Inspired by the combination of some truly awful records and a recurring feature on Videogum, editor Joe Puglisi proves that even criminally awful albums can inspire us... to seek out which of them is the worst.
The Worst Record of All Time V: The one that most will leave out of the canon because Rocky doesn't have a big fight in the ring at the end and we've already covered racial issues, as well as America versus the Russians, so really where are we going with this anyway?
Ideas: no two are created equal (think push-up bras and Booty Pop&trade), and often, all of them have already been thought up by our elders, our peers, or as my fifth grade class might say, Chuck Norris (source?). Luckily, although Chuck Norris claims ownership over such infallible products like "cans of whoop-ass" and "teen preganancy by extreme violence", I tend think the hunt for the worst record of all time is safe from lawsuits and Carlos Mencia-style-theft accusations. I swear, I made up this joke that I saw on the Chevy Chase Comedy Central movietime. Seriously, you guys. I'm Rick James, b*tch.
But sometimes we discover our ideas have been already created and executed, and those are sad days, especially when you get served by the "UPS guy" (e.g. Seth Rogan, Pineapple Express). Luckily, the idea to find the most disgusting recording ever made is neither desirable, nor a copyrightable, monetary thing (YET!). We can continue the quest without youtube mashups claiming how boldly we suck. These guys know what I'm talking about:
Luckily Chris Martin can pay people off in solid gold Captain Crunch outfits.
BUT. I did happen upon a now defunct site called "Opinz" (ugh), which circa Jan. 2009 was running a WROAT column! Wow! Dubbed "The Worst Albums Of All Time"! I had to read them all! What is this disclaimer?!
Welcome to Opinz. Opinz is a music news, review, and opinion blog. We feature news, articles, and album reviews by real music fans not some pretentious nerd on a Mac with a hard on for Radiohead.
Uh oh, I have all of those things! I totally have a Mac for Radiohead! Good thing I'm usually not pretentious (source?). Seriously. Animal Collective is annoying live. I don't like No Age. Joanna Newsom is weird voiced. I really like the "new" Modest Mouse. I will always love the Spice Girls. I am so sorry for all of that.
Back to the expert Opinz: (UGH). Luckily there were only three "Worst Albums" before they quit, so our hunt is bigger and longer (what a suggestive way to say that)! And all those albums are pretty defendable! Like the Lou Reed "ear-raping" Metal Music Machine, which despite being entirely unlistenable must be respected as art? And the reprehensable but deservedly crap-filled St. Anger, which took an already irrelevant band and made them more irrelevant, not to mention Metallica fueling more St. Anger for the collective bastardization of Napster, a move seen as the first trumpet in a series of trumpets leading to Apple p'wning Major Labels, the music industry crumbling due to inability to adjust to the digital age, and the RIAA conducting police raids to catch you jerking it to a leak of the latest Justin Bieber track in your basement. Wow, I am so sorry for all of that.
BUT. One album did catch my attention and I've tried to think about it in the past, usually failing to understand the subtle nuances of greek slang and being an "American Personality", but hey! They already did it for me. Kevin Federline's 2006 "might-as-well-be-child-pornography" record dubbed Playing With Fire has always been a big deposit in our LOLK, simply because Federline got burned fo realz. Hard. Widely regarded as less desirable than being brainwashed by evil Russians from Goldeneye, our hero managed to play a free show with 300 attendees. Not so quick, hero! You need the master sword for to defeat this monsters!
The thing is, ninjas, I feel like we already covered why most white guys shouldn't rap, nuff said about wiggin'. And beyond that, I don't think that this is honestly the worst record of all time. I mean, it is certainly not good. Sure, Federline was misguided, but like Valentine's Day and Booty Pop&trade, bad ideas happen ALL THE TIME. Considering the unfathomable crap we've already covered, "Dogs" and rap songs about mashed potatoes, this stuff seems pretty tame. Sure he taps every rap cliche possible. But the production values aren't that bad, maybe? Although the "Intro" is definitely a red flag. It's just a bunch of soundbytes about how horrible Federline is, expressing doubt that he could ever be a successful rapper. Way to bury the lead, K-Pax! (no journo).
