The top 100 best songs has been compiled and will be counted down shortly.
However, before we get to that, let's get into the other end of the spectrum... the WORST songs of the entire year!
As there was so much crap in 2016, I couldn't have just 10 songs. So this year, I've expanded my worst list to a top 20! (technically a top 22, we will see why...)
Before we get into it, I must say a disclaimer. This list is only based on my opinion and it is not my intention to offend anyone who may like the songs listed with the list itself or any comments I make on the songs.
20. (three way tie)
Maroon 5 feat. Kendrick Lamar - Don't Wanna Know
DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber - Let Me Love You
Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna - This Is What You Came For
Let's get straight into it... and surprisingly, this is the only EDM entry in the entire list!
I feel the whole EDM/tropical sound has been played out, as everyone jumps on an already overexposed trend. Given I am STILL sick of the last Rihanna/Calvin Harris collaboration "We Found Love" 5 years after its release, I didn't hold out much hope for "This Is What You Came For", which turned out to be one of the most repetitive songs of the year - seems like the single word "you" is repeated in 75% of the song!
As for "Let Me Love You", the fact that it was released mere weeks after another EDM/Bieber collaboration ("Cold Water" with Major Lazer) pretty much meant I was sick of it from day one given the combination of artist and genre. That, and the fact that this has refused to go away and sounds like pretty much every other mainstream EDM hit out there, assured this would get some worst chart recognition.
However, the kicker is that Maroon 5 - normally one of my favourite bands - jumped on the bandwagon and released something equally repetitive and generic! As much as I hate to put Maroon 5 on this list, this song really should be credited "Random DJ featuring Adam Levine". The unoriginality and repetitiveness led to this instantly being disliked by me, which is a shame given they had so many great songs in the past. Hopefully they will have some better stuff on their forthcoming album, because this doesn't cut it for me. If not, then I don't wanna know, know, know... you get the idea.
19. Beck - Wow
Beck has been one of the most innovative musicians of the past quarter century almost, and he's had many songs throughout his career that have been favourites of mine, even up to fairly recently, and his big comeback hit "Dreams" was pretty good. So when he released this disappointment that sounded like a typical dull random rapper song, needless to say, I thought, how could he do this? I normally respect his artistry and appreciate his talents to be a musical chameleon, but this was such a mess that I couldn't get into it.
18. Rihanna - Needed Me
Over the past few years, Rihanna is getting more and more on my bad side, as she has mostly missed the mark with me. (If you're a fan of "Kiss It Better" or "Love On The Brain", don't worry - I don't mind those so they missed out.) This was just another bland urban mess from her that just goes nowhere, and ultimately, that combined with its longevity contributed to it making my worst of 2016. Still, it's not the worst she had this year!
17. Machine Gun Kelly feat. Camila Cabello - Bad Things
Several songs on this list fit with the theme of "don't ruin great songs from the past". Back in 1999, Fastball's hit "Out Of My Head" was one of my favourite songs. So when its chorus was turned into the hook for this, sung by a former member of one of my most hated groups of the moment, Fifth Harmony, I cringed. How could they do this to a great song? I otherwise have no problems with Machine Gun Kelly, but something like this just had no excuse.
16. Fifth Harmony feat. Fetty Wap - All In My Head (Flex)
Here she is again, with the group she recently left! While this wasn't as bad as other stuff they've done, it was just another bland mess that went nowhere. Something tells me these ladies were chosen for their sex appeal, not their (lack of) musical talent. Add in one of the most annoying rappers of the moment, Fetty Wrap (sic), and it was a no-brainer for my worst of the year... though it could've been far worse, and we will see how much worse they can get!
15. Iggy Azalea - Team
Back in 2014, she had a fresh hip-hop sound, and the novelty of a white female rapper from Australia, along with catchy hooks from artists such as Charli XCX and Rita Ora, helped Iggy Azalea be the most talked about artist of that year. Flash forward to 2016... and she certainly suffered from sophomore slump. This was quite bland and irritating, and showed that her time in the spotlight has run out. It would've been higher but it came and went very fast and was rather forgettable overall, so it was spared of the top 10 worst.
14. Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane - Black Beatles
The current #1 on the Hot 100 is yet another annoying viral rap sensation! I'd heard of these guys before from other worst lists, but this was their first big foray into the mainstream, thanks to going viral due to the Mannequin Challenge. Ultimately, it seems like every viral rap song these days is totally unlistenable for me, I just don't get the appeal. And they have the nerve to compare themselves to the Beatles... just watch as they get forgotten in 5 years like all the other viral rap hasbeens.
