’t terrible. The strong bass and slight synthesizer sound fine together. The clapping at the beginning of the first verse has a nice effect. But the lyrical make-up is its main downfall because the lyrics are just awful. Shouting out your producer at the beginning of the song is commonplace in rap and pop music, but shouting him out again in the middle of the first verse is not good. He then shouts him out again at the end of the song. Was his name a filler just to fill a line? What is that all about? What is song trying to relay? And they just repeat the same words to fill time. The beat drop following the “City Girls” verse was weak and out of place. The drop just kinda happened and they throw in the drums at the end out of the blue. If they could have incorporated those drums into the beat, that would have been nice. This song is a hodgepodge of experimental beats and lyrics that make no sense together.

 

  1. “I Like It” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin

Like Drake, Cardi B had a breakout year. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good thing. “I Like It” was the fourth Single from Carbi B’s debut studio album “Invasion of Privacy” released on May 25th. The beat is a high tempo to work with the Spanish rappers Bad Bunny and J Balvin, but Cardi B can’t rap that fast so all of her verses are slowed down and they don’t segue into the new beat very well. On top of that, this “flex song” has some of the worst rhymes I’ve ever heard. Can you think of a name that (sort of) rhymes with “cardio”? If you said “Mario” that is exactly what she did. How original and interesting (not). Her second rhyme in the song doesn’t work either. How does “sign’in” and “socks” rhyme? Even remotely? They don’t. Then Bad Bunny rhymes the Spanish word “grasa” which means grease or fat with the word “casa” which means house. The two lines that are supposed to rhyme have nothing to do with each other. This song can’t seem to decide whether they want a fast and high tempo song or a slow Spanish inspired jam. Pick one and stick to it. The lyrics sound like they were written by a 5-year-old who watches too much “Dora the Explorer”.

 

1.”Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 (feat. Cardi B)

When making this list, there was no question which song was number one. “Girls Like You” was released on May 30th and the third single on the album “Red Pill Blues.” It hit number one on the Billboard “Hot 100” on September 29th and stayed there until November 10th. This song is just awful. The guitar line in the beginning is weak and has no ability to hold the vocals. They supplement with the equally weak synthesizer and some chimes. None of these can properly support the vocals. Ironically, Cardi B is the only redeeming factor in this song. But again, the instrumental can barely support the regular vocals, forget attempting to hold a rap verse. The producer boosts the bass during Cardi B’s verse which makes things only a little bit better. On top of horrid instrumental, the meaningless vague, lyrics have no substance. Just look at the title. What are “Girls Like You”  even mean? What qualities describe Adam Levine’s ideal girl? One of the worse lines in the song is, “Maybe I know that I’m drunk. Maybe I know you’re the one.” This line is basically saying how he drinks too much but still knows that this mysterious “girl” that we know nothing about is the real deal. This song is awful. Just bad. It has an awful instrumental and awful lyrics. When Cardi B is the only redeeming quality in this song, you have hit a low point.

 

This year has been filled with bad songs. But there were still many good songs as well. The issue is that the actual good songs aren’t getting nearly enough attention. Many songs are being carried on name recognition alone. I’m holding out and hoping for a better 2019.  Please address any concerns or replies to The Courier staff and editors.  We welcome your input.

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Top 10 Worst Songs of 2018