BUT. I take issue with some of the criteria of The Worst Album exploration of why Playing With Fire is the AIDS of recorded music, and thus must question their conclusions. Let's Girl Talk it out.
1) JOKES. While I appreciate the respectable depth of the analysis (right down to lyrical content, song for song!), and it is DEEP like the ocean of my hatred for Booty Pops, sometimes it is a little over-seasoned. e.g.
" If you're not familiar with Federline, he was the back-up dancer that Britney Spears married because she needed someone to spend all her money and fill her with gross wigger jizz"
This is a bad joke, Opinz (UGH. Can I just call you opinions?). See also: the Stephen Hawkings photoshop gag.
2) CRITERIA. The title of worst record should be bestowed due to the quality of recorded content and production as well as poor subject material. While K-Mart's lyrics are juvenile to say the ABOLUT least, they genuinely try to make typical rap conversation, like "how hot are you, in terms of a solid object turning into a liquid?" and "what are you going to do to your girlfriend?" and "how much are your rhymes worth, monetarily?" Although his answers to these are pretty uninspired, he does follow convention! This probably explains why he is the Boston Market of rappers. But Boston Market is still in business, so point proven?
3) THIS: "Whoever the f*ck produced this album decided that every line should be followed by a whispered voice repeating the last word, which is one of the cheesiest hip-hop effects ever devised, ranking along side auto-tuner, steel drums, and Ja Rule." Now I have to agree that steel drums and Ja Rule are terrible. But auto-tune, although overused, was important to a lot of important hip-hopping, not to mention the trademark sounds of Celine Deon for COUNTLESS sketch comedies about her voice AND countless sketches featuring T-Pain. Nothing spanning so much hilarity can be bad for you!
I do agree with the puzzling observation that he continually refers to himself as "The Pancake Man". That's some funny stuff! But I think that Opinz (ugh) would think it meant something diffrent if it was Lil' Wayne calling himself the Pancake Man, like he is all drizzled in sizzurp? Or maybe the Fed thinks he is just a flat piece of pancake mix on the griddle? I don't know, I think he might not be too familiar with the concept of metaphors and wordplay, he spends a lot of time being literal, or as he probably calls it "real for my streetsigns". He calls himself Captain Hook, but doesn't mean like he is like the Captain Morgan commercial for the guy who drinks rum and writes awesome beats with a catchy chorus, he just means a pirate. That is just MISSED OPPORTUNITY, K! Like letting someone else invent Booty Popsicles (patent pending)!
But at the end of the day, K-Nerd just wanted to give his grandkids something to be proud of, isn't that all we want to be in life? It is just too bad it turned out to be the equivalent of years of frustration and mockery from their peers, and later, their children. Plus this record was pulled from stores. If America realized how bad it was, then it does not meet my criteria for worst record, because it is both obviously bad and widely known as a joke.
So, at the end of the movie, Baeble finally defeats Federline in a street fight as Opinz watches from above the highway, a ghost, and then "Eye Of The Tiger" plays and people demand their money back.
But, before I sleep, a reader of their site has an Opinz of his own about Special K and his music:
Manuel Nichols Says:
March 24th, 2009 at 3:38 pm
i like this song!!!
That is all for this installment of WROAT. Sorry for all my Opinz (ugh) but remember, they are all opinions! Words are just words, but Playing With Fire has killed the buzz at several social functions by being terrible. This is Captain Hook saying: spin some Weezy, and please drink responsibly.-joe puglisi
P.S. Special thanks to Opinz, whoever you are, for either being such a good sport or just not giving a K-Fed what we're saying here. You are welcome to join our hunt any day, because we all want the same thing; to laugh at the expense of someone's art. Goodnight everybody!
P.P.S. I won five dollars for successfully incorporating "Booty Pop&trade" into this article five times. I told you I could do anything, MOM!