13. Kanye West - Famous
Now we get to one of the most famous rappers of the 21st century so far! I actually have liked several of his songs before, but lately he's mostly missed the mark for me. I do find his ego very off-putting, and it shows in this song where he says he's the reason why Taylor Swift is famous? How dare he try to take credit for the fame of someone else who was already big!
12. Black Eyed Peas feat. The World - #Wheresthelove
Back in 2003, the Black Eyed Peas' original "Where Is The Love?" was one of my favourite songs; I really appreciated the message behind it and the socially conscious perspective. Flash forward to 2016, and their reputation has been completely tarnished for me due to generic electronic party anthems that got overplayed to the point of unlistenability. Sure, Will.i.am has already ruined classics by the Buggles and Bill Medley/Jennifer Warnes, among others, but this time he ruins... THEIR OWN SONG? I do understand it's for charity, but that doesn't excuse that this once-great song turned into the same generic crap they've been doing for nearly a decade now!
11. Pitbull feat. Enrique Iglesias - Messin' Around
Pitbull has been a mainstay of my worst lists for many years now, in particular due to rehashing the same annoying sound for every song. Despite being one of my most hated artists, I actually feel he and Christina Aguilera put a sample from A-Ha's "Take On Me" to good use for "Feel This Moment". However, he and Enrique Iglesias, a singer I used to like a lot but has mostly disappointed me lately, take a sample from REO Speedwagon's "Take It On The Run" and completely mess around with it. I'll stick with the original, thank you.
10. Niall Horan - This Town
I've liked most of One Direction's stuff, they've been one of my favourites of the modern boybands. Despite this, they did have a few singles I found overall weak, but they were still mostly listenable. This, however, as Niall Horan's first solo effort... was just a snoozer. It was a boring acoustic song that kept going nowhere and put me to sleep. Despite this, I still hold out hope that he'll have some good solo songs that aren't total borefests, but this definitely doesn't put him on the right foot for the start of his solo career.
9. Fall Out Boy feat. Missy Elliott - Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)
We have a recurring theme here - a lot of songs in this list ruin classics. This has to be the worst offender - the original Ghostbusters theme by [s]Huey Lewis & the News[/s] Ray Parker Jr. is one of the greatest movie themes ever. But when it came time for the movie to be redone, so did the theme song, unfortunately. Fall Out Boy have had some good songs in the past, and they even did another 80's classic - "Beat It" by Michael Jackson - justice with their remake. However, this was no excuse here as this cover felt rather uninspired, and Missy Elliott - herself also normally credible - adds absolutely nothing with her rap. Sometimes classics should just be left alone!
8. D.R.A.M. feat. Lil' Yachty - Broccoli
You know it's a bad year when a viral rap song this bad crashes out at only #8! It pretty much fits the template of bland, irritating beat, rappers who sound stupid, and lyrics that sound even dumber! Dumbing it down to go viral has only led to some of the most annoying songs in history, and this is no exception. It's helped led to the continued popularity of a style called "mumble rap", which honestly is as bad as it sounds. I enjoy a good classic socially conscious rap song as much as anyone, but I have no excuse for this noise filled with annoying clichés and lyrics that sound like they were meant simply to sound "cool" and "hip" when they do nothing but.
7. Rihanna feat. Drake - Work
You know it's a bad year when someone like Rihanna, who usually can get in the top 5 worst of the year with her worst songs, misses the top 5 worst of the year! Either that, or it isn't quite AS awful as "You Da One" (#3 worst of 2011), "Birthday Cake" (#1 worst of 2012), "Pour It Up" (#4 worst of 2013) or "Bitch Better Have My Money" (#2 worst of 2015), this was still absolutely terrible. The most annoying parts of this are: (sound familiar?) an annoying beat and repetitive lyrics (the chorus mostly goes "work work work work work"). And yet, the lazy songwriting of her and her many collaborators get a huge hit out of it? The more overplayed this got, the more annoying it got, and while it still missed my top 5 worst of the year, it still remains as one of my most hated songs of her career, which lately has mostly been filled with duds.
