January 28, 2009 at 11:46 PM EST

I was hesitant to bash Lil Wayne’s god-awful “rock” single, “Prom Queen,” when it leaked this weekend. Felt too much like shooting fish in a barrel, you know? I said my piece about Weezy’s delusions of guitar-hero grandeur long ago. After seeing footage of the song’s live premiere this morning, though, I can stay silent no longer. Trout better watch out, because I’m aiming straight into that barrel.

So there you have it: Music’s reigning emperor standing bare-assed before us. This unholy combination of bargain-basement mall-metal riffage and semi-conscious Auto-Tuned moaning sounded bad enough in the studio, but seeing Wayne attempt to perform this song live is just painful. You may notice that virtually no sound comes out when Weezy starts maniacally tapping his frets around the 1:50 mark. This is because Lil Wayne cannot play guitar (even after months of “practice”!), so he’s mixed waaaay down, if he’s even plugged in to an amp at all. And he wants us to listen to an entire album of this nonsense?

I’ve said it before, but once more for the road, Lil Wayne is a genius. I firmly believe he is one of the greatest lyricists who has ever lived, when he wants to be. What’s more, I am all for artists expanding their range and confounding their audiences. (Kid A is probably my favorite album of all time. The Love Below is pretty sweet too!) None of that changes the fact that even geniuses make mistakes, and as responsible fans we have to call them out. “Prom Queen” would be lame if it was being played by a random rock band. It’s still just as lame when it’s being played by the world’s biggest rapper.

But hey, maybe there’s something wrong with my ears. Do any of you actually like “Prom Queen”?

More on Lil Wayne:
He was one of EW’s 25 Entertainers of the Year for 2008
Tha Carter III made it onto Leah Greenblatt’s 10 Best CDs of 2008
Weezy’s Gatorade ads are awesome
Thinking over Tha Carter III when it hit shelves last June

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