The Year-End Garbage Can: 2019’s Top 10 Worst Albums

(This year, contributing editor Malachi Lui launches an annual segment covering the year’s 10 worst albums. And boy, are there some bad ones this year. Now let’s dive into The Year-End Garbage Can…)

10) Lil Pump - Harverd Dropout

A listen a day keeps the brain cells away!!!

9) Jaden Smith - ERYS

The most frustrating “artists” are those who have far more financial resources and ambition than they do actual talent. Instead of resulting in an artist’s intended masterpiece, this method of music creation concludes in Jaden Smith’s bloated, trying-to-be-artsy-and-hipster-but-failing 70-minute slog ERYS. As the son of Will Smith, of course he’s a super rich kid, and as a 21-year-old who’s never had to work hard for his money, of course he doesn’t have the experience or work ethic to make something truly amazing. Unfortunately, Jaden seems to believe that money automatically results in great art: you can tell that ERYS’s production cost tons of money, yet he wears his influences of BROCKHAMPTON and Tyler (who phones in a feature on “NOIZE”) on his sleeve too much. Theoretically, Jaden’s music is formulaically made to be something I love, but the works he tries to replicate are too honest to be successfully faked. Worse is how seriously he takes himself; in too many bad lyrics to list, he deludes himself into believing that he’s some kind of brilliant rapper. He’s on a “MISSION”… to do what is extremely unclear. Money can buy many things - brilliance it can’t. Is ERYS ambitious? Yes, very. But is it any good? Uhhhh, no.

8) Doug Walker - Nostalgia Critic’s The Wall

Roger Waters endlessly complaining about the war is quite tiring, but even more so is hearing an hour of unfunny parodies attacking The Wall. What did The Wall ever do to the Nostalgia Critic? Last I checked, albums don’t have the ability to directly carry lethal weapons. Though by the time I finish this list, I might take back that last statement.

7) Westside Gunn - Hitler Wears Hermes 7

Westside Gunn and his Griselda crew make every effort possible to revive the 90’s boom bap sound, but it’s always hard to take it seriously. Not because of their average pen game, nor their instrumentals (which range from merely listenable to very good), but because of WSG’s ear-raping adlibs. His intrusive habit of going “BOO BOO BOO BOO BOO BOO BOO BOO BOOM!!!!!!!” “DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO,” “BRRRRRRRUUUUUUUU!” “AAAAGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” and “BRU-BRU-BRU-BRU-BRU-BRU” about every 20 seconds truly shows utter contempt to listeners - it makes me wonder how people can even stomach an entire Westside Gunn solo album. To my surprise, hip-hop oldhead purists love WSG, and, if necessary, will for the rest of eternity avidly defend his unlistenable adlibs. It’s really unfortunate that Westside Gunn virtually ruins his own otherwise decent luxury rap, but into The Year-End Garbage Can Hitler Wears Hermes 7 goes.

6) Miles Davis - Rubberband

Miles Davis and smooth jazz are two worlds that should never have intersected, but in the 1980s, they unfortunately did. When in 1985 he re-emerged after a decade of addiction problems, he recorded You’re Under Arrest to fulfill his Columbia contract before moving to Warner Brothers. He shelved Rubberband, his first project for Warner, after label complaints that he took too long. Now, his collaborators during those sessions assembled a complete Rubberband, and it’s terrible. (Note: for this album I filmed a video review but can’t be bothered to edit and post it.) Actual Miles compositions barely even sound present: instead, it feels like those who “finished” Rubberband took snippets of his playing and built songs around them rather than simply polishing them. There’s a terrible Caribbean beach resort advertisement “Paradise,” the near Miles-less, Lalah Hathaway-featuring “So Emotional” (which, if released 25 years ago, could’ve been a hit); but what mostly comprises Rubberband is bland, synth and slap bass-led overly smooth fusion. Given both this and Capitol’s terrible The Complete Birth Of The Cool, I’m just wondering what’s next: the Prestige albums in duophonic? An official “8D audio” Kind Of Blue? It’s a shame that his estate now exploits his name - Rubberband sadly sounds far more like a “Miles Davis’ Collaborators featuring special guest Miles Davis” album than a Miles Davis record.

