It's the most wonderful time of the year, a time filled with family and joy and gratitude and happiness, a time to pause and reflect on all the blessings that came our way this year. And so we've been celebrating, handing out our yearly awards and shining a spotlight on under-appreciated songs, amazing videos, the power of positive Twitter and much more. It feels good to feel good.
Fuck that though. This is rap, not a kids soccer league where everyone gets a participation trophy. Some great things happened this year, and some travashamockeries happened this year. So admist all the awards and celebrating, I called the DJBooth staff together for one vent session, one Hater's Ball, one bucket of Hatorade dumped over rap's head as the clock on 2015 winds down. So without further ado, here are the songs, albums, artists and trends we hated in 2015.
Nathan S: Hoverboards, Drugs & White People
True story, yesterday morning I watched a young man roll out of my local corner store on a hoverboard. Read that last sentence again. He rolled out of the store on a hoverboard. IT'S NOT A HOVERBOARD IF IT DOESN'T HOVER!!! I didn't grow up idolizing Back to the Future to tolerate this kind of disrespect to the promise of the hoverboard. And like most dangerous things that become popular with teenagers, I blame rappers for its popularity, specifically Wiz Khalifa. Listen Wiz, you can roll joints the size of pygmy elephants to your hearts content, but don't you dare promote a sideways skateboard as a hoverboard. Don't you fucking dare.
Speaking of which, while rappers have been smoking chronic since 2001, maybe even before, this was a banner year for glamorized hardcore drug addictions. At least Future had the decency to occasionally describe his addictions as a living hell, but The Weeknd rode his faux "Don't believe the rumors, I'm still a user" all the way to the top of the charts and into mainstream America's hearts. When I see Abel drinking lukewarm coffee out of a styrofoam cup in a church basement I'll reconsider, but until then he and the drug-addict-pop wave he generated can get the FOH.
And while it's far from a 2015 phenomenon, this was a particularly bad year for the "Look at me, I'm taking something from black culture and applying it to white culture, I'm hilarious!!!" thing. Oh sweet baby Jesus, just in the course of searching for that one white family who did the terrible "Whip" parody I learned there's multiple white families who did terrible "Whip" parodies. The Earth cannot explode soon enough.
Lucas: Adele & "Hello"
Adele is overrated.
I understand her voice is amazing, but, it’s one thing to have an amazing voice and it’s another to make amazing music. With the vocals she has I would expect her to do something revolutionary, something completely unique, but she's coasting and we all let her slide becuase she's Adele. After a four year break she should have come back with something new, but “Hello” sounds exactly like a song she released four years ago. In all that time off she couldn't come up with one new thing? Jesus, get over that dude already, it’s been almost a decade. You know why he won't answer the phone? Because he’s moved on. It’s time for you to do the same.
Also, can we talk about her Rolling Stone interview where she wishes she could go back to before she was famous? No. No. No. No. No. You don’t get to be the amazing, groundbreaking superstar with once-in-a-generation talent and also be the average 20-something. You just don’t. YOU HAD A MOTHEFUCKING JAMES BOND THEME SONG! That’s the coolest, most non-normal thing ever. I’m sorry the last six years of making truckloads of money was so stressful for you. If she doesn't want to be famous, why is she doing six shows at Madison Square Garden? “I just want to make music and not worry about anything, by the way, here’s the schedule for my global tour for an a album I won't release on streaming services like every other artist does, but I just want be a normal human being."
I’m calling bullshit on Adele because nobody else has the balls. I’m the hero you need, not the one you deserve. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE!
Yoh: I Hated Everything, But Mostly Twitter
When I first joined Twitter in 2009, it was meant to pass the time between classes, senior year was coming to an end and I needed something to speed up the minute hand that moved like molasses. In the six years that I’ve used my account though, this has been the first year I felt any kind of hate toward Twitter. No, more fitting words would be exhausted, weary, fatigued, all feelings that are a gateway to hate.
