music / Columns

The 411 Music Top Five 12.25.12: The Top 5 Least-Wanted Artists of 2013

December 25, 2012 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas


5. Lil Wayne

Please, let this finally be the year.

I openly detest what I’ve started simply calling “cult of personality” hip-hop: mostly soiling the genre’s mainstream, these are the MCs, crews and producers who get non-stop passes on banal lyrics, awkward rhymes, vapid wordplay and irritating beats because … “Hey, it’s SO-AND-SO!”

Lil Wayne has reigned as this sect’s king for what feels like ages. It demeans the word “genius” that Rolling Stone in 2011 not only dubbed him one, but did so in big letters on their cover. I now have to work doubly hard to come with words each week that adequately quantify the true thought, emotion, dynamic flows and benchmark musicality that MCs like Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common, The Game, Lupe Fiasco and others bring to the craft.

Wayne, meanwhile? His wordplay doesn’t stand up to an attentive listen for anything resembling wit, substance or personality; one beat is consistently indistinguishable from the next; and just to eliminate the last possible grating offense, it’s one thing entirely to have a signature delivery to your lines – it’s another entirely when you just have a monotonous, droning flow.

For the good of opening the genre’s doors, and because it’s time to stop feeding mainstream entertainment’s con into which too many bar-lowering fans feed that there’s actually anything unique about him worth celebrating, let this be the year this chucklehead becomes the first rapper to “retire” and stay that way.

4. Flo Rida

It’s not even so much that Flo Rida’s music is actually terrible.

OK, I’m understating the point. Actually, that’s a big part of it. But he and other alike purveyors of awful hip-hop present a conundrum more worth eradicating than solving.

They’re those artists we look at top-to-bottom who leave us asking, “Why in every corner of Hell are you famous, again?”

Weezy, I kind of get. It’s a question of charisma, and Lil Wayne does have that in spades. Flo Rida? He’s a run-of-the-mill lyricist whose name inexplicably spread everywhere in 2012 like watery brown waste down a frightened IBS patient’s backside. “Whistle” was a ham-fisted blowjob metaphor whose lyrics – the hook especially – demonstrate that Flo just might not have any idea how one actually works. “Good Feeling” found itself anointed a Wrestlemania theme song, but come on – that only further demonstrates the McMahon family’s collective awful taste in music (Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, AC/D C and the Red Hot Chili Peppers aside).

Don’t go away mad. Just go away the same way you came in: quietly, before someone can see you and throw you out.

3. Nickelback

I shouldn’t need a “Why?” answer, to be perfectly honest.

They need to go away because it’s years overdue.

They need to go away because Chad Kroeger has been brazen enough in interviews to all but say, “I’ve known for years that we suck. Do you really think you’re telling me something new?”

Most of all, they need to go away because mildly retarded drum techs of the world don’t need another lead singer flipping the “DERP” switch by offering them shiny new pennies to stick their dicks in whirling fan blades.

2. Maroon 5

They haven’t been “listenable” in years, though they were barely even that from the beginning.

Actually, Maroon 5 going away may not even solve the biggest problem: Adam Levine. I’d lump Train into this slot as well for the same reasons I’m about to espouse, but disinterest despite a brief comeback may do that job for me and history’s worst songwriter, Pat Monahan. Levine, on the other hand? Even without his band, the world has mistakenly convinced him his voice is enjoyable.

About ¼ of every Maroon 5 album’s budget has been sunk into paying hookers to step on this jagoff’s testicles until his voice reaches that ear-splitting, dick-shrinking pitch. What’s worse, Mark Burnett and NBC have somehow been convinced this qualifies him to positively judge others’ singing. Worse still, he manages to actually detract significantly from “My Life,” the single best track Eminem and 50 Cent have respectively put together in years, with a screeching performance that sounds so out-of-place over such an intense moody.

But really? He’s a stopgap. The true worst of the lot?

1. Rihanna/Chris Brown

Chris Brown is obvious. So obvious, that this is the most I’ll dedicate to him alone.

Rihanna, though?

She may be even sadder a case. Ever since Good Girl Gone Bad — which I think stands out as one of the better pop-R&B albums of the last ten years, maybe the best – her music has actually become so droning, badly written, and devoid of anything entertaining, that Unapologetic as a whole was an admission with its content that she’s regressed enough musically to being better known for being attractive and being beaten like a speed bag by Brown almost four years ago than making good music.

Rihanna, take a break. Please. It’s actually becoming infuriating the way it comes across that you’re now actually pretty much cashing in on being a domestic violence victim. Let’s get two things clear: one, Whitney Houston indeed survived it too, but her music took a nosedive after the years Bobby Brown spent exacerbating what we now know were existing demons; second, Tina Turner was indeed famous for enduring years of Ike Turner’s torment, but her music got better and better with age, and she rarely gave even Turner’s memory following his passing the time of day in interviews.

Stop cashing in, please. Start making better music.

Honorable Mention: Chris Brown, Drake, Pitbull, Taylor Swift

5. Ted Nugent & Dave Mustaine (tie)

Okay, to be fair, I wouldn’t necessarily mind hearing more music by Nugent or by Mustaine. In fact, a Megadeth/Ted Nugent collaboration would be awesome. However, I don’t think these guys are actually interested in music anymore. Nugent hasn’t released an album since 2007 and Megadeth has been an afterthought for a while now. They’re more interested in making ridiculous allegations like “Barack Obama staged the Aurora, Colorado shootings” or telling Obama to “suck on my machine gun.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with being conservative, but these guys do as much damage to the conservative movement as anyone else can. They have every right to speak their mind–even when they’re being insane–but I have every right to call them insane for doing so and hoping that I don’t have to hear their insanity in the next twelve months.

4. Nicki Minaj

Really, can anyone be remotely surprised that she’s on this list. Nicki Minaj got her career off to a good start but its quickly taken a nosedive. Her music has ranged from bizarrely awful to garden-variety awful for the whole of 2012, started by an captivatingly terrible and weird performance of already-bad “Roman Holiday” at the Grammy Awards in February. She never let up and the entire year was full of Nicki doing strange things and performing bad music. Sadly, this wish that we see less of her next year is a futile one thanks to American Idol. That Nicki Minaj is judging American Idol tells you everything you need to know about that show’s decline.

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3. Green Day

Look, Green Day. Come here a moment, we need to speak. I appreciate that you guys had an ambitious plan to release a trio of albums. I even appreciate that you had to squeeze the whole thig into a condensed time period because of Billie Joe’s loopy meltdown and Justin Bieber rant that got him shipped off to rehab. But can we please give it a rest next year? Seriously, I am 100% pop-punked out at this point. Go…I don’t know, do whatever you do when you’re not making music and touring. Take the year off and come back with one album. One. Single. Album. That’d be great, thanks!

2. Lil Wayne

I know we’ll be seeing a ton out of Lil Wayne next year, and I’m already dreading it. The Cash Money leader not only has a whole label of artists that he’ll need to do obligatory guest spots on, but he also has his own albums coming out. Depending on what time of day it is, he has anywhere from one to three albums being prepped for 2013 releases. What does this mean? It means that we have to get ready for a full year of Weezy rolling out of bed in the recording studio, delivering half-assed rhymes in a tone that suggests he might be close to becoming the only man ever to die of a marijuana overdose, then going back to bed until its time to cash one of his paychecks. I’ll pay him NOT to rap at this point.

1. Rihanna

Seriously, Rihanna, take a god damned break. The Barbadian pop star has maintained a breakneck pace of music, dropping seven full-length albums since August 2005. And the more she maintains this pace, the worse her albums get. For Unapologetic, she decided it was time to go all in in terms of cashing in on public controversy regarding her abuse at Chris Brown’s hands, while at the same time telling us that it was “Nobody’s Business.” That just shows how little she has left to say. If Rihanna were to finally take a year off she may have a chance at coming back with a creatively strong album, and more to the point she would stop being the most overexposed person in the music industry. That would be nice.

The Final Word
As always, the last thoughts come from you, the reader. We’re merely unpaid monkeys with typewriters and Wikipedia. Here’s what you need to do: List your Top Five for this week’s topic on the comment section using the following format:

5. Artist – “Song”: Why you chose it
4. Artist – “Song”: Why you chose it
3. Artist – “Song”: Why you chose it
2. Artist – “Song”: Why you chose it
1. Artist – “Song”: Why you chose it


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Jeremy Thomas
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