Earlier this week, we were #blessed by Kendrick Lamar when he released his newest project, To Pimp a Butterfly, a week early to quite a bit of acclaim. My Twitter feed blew up with emojis of fire and happy tears as people praised the amount of effort and ambition it took to make such an album. Whether you like it or not, you have to respect the fact that Lamar took a lot of risks and made something that legitimately deserves to be called “art.”
After listening to the album a handful of times, my palate had become moist. There was too much creativity and artistry coursing through my ears and I needed a heat check. I decided to counterbalance Kendrick’s record by diving into the deep-Spotify to try and find music that was the exact opposite from anything on To Pimp a Butterfly. I listened to dozens of songs that were released in 2015 to find the ones that I think most lack integrity. These are my discoveries.
*activates private session*
Carly Rae Jepsen – “I Really Like You”
Carly Tha God had what is probably the most infectious song ever in 2012 when she unleashed the “Call Me Maybe” plague upon the world and, as of this writing, earned herself 657 million YouTube views. She currently sits at number 17 on the list of most-viewed YouTube videos of all time. Combine that with the more than 168 million Spotify plays and the fact that even her deep cuts are getting more than 30 million YouTube hits, and Young Jepsen has probably earned herself a few million dollars.
So what do you do if you’re 29 years old (!), have a few million dollars laying around, and are determined to not become a one-hit wonder? Hire Tom Hanks to lip-sync your awful song in a music video, of course!
The whole thing is pretty surreal. I give major props to The Jeps for managing to get Hanks involved, and respect Hanks for literally not being able to say “no” to anything. This whole experiment could have turned out really great if the song wasn’t so fucking terrible.
There’s a lot to digest in the video — like the fact that Tom Hanks has a Tinder profile and apparently uses emojis to let his friends know that he’s stuck in traffic. Also, if you start a random dance party in the street Justin Bieber will magically appear and join you (seriously, where the hell did he come from?). But the greatest joy of all comes from me imagining Hanks preparing for this role. In order to lip-sync this jam, he had had to have listened to it. A lot. Probably in his home. Like, where his family lives. He had to learn the words like he was cramming for a test. His fake-pregnancy read deserves an Oscar. Tom Hanks is a treasure.
This video is incredible. Watch it on mute.
Chief Keef ft. Andy Milonakis – “Hot Shit”
Chief Keef is a Chicago rapper best known for going to jail a lot, and for releasing the original version of “I Don’t Like” before Kanye West got his hands on it and made the video 100 percent less homoerotic.
In between jail stints, Keef has been steadily releasing music and has already released two records in 2015. On his latest album, he teamed up (again) with Andy Milonakis. Yes, that Andy Milonakis. You might remember Andy from his short-lived MTV show, his recurring role on Kroll Show, or possibly from his now-defunct rap group with Riff Raff, Three Loco.
On “Hot Shit,” Keef lazily raps over what is ostensibly a GarageBand beat with another vocal track awkwardly whispering in the background like an episode of Lost. His cadence sounds like he’s sight-reading a “Dear Penthouse” letter and he drops lyrical gems like “I don’t fuck with the coochie if you can smell that shit” and “I just rolled three grams in that thing from Texaco.” As far as I know, Texaco did not pay for that shoutout.
When the song seems like it can’t go anywhere else but up, we are reminded that the world is a cruel place, and along comes Andy Milonakis, sliding into your eardrums like Andre Drummond into Chloe Moretz’s DMs. Milonakis is doing his best Drunk Uncle impression when he lets the world know that “Goddamn it’s hard to stand, and no I can’t see.” He also says, “I’m about to hit a lick at Pairadime,” which makes no sense, but I can only assume it means he’s going to be reaching out to the local darlings at Pairadime Music very soon.
Kid Rock – “First Kiss”
Let me preface this by saying that at one point in my life, I considered myself a Kid Rock fan. I was 11 years old when “Bawitdaba” hit TRL and I made my mom buy me the CD soon after. Say what you want, but Only God Knows Why still holds up as well as any other auto-tuned ’90s jam.
Unfortunately, Mr. Rock’s entire vocal range is showcased on his 2015 album, First Kiss, which is most painfully obvious on the title track. He’s become the unfunny, non-ironic version of Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius” ads, and his constant nostalgia for “the old days” is making me worry that he might be suicidal. The use of a drum machine is pretty great for a person who calls himself Kid Rock, and if Marvin Gaye can sue Robin Thicke for “Blurred Lines,” there’s no reason that The Outfield couldn’t sue Kid Rock for completely ripping off the guitar part from “Your Love“.
Lyrically, the song is a nice ode to a girl with whom he shared his — wait for it — first kiss. It begins from the perspective of a teenager, which makes sense because it seems like it was written by someone without a vocabulary. The narrative shifts a couple times, and by the end of the song you find out that the girl who gave him his first kiss was actually his long-term partner, Jenny Clayton, and he has been singing directly to her the entire time. This would be a cute M. Night Shyamalan twist on an otherwise unremarkable pile of dog shit — if it were even true. But alas, the hard-hitting journalists over at ExtremeKidRock.net have unearthed a radio interview with Kid Rock where he says the following:
“Jenny Clayton was a girl that rhymed really well with the song … that was my hip-hop shit.”
God bless you, Mr. Rock.