My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Hip Hop on Pop Country and other bad rhymes: the worst country songs of 2013

hop on popYoung bastard sub-genres like hick-hop and ‘bro country’ dominate our annual worst songs of the year list. Florida Georgia Line’s 2012-released “Cruise” makes it second appearance on our list fueled by its re-release of a remix with rapper Nelly and its record-setting year atop the new mongrel Hot Country Songs chart.  Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Florida Georgia Line all have double entries here, demonstrating their consistency in putting out large piles of musical bovine feces.

Here’s our pick for the ten worst mainstream songs of the year. What would your own list look like? Share in the comments.

10. “The Outsiders” – Eric Church

Heavy metal pretending to be country; loud, cluttered, tuneless and horrible, with risibly cliche’d wannabe outlaw lyrics I don’t find remotely credible, shouted (even screamed) rather than sung.  It does not inspire any positive hope for the new album it heralds.

– Occasional Hope

9. “Get Your Shine On” – Florida Georgia Line

Last year,when I heard “Cruise”, I really didn’t think these guys’ singles could get any worse. But they proved me wrong with both their 2013 releases. This is only a little worse than “Round Here” because it sounds like some parody lyric written for the Drunken Martina twitter account.

– J.R. Journey

8. “Redneck Crazy” – Tyler Farr

This tasteless muck (co-written by Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins of “Before He Cheats” fame) is another low for country music, in an era in which everyone seems to be trying to out do themselves for the lowest levels of douchedom. Count me out.

– Jonathan Pappalardo

7. “The Only Way I Know How” – Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church

This collaboration boasts lots of chest-thumping bravado, self-proclaimed superiority over anybody with even subtle differences to the narrators, and the whole thing is just way too loud and overbearing. The lyrics speak of humility, but everything about this mess screams “Look at me! And how much better I am than you!”.

– J.R. Journey

6. “Ready, Set, Roll” – Chace Rice

The fact that this guy co-wrote “Cruise” tells you all you need to know about him as an artist.  The single boasts rock vocals, completely generic leering lyric, no melody to speak of, tinny processed sound.  Bad and boring; at least the likes of Joanna Smith and Chris Young can sing.

– Occasional Hope

5. “Parking Lot Party” – Lee Brice

Is there a chance Lee Brice may be the only male country singer to understand the concept of balance? I could knock him for recording this awful cliché-drenched ode to tailgating, but it comes on the heels of “I Drive Your Truck,” a surprisingly substantive moment in mainstream country this year. It’s just too bad he needs to offset a steel-heavy ballad with a desperate attempt at remaining a hero to the teen and college set.

– Jonathan Pappalardo

4. “1994” – Jason Aldean

Like most of Jason Aldean’s singles of late, ‘1994’ has no narrative to speak of, no point to its existence, or any artistic credibility whatsoever. Aldean is singing about a man once nicknamed ‘Joe Ditty,’ in a song that makes “Pickup Man” and “John Deere Green” sound like the second coming of “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” When tribute songs are of a far lesser quality than the music of artist they’re honoring, is there even a point?

– Jonathan Pappalardo

It’s an insult to Joe Diffie to include references to him on this ghastly hip hop trash.

– Occasional Hope

3. “That’s My Kind of Night” – Luke Bryan

Zac Brown called it ‘one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard’.  I don’t know that I’d go that far, but it is very poor indeed, with pornographic uh-ing at the start, little melody, cliche’d lyric, jerky phrasing; even Luke sounds as though he’s on autopilot.  Sticking banjo on top is just like putting lipstick on a pig – and not Babe or Miss Piggy, a really hairy, smelly boar with swine flu.

– Occasional Hope

2. “Cruise Remix” – Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly

The newly minted CMA Single of the Year is the worst novelty hit in decades. The rap remix is nothing more than ‘Anti-Christ’ Scott Borchetta cementing his stronghold over commercial country, and his dominance as dictator of Music Row. He’s becoming more of a problem then his artists at this point.

– Jonathan Pappalardo

 The original was bad enough; this ill-conceived rap remix unbelievably makes it even worse.

– Occasional Hope

I said a lot about this song last year, and I stand by all of it.