5) NAV - Bad Habits

It’s a NAV album. What else did you expect?

4) Chance The Rapper - The Big Day

The year’s most fascinating epic musical fail. What was supposed to cement Chance The Rapper’s place as one of rap’s most thoughtful current MC’s ended up as a genre-hopping, 77-minute ode to his newlywed wife, and only his wife. In an attempt to prove himself as a Kanye-level curator of a diverse set of artists, Chance does nothing but embarrass himself; very few of his many collaborators mesh with each other at all. His style choices aren’t any better: Chance explores sleazy Nickelodeon-beach-music-meets-wannabe-Sting, circa-1988 Top 40 pop ballads, an overly faux-sentimental Randy Newman-featuring track, and too many other bad ideas to list. On every song, Chance drops terrible lyric after terrible lyric, horrendous verse after horrendous verse - this record is literally begging to be memed. I will pay $100 to anyone that can find a 2-minute stretch of The Big Day that doesn’t somehow reference his wife: it doesn’t exist. Literally, the only thing that you leave this LP with is the knowledge that Chance really, truly, sincerely, UNCONDITIONALLY loves his wife. I’m the millionth person to say this, but The Big Mess is a far more accurate title.

3) Logic - Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind

I recently came to the conclusion that Logic is essentially the Donald Trump of rap. Here are the reasons why:

1) Both use their whiteness to appeal to their respective audiences.
2) Both excite their fans and supporters by attacking their respective rivals.
3) When attacking said rivals, neither have strong enough wit to craft a lasting insult.
4) Beyond the braggadocios surface statements (and in Logic’s case, rapping speed), neither actually know how to carry out most of their ideas, much less have any ideas of substance.
5) Through bad art (Logic) and impeachment (Trump), from a professional legacy standpoint both essentially killed their careers this year yet won’t cease to attract attention.

But political comparisons aside, let’s just remember that 2 months apart, Logic dropped two of the year’s worst albums, the second on which he recruited his dad to defend, from internet haters, Logic’s biracial penis:

2) GFOTY - GFOTV

“Girlfriend Of The Year”? More like Girlfriend Of The Year-End Garbage Can (GFOTYEGC). Never have I heard an album more shockingly nonmusical than GFOTV, nor has there ever been a more excruciating 12-minute listening experience.

1) Logic - SUPERMARKET

k Logic, again? Yes. With a new (according to the reviews, terribly unoriginal) novel and an associated soundtrack, Logic proves that he has no skill at anything. In case preparing Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind wasn’t enough, “visionary” (according to himself and himself only) Bobby “I Need To Tell You About My Biracial Penis” Hall took a venture into pop rock with the SUPERMARKET novel soundtrack. Based on a narrative about stalking a girl who works at a supermarket, Logic’s rock album influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who he blatantly rips off on the vomit-inducing “Lemon Drop”) and Mac Demarco (who contributes to the Mac Demarco karaoke of “I’m Probably Gonna Rock Your World”), among others, is a nightmare, if your idea of a nightmare takes place in a Guitar Center. Poor instrument playing, overly polished (yet shoddily mixed) production, mediocre singing, appallingly poor songwriting, awful lyrics (on “Lemon Drop” alone, he spits “I smoke weed, so I’m trippy” and “How many licks to lick your lemon drop?/How many licks to lick your drop drop?”), a terrible storyline (the title track, about “danc[ing] with me in this department inside of this supermarket,” conjures up the worst mental images in narrative music), blatant plagiarism (aside from the uncredited RHCP melodic interpolations on “Lemon Drop,” there’s also the disrespectful sample of Tribe’s “Can I Kick It?” on Logic’s own inferior track of the same name), and extreme repetition (oftentimes, the pre-choruses and choruses are repeated to sound like satires of their already bad selves) make SUPERMARKET a nearly unlistenable garbage heap that for Logic’s creative credibility only serves as a final nail in the coffin. Have a barf bag ready.

COMMENTS
Anton D's picture

My sons are 19 and 22 and essentially concur with you with the exception of Westside Gunn, regarding whom, they replied, "Who?" ;-D

They are fans of Chance the Rapper, but agree about this album.

My eldest defended NAV for a split second, saying he did have one good song, once.

We all agree with you on Logic, but we also all like the guy. My wife and I saw him live last spring and he did a very good job, so there is hope.

So, well done, yet again, young Padawan!

Thread drift: It never ceases to amaze me at how triggered audiophile snowflakes are when faced with anything to to with hip hop.

JoeESP9's picture

That's because most of it is absolute crap. If you live in the inner city as I do, you know (from hearing it) exactly how truly awful most of it is. Suburban and rural listeners get to hear the best of it. Even then most of what they hear is still crap.

MalachiLui's picture

a lot of it is at least listenable, much of it is good, some of it very good, a small bit great, and an even smaller selection quite amazing. I pay attention to mainstream stuff too and while it's not generally my thing, most of it isn't bad. could we do without guys like NAV? of course. but does Lil Uzi Vert have important contributions to current music? yes (and some of his songs are brilliant). and btw, as a suburban listener myself, I made the choice to hear both the amazing and bad stuff bc that's what a well-rounded music critic does. just look at some of my positive hip-hop reviews this year... I still listened to a lot of good stuff.

JoeESP9's picture

As a suburban listener you should acknowledge that the Hip Hop and Rap you hear is the best of the best. It's been filtered by the inevitable "softening" that happens when anything from the inner city (Ghetto) is presented to white middle class America. Even then most of what you hear sucks.

MalachiLui's picture

since I find most of my music online, there is no "softening" filter... it's not like we all discover our music thru radio anymore. idgaf about what's on the radio, don't even listen to it. the internet brings me all the music I need to know about, mostly unfiltered.

JoeESP9's picture

First of all, I don't remember mentioning radio.

If you really want to know what I'm talking about you have to actually visit the inner city. There are any number of hole in the wall stores that sell what rap/hip hop fans in the ghetto actually listen to. Most of it is limited edition CD's that are usually self published. Most of it is not available via the internet.

Remember, in the inner city not everyone has an internet connection other than a cell phone. I can't imagine hip hop/rap listeners uploading music via a cellphone.

Anton D's picture

If you think this stuff is bad, I had to live through the 70’s!

Crap rock, schlock rock, stinking prog rock, and disco, to boot!

99% of any period’s music is crap, and then the crap filter gets to work and a few decades later, people say they love ‘classic rock.’ It’s like enjoying sausage, they didn’t have to be there when it was made!

Anyway, it is good to see you and glad your avatar is still in place! It’s one of my favorites of all the internet. Happy 2020 to you.

Bobsblkwax's picture

I believe you.

analogdw's picture

More of Malachi’s complaints and negativity. Happy new year!

MalachiLui's picture

BEST of 2019 list coming soon... if you're complaining about all the recent negative reviews then you can look forward to listening to every single project listed on my BEST of the year list. happy new year tho.

analogdw's picture

Is how it’s spelt.

MalachiLui's picture

you cannot correct my non-professional writing style and even if you do idgaf.

analogdw's picture

WRF

Anton D's picture

When I was new to wine tasting, I noticed how easy it was for people to go from neophyte to critic.

Positivity is far more difficult to elucidate.

I look forward to seeing your winners list!

My album of the year is Orville Pecks’s “Pony!”

Thanks for your expressions of the hobby, Malachi!

MalachiLui's picture

didn't even listen to that record. there are about 8 other records that I should've listened to last year but didn't, so imma do a better job at that in 2020.

Michael Fremer's picture
While I find his complaints and negativity hilariously entertaining and laugh out loud funny, I'm trying to cajole him into contributing some positivity here. He's promised in 2020 he will.
MalachiLui's picture

I sent you BEST of 2019 list for you to publish.

ChrisM's picture

"let’s dive into Garbage Can"

No thank you, I'll pass the invitation.

mauidj's picture

Damn it Malachi....what is with you and all the negativity and hate, especially from someone as young as you. At least I have an excuse by being a crotchety 70 year old. Come on kid....lighten up....life is way too short buddy. Happy New Year.

VirginVinyl's picture

Yes! Mr. Speaker can we add DJ Kalid to the trash. : )

tnargs's picture

...does this stuff get published?

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