So, who doesn’t want to gently easy into their Monday afternoon with a good 20 minutes of time-wasting bad Internet videos? The smartest YouTube searchers know that the site’s treasures are often found simply by typing “worst” whatever in the search box, or, for a grab bag, just “worst” itself, no noun. A search for the worst music videos turns up a lot of just boringly bad stuff – crappy, but not enough to really compel a complete viewing – and a lot of bad-on-purpose stuff that usually isn’t funny. But the best – meaning the worst, but a special kind of worst – usually combine a special set of qualities: absolute (ironic) confidence in the quality of the song and video; elaborate – although usually low-budget – plots, sets, or costumes, often nonsensical but still obviously very thought-out; the obvious aiding and abetting by equally clueless friends/family/outside parties; and clear reaches at mainstream pop currents that fail miserably but charmingly.
Here are some of my favorites today – these are mostly oldies but goodies for dedicated viral video trawlers. But if any are new, and you have a soft spot for humor fueled by human folly and pathos, well, you might want to keep a dry set of pants at the ready. – Arielle Castillo
We’ll start off soft with this one, for the old Finnish pop ditty “I Want To Love You Tender,“ by Armi Ja Danny. It’s funny just for it’s LOL-Scandinavians, goofy-retro way, much like that video of goofy faux-natives dancing to a rock version of “Apache” (courtesy of Denmark). However, it’s kind of sweet, and although there is some misuse of adverbs and a few missing articles, the song is still more grammatically correct than 95% of songs by native English speakers. Best few seconds start at 1:15.
Next up is “Losing You” by Jan Terri, a Chicago legend who once opened for Marilyn Manson. It combines ALL of the qualities listed above, and for that is a true classic. I also recommend “Get Down Goblin” and “Journey to Mars.” Read about her on Wikipedia here.
Here’s a contender, according to YouTube, for the “worst rap video ever made.” Originally, there was something just a little off about it, perhaps a little too familiar with actual video conventions, and perhaps not crazy enough – maybe it was spoof. But no, his Myspace page page reveals that Middletown, Connecticut rapper Reh Dogg is for real. In case you were wondering, he endorses Obama.
(Side note: On a YouTube search for worst rap anything, the comments on EVERY video will always eventually turn to comparing the subject to Soulja Boy. Fact.)
On the hip-hop tip…. Here’s one that can almost be excused for being foreign, except that it’s obviously really well planned and kind of high budget. I give you Speak, the Hungarian rapper. Sometimes, people make a war. Don’t know what it’s for. The last chorus is the best, but 1:02 is pretty good too.
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(BTW, this clip indicates that Hungarians are generally aware of this video’s lulz-worthiness).
Finally, this isn’t a music video per se – it’s a clip of an amazing 1989 children’s movie of dubious moreal edutainment value known as Creating Rem Lezar. (The whole thing is viewable in parts on YouTube.). No, you’re not having an acid flashback. Yes, the guy with the blue mullet is the same one currently playing guitar in that Snickers commercial. No, seeing the whole thing in context does not better explain the appearance of the gay Central Park greasers (was it rockabilly day in the Ramble?), the kneesock-wearing rapper, or the apparently meth-fuelled fiddler.