Mainstream music these days has been bottom of the barrel quality. Whether it’s the lack of creativity on lyrics or the emphasis of repeating the same chorus over and over again. Back in the day, it wasn’t overly done because songs had a meaningful message and the verses told the story. Today, it’s all about finding the next catchy phrase where the verses don’t mean squat.
Yes, there are some top 40 singles that are passable but songs like “Work” by Rihanna featuring Drake is an abomination to the industry. Not only is it the worst song of the year, it’s the worst song of the decade. How can you consider this number-one single a good record? This song is garbage and gets under my nerves.
I thought “Crank That” by Soulja Boy was terrible with the stupid chorus and dance. But Rihanna has probably surpassed it as the worst number-one single of all-time. The days of the horrid ringtone era that almost killed the music industry is over, but it doesn’t mean top-40 hits hasn’t gotten better.
An argument can be made that artists like Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift have provided some nice records for top-40 standards over the years. At least they have the audacity to be creative and have verses that people can sing along to, rather than the same choruses, which Meghan Trainor and The Weeknd are victims of.
Those three I can listen to every once in a while and not be baffled because of an excessive amount of bells and whistles on the record. With that being said, I admit that I listen to top-40 records.
The only reason why I listen to this kind of music is, one, to figure out what number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts is. Second, to see why this song is popular with certain people. Third and the most important element I look for a song is quality. Work is anything but quality and an awful attempt at being like Miley Cyrus (2013-Present) whom I can’t stand with a flaming passion.
What infuriates me more is the fact radio stations shove it down people’s throat that it has become one of those “bad but good” records. It has been the case for the last two months and it doesn't look promising anyone can knock down Rihanna.
But I’m not falling for it because there is no excuse that this record was released as a single, let alone top the charts. There are far better artists out there that should be number one right now. Desiigner's "Panda" is miles better than "Work" and has peaked at number five. It's an okay record to dance to and listen at night but that's the only song that has some form of promise to be No. 1 and celebrate with rejoice.
Speaking of such, you want to know why Gaga has gained more respect from me? It’s because she took her limitless talent elsewhere from her tour with Tony Bennett to doing television programming. If it wasn’t for her versatility, the latest memory was her subpar album from 2013. I’m glad she has pursued different platforms and for the most part killing it. I can’t say the same about Rihanna who I’ve been extremely critical of since she debuted in 2005.
I didn’t like her during her “Pon De Replay” and "Umbrella" days. I wasn’t a fan of her 2009 album "Rated R"especially the song "Rude Boy" which is among my top-five worst No. 1 singles ever. So you think I hated Rihanna's work forever, right? No.
It wasn’t until "Loud"(2010) up to "Talk That Talk" (2011) where I liked her material because it was one of those records that got me energized and live free in high school. Man, it was a weird time in my life that I listened to her music back then. If I wanted some form of motivation at the time, she was among my go-to list.
But now that her red hair days is over, my opinion of Rihanna has negatively changed in terms of her music once again.
Not even Drake could save this wretched song and I believe he’s arguably the top commercial rapper of the 2010s. If I say Drake can’t do anything to bring any redeemable form of quality, the song is atrocious.
I guarantee you that nobody will remember Drake’s verse in five years. Hopefully, this record is one every “Worst of” list in 2016 and in 2019 when you think of the worst songs of the decade. I’m sorry, I hate the record and it’s why I have little to no hope on mainstream music getting better.
Give me a Joe Jonas record to top the charts and I can promise you that it’ll be better than "Work." Justin Bieber’s number-one songs have become underrated number-one songs and that’s not saying much because it's Bieber and not the biggest fan of his either. So it appears top-40 music is going nowhere, especially the top single in the Hot 100.
It baffles me to say that I would rather listen to two artists whom I'm not crazy for (especially Joe since I despised the Jonas Brothers as a teenager), instead of an accomplished pop artist like Rihanna. But there’s no excuse that after a decade in the game, you release a broken down record. No excuse.