The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2020
December 23, 2020
Introduction[edit | edit source]
Todd plays Drake ft. Lil Durk - "Laugh Now, Cry Later" on piano
THE TOP TEN WORST HIT SONGS OF 2020
A year-end review
Todd: So. How was your year?
Montage clips of The Weeknd - "Blinding Lights"; Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion - "WAP"; Harry Styles - "Watermelon Sugar"; Doja Cat - "Say So"; BTS - "Dynamite"; Jack Harlow - "What's Poppin"; Drake - "Toosie Slide"; Dua Lipa - "Break My Heart"; Roddy Ricch - "The Box"; Billie Eilish - "Therefore I Am"; Ariana Grande - "Positions"; Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper - "Holy"; Tones and I - "Dance Monkey"
Todd (VO): Well, as is my job, I have put together a list of the popular songs I liked the least in 2020. I swear to God, I must be becoming a happier, more well-adjusted person because every year I find the worst list harder and harder. And if it's hard normally, you can imagine how difficult it was to do this with a bad case of quarantine brain. How do you make a list of bad songs in a specific year when concepts like badness and linear time have completely evaporated?
Todd: Well, I did my best. As always, I restrict myself to the hits. Anything in the year end Hot 100 or cracked the Top 20. [image of collage of famous artists] I say I do that cause it's only fair to dunk on the one percent. But mostly it's because I need some sort of structure to do this or my brain will leak out of my ears. [image of a man passed out on a couch in a messy room] And it was especially rough this year when I stopped having any clue what my taste in music even is. But when I look at this list I made, the more and more I realize I'm leaning on my old standby that the worst things aren't the most bad, they're the least good.
Clips of "Hot Girl Bummer" by...
Todd (VO): Truly loathsome artists like Blackbear or [..."GOOBA" by...] 6ix9ine, [...and "Bang!" by...] or aesthetically offensive ones like AJR where every creative decision they make is mystifying.
Todd: They did not make this list, because I have a grudging respect for people who care enough about my feelings to offend them. In this [clip of empty city streets] suffocatingly unstimulating year, the worst thing you could do to me was bore me. But really, it's hard to get too upset. Whatever you feel about these songs, I think we can all agree that they're not gonna be our least favorite thing about 2020. So let us dump this [several images saying "Fuck You" to 2020] wasted year in the garbage once and for all. We're counting down...
Clip of Halsey - "You Should Be Sad", which serves as the interlude throughout the countdown
Halsey: Oh, I feel so sad (I feel so sad)
I feel so sad (I feel so sad)
Todd (VO): The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2020!
#10[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #10.
Clip of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon...
Jimmy Fallon: [holding copy of Changes] Give it up for Justin Bieber!
...followed by a live performance of Justin Bieber performing "Intentions" on said show
Justin Bieber: Stay in the kitchen cookin' up, got your own bread
Todd: Justin Bieber had an odd year.
Todd (VO): One that earned him enough commercial success that you can't say it was bad for him, but also one that put a ton of cracks in his foundation.
His big hit was the one where he told his beautiful, beloved wife that she...had a heart full of equity?
Justin: Heart full of equity, you're an asset
Todd: [uh...] Romantic? [shrugs] Well...
Todd (VO): ...perhaps, he sensed that his position was now suddenly very shaky. Because his next move was one that usually stinks of a desperate attempt to turn around a sinking reputation.
Todd: A heart-rending, soul-baring plea for sympathy. [pause] How did that go for him?
#10. Justin Bieber & Benny Blanco - "Lonely"
Justin: What if you had it all
But nobody to call?
Todd (VO): This is low on the list because quite honestly, Bieber fulfilled all the goals he set for this song.
Todd: He wanted to make people understand that the life of the most...
Todd (VO): ...famous pampered kid in the world is actually very unhappy and isolating.
Todd: And as far as I'm concerned, he succeeded.
Justin: And everybody saw me sick
And it felt like no one gave a shit
Todd (VO): He tried to make people believe that he is a troubled soul, [clip of ABC News of Bieber's infamous courtroom hearing] and that his infamous downward spiral in 2013 was a manifestation of deep-seated pain.
Justin: They criticized the things I did as an idiot kid
Todd: He succeeded again.
Todd (VO): Everything I've ever heard about Bieber as a human being, even from the very beginning, was that he was a spoiled, insufferable little turd.
Todd: So, I should not feel any sympathy for him, but he pulled it off.
Todd (VO): I do feel sorry for him, for all the pressure, the scrutiny, the things he suffered as a child star.
Todd: But mostly I feel sorry because when he tries to express that pain, he sounds like this!
Justin: I'm so lo-o-o-onely
Todd cringes while listening
Todd (VO): Someone put that poor injured dolphin out of its misery.
Todd: Like, there's no way around it! The song just fucking sucks!
Todd (VO): I absolutely believe he's coming at this from an authentic place, but sincerity is just not a look he can pull off!
Todd: What it reminds me of is this!
Clip from Kids in the Hall
Dave Foley: I'm so lonely.
Todd (VO): I-I should explain. This is from an old Kids in the Hall sketch about a guy with a speech impediment that makes him sound sarcastic.
Dave: I've talked this way all my life. It's made things very difficult for me.
It's a really funny bit, but you feel bad for laughing because he's clearly in a lot of pain; he just can't make himself believable.
Todd: And that's how I feel here.
Video for "Lonely"
Todd (VO): He clearly has inner torment, but just cannot help but be the empty, pretty-faced golden boy.
Justin: And that's just fuckin' lonely
It kind of succeeds by failing.
Todd: It's both intentionally and unintentionally sad...
Todd (VO): ...especially the video, where he watches someone else playing him onstage, [clip of Rob Cantor - "Shia LaBeouf (Live)"...] actual cannibal Shia LaBeouf style. [..and Shia LaBeouf clapping afterwards] Speaking of child stars who spiraled in 2013.
Todd: Well, Bieber, you may be lo-o-o-onely, [clip of ABC News broadcast about FKA Twigs suing LaBeouf for physical abuse] but you had a better 2020 than that guy. So, buck up.
Video for "Lonely" ends
#9[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #9.
Todd: I have been covering pop stars for a long time. [pause] Today, I take my life in my own hands. Here we go.
#9. Blackpink ft. Selena Gomez - "Ice Cream"
Jennie: Even in the sun, you know I keep it icy
Todd (VO): I live in fear of K-pop stans in general. I don't know if I should fear the Blackpink fans specifically. I expect I'll find out soon enough!
Todd: [shrugs] I liked that other song they released this year!
Clip of Blackpink - "Lovesick Girls"
Blackpink: We are the lovesick girls
Todd (VO): That was good. Wish that had charted more than a week.
Todd: I respect them at least, but I don't think they're gonna be for me.
Video for Blackpink - "뚜두뚜두 (DDU-DU DDU-DU)"
Todd (VO): I've checked out their older stuff, and their whole aesthetic is just...
Jennie: Hit you with that ddu-du, ddu-du, du
It's kinda much.
Todd: I mean, I get the appeal. They're hard to ignore...
Todd (VO): ...but "Ice Cream" felt like that same aesthetic watered down for cross-national marketability.
Jennie: Like it, love it, lick it, do it like la-la-la, oh yeah
Todd: God, what an irritating song!
Selena Gomez: Coldest with the kiss, so he call me ice cream
Todd (VO): This song is one of two confection-based collaborations they did with Western pop stars this year.
Clip of Lady Gaga ft. Blackpink - "Sour Candy"
Jennie: I'm sour candy
So sweet, then I get a little angry, yeah
I get teaming up, it'll get you in the door.
Todd: But the Gaga one actually made sense. [brief clip of Lady Gaga - "911"] Too much is what she does. But I don't know why a band like Blackpink would collaborate with Selena Gomez!
Video for Blackpink - "How You Like That"
Todd (VO): All of Blackpink's songs hit like sledgehammers...
Todd: ...versus Selena, who...
Clip of "Ice Cream"
Selena: Come a little closer 'cause you lookin' thirsty
Todd: [pause] If I was thirsty, why would I want ice cr...Hold on, I had a point.
Todd (VO): Look, I've been very harsh on Selena Gomez. Maybe I've underestimated her. [clip of Selena Gomez - "Dance Again"] I've always said she sounded indifferent to her own music career. That last album proved me wrong. It was pretty decent and you couldn't say she wasn't putting in the effort.
Todd: But anything she releases is gonna be hampered by the fact that she's the one on it, and she is just not an engaging performer.
Clip of "Ice Cream"
Selena: Diamonds on my wrist, so he call me ice cream
Todd (VO): Unfortunately, this is a song where Selena Gomez fits right in. I don't know when she entered the creative process, but this feels like a song built around her weak chirp of a voice.
Todd: And what you get is something that keeps all of Blackpink's weaknesses and none of their strengths.
Todd (VO): This is just a run-of-the-mill, annoying pop song.
Todd: Sorry, stans. Please don't kill me.
Todd (VO): But this isn't ice cream. This is frosting with no cake underneath.
Todd: No thanks.
Blackpink: Ice cream, ice cream
Jennie: [slowed down] Ice cream
Todd: Actually, what was that?
Jennie: [slowed down] Ice cream
Todd: Was that the brain freeze? Guess it is like ice cream.
#8[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #8.
Todd: I actually listened to a lot more country music this year than I usually do, and I gotta say...Country music, I think you may have a drinking problem.
Thomas Rhett: Ain't nothin' that a beer can't fix
Todd (VO): We all did our best to get through the pandemic.
Todd: And a lot of us tried to beat the coronavirus with a steady supply of Corona.
Clip of Justin Moore - "Why We Drink"
Justin Moore: That's why we drink
Todd (VO): Back in May, my living room was basically an ocean of empties...
Todd: ...and I doubt I was the only one.
Clip of Little Big Town - "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"
Little Big Town: The wine, the beer, the whiskey
Todd (VO): Nashville found itself uniquely equipped to handle our quarantine coping with its proud tradition of drinking songs...
Todd: ...and listening to country music this year was like [clip of...] Stone Cold Steve Austin blasting you with the beer hose. And I'm not judging. These songs did give me some comfort during this long, hard summer. [pause] Not all of them.
#8. Luke Bryan - "One Margarita"
Luke Bryan: It goes like
One margarita, two margarita, three margarita, shot
Don't worry 'bout tomorrow
Todd (VO): There are many kinds of drinking songs. [brief clips of LMFAO ft. Lil Jon - "Shots"...] There's the kind where you drink to get turnt up, [...and Morgan Wallen - "Whiskey Glasses"] and then there's the kind where you drink 'cause you need some kind of mental relief from all the stress in the world.
Todd: But the worst kind of drinking song does neither.
Clip of "One Margarita"
Luke: Little by little
Sippin' on a frozen drink
Todd (VO): It's not really to relieve any pain, but it's also not to cut loose and get wild.
Todd: It's just for you to sit there on your sun deck and melt your brain with cocktails 'til you start drooling into your parrot-head shirt.
Luke: Don't worry 'bout tomorrow, leave all your sorrow out here on the floatin' dock
Todd (VO): I hate these songs. They're for fifty-year-olds who own three car dealerships and multiple jacuzzis.
Todd: It's music for people who [image of meme with the caption...] just wanna grill for God's sakes.
Luke: Hair of the dog, shouldn't take long
But who cares
Todd (VO): I probably wouldn't have responded to Luke Bryan's flatulent hedonism at any point, but...
Todd: ...it was especially brutal to listen to this year, [image of a closed boardwalk] during a pandemic summer where I was locked in my goddamn house! The only song less equipped to meet the moment was...
Video for Kenny Chesney - "Here and Now"
Todd (VO): ...that Kenny Chesney song about how great it was to be here and now.
Todd: That was a pretty unfortunate and untimely song...
Video for "One Margarita"
Todd (VO): ...but it was a lot less irritating than Bryan crowing about his relaxing beach party that neither I nor anyone could experience without risking our lives!
Luke: One margarita, two margarita
No, I'm not drinking any fruity margaritas, Luke.
Todd: It's just cans of beer from the fridge. Now and for the immediate future. [groans]
Luke: We'll be gone
#7[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #7.
TikTok video of girl lip syncing to...
Millie B: It's M to the B, it's M to the B
It's M M M M M to the B
Todd (VO): I would describe the TikTok era of music as...
Clip of Curtis Waters ft. Harm Franklin - "Stunnin'"
Curtis Waters: Yeah
Todd (VO): So many of the songs that rode TikTok to prominence [side-by-side TikTok videos of people dancing to "Stunnin"] weren't the overwhelmingly polished music that you get from the titans of pop. It's scrappier, it's a lot more immediate. A lot of the time it sounds like a first draft. It has to grab you very quickly.
Todd: In some ways, it's kind of a welcome relief after the 2010s, where [clip of cheering fans at Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve with Ryan Seacrest] stanning became the dominant mode of music discourse. It's time to take the power back, right? ...Well, it has its drawbacks.
#7. Trevor Daniel - "Falling"
Trevor Daniel: My last made me feel like I would never try again
But when I saw you, I felt something I never felt
Todd: This is Trevor Daniel, with his hit song, "Falling".
Trevor: Come closer, I'll give you all my love
Todd: [pause] The fact is I don't really have a lot to say about it because...I don't even really get what it is.
Trevor: I need to hear you need me
Todd (VO): I watched its rise mostly with puzzlement. Like...
Todd: ...what is it? What do you do with it?
Todd (VO): I was trying to untangle my feelings about this song all year. And I didn't decide it was bad until I sat down to write this list.
Montage clips of The Weeknd - "The Hills"; Post Malone ft. 21 Savage - "Rockstar"
I mean, I was pretty slow to get The Weeknd. I was slow to get Post Malone, too. Both of whom this kid has clearly listened to a lot of.
Video for "Falling"
Todd (VO): And even now, I'm worried that eventually what Trevor Daniel is doing here will unlock for me, and I'll feel bad.
Todd: But you know what? Fuck it. I've given it enough chances. Maybe it's just fucking lousy in a way that's not really worth discussing.
Video for Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla Sign - "Psycho"
Todd (VO): Like, I've made my peace with Post Malone. Mostly I respect that he's got a pretty unique voice, and that gets me through even his most tedious songs.
Todd: But this kid, this Real Slim Shady video extra...
Clip of "Falling"
Trevor: If you treat me right, baby, I'll give you everything
Todd (VO): He is in every regard the [image of a shelf filled with Dr. Thunder soda] flat, syrupy Walmart knock-off of Malone's Dr. Pepper.
Todd: Without Malone's weird, ear-catching vibrato, the only thing Trevor has to latch onto is his...
Todd (VO): ...languid, mopey vibe and his insipid whining. This song feels like trying to drive through mud.
Todd: Passively listening to music has never felt more like work.
Todd (VO): And the weird thing is that of all the crossover TikTok hits this year...
Todd: ...this was the kid that the higher-ups decided was gonna transition to stardom.
Clip of Trevor Daniel and Selena Gomez - "Past Life"
Trevor: I'm bad at this, uh
Selena: And I don't wanna sit
Todd (VO): So he followed this with a duet with Selena Gomez, making him the second artist on this list who wrongly banked on Selena's star power. But how did he even get that far?!
Todd: TikTok has spawned a new glory age of one-hit wonders who never even have a hope of a second hit.
Video for "Falling"
Todd (VO): Who would think Trevor Daniel would be the exception? To me, he'll always be the sound of 2020. Sleepy, dull, yet somehow kind of agonizingly painful at the same time.
Video for "Falling" ends
#6[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #6.
Clip of The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards
Alicia Keys: Two beautiful people, who want to share their love with all of us...my friends, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.
Todd: Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are a horrible Frankenstein of a couple.
Clip of ACM performance of Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani - "Happy Anywhere"
Todd (VO): Like, I try not to be this pointlessly negative, but...
Todd: ...I-I hate it. I just hate it in concept.
#6. Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani - "Nobody But You"
Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani: I don't wanna live without you
I don't wanna even breathe
Todd (VO): I'm sure they love each other very much. Just like I'm sure that [images of a woman making out with a steel beam...] one woman is deeply in love with [...and Married to the Eiffel Tower poster] the Eiffel Tower.
Todd: But the sight of them just sends me right into the uncanny valley.
Todd (VO): Maybe I'm just an asshole, but I don't wanna see this glamorous, beautiful pop diva with this deep-fried lumpen oaf. And I also don't want to see her try to feign interest in the world of country music as if she has any connection to it.
Todd: Why do they insist on making music together?!
Video for "Happy Anywhere"
Todd (VO): You know, actually that's not fair because they actually did kinda make it work.
Blake & Gwen: I could be happy anywhere with you
Their second single was a lot better. And the theme of being flexible for love actually kind of worked with their odd couple energy.
Todd: Not so much their first one, which...just sits there.
Clip of "Nobody But You"
Blake & Gwen: I don't wanna dream about you
Wanna wake up with you next to me
Todd (VO): The worst thing that "Nobody But You" does is be an ordinary bad song.
Todd: It's nothing. No substance to it at all.
Todd (VO): Which means that all you're left with in a song like this is contemplating Gwen and Blake's overwhelming non-chemistry.
Todd: Country music is, even now, at least a little bit about authenticity.
Another clip of ACM performance of "Happy Anywhere"
Todd (VO): And Gwen comes off like a Jersey girl in a pink cowboy hat singing "Sweet Home Alabama".
Todd: Like, they do their best to make it work.
Clip of "Nobody But You"
Blake & Gwen: Lookin' in your eyes now, if I had to die now
Todd (VO): They dial back her presence so much that the featuring credit feels like a lie. And they bland up the production so much that it doesn't even really have a genre, and yet all it does is highlight the mismatch at its core.
Todd: All it does is make me wonder what they have in common.
Clip of Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani on The Voice
Todd (VO): Do they do things together besides be on that show? Do they know a single note of the others' music?
Todd: Blake Shelton is notably not a fan of '90s rock...
Another clip from The Voice with Blake and Kelly Clarkson whispering to each other as Adam Levine talks over them
Blake: What's the name of that band? Soul what?
Kelly Clarkson: Asylum.
Blake: Soul Asylum. One of my favorite bands.
Todd (VO): If he doesn't know that one, [clips of No Doubt - "Spiderwebs"...] I doubt he has a copy of Tragic Kingdom. Do you think he even knows what ska is?! [...and...] You think he's ever heard "Hollaback Girl"?!
Video for Blake Shelton ft. Trace Adkins - "Hillbilly Bone"
For that matter, do you think Gwen Stefani knows a single word of "Hillbilly Bone"?!
Blake & Trace: We all got a hillbilly bone
Todd (VO): No! We do not all have a hillbilly bone, and Gwen Stefani is proof.
Todd: Yeah, I think we've reached the limits of this experiment.
Video for "Nobody But You"
Todd (VO): Do your red carpets, magazine covers. Fine. Just no more duets. Please, for the love of God, Gwen.
Todd: Don't put Blake on "Hollaback Girl Part 2". [pause] Oh God! "Hollaback Bone"?!
Audio for "Hollaback Girl" plays over country-sounding acoustic instrumental with an image of Blake and Gwen
Gwen: This shit is bananas
Todd: This shit is bananas. Next!
#5[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #5.
Video for...wait for it...
DJ Khaled: I'm sending you this video so you can feel my passion and my pain. We have to shoot the "Popstar" video. Drake, don't do this to me!
Ha-ha. Drake is acting like working with DJ Khaled is some kind of massive, onerous favor.
Drake: I don't know what to say. It's every waking moment...
Todd (VO): Yeah, that's one of those...
Todd: ..."is he joking" kind of jokes. Like, is he?
Todd (VO): In 2019, it seemed like Khaled's winning streak was finally over. He said too many stupid things, [clip of DJ Khaled ft. Meek Mill, J Balvin, Lil Baby & Jeremih - "You Stay"] or everyone got tired of seeing his name on things he had nothing to do with. I don't know what did it, but it was just another one too many.
Todd: But apparently, the most successful artist in history still has his back.
Drake: But I have to call in a favor, though.
DJ Khaled: We the best music!
#5. DJ Khaled ft. Drake - "POPSTAR"
Drake: Bitches callin' my phone like I'm locked up, nonstop
Todd (VO): [sarcastically] Oh, good. Bieber's involved. Just keeps getting...
Todd: ...better and better.
Drake: Shawty with the long legs, she don't walk, ayy
Todd (VO): I can't imagine caring about the DJ Khaled brand enough to care whether or not he fell off, but I will say that everything off that unsuccessful last album was better than "Popstar".
Todd: As was everything else Drake released in 2020.
Video for Drake - "When to Say When / Chicago Freestyle"
Todd (VO): And as usual, he released, like, five thousand different songs this year, so that's saying a lot.
Todd: And while we're at it, fuck this video.
Clip of "Popstar"
Drake: Shit don't even usually get this big without a Bieber face
Todd (VO): I have no interest in a song called, "Popstar" celebrating Justin Bieber, our worst pop star!
Drake: I'm a popstar, not a doctor
Todd: And if I can ask, what is it with rappers wanting to be something other than rap stars this year?
Clip of DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch - "Rockstar"
DaBaby: Have you ever met a real ni**a rockstar?
Todd (VO): We had DaBaby doing rock star. [clip of Post Malone ft. 21 Savage - "Rockstar"] Not even the first rapper to do that in the last couple years. [brief clip of...] Now we have "Popstar". I mean, at least with "Rockstar", those guys are appropriating a different image.
Video for Drake ft. Lil Durk - "Laugh Now, Cry Later"
But Drake actually is a fucking pop star. He doesn't have...
Todd: ...to compare himself to Bieber, who's probably not even as big a pop star as Drake!
Clip of "Popstar"
Drake: You would probably think my manager is Scooter Braun, yeah
Todd (VO): Regardless, this is one of Drake's worst efforts. I can only assume Khaled used his dark magic to get it big. Even the hook is a total failure.
Drake: Cops pullin' up like I'm givin' drugs out, nah, nah
I'm a popstar, not a doctor
Todd: Is that...is that some kind of botched Star Trek reference?
Drake: I'm a popstar, not a doctor
Todd (VO): Okay, well, whether it is or not, it still doesn't work. It should end on the word "pop star".
Todd: Why is the emphasis on him not being a doctor?!
Todd (VO): [rapping] Yeah! I don't have prescriptions, yeah!
Drake: Bodyguards don't look like Kevin Costner, you tweakin'
Just pulled up to Whitney Houston, Texas for the evenin'
No matter how much I squint at that, that's not a punchline.
Drake: Two, four, six, eight watches, factory, so they appreciate
Todd (VO): I'm starting to worry because dad-joke Drake is becoming more and more of a thing.
Todd: How much longer before he becomes Eminem?
Todd (VO): This absolutely does stink of a favor being done for Khaled. And for Bieber for that matter.
Todd: When did, "Another one," become such a goddamn threat?!
Video for "Popstar" ends
#4[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #4.
Todd: I don't know if this is surprising, but I actually really hate being controversial. I like [image of people giving...] praise. And I don't think my hot takes are important truth bombs that people need to hear, so I try not to share those very often. When I say things, [image of several people holding thumbs-ups] all I want is for people to nod and agree, which is to say that when I tweeted [screenshot of Todd's tweet: "'Mood' is a bad song."] this...it was because I did not expect even the tiniest bit of pushback.
#4. 24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior - "Mood"
24kGoldn: Why you always in a mood? Fuckin 'round, actin' brand new
I ain't tryna tell you what to do
Todd (VO): I was honestly shocked that people disagreed with that. But not only did they disagree...
Todd: ...this is now, like, the most [shot of Billboard article: "24kGoldn & Iann Dior's 'Mood' No. 1 on Hot 100 for Fourth Week, Becomes Most-Streamed Song for First Time"] extensively played song on both radio and streaming in just eons.
24kGoldn: Everything look better with a view
Why you always in a mood?
Todd (VO): People really love this song, and they came down on me then, and they're gonna come down on me now. Like, "You can't possibly think this is, like, the #4 worst hit of year!"
Todd: No, you're right. I don't. I think it's the #1 worst hit of the year...
Todd (VO): ...in that I can't remember the last time I hated a song this much. I cannot express to you how angry it makes me.
Todd: I guess it makes sense that a song about being put in a bad mood by someone else's bad mood consistently puts me in a bad mood!
Todd (VO): But I told myself, you know, "You only hate it that much 'cause it's overplayed and overrated." That's not the same thing as the worst, so...
Todd: ...songs that were more [air quote] "objectively" bad placed above it. But you know what? I feel like I copped out.
Todd (VO): I hate this song with every fiber of my fucking being. Everything about it is dog shit in the least interesting way. And if me hating it is controversial...
Todd: ...it should be because no one should have strong opinions about it at all!
Video for The Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin - "RITMO (Bad Boys for Life)"
Todd (VO): At any given moment, the air waves are clogged with disposable songs like these. Songs with no ambition except...
Todd: ...to be catchy enough to play on the radio a bunch of times without leaving any kind of strong impression.
Brief clips of Arizona Zervas's...
Todd (VO): But usually at least those kinds of songs...your "Roxanne's", [...Lil Mosey's...] your Blueberry Faygo's"...
Todd: ...or your...[pause] God help me, I'm gonna get murdered for this...
Todd (VO): ...your "Dynamite's". At least those songs are all pleasant to listen to. You can absolutely hear them thirty times a day for a few months until they wear out and you forget about them forever.
Todd: But I hated "Mood" by the second listen.
Video for "Mood"
Todd (VO): It was nearly instantly the most grating and unpleasant thing I'd ever heard. Like, "Dance Monkey" without the energy.
Todd: And-and please don't change your opinions to match mine, okay?
Todd (VO): You can think it's good. That's fine, whatever. It's subjective.
Todd: [pause] I wish people would stop telling me it's happy and fun, though. 'Cause that strikes me as incorrect on just a basic, factual level.
Todd (VO): Like, what part?! The pissy lyrics, the obnoxious vocals, the grinding, headachy beat?! The trudging riff plodding along at the algorithmically-derived, middling tempo?! I feel like part of its...
Todd: ...radio success is that it fits all genres, but it's not good at any of them. As far as rappers with rock guitars...
Montage clips of Machine Gun Kelly - "Bloody Valentine"; Juice WRLD & Marshmello - "Come & Go"
Todd (VO): ...it was blown away this year by MGK of all people, and by Juice WRLD from beyond the grave!
Todd: I feel bad that I...
Video for Juice WRLD ft. NBA Youngboy - "Bandit"
Todd (VO): ...didn't appreciate Juice until he was dead, but I'll tell you this. I always believed he meant every word he said.
Todd: But shit like this?
Clip of "Mood"
Iann Dior: We play games of love to avoid the depression
Todd (VO): Worst lyric of the fucking year. A soulless recycling of what Juice did honestly.
Todd: "Mood" is this year's...
Brief montage clips of...
Todd: I wish I could understand what anyone finds remotely enjoyable about this, but all I hear is an overwhelmingly sour, ugly, joyless, irritating little pill of a song. [beat] GOOD FUCKING GOD! I HATE THIS SONG SO MUCH!!
24kGoldn: Everything look better with a view, yeah
#3[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #3.
Todd: Well. Let us travel once again to the ragged edges of TikTok.
#3. StaySolidRocky - "Party Girl"
StaySolidRocky: Lil' mama a party girl, she just wan' have fun too
They say you ain't wifey type
Todd: I'm so fucking sick of fucking teenagers making music in their goddamn basements, man. [brief clips of Richard Berry's...] Sometimes you'll get a "Louie Louie", [...and Lil Nas X's...] or an "Old Town Road", but you can't expect it very often.
Todd (VO): The problem with TikTok is that you need about a third of a song at most to make one. [clip of Surf Mesa ft. Emilee - "ily (i love you baby)"] So a lot of the songs that get big on it feel like they only have about twenty seconds of content.
Todd: But at least they're usually a good twenty seconds!
Todd (VO): "Party Girl" by StaySolidRocky starts with a crap twenty seconds and then keeps repeating it over and over.
StaySolidRocky: Lil' mama a party girl, she just wan' have fun too
Lyrically, "Party Girl" strikes me as a complete and total rip-off of [clips of...] the previous TikTok hit, "Roxanne." And to a lesser extent, [...and Tiesto, Dzeko, Preme and...] Post Malone's "Jackie Chan".
Clip of "Roxanne"
Arizona Zervas: She think I'm an asshole, she think I'm a player
Todd (VO): They're all about some girl who fucks around with them, but doesn't seem to like them very much.
Clip of "Party Girl"
StaySolidRocky: They say you ain't wifey type, but I don't care, I want you
And...[chuckles] I can see where she's coming from. But at least those other songs had decent music.
Todd: This, though, just keeps rolling onward and onward searching for a hook, and never finds one.
Todd (VO): He just keeps hitting the same points over and over again. She's not...interested in getting serious with him.
StaySolidRocky: I told her call me Rocky, she say she not gon' call me that
Todd: I honestly kinda love that.
Todd (VO): "Call me by my cool rap name!"
Todd (VO): But she's also not interesting really.
StaySolidRocky: She drinkin' Four Lokos
Doesn't seem like she has much to say, she doesn't even seem that much fun.
Todd: Even the [single cover for "Party Girl"] cover art is this girl passed out in her own puke!
StaySolidRocky: She boot up off the meds like she can't breathe without it
Todd: Meth? Uh, yeah, she's not the wifey type. Assuming you like women with teeth.
Todd (VO): To paraphrase Roger Ebert, "This is a song that doesn't improve on a blank tape listened to for the same length of time." TikTok hits seem to spell doom for long-term careers, but there's no TikTok hit that made me wanna listen to a second song less than this one.
Todd: Stay solid, Rocky, and stay the fuck off my speakers.
Video for "Party Girl" ends
#2[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): #2.
Todd: One statistic I caught recently was which stars of the 2000s are still stars in the 2020s? Who has had a top 10 hit [shot of black screen listing 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s] in all three past decades? You can look it up, and it's all the biggest names.
Todd (VO): Gaga, Taylor, Drake, Beyoncé.
Todd: And on that list, one man this year cemented his place in the A-list. The truly elite of superstars. Who else could we be talking about? Drum roll, please.
Video for...wait for it...
Jason Derulo: Jason Derulo
Todd: My God, it's almost nostalgic.
#2. Jason DeRulo x Jawsh 685 - "Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat)"
Jason: Savage love, did somebody, did somebody break your heart?
Lookin' like an angel
Todd (VO): With a full decade plus of hits under his belt, Derulo's longevity has led at least a few people to re-evaluate him as an artist.
Todd: He is after all a consummate entertainer...
Clip of Jason Derulo dancing onstage at Isle of MTV
Todd (VO): ...classic kind of song-and-dance man with nothing but energy. [clip of...] He made "Ridin' Solo" and at least a couple other good songs. [clip of TikTok video of Derulo with his dog] Seems to be a decent human being in real life, [clip from...] one of the few people who was in the Cats movie and knew how to play his part without humiliating himself.
Todd: [sighs] But I don't know, man. I just can't get there.
Clip of GMA live music video for "Savage Love"
Todd (VO): Derulo remains to me an eternally unwelcome presence. A man with energy that's both obnoxiously self-impressed, yet pathetically desperate to please. A squealing falsetto almost always employed in the wrong places in the worst ways.
Todd: And just relentlessly horny in the dumbest, least smooth, most no-chill kinda way.
Jason: I still want that
Your savage love
Todd (VO): I thought his schtick had worn out on people years ago, but in 2020, Derulo went right back to the top of the charts [clip of Jason Derulo - "Whatcha Say"] the same way he did it the first time.
Imogen Heap: Mmm whatcha say?
Todd: Stealing an overused meme and saying his name over it.
TikTok video of two people dancing to "Savage Love"
Todd (VO): The original "Siren Beat" was yet another TikTok meme. It sounds like the music that plays [clip of contestants getting bankrupt on Wheel of Fortune] off after you get the booby prize on a game show.
Todd: I'm told it actually [clip of SunPix] comes from an entire genre called, "siren jams" that's pretty important in Polynesia. So...maybe I'm just uncultured. In my defense, I was never gonna be able to appreciate it properly because...
Video for "Savage Love"
Todd (VO): ...I first heard it from Jason Derulo, who stripped it of whatever dignity it had and threw it out the window.
Todd: He also stripped it of...[shot of article: "Jason Derulo Sparks Outrage Down Under for Lifting Polynesian Teen's TikTok Hit"] you know, copyright, which was kind of a shock to the poor 17-year-old kid who made it.
Todd (VO): They eventually untangled that.
Todd: As far as I'm concerned, it could've stayed in legal limbo forever.
Jason: I just found out, the only reason that you lovin' me
Was to get back at your ex lover but before you leave
Todd (VO): I'll give it this. It's actually one of Derulo's more interesting songs lyrically. I...never heard a song about being an unrequited revenge lay.
Jason: When you kiss me, I know you don't give two fucks
Todd: But of course, he's Jason Derulo, so he can only sing about it from his...let's say limited perspective.
Jason: 'Cause I still want that your savage love
You could use me
Todd: I am a dehumanized sex object to you, and that is perfectly fine with me!
Todd (VO): If we separate the hits this year between the mainstream label artists and the TikTok upstarts, this manages to be the worst of both. It's just the least creative song in the world. Derulo's melody is literally just the original horn line.
Todd: Even the title rips off a bigger hit from this year.
Megan Thee Stallion: I'm a savage (Yeah)
Video for "Savage Love"
Todd (VO): It only charted because it stole a meme, it only hit #1 because [single cover for "Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat) Remix" featuring...] BTS joined in on it in a truly terrifying display of power.
Todd: If I wasn't scared of them before, I am now. They are mighty and unstoppable.
Jason: I still want that your savage love
Todd: Never change, Jason Derulo, because you certainly never have.
Jason: 'Cause I still want that your savage love
Todd: And now, a few quick honorable mentions.
Honorable mentions[edit | edit source]
Lil Baby x 42 Dugg - "We Paid"
Lil Baby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, we paid
42 Dugg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, we paid
Todd (VO): Enough people have tried to tell me how great Lil Baby is, especially this year, that I'm willing to concede that maybe I'm just missing something.
Todd: I don't know. I just find this man so fucking monotonous.
Todd (VO): Something about the way he says, "Yeah, yeah, yeah," just deadens my soul.
Lewis Capaldi - "Before You Go"
Lewis Capaldi: So, before you go
Todd (VO): Well...
Justin Bieber ft. Quavo - "Intentions"
Justin: Stay in the kitchen cookin' up, got your own bread
Heart full of equity, you're an asset
Todd (VO): "Heart full of equity."
Todd: I still can't get over that. That's...that's up there with [brief clip of Train - "Drive By"] "hefty bag."
Todd (VO): I also love Quavo trying to ad-lib and just not being able to come up with a single thing.
Justin: Heart full of equity, you're an asset (Asset)
Todd: Granted, it's not like Bieber gave him much to work with.
Florida Georgia Line - "I Love My Country"
FGL: I love my country, I love my country up loud
Todd (VO): If this had cracked the Top 20, I would've shot it straight to #1.
Todd: Like, I should be beyond being shocked at how bad a Florida Georgia Line song is...
Todd (VO): ...but they always seem to find a way to be just that tiny bit worse than they were.
FGL: Do that Alabama Shake, like you ain't ever seen
Luke Combs - "Lovin' on You"
Luke Combs: But I'm in love and lovin' on you
Todd (VO): I just really don't get the big deal about Luke Combs, man.
Todd: If the name on this were Sam Hunt instead, I think you'd see a lot more people trashing it.
Russ ft. Bia - "Best on Earth"
Russ: And I know I've been around
But I swear you got the best on Earth
Todd (VO): So this is that Russ guy y'all hate, huh? Wow, you were right.
Todd: Congratulations everyone on being right! [gives thumbs-up]
Russell Dickerson - "Love You Like I Used To"
Russell Dickerson: I don’t love you like I used to
This gets better every time
Todd (VO): Look, I listened to a lot of really bad country music this year, and this guy is just the fucking worst.
Todd: If this is what boyfriend country is, bring back the bros.
Maroon 5 - "Nobody's Love"
Adam Levine: If my love ain't your love
It's never gonna be nobody's love
Todd (VO): Ehhh, actually this wasn't that bad. It falls apart when Levine comes in, but I do like the beat at least. Probably doesn't belong on this list, but, you know...
Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber - "Stuck with U"
Ariana & Justin: Being stuck with you, stuck with you, stuck with you
Todd: We may be under quarantine, but at least I still have you, honey! [laughs uncomfortably] I have to get out of this fucking house!
Todd (VO): There. And now, let us...
Todd: ...get to the #1 worst hit song of the worst year.
#1[edit | edit source]
Todd (VO): [ominously] #1!
