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The 25 Worst No. 1 Pop Songs

on January 15, 2014, 1:38pm
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20. D4L – “Laffy Taffy”

I downloaded this song in 2006. I paid money for D4L’s “Laffy Taffy”, a memory that I had buried deep in my subconscious until this piece, and now I sit here, a sullen man embarrassed by his past decisions. This song is garbage, quite possibly the least musically worthwhile thing on this list, and with good reason. Who the fuck is it aimed at? I know that as a seventh grader, roughly 75% to 95% of the lyrics were over my head, so clearly the song isn’t for kids. But what self-respecting adult/hip-hop fan is going to ride around town bumping a song that sounds like it could/should have been played in a carnival fun house? –Pat Levy

19. Sisqo – “Incomplete”

Things Sisqo has: A grand piano, jewelry, a mansion with a sprawling backyard, “a bank account bigger than the law should allow,” “pretty faces from the covers of the magazines,” “fame and fortune,” a nifty camcorder with an LCD screen (nothing to scoff at in 2000), expensive cars, a tennis court, a goddamn white tiger, and an ocean view. Things Sisqo does not have, rendering him helplessly incomplete: You, girl, and any other #1 hits besides this to show for his career. –Steven Arroyo

18. Chris Brown – “Run It!”

In 2005, the world was introduced to Chris Brown, an artist who would punch his way into our hearts, and it was his lead single, “Run It!”, that launched his debut into the pop music conversation. The guest spot from Dipset mainstay Juelz Santana is almost entirely recycled from other songs, including Will Smith’s G-rated “Switch” and The Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song)”. This song really makes me sad for the state of pop music at that time, when a kid more baby-voiced than Bieber could have a hit song about stealing girlfriends. He barely sounds old enough to have crushes or not be afraid of cooties yet. –Pat Levy

17. Usher – “OMG”

For a song with more than 90 million views on YouTube, you’d expect something a little more nuanced than a beat of dueling metronomes and Usher pining for a woman he could likely just walk up to and have. will.i.am.’s contribution doesn’t amount to much more than Auto-Tuning one of the least imaginative verses of this millennium, while Usher isn’t trying much harder with his lyrics. “Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow/ Honey got some boobies like wow, oh wow,” has to be something that Usher’s 13-year-old nephew wrote for him, right? –Pat Levy

16. Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”

Compared to most songs centered on comprehensive boogieing routines, “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” remains purely useless for one, essential reason: It doesn’t even teach you the goddamn dance steps. Lyrically, it eschews decipherable English in favor of nonsense phrases that are repeated to no end. It’s as if someone erased the rapping from the track, leaving us with four painful minutes of hype man shtick. “Soulja Boy off in this oh/ Watch me crank it, watch me roll/ Watch me crank dat, Soulja Boy/ Then Superman dat oh,” Soulja intones, expecting both our brains and dancing feet to know exactly what’s going on. That was 2007. Nearly seven years later, we still have no clue. –Dean Essner

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