And then 2018 comes around and SoundCloud “rappers”—aka professional autotuned whiners—emerge on the scene. Luckily, their lasting power doesn’t seem too strong, as in the span of a year, a chunk have either overdosed, gotten locked up, gone to rehab or gotten murdered.
Anyway, not going to waste much more time talking about these artists who bring absolutely nothing to the table… well, except to call them—and a few others—out directly for some not-so-stellar “contributions” to music this year.
Sometimes a bad song has nothing to do with the lyrics, but is more about the melody. Other times, the melody may be super catchy, but the lyrics are just too dumb to ignore. Either way, there were definitely a few handfuls of tracks I’d very much like to leave behind when the ball drops.
Keep reading for skyelyfe’s definitive ranking of the 18 worst songs of 2018 (full playlist at the bottom):
18. ‘Psycho’ by Post Malone
Some of Post Malone’s songs are catchy—others even heartbreaking; this one is just straight-up pointless.
17. ‘High Hopes’ by Panic! at the Disco
The lyrics to this song are certainly motivational, and the beat is lively, but Brendon Urie sounds like he’s yelling at me, and therefore this song gives me much more of a headache than high hopes.
16. ‘Freaky Friday’ by Chris Brown & Lil Dicky
If you know me at all, you’re aware that Chris Brown rarely makes my “worst of” lists, as I think his music (not his personal life) is almost consistently top-tier. That said, “Freaky Friday” was gimmicky and really, really dumb. Luckily, it fizzled out from radio waves a few months into the year, so it didn’t have much of an impact, but my gosh, what was the point of this?!
15. ‘Africa’ by Weezer
I’m all for Toto’s “Africa,” but if you’re going to cover it, can you please make it sound just a smidge different than the original? Otherwise, what’s the point?
14. ‘Better Now’ by Post Malone
Just a typical played-out Post Malone song that I found myself changing at every chance I got.
13. ‘Beautiful’ by Bazzi and Camila Cabello
Bazzi has some solid tracks under his belt—and while the message of this one is special, I feel like the melody takes me nowhere, therefore causing me to ignore the song’s meaning as a whole.
12. ‘Call Out My Name’ by The Weeknd
It’s not that this is the worst song, but it definitely shouldn’t have been a radio single. Had this just been a track on an album, I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem. I like that we can feel The Weeknd’s pain, but this is absolutely way too slow for top 40 airwaves.
11. ‘Chun-Li’ by Nicki Minaj
Where do I even begin? Nicki Minaj gets The Biggest Hater of 2018 award. She threw an epic tantrum when Astroworld went to No. 1 instead of Queen, but it’s because her music and attitude majorly sucked this year. Team Cardi all the way.
10. ‘Barbie Dreams’ by Nicki Minaj
Sampled from a Notorious B.I.G. song that I was never a big fan of to begin with (no disrespect to Biggie overall), the added dose of Nicki’s angry voice in her contemporary version just makes me like it less.
9. ‘broken’ by lovelytheband
No. Just no.
8. ‘I Love It’ by Kanye West & Lil Pump
Kanye West has done everything from flaunt a MAGA hat, to senselessly Tweet about who knows what—so it should really come as no surprise that he’d team up with a SoundCloud rapper (and sadly, this wasn’t the only instance) for a shitaeous collab.
7. ‘Can’t Dance’ by Meghan Trainor
Can’t dance, can’t create a solid bop… what else?
6. ‘Make Me Feel’ by Janelle Monáe
No disrespect to Janelle Monáe’s voice, as the singer is clearly talented (and beautiful to boot!), but I just can’t get past the melody of this song. It drives me nuts, and I therefore cannot listen to it.
5. ‘Finesse’ by Bruno Mars and Cardi B
I’m all for some throwback-era jams, but this just just did not do it for me.
4. ‘Hello’ by 1takejay
If you want to dance to the sound of your alarm clock in the club, look no further than this crafty piece of work, which has a melody set to that generic iPhone ringer sound on your phone. Oh, and as an added bonus, the lyrics are somethin’ else.
3. ‘Girls Like You’ by Maroon 5 f./ Cardi B
I get it, Cardi B is the artist of the moment—and rightfully so. She’s a dope rapper, she’s quite pretty and she’s got remarkable confidence. That said, she doesn’t belong on every track. It makes sense everyone wants to work with her, but this song was just not a fit. It was like when Kanye was suddenly rapping on the updated version of Katy Perry’s “E.T.” It just didn’t make sense, and “Girls Like You” feels far less fitting. Also, I just really don’t like this song, period.
2. ‘SAD!’ by XXXTENTACION
It’s mind-boggling how much radio play this song got. It’s not melodic, it’s not catchy, it’s not deeply lyrical, it’s not good.
1. ‘Lucid Dreams’ by Juice WRLD
Where do I even begin with this one? The woe-is-me lyrics, horrible autotune, melody (taken from a Sting song, but tweaked terribly)… Funny enough, Billboard included it on their “Best of 2018” list, but for mild reasons, explaining, “The formula for ‘Lucid Dreams’ isn’t anything new—it pairs hazy production underlined by an acoustic guitar (borrowed from Sting’s ‘Shape of My Heart’) with dark lyrics about coping with a broken heart. What is new, though, is that a SoundCloud rapper found his way to top 40 radio.” Womp.
Need a quick refresher on these atrocious tracks? Look no further than the handy playlist below: