John's Top Ten Non-Favourite Musical Phenomenons
1) G-Unit. This entire mumbling group of overrated and seriously-misguided bathroom stall-level lyricists represent, in my mind, all of the decadence and grade-school braggadacio that makes hip hop one of the most misunderstood genres of music. With the exception of Mobb Deep (why, oh why?) the entire gangsta-fied posse is the lyrical equivalent of Chad Kroeger farting. On a side note, if 50 Cent was a real gangsta he would have capped the guy who shot him.
2) The Black Eyed Peas. Okay, a slightly credible band added a singer to their group and rocketed to success. You would think, however, that they could have added a singer who did not need the aid of voice modulation technology to make her screeching sound half-way decent. You would also think that it was impossible for musicians to have less lyrical skill than Shaquille O'Neal freestyling. Well, it is possible, and the Black Eyed Pease have done it and done it with the worst, most vacuously stupid, single ever released in the history of music "My Humps."
3) Good Charlotte. Some people complained that Blink 182 preppified punk music, but Good Charlotte has done something much much worse. They have fused Blink 182 with a unique brand of suck that has left a vacuum so strong that the universe is in danger of collapsing on itself. Wearing tattoos does not make you edgy any more than riding an elevator makes you a risk-taker; especially if these tattoos as poorly-conceived as Benji's and whathisname's. Eyeshadow was controversial when David Bowie wore it, now it's just a desperate cry of a confused individual whose voice sounds like, well, mine. And I don't sing, because I really sound bad.
4) Masari. There simply must be better people to fill the obligatory Canadian Content requirements on our airwaves. His singing is the mucus-soaked phlegmatic nerve-grating auditory sensation that should be expected from someone who sings from his throat and through his nose. His name means "money" in Arabic, which is a pretty good summary of exactly why this music was made. It has absolutely no artistic merit and is merely a sadly successful attempt to part young fools from their "masari."
5) Daddy Yankee. I like reggae and I like a lot of latin music so why do I hate it so much when they're fused into reggaeton? Is it because half of the beats are snippets of recycled dancehall reggae beats from the nineties, because it is misogynist and derogatory, because the beats are exceptionally mundane, or because every single song sounds exactly the same? Certainly, and additionally, I cannot support a style of music that claims to be original but is basically just a parasitic tapeworm feeding off of the half-digested entrails of all of dancehall reggae's worst ideas.
6) Ashlee Simpson. If you can be caught lip-syncing on Saturday Night Live, survive an almost world record booing at the Orange Bowl after a performance reminiscent of the early stages of American Idol, and still be popular you must have preteen girls as your fanbase. If your fanbase is almost entirely preteen girls then it is reasonable to assume that you have an artistic credibility equivalent to the number of WMDs in Iraq.
7) Diddy, or P.Diddy, or Puff Daddy. Sean "Puffy" Combs announced a while back that he no longer wanted to be referred to as P. Diddy but just as plain ol' Diddy. "The P was getting in the way of me and my fans," he claimed. Never mind that this should have been a quotation from R. Kelly, but Diddy's remixing and relentless sampling and covering is the only thing that he should be claiming as getting in the way of him and his fans, that and his enormous capacity to suck. Oh, and his shameless exploitation of Notorious B.I.G.'s legacy is, well, shameless.
8) Red Rat. If you have never heard Red Rat sing, you have been blessed. Imagine Mickey Mouse's cousin singing in Jamaican patois and saying "oh noooo" a lot. Now imagine that Mickey Mouse's cousin has a slight potty-mouth, horrible lyrics, and a cartoonishly high-pitched voice. Now take what you imagined and discard it entirely because it is much much worse than you can possibly imagine.
9) Gwen Stefani. My resentment towards her music started while she was with No Doubt and tried to pay Bounty Killer a ridiculously low amount for his contribution to her song "Hey Baby." First of all, the only redeeming part of that song was Bounty Killer's verse, and, secondly, even that was weak. This can be forgotten, mostly because Bounty Killer is a badman and he got his money. Then, however, Gwen went solo and ripped off Fiddler on the Roof with her horrendous "If I Was a Rich Girl." Not only is this song teeth-grindingly annoying, but millionaires really shouldn't be allowed to express such sentiments. After ransacking broadway and reggae, Gwen set her sights on Japan. She claimed that she had been inspired by the fashion of the Harajuku girls and she released an album based on this shallow concept. Then she literally dressed up some Japanese and Japanese-American girls and paid them to vogue in the background at interviews and to dance all over her music videos. OK. Then she gave them names and forbade them to speak to the press. You name dogs, you name your guitar, you name your automobile - this is what shows your ownership of them. People already have names, and you only name people if you're their parents. Is Gwen the mother of these Harajuka girls? I don't think so. She may be old enough, but there are certain differences in their phenotype which make it highly unlikely.
10) Chris Brown. Usher. Eminem. Britney Spears. Backstreet Boys. tATu. Mario. N*sync. Madonna. New Kids on the Block. Chinggy. Shawn Desman. The Pussycat Dolls. Kelis. Lil' Jon. Shaggy. The Yin Yang Twins. et cetera et cetera ad nauseum.