The Rundown: The 10 Worst Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s Of The Last 5 Years

“Uptown Funk” has been sitting at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 14 consecutive weeks and we couldn’t be happier. It’s a terrific song and after initially being everywhere, the amount it gets played and its omnipresence has scaled back considerably, allowing us to continue enjoying it whenever we hear it.

While the last eight months at the top of the Hot 100 chart have been pretty solid – two jams from T-Swift, plus the Ronson & Mars collabo and Megan Trainor being “All About That Bass” (No Treble) – there are always stretches where regrettable singles make it to the No. 1 spot. Over the last five years, it has happened far more frequently than we’d like to admit and these are the worst offenders of the bunch.

This is The Rundown: The 10 Worst Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s of the Last Five Years.

Tik Tok by Ke$ha

This anthem about getting blackout drunk, waking up and doing it all over again was fun the first 7-10 times you heard it, but it got stale… quick. Heavy on the Auto-Tune and light on anything original, Ke$ha’s debut number unseated “Empire State of Mind” and spent nine weeks at No.1. Nine. That’s far too long for a disposable track like this to stay at the top of the charts. It would be easy to call this a one-time lapse in judgment and Ke$ha’s 15 minutes in the sun, but her second single, “We R Who We R” went to No. 1 as well. Why did people like Ke$ha so much?

Imma Be by Black Eyed Peas

There was a stretch where pretty much everything The Black Eyed Peas released went to No. 1 and the fact that this joint topped the Hot 100 illustrates that point to a tee. There isn’t any of the “party anthem” energy of some of their other hits, nor is there the “hit you in the heart” message of “Where is the Love” back in the day. This was generic and formulaic BEP, heavy on Fergie Ferg and Will.I.Am with a very simple verse from tossed on the end.

OMG by Usher ft. Will.I.Am

Further illustrating the “BEP has the Midas touch” sentiment from above is the fact that this club jam built off a lazy text response featuring the lead Pea enjoyed a week at the top of the charts in May 2010. Earlier in his career, Usher looked poised to be the heir to Michael Jackson’s corner – a downgrade from “The King of Pop” because anyone would be, but a talented entertainer who jumped between energetic club joints, ballads and everything in between. Then he started focusing exclusively on tracks for the club that have lines like “Honey had a booty like POW POW POW” and all was lost.

Like a G6 by Far East Movement

Turns out 2010 was the year to have success with songs about getting wasted and acting a fool. “Poppin’ bottles in the ice like a blizzard” should have sent everyone running. Instead, people embraced this repetitive, stuttery club track and turned it into a hit. The annoying thing is that their follow-up, “Rocketeer,” was actually a solid song – melodic and catchy featuring OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder on the hook – but it maxed out at No. 7.

Hold It Against Me by Britney Spears

While Usher went to the top of the charts with a song title cribbed from text messaging, Ms. Spears turned one of the lamest pick-up lines in the history of lame pick-up lines into a the basis of a No. 1 song. Seriously. This song is basically a musical take on “If I told you you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” It’s slightly less gross than that because it’s Britney singing to a dude, but it’s still just another bubble gum Britney Spears offering with a little bit of sizzle and no steak.

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen

While it spawned several amazing parody videos, that doesn’t make this a particularly good song. Catchy? Absolutely, but it’s teenage bubble-gum pop from a twentysomething from British Columbia. “Call Me Maybe” duplicated Ke$ha’s nine-week run at the top of the charts, bumping Goyte’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” from top position. Jepsen tried to catch lightning in a bottle a second time with the first single from her latest album, “I Really Like You,” but it didn’t happen. But we’ll always have this earworm to remember her by.

Whistle by Flo Rida

There has been a lot of great hip hop floating around in the music world these last few years… but Flo Rida doesn’t make any of it. Instead, he drops litttle numbers like this ode to oral sex that isn’t even the best hip hop song with “whistle” in the title; that honour goes to Juelz Santana and “There It Go (The Whistle Song),” which didn’t have as much chart success as this track did, peaking at No. 6 on the Hot 100. Flo Rida has become the BEP of solo rap acts – accepted and loved by the masses that have no real interest in good music.

Harlem Shake by Baauer

Remember this? Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” spent the entire month of March 2013 at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. There is really no tangible way to explain how this happened because even though everyone and their brother had fun making their own “Harlem Shake” video, that doesn’t mean the song has to actually be a success. Obviously music is subjective and there are going to be people that disagree with this assessment (and this entire list), but this song being such a massive hit still doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Timber by Pitbull ft. Ke$ha

Hey look – Ke$ha’s back and she brought Pitbull with her! Country-infused dance music with a mediocre pop starlet on the hook. The chorus starts with “Swing your partner round and round” and yet it still managed to top the Hot 100 for three weeks early last year. Sadly, it stayed on top of the charts for eight weeks here in Canada, making us even worse than our neighbours to the south. Pitbull is another that fits the BEP “Find a formula and stick with it” artists that has had a bunch of success with marginal music over the last few years.

Rude by MAGIC!

Sorry, but this sounds more like a track by four dudes that like smoking bud and playing in a garage band than a song that tops the charts for six weeks. Six weeks! It’s as if there hadn’t been a reggae-infused track that got a lot of airplay in a while and so people latched on to the first such song that came along and turned it into a hit. Again, this one is on us, as “Rude” won Single of the Year at the Junos.

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