By Clayton Ambrose
For us to properly fear the darkness that lies on the edges of humanity, we must first understand it. We must play like explorers, flashlights affixed to our helmets as we plunge into the bottomless well of unknown evils that lie in wait for a foolish and arrogant would-be conqueror to fall into its clutches. This is why I listen to bad music and talk about it on the internet. As part of this quest, I listened to the five of the worst albums ever created, according to this handy RateYourMusic list. Now, I’m no hero, but I believe this research is paramount to the advancement of humanity, and I will be celebrated once the blog contributors inherit the earth as it was promised. Join me and educate yourselves. The fate of the world depends on it.
Lil Wayne – Rebirth
If I was forced to describe this album in one word, I think that I would use “baffling.” The album is Lil Wayne’s attempt at reinventing himself in a glorious rap-rock image but inadvertently creating a perplexing amalgamation of rock-bottom Lil Wayne verses and rock instrumentals that will make you think, “This sounds like something that Travis Barker would appear on.” (Spoiler: he does.) The production of the album only adds to the confusion, with drums that are astronomically high in the mix and vocals that sound like they were recorded on a laptop microphone, which might have passed for some upper-tier bedroom pop nowadays, but sadly Wayne was simply too far ahead of his time: an argument that one might make given the right (inebriated) circumstances.
Of course, some tracks are merely mediocre and unworthy of note, but then you have songs like “Knockout,” which is legitimately just Wayne rapping over a New Found Glory instrumental, and “Get A Life,” a song that feels like a Lil Wayne song you might hear in a fever dream that stays in your mind for a couple of weeks because something was just so indecipherable about it, like a being that your mortal brain couldn’t possibly comprehend other than the fact that it poses a very real threat to your well-being. Maybe I’m being too harsh, and this album really is a misunderstood masterpiece that will be looked upon favorably as the tide of hip-hop changes. Or maybe it’s just really, really bad. Time will tell.
Soulja Boy – www.souljaboitellem.com
Out of all the albums on this list, this one surprisingly has the most charm and likability. Not that Soulja Boy is a particularly charismatic artist, but the album is covered from head to toe in remnants of a simpler time gone by. Whenever you hear old people reminisce on drinking sweet tea on their front porch and being racist without consequences, that’s what this album feels like to me. This album dropped at the height of the ringtone rap era, where hip hop artists were in constant contention to see who could get the most plays in 20 second increments on the back of a junior high school bus, which as a result catapulted Soulja Boy to fame with his iconic smash hit “Crank Dat (Soulja Boy).”
The whole album pretty much follows the blueprint of that song in a desperate attempt to spawn as many trends as possible and somehow find success with some. I honestly would describe it as a pleasant listen, as I didn’t get the vague malicious vibe I got from the other albums while listening. Although “Sidekick” was definitely trying its hardest to get me to buy a Sidekick cell phone. I mean, how can you listen to “Soulja Girl” and not feel at least a hint of happiness? He was just having a good time, and we could all stand to take a page from his book. God bless you, Soulja Boy. God bless you.
Crazy Frog – Presents Crazy Hits
This album is exactly what you think it is. Crazy Hits is a full album of EDM remixes of popular songs with Crazy Frog adlibs thrown in the mix. For the luckily uninitiated, Crazy Frog is a blue cartoon frog that was created as an impish figurehead to sell ringtones in the mid-2000s, sort of like the evil parallel universe version of Soulja Boy. As you can probably predict, it’s extremely grating and vapid to a point that it was the only album on this list to actively upset me while listening. Very quickly the fun, ironic feeling of “Oh my god, I’m listening to a Crazy Frog album in 2018” turns into “Oh my god, I’m listening to a Crazy Frog album in 2018.”
It’s an embarrassing affair for everyone involved, from the musicians to the people who painstakingly rendered every inch of Crazy Frog’s appalling blue body into digital flesh, but, my God, can you imagine the money? Whatever Faustian deal with the devil these cretins were locked into had to have been worth it due to the bucketloads of sweet, sweet ringtone cash, unless the deal involved one of them becoming Crazy Frog, in which case, I’m so sorry. We’ll get you out of there one day, pal.
Brokencyde – I’m Not A Fan But The Kids Like It
Now, I’m cheating a little bit with the placement of this album, because it’s technically the last album I listened to, but I want to give it a proper lashing because it would be impossible to effectively follow the final album on this list. Make no mistake; This album is bad. Very bad. In a sense, it’s the opposite of Rebirth in that it tries to combine metalcore vocals with hip hop beats, which is much, much worse. In fact, I would go so far as to call it vile. The record is full of frat-boy rap songs wearing the neon skin of early-2000s scene kid culture. Almost every single line on every single song, barring the heartfelt closer “I’m Sorry,” is about sex. Even worse, the songs incorporate the scene roots of these fellows by bringing in the characteristic violence against women that can be found all across the genre of metalcore. But now, instead of directing their misogynistic vitriol towards exes that jilted them, they’re setting their sights on whatever nameless girl they envision themselves copulating with on any given night.
It’s like someone recorded a pack of teenage boys during their routine activity of making it undeniably clear just how little about sex they actually know and how much they want you to believe they know. It’s just pure, animalistic lust in its purest form. Actually, I’ve seen animals with more tact and subtlety than these guys. It’s an extremely upsetting album, and it kind of took away the nostalgic buzz for the mid-2000s I had going after the Soulja Boy album. On that note, you should probably listen to it now: I feel a crunkcore revival coming in my bones.
Corey Feldman – Angelic 2 The Core
You cannot predict what this album sounds like. Try as you might, intently looking at the album cover of Corey Feldman being dragged out of hell by two of his “Angels” (his live-in Playmate-esque concubines), you cannot fully comprehend what is confined within this double album until you hear it. Angelic 2 The Core hops from EDM to dubstep to acoustic ballads to hip hop to big band jazz to a song with Fred Durst in it and finally lands on a cover of John Lennon’s Working Class Hero. Also, it’s an hour and 35 minutes long. Corey Feldman, a former child star for those of you who were unaware, chases whatever hedonistic musical fantasy that appears in his mind, playing god to a horrible, hellish landscape that absolutely commands your attention at all angles.
This album reaches so high and spreads itself so thin that it’s almost admirable that Corey Feldman would attempt something so grand with a near certain chance of failing spectacularly. In fact, it was practically dead on arrival, with Feldman’s proposed $105,000 Indiegogo campaign only reaching $14,982. That should’ve been a sign, but this is not the product of someone who reads warnings, no matter how obvious and blatant. This album really is just Feldman himself, condensed and liquidated into soundwaves in such a way that it gives me reason to believe that he has access to some sort of conscience transferral technology that allows him to perfectly craft all of his very, very imperfect music finely attuned to his vision.
Even through all this, I still implore you to listen to this album. It’s a journey through the looking glass into this incomprehensible, backwards world that Feldman has painstakingly crafted for your torment. He chases you like a minotaur in a maze of his own design. It’s an abyss that you get lost in and a horrible, raspy siren that calls you to shipwreck and a grim figure of death that beckons you with its bony finger when you know it’s time to go. This album haunts me– Corey Feldman’s spectre stands at my bed–and he keeps singing and dancing and smiling–and his angels begin to take me up to heaven–but it’s not heaven. I don’t know how I know, but I do and then I’m gone. I’m gone, I’m gone, I’m gone, I’m gone, goodbye.
Featured image via Wikia.com.