Say what you like, 2018 has been a marked year for music. While critique is very serious business, we are also human and what we like is all the more special than the critical appraisal of an album. For the next month, every day, you will find our staff picks for our favorite (and least favorite) facets of music from best features to worst songs and everything in-between, based solely on what strikes us as diehard music fans first, and critics second. It's been an incredible year for hip-hop.
These are the songs we liked the least in 2018.
"Blicky" — Comethazine
Ever wonder what the worst SoundCloud song you’ve ever heard is? How about anything revolving around the yawp of Comethezine, the greatest SoundCloud abomination to never truly leap from the platform. 2018’s Bawskee is an algorithm'd trash heap for 14-year-olds who only exist in the minds of out-of-touch CEOs and while any song would make for a great Worst of 2018 pick, the one where he tries to pawn off guns and designer clothes in the most generic way possible might be the best pick. It’s offensively boring and completely without merit, much like the rest of the album (more on that soon). —Dylan "CineMasai" Green
"FEFE" — 6ix9ine ft. Nicki Minaj
"FEFE" is the horrible duet 2018 deserved. On one hand, you've got a loudmouth pedophile whose quest for notoriety was only ever going to end with him getting locked up. And on the other, you've got the former Queen of Rap shamelessly cozying up (literally) to this Technicolor turd because, as her bratty behavior this summer made clear, all she cares about is clinging onto her crown, heiresses be damned. (Sidebar: After attacking Travis Scott and his newborn daughter for supposedly gaming the system and cheating her out of a No. 1 album, Nicki Minaj tacked "FEFE" onto Queen as a bonus song to pad her underperforming streaming numbers. Oh, the irony.) Personalities aside, "FEFE" is a poor man's "No New Friends" featuring Murda Beatz's most boring, uninspired beat yet. The only consolation is the thought of Nicki Minaj throwing a tantrum because "FEFE" peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 while Cardi B and Travis Scott both dropped chart-topping, year-defining hits. —Andy James
"Flossin" — The Backpack Kid ft. DJ Suede the Remix God
Honestly, the more I watch this video, the more I start to think this might be the best song of the year.
Honorable mentions: anything 6ix9ine made, “Freaky Friday,” Lil Xan's album, that Eminem freestyle, every SNL song parody with Pete Davidson, “Ye vs. the People (starring T.I. as the People),” “Ye vs. the People” again to laugh at the fact it says “starring T.I. as the People,” that other Eminem freestyle, Futuristic’s song making fun of "mumble rappers," G-Eazy’s MGK diss, every second of this Chase The Money song (not the ChaseTheMoney you’re thinking of) that doesn’t involve Jay Critch, and "I'm Not Racist." —Brendan Varan
"Freaky Friday" — Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown
The collection of entirely unnecessary appearances from Ed Sheeran, DJ Khaled, and Kendall Jenner at the end of “Freaky Friday” is actually the least damning aspect of the song. Lil Dicky, in addition to trading cringeworthy bars with Chris Brown despite having no semblance of artistic chemistry with him, also makes repeated references to his penis, describes Brown’s history of physical abuse as merely “controversial,” and demonstrates a glaring lack of racial awareness. In other words, “Freaky Friday” is an overly-ambitious and poorly-executed bit of “comedy” that has no place in hip-hop. —Stephen Barston
This horrendous collection of noises makes me feel [REDACTED]. You feel me? —Donna-Claire Chesman
"Hot Soup" — Tyga
Death, taxes, and Tyga finding the absolute corniest way to say something nice about a woman. Before Tyga became the monster version of a strip club anthem rapper with “Taste” and "SWISH," he was busy putting together songs like “Hot Soup” that made him sound like the Bad Place version of Lil Yachty. “Hot Soup,” one of his Kyoto album’s standout dumpster fires, is a simple song about a girl making him feel better... Like hot soup. If that sounds bad even in concept, just wait until you hear his Auto-Tune crooning that could even make a KYLE song blink. —Matt Wilhite
“I Love It” — Kanye West & Lil Pump
As a recovering Kanye stan, I have grown weary of the fans who bend over backward to defend Kanye’s every move, including (but not especially) the idea that his made-for-trolling songs are good. This two-minute song is what happens when a meme goes too far, except that “I Love It” memed itself from the jump, which seems to go against some unspoken rule, like Michael Scott “that’s what she said”-ing himself. I’m all in for jokes and more rappers wearing silly costumes. I’m out when an icon sabotages his own artistic legacy both off and on the record. —Ben Taylor
“Kamikaze” — Eminem
Eminem’s “Kamikaze” is a song I never want to hear again. What’s so unbearably obnoxious is the quirky, whoopee-cushion production and the intolerable, teasing voice of a man-child. Instead of mirroring the explosiveness of kamikaze pilots, the song is closer to reflecting a tantrum-throwing toddler. Rap only needs one Lil Baby. —Yoh
“Kick Off (Freestyle)” — Eminem
The entire world thinks we hate Eminem. Actually, no, that isn't true. Most of the world thinks a guy, who is named DJ Booth, hates Eminem. Of course, there is no person (or DJ) named Booth who is running the ship over here, and contrary to popular belief, we do not hate Eminem, but man oh man has it been a rough year, musically speaking, for Marshall. Sure, Kamikaze was an incredible commercial success, but I cannot recall another legendary emcee devaluing his GOAT stock more than Eminem has in 2018, with his "Kick Off" freestyle serving as the feather in a cap that deserves to be burned. Marshall is so dead set on proving to the world he is a masterful lyrical technician, on "saving hip-hop," that he has become a parody of himself. —Z
“No Brainer” — DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper & Quavo
You know those movie sequels that big production companies shove in our faces and push to the masses through the corporate channels that be, despite there being no indication that we actually wanted them? That’s pretty much how I felt when I heard DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper follow up their 2017 hit “I’m the One” with “No Brainer.” A bubblegum pop record that feels like it’s trying to drown you in cavity-inducing high-fructose corn syrup, “No Brainer” forced its way into my eardrums no matter how often I tried to avoid it, with each listen only more painful than the one before it. At least Lil Wayne was gracious enough to leave after the blundering foolishness of the original and give us Tha Carter V instead. —Kenan Draughorne
“Ye vs. the People (starring T.I. as the People)” — Kanye West
Have you ever logged onto Twitter and thought, “All of this toxic and unproductive discourse is great, but I wish I could listen to it in the form of a rap!”? Did you listen to Joyner Lucas’ “I'm Not Racist” and dislike it because you thought he was raising too many cogent points? Do you enjoy rap music but simultaneously resent the concept of adhering to rhythm? Well, if you are any one of these three people, I have a song for you! —Hershal Pandya