– J.R. Journey

1.”Boys Round Here” – Blake Shelton feat. Pistol Annies and friends

Absolutely horrible rap with awful country-pride lyrics.  An appalling waste of talent.  This sub-genre has become a parody of itself.

– Occasional Hope

Shelton is arguably the biggest star in country music right now. That he’s using his high profile to market this kind of garbage – “chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit”, you’re kidding me? – is bad enough. But when he uses his considerable influence to recruit the likes of the Pistol Annies, Reba McEntire, Ronnie Dunn, Josh Turner, and Brad Paisley into being featured on the song’s “celebrity mix” it’s just despicable.

– J.R. Journey

13 responses to “Hip Hop on Pop Country and other bad rhymes: the worst country songs of 2013

  1. Michael A. December 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Yes! I’m so happy the year-end roundups have begun. It’s especially fun to look back at the worst of the year first. It’s hard to argue with this list, but I do wish something could have been bumped off to make room for Toby Keith’s daughter’s wedding song “Daddy Dance with Me”. What dreck! Perhaps it wasn’t a big enough hit to be considered for this list though.

  2. J.R. Journey December 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I don’t think I’ve heard “Daddy Dance With Me” yet. I’ve heard rumblings about Krystal Keith but haven’t been interested enough to even check her out. I was a little surprised that none of co-writers except me voted for “Carolina” by Parmalee. That was #5 on my personal list.

    The only song here I wouldn’t have included myself is “Redneck Crazy”. I don’t think it’s a great song by any stretch. The melody sounds like it was ripped from any of a number of C-list ’90s country hits (Ty Herndon, anyone?) But I didn’t really understand all the controversy around the lyrics either. If Miranda Lambert had sang the song, people would have said “Wow, Miranda has lost her edge. She used to sing about shotguns and arson, now she’s singing about throwing beer cans at somebody”. Too many people go around looking for a reason to be offended I think …

    • Jonathan Pappalardo December 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Apart from her duet with her father (from 2004) I haven’t heard anything from Krystal. Probably for the same reasons as you, J.R.

      I did have Parmalee’s debut single on my list last year and I believe it made our combined list, too. I don’t have an opinion one way or another on “Carolina” but their first single was dreck.

      • Michael A. December 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm

        Lucky guys. There was a period of a few weeks when I felt like I couldn’t escape it out here. I guess that’s what I get for failing to seek out alternatives to FM radio. How many more songs like the ones listed above is it going to take for me to do so?

  3. AndyTheDrifter December 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I love this annual feature. I’m happy to say I’m fortunate enough to not have heard any of these songs, but the write-ups are great.

  4. wiley16350 December 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I have to say that the Florida Georgia Line album is the worst country album I have ever heard. I bought it for the original “Cruise” version, absolutely hated the re-mix. When I listened to the rest of the album I was in shock with how horrible it was. Immature, stupid, inane and has absolutely no redeeming quality to it. Very disappointing.

  5. Six String Richie December 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    For me, “Round Here” was Florida Georgia Line’s worst single, partly because it was released around the time “Boys ‘Round Here” was on radio and two terrible songs with (almost) the same title shouldn’t be on the radio at the same time. Overall, I think either “That’s My Kind of Night” or “Boys ‘Round Here” would be the worst single of the year.

  6. Michelle December 9, 2013 at 2:23 am

    I don’t like any of these songs Im sad to say country has lost it’s heart in 2013 and George, Tammy,Johnny, Waylon and Conwayetc would be rolling in their graves but while Darius Rucker and Kacey Musgraves are in this genre we have hope.

  7. Noah Eaton December 9, 2013 at 5:15 am

    “The Only Way I Know” technically wouldn’t qualify because it was released toward the end of 2012. That aside, I’d consider it more annoying and disposable than particularly awful.