Todd: When did 2020 start going wrong?
Clips of news broadcasts highlighting the worst events of the past year
Todd (VO): When did it really start to sink in that collectively we were in for the worst year of our lives? Was it March, when things started getting cancelled and we all started changing our plans? February, when troubling news out of China and Italy started to become more prominent on the news?
Todd: Or was there some sign even earlier than that?
Todd (VO): Some omen at the beginning of the year that in hindsight, should have warned us about the disastrous twelve months to follow.
Todd: What was it?
Video for...wait for it...
Todd: You. This is all your fault.
Justin: Yeah, you got that yummy yum, that yummy yum, that yummy yummy
Todd (VO): Less than a week into the new year, Justin Bieber set the tone for 2020 by posting [screenshots of...] random pictures of babies on Instagram with the hashtag: #yummy. We still don't know what the fuck that was about...
Todd: ...and it predictably got him some negative attention from [image of poster with the phrase: "Stop Child Trafficking"] QAnon freaks calling him a pedophile and/or baby-eater. Obviously, that's insane, but what did he mean?!
Justin: Yeah babe, yeah babe, yeah babe
Todd (VO): Well, a short time later, the song and video dropped and we found out what he was trying to say.
Todd: That he had lost all sense of good taste and had no idea what he was doing anymore.
Todd (VO): Either that or he was trying to say that he had the brain of an infant. Look, I wasn't gonna make this the #1.
Todd: "Yummy" was an artifact of the pre-pandemic.
Todd (VO): The shocks have worn off, right? Who even cares about it in December?
Todd: And then the Grammy nominations were announced!
Clip of virtual announcement for 63rd Annual Grammy Awards nominees
Todd (VO): And everyone was so angry that [clip of "Blinding Lights" by...] The Weeknd didn't get anything.
Todd: I was surprised, too.
Todd (VO): But I was like, "Well, he's not owed a Grammy nomination just 'cause he had a successful year."
Todd: But then people were like, "Look what did get nominated!"
Female Announcer: Best Solo (Pop) Performance. And the nominees are, "Yummy" by Justin Bieber...
Todd: [laughs angrily] Burn the Grammys to the fucking ground!
Clip of "Yummy"
Justin: Yeah, you got that yummy yum
Todd (VO): The fact that it's called, "Yummy" is the most obvious thing that's bad about it.
Todd: But the actual bad thing about it is that Bieber is singing it.
Todd (VO): Bieber may love R&B, but he'll never be an R&B singer because he lacks the one thing you need, which is passion.
Todd: He just doesn't have it.
Todd: I thought for sure I was gonna...
Todd (VO): ...make "Savage Love" my worst. But then I asked myself, [clip of "Yummy"] "If Jason Derulo sang, 'Yummy' would it be better?"
Todd: And the answer was obviously yes.
Todd (VO): Derulo would've...well, not made the song work, but at least make it make sense.
Todd: I said this at the time, and I'll repeat it: Everything Bieber does is because [another clip of the ABC News broadcast about Bieber's arrest] he is haunted by his walking disaster years. He's a boring artist because he wants to be boring.
Video for "Stuck with U"
Todd (VO): He wants to be a happy, stable, uncontroversial young newlywed with his beautiful wife. [brief clips of "10,000 Hours"...] Hence the country single, [..."Holy"...] hence the churchy love ballad. [...and, with Chrissy Teigen...] He wants to be John Legend basically. I have no idea why you would want that, but [clip of "Yummy"] he can't even do that right 'cause being a child star scrambled his fucking brain...
Todd: ...so now he writes things like, "You got that yummy yum," and "You never run low on supplies"!
Justin: And you ain't never runnin' low on supplies
Todd (VO): Is she your dealer?! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!
Todd: Or maybe every tasteless move and weird lyric he came up with this year was an attempt to liven up the utterly uncompelling artist at its core.
Video for Justin Bieber - "One Less Lonely Girl"
Todd (VO): The early Bieber backlash got a lot of backlash of its own, [clip of Justin Bieber - "What Do You Mean?"] and with his continued upward rise, it looked like all the haters would eventually have to eat their words. And you know what? Y'all were right.
Todd: He didn't suck nearly then as much as he sucks now.
Video for "Yummy"
Todd (VO): Justin Bieber has always been massively overrated, and if his recent work is any indication, he's only gonna get more old-fashioned as the decade wears on, so "Yummy" might be his last attempt at being a flashy pop idol.
Todd: What a note to go out on. Justin Bieber, the pop star that 2020 deserves. Let's hope the rest of the decade gives us something better than this.
Gets up and leaves
Video for "Yummy" ends
Closing Tag Song: Travis Scott & Kid Cudi - "THE SCOTTS"
This video is owned by me
it's almost over... it's so close to being over please god
THANK YOU TO THE LOYAL PATRONS!
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- #41 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #1 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #24 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #20 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #11 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #38 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #13 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #32 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #33 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #3 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #2 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #1 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #3 in 2020
- #14 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #26 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #3 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #24 in 2020
- #82 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #14 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #13 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #33 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #36 in 2020
- #70 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #22 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #52 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #66 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #5 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #47 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #50 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #16 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #27 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #54 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #63 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #64 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #95 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #48 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #35 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #15 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #57 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #21 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #17 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #40 in 2020
- #97 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #46 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #31 in 2020
- Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #41 in 2020
- #80 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #58 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #23 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- #86 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100