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The Worst Pop/Rock Songs Since 1990: The Full Bracket

Illustration for article titled The Worst Pop/Rock Songs Since 1990: The Full Bracket



There have been some great songs recorded in the past 26 years. There has also been some fatuous bullshit produced and thrust upon the world by the music industry. And now, it’s time to “celebrate” the latter by deciding once and for all: what is the worst of the worst?

A few weeks ago, resident hip hop beat writer notsomethingstructural and I teamed up with the goal of creating an NCAA Basketball-style bracket of the worst pop/rock songs. We began the process by soliciting nominations from our friends, many of whom are devoted readers of this site. Based on the responses we cut the year off at 1990 and still received over 150 nominations. The songs were placed into four categories, we voted for our favorites (you can read about our voting process and ideas here), and eventually whittled the list down to a familiar format, with four divisions and 68 of the most uninspired musical creations of our time.


And now you, dear readers, will determine the winner via twitter voting.

The polls will be posted here and will remain open for 24 hours, with winners advancing to the next round. Polling begins Monday for the play-in games and will continue on weekdays from there. The Four Divisions are as follows:

The Queefcore Realm: For an understanding of what Queefcore is, a good starting point is the eternal missive from DUAN fixture Juan Cena. Songs in this division generally feature sappy lyrics, competent yet unflashy musicianship, and would fit in well at corporate retreats or insurance commercials. They also might be considered Mom Rock or Adult Contemporary. Featuring some truly insipid garbage top to bottom, this might be the group of death.


Nu-Metal/Post-Grunge Butt-Rock Division: Possibly the most narrowly defined bracket in the tournament, this division is comprised of hard rock styles that emerged and gained popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Bands here were inspired by many styles of music including grunge, metal, and often hip hop. Despite the decrease in popularity over the years, there are still musicians that produce terrible music inspired by these terrible predecessors.

Tweens and Teenie Bop: This division is composed of the songs appealing to the youngest consumers of pop music (generally ages 10-15). While often the songs are kid-friendly, sometimes music in this genre will contain unnecessarily crass lyrics to appeal to teenagers seeking the thrill of listening to “dirty” music. Songs in this division generally dominate the Top 40 more than any other, and are among the most played on FM radio stations (which still exist, you guys).


Justice Stewart Division – “I’ll know it when I see it.” The name of this division is inspired by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous remarks relating to the subject of pornography. Songs in this division span a wide range of genres and styles, and like the famous quote, while we may not be able to define this category, we know bad music when we hear it.

One other note on this division – one of our nominees was clearly the worst, featuring LL Cool J comparing the Confederate Flag to a doo-rag, as if “an article of clothing” could somehow be construed by someone, somewhere, as emblematic of minority oppression of whites? Maybe something equally farcical. This is not a bad song, it is an offensive and backwards piece of music where the intentions of the artists are baffling since it should be called “Deliberate Racist.” We condemn this song and will not include it.


So there it is, and now the WORST of the WORST lies in your hands. We thank you in advance for being a part of this journey. Also, a special thanks to all our contributors who got us this far.

So please, share with friends. The more the Merrier. May the worst song win.

- RM & NSS

“Rhythm Method” is a bad song enthusiast and native Seattleite who now lives in beautiful Yuma, AZ. Follow him on twitter here. “notsomethingstructural” (aka @nss_ds) is an amateur listicle purveyor and the author of the polar opposite “The 25 Best Hip Hop Albums of All Time”. He is terrible at twitter and adhering to 140 charac

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