6. Beyoncé - Formation
Here we have yet another artist who I used to enjoy, but has steadily been going downhill, a spiral that started with "Run The World (Girls)" (#2 worst of 2011). This year, she released an album that, despite its critical acclaim, I just did not get the appeal of. I could've put most of the tracks on here (indeed, of all the songs I heard from this album, I didn't like ANY of them), but I decided in the end to focus on this, the first single released from it. I could go on for a while, but the combination of an annoying ratchet beat and her irritating shouty vocal style that is a far cry from when she actually sang well (I found her to generally be a great vocalist singing with power and emotion when she actually does good music), and the controversial imagery reflecting the Black Panthers organization combined for an irritating mess. If I want to listen to a black empowerment song, James Brown did it far better back in the day with "Say It Loud, I'm Black And I'm Proud", which actually sounded very funky and catchy and was much better than this ratchet mess.
5. 3Oh!3 - My Dick
I liked several 3Oh!3 songs in the past... but it seems in this case, they wanted to do nothing but shock listeners with sexually explicit lyrics just for the sake of being sexually explicit. I mean, what the hell is up with lyrics such as this:
"Every time I look at my dick, I'm like "Holy shit, that's a big dick"
And every time I look at your dick, I'm like "Holy shit, that's a small dick""
Um... did we really need to know this? The whole song isn't even trying to hide that it's talking about you-know-what! It's a whole load of TMI! No wonder no radio station was willing to touch this.
4. Kiiara - Gold
Okay, so... what the hell is this supposed to be? I can't understand a single word she's saying... oops, I mean mumbling! Plus, it's not even catchy! It's just.... you guessed it... a bland beat with annoying vocals to make a mess that goes nowhere! Seems to be a common trend here. I'd analyze the lyrics, but I honestly can't make out anything she's trying to say... but surely it can't be good. So what makes this worse than so many other songs on the list? Well, it has refused to go away, implanting its awfulness into my consciousness and made it so I couldn't forget it. If the rest of her stuff is THIS bad, I really hope she ends up as a one hit wonder.
3. Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign - Work From Home
And here is the highest entry for these ladies! It has a common thread with many other songs in the list, but especially with Rihanna's "Work" - the repetitive chorus with the repetition of the word "work" over and over. Um... we GET IT ALREADY! Pretty much all of their recent stuff has sucked, but due to overexposure, this has to be THE worst song they've ever done. I've said it before and I'll say it again... an irritating beat and stupid cliché lyrics, combined with a repetitive chorus by a group whose members I couldn't identify out of a crowd, will only lead to a crappy song!
2. Desiigner - Panda
I'm sure some of you thought this would be #1, and while I truly hate it... there was one song I thought was worse! Let's start it... I've already ranted about "mumble rap", and a lot of what he says in this song I can't really make out (though not to the degree of some other songs in here). The beat is a really irritating and bland trap beat that was surely cheaply produced and sounds like it, and the lyrics are pretty much full of viral rap clichés about broads in Atlanta and comparing himself to pop culture icons he has no business comparing himself to that have ruined the genre for me. Plus, repeating the word "panda" over and over again... I think you get the drift by now. I'll never understand how the hell this got #1 on the Hot 100, it's just an annoying mess.
So if "Panda" isn't #1... then what could've been even WORSE?
1. Fergie - M.I.L.F. $
I knew, from the moment I knew what the title of Fergie's song was going to be, that it was going to suck. But little did I know exactly HOW awful it turned out to be!
I'd have expected something this bad out of a one-hit wonder novelty artist... but as it's by someone like Fergie who has shown she has talent (though she hasn't made the best use of it lately), it led me to view this with higher scrutiny.
First up, the shock value. She says it's supposed to be an empowering song for women, particularly mothers, but what exactly does it empower? It pretty much reduces her status to being slutty and anti-feminist.
Plus, the production... it sounds CHEAP and unfinished!
The chorus is also very irritating and repetitive, like this:
You got that, you got that, you got that milk money
I got that, I got that, I got that MILF money
You got that, you got that, you got that milk money
I got that, I got that, I got that MILF money
I got that MILF money [x4]
Repeating it in an annoying tone will only serve to annoy me even more. Also, what the hell is up with the title? Using unusual punctuation is only a show of immaturity in a case like this.
Fergie, you're 41. This song only makes you seem VERY childish as I'd expect it out of a teenage one hit wonder rapper. Did the meth really mess with your head THAT much for you to inflict this insidious garbage on the world?
Regardless, all this has put "M.I.L.F. $" in my Hall of Shame as THE worst piece of garbage in a year filled with awful songs!