It’s not as easy as you might think to find five truly god-awful songs from one year—then agree on all of them, as the EW music staff recently did. The most terrible songs not only irritate your ears, they invade your cultural space and insult your intelligence. We believe these five very much fit the bill.
1. “Accidental Racist”
Brad Paisley feat. LL Cool J
This schmaltzy loaf of country pop equates slavery’s “iron chains” with rap’s “gold chains,” and the Confederate flag with the “do-rag.” Smarmy gimmicks don’t come any stupider:
2. “Walks Like Rihanna”
Does RiRi really walk a certain way? Or are these bleating horndogs arbitrarily objectifying her, as a point of comparison for the “freakiest thing” in the club? Makes “Moves Like Jagger” sound like “Gimme Shelter.”
3. “Chinese Food”
It’s bad enough that we’re bombarded with videos engineered to go viral. This one actually relied on the inevitable backlash against its Asian stereotypes to better its chances, hoping to capitalize on indignation and imbecilic amusement alike.
4. “I Hit it First”
He may be the other person in the Kim Kardashian sex tape, but on this breezily chauvinist novelty track, Ray J fails to even comprehend what his targets, Kim and Kanye, have made into an art form: the denial of everyday notions of shame and judgment. He hit it, but they’ve long since quit it.
5. “Banga! Banga!”
Mahone, a 17-year-old -YouTube phenom, opened for Taylor Swift on her summer tour. But this deeply irritating rap-flavored single shows he’s got plenty to learn about young women—even his “perfect ballerina” probably wouldn’t enjoy being thought of as a “trophy on my dash.”
Surely there were songs you hated that aren’t listed here. Or perhaps you have a defense for Austin, Ray or Brad. Tell us all about it in the comments!