    Here’s my Top Ten:

    *

    10) “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun” (The musical equivalent of a Joe Diffie midlife crisis. His vocal part is actually quite enjoyable, but D-Thrash delivers horendous verses and it makes my heart sink hearing Joe Diffie utter: “Got the dashboard lights shinin’ on my baby-o…” -__- )

    9) “All Over The Road” (This will hands-down be the selection that I get the most flack for and seen as a shocker, but I’m absolutely serious here. I’m NOT taking issue with the production here per se, nor with Easton Corbin’s energetic and committed performance. No, it’s the songwriting that I’m giving a black eye for romanticizing reckless driving that is always right on the cusp of dangerous driving. And the easy-going production and Corbin’s devil-may-care delivery, in effect, romanticizes this matter that leads to thousands of fatalities on the highways every year. The fact this has received universal praise is beyond me.)

    8) “1994” (……………………whhhhyyyyyyyy, Aldean? What did you seriously have to gain by minting this a single? I know this isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but you should have had the decency to keep this radio-proof! >=( )

    7) “She Cranks My Tractor” (“I’ve got the rifle, she’s got the rack!” Ahahahahahahaha, GET IT?!!!)

    6) “Tippin’ Point” (Yes……………..the same guy who gave us “Wasting My Time” as frontman of Default has marked his American debut as a country artist with this embarrassing spectacle of stupidity written by Florida-Georgia Line, with gems including: “It’s hot as hell the way you shake that tailgate, makes me wanna holler at the moon.” Talk about a waste of time. )

    5) “Boys Round Here” (Besides “That’s My Kind of Night”, the single most dangerous chart-topping hit in “country” music this year from a commercial/crossover standpoint. Expect its success, name-dropping the Dougie and Dixie Crystal and all, to be adopted as a template for a deluge of subsequent Frankensteined hick-hop diabolical schemes! -__- )

    4) “That’s My Kind Of Night” (Repeat after me: T-Pain and references to “making it rain” have no place in this rich musical tradition. And I have to hand it to Bryan’s marketing team for someone producing a music video for this song that automatically sets the needle jumping to the point of short-circuiting on the Douche-O-Meter. The single most dangerous chart-topping hit in “country” music this year from a commercial/crossover standpoint)

    3) “Titty’s Beer” (The only reason this isn’t #1 is because it was a promotional single and is unlikely to be featured on a proper studio album. Still: “One things for sure everybody loves titty’s, when you work real hard and your day’s gone shitty, what could be better than a big ol’ mouthful of titty’s.” Is that you, Montgomery Gentry?!!! =X =X =X

    2) “Ready Set Roll” (Holds the dubious honor of having one of the worst opening lyrics of ANY “country” song ever AND a misogynistic lyric smack dab in the chorus. And that Mac voiceover that bookends the song is mind-numbingly depressing.)

    1) “Redneck Crazy” (Arguably the single most dangerous #1 the format has witnessed yet, because it actually romanticizes vandalism and harrassment.)

    *

    Wow, would you know it? No Florifa-Georgia Line (as lead performers) amongst this bunch! O__O

    No worries…..their next single “This Is How We Roll” will all but certainly be a leading contender for 2014! 😉

    • Occasional Hope December 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I agree with your reservations regarding the lyrical implications of the Easton Corbin song, but the fact that it it doesn’t sound horrific kept it well away from my nominations for this list. Just too much that really was awful to choose from this year.

      • Noah Eaton December 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

        I felt “All Over The Road” warranted inclusion because many are likening Easton Corbin to one of the closest hopes in maintaining neo-traditionalism in the radio genre, and yet the poor lyrical quality that mars not just this but much of the album of the same name depressingly underscores how diminished lyrical quality in the format is, and moreover the fact it’s backed by enticing neo-traditional production actually makes it sound all the more insulting.

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  9. jaredrexclark December 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    What a great list and you all have covered the really bad songs. Florida Georgia LIne seem to come out with songs that are even worse than the song before it. I have seen a new song from them on CMT and it might be the worst song they have ever done.

    “Redneck Crazy” is plain awful. It is a song that someone who plays to be tough would like. It comes off as sissy to me.

    I use to be a big Blake Shelton fan, but some of his music here lately is poor quality to his older stuff. As you mentioned right now he is probably the most well known Country singer and yet he is pushing music that isn’t country. Not even compared to my standards but to his own. Just go listen to singles from his early years and then explain to me how that same guy sings “Boys Round Here”? Crap “Mine Would Be You” is such a great song…why Blake do you have to release crap!!

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