We continue our look at the best and worst music of 1998. That’s twenty years ago, but who’s counting? Good music can change the world, but bad music is (unfortunately) eternal. These nine songs and the stench they left behind will never fade away.
- Everlast – “What It’s Like”
Everything about “What’ It’s Like” screams lazy: lazy vocals, lazy lyrics, lazy guitars. Naturally, it was a smash hit.
- Public Announcement – “Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo)”
R Kelly is responsible for a lot of awful things and this probably doesn’t crack the top 10. However, it’s hard to forget his backup band, Public Announcement, which had a slew of hits back in the day simply because the trapped-in-the-closet singer had solos on them. No Public Announcement single was worse than the song “Body Bumpin’ (Yippie-Yi-Yo),” which repeats the phrase Yippie-Yi-Yo about 100 times in a three-minute song. The song covers familiar territory for R Kelly and the boys – S-E-X. Wow, so edgy, so annoying.
- Marcy Playground – “Sex and Candy”
“Sex and Candy” will never die and for this you can blame the band who sang it, if you can remember their name. That’s right, you might know every lyric to this track without being able to name another song by Marcy Playground. This song is corny and gross and catchy and for some reason seems to be a favorite for “edgy” singers auditioning for American Idol or The Voice.
- B*Witched – “C’est la Vie”
If you think about where music was in 1998, it’s hard to see where this song fit in. Maybe that’s the point, because the limp girl-pop power of B*Witched got everyone’s attention. The song “C’est la Vie”debuted at number one in the UK and also topped the charts in Ireland and New Zealand. It managed to get to #9 on the U.S. pop charts. The annoying song is accompanied by a video which seems to be some outtakes from Robin Sparkles.
- Master P Featuring Silkk, Fiend, MIA-X and Mystikal – “Make Em Say Uhhh”
If you like grunting, then you probably loved Master P’s song, which exhorted you to make someone else say Uhhhhh. Although it was supposed to be a reference to sex, it honestly sounds more like someone is getting punched in the stomach, or struggling on the toilet.
- Limp Bizkit – “Faith”
Limp Bizkit covering George Michael’s “Faith”…? Who asked for this? It was bad enough when Limp Bizkit covered The Who’s “Beyond Blue Eyes” in 2003, turning it into a stomach-churning growly mess, but this doubles down on bad. Michael’s hit song was a tribute to Bo Diddley and a carefully-calibrated, energetic hit. Bizkit decided to drain the energy from the music and then sing it off-key. As they do.
- Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”
“Look, funny Canadian band sings nonsensical lyrics so fast! Give them a Grammy!” For some unknown and unholy reason, that was the general reaction to 1998’s “One Week.”
- Kid Rock – “Bawitdaba”
No worst-of list is complete without Kid Rock, and 1998 happened to be the year when this joker inexplicably hit it big. Rock’s fourth studio album has plenty of clunkers, but this faux-hard rock anthem takes the cake as The Absolute Worst. He stole the chorus from Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” in a sign of the years of cultural theft still to come.
- Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On”
I know you hate me for this, but I am reserving a place in hell for the most overrated and overplayed song of all-time, Celine Dion’s Titanic anthem. If young, hairless Leo DiCaprio made you swoon, you’re probably down for this song. As for the rest of us, Dion’s schmaltz-fest is unconscionable, introducing pan-flute solos and overextended syllables. The song is also an impossible five minutes long, fully deserving of its distinction as The Worst.
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