It’s draining, constantly absorbing the thoughts and opinions of others. Every time Norm Kelly tweets a rap joke I die a little bit more inside, every time an artist hash tag their name with “hive” at the end I vomit whatever I ate that day, and of course every time a website trolls for a reaction Twitter obliges.
At its best Twitter is a platform that reveals social injustice that would have never reached the news. A simple RT has gone a long way when spreading the word about police brutality, protest and prejudice, but some of the comments that come with spreading the word will have you livid. The worst feeling is walking away from your computer outraged by something a stranger tweeted and shouldn’t affect you, but it does. With every pro comes a con, this year the negatives started to outweigh the positives. I enjoy interacting with readers and fellow writers, but there are days when the delete button looks like a winning lottery ticket.
It’s not just Twitter. I hate YouTube comments, I hate Facebook threads, I hate tumblr girls that don’t exist in real life, I hate Donald Trump and his dreadful hair, I hate Drake and what he’s done to memes, I hate rappers that tweet about rappers they can just call, I hate 50 Shades of Gray and all the desperate housewives that made it successful, but most importantly I hate Internet Explorer and anyone that uses it over Google Chrome. You are the worst kind of person. I think I’m going back to a flip-phone next year.
Jake: Rick Ross, Generally
If you follow anything I write you’re probably well in tune with my deep-seeded dislike for Rick Ross, and this year was sprinkled with plenty of bullshittery from "the heavyset one," as WGCI’s Frankie Robinson affectionately calls him.
Once again, we got a garbage album that “traditional” rap outlets praised because, you know, money and stuff. Once again, 50 Cent got back in his foxhole from 2007 and began lobbing grenades, but once again the Teflon Don lived up to his name and seemingly emerged unscathed, despite being the head of a crew that has largely become the laughing stock of the industry (Meek vs. Drake, Meek vs. Wale). And as long as we're on Meek, how about when he left him hanging, only coming to his defense when he could use it to his advantage as promotion for his own album?
Despite the prison guard stuff, despite the name-jacking, despite the absurdly silly lies about spiking pear sales, this dude keeps finding new ways to make me like him less. To be real, I just can’t stand dude. Maybe his voice sounds cool on recordings, maybe he occasionally pieces together solid bars, maybe he really is the best ghostwriter of all-time, but he's simply corny.
Look, I get it. It’s 2015 and there’s really no reason to have this type of anger towards an artist that exists mostly in the background these days, but if Lady Gaga can win ‘Woman of the Year in Music’ during a 2015 that saw her release zero music, then I feel vindicated in my hatred. Having actually interviewed the real Freeway Ricky Ross a couple years back, I understand a bit more fully what it’s like to have your name and identity stolen and pimped repeatedly and simply can’t support a “Bawse” too scared to confront an old man struggling for his integrity.
Honestly, Rick Ross is for the birds. The thing I hated most this year was Spike Lee and Chiraq, but I felt like I wrote too much about it already.
Sermon: Living the Sremmlife
My mom once said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Or maybe she didn't actually say that, maybe that’s an idea ingrained in me from TV shows and old ideologies. Screw that. Let the hate overflow and fill your body. Remember the scene from Don’t Be A Menace with Bernie Mac saying all the things he hated about Ashtray? This is the musical version.
*takes a deep breath*
I hate how Sremmlife is somehow a top album of 2015. I hate Lil Wayne for putting out three forgettable projects. I hate that I listened to Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven from start to finish. Twice. I hate Meek Mill for ruining The Undertaker’s theme song with that terrible diss. I hate the false hope Frank Ocean gave us. Those live tweet sessions for Love & Hip Hop? Hate those too. And finally...I hate the people who stopped reading after my Sremmlife sentence. *drops mic*
[This has been a DJBooth Squad piece by Nathan, Yoh, Lucas, Jake and Sermon. SQUADDDDDDD!!!!!!!!]