2018 was some piece of work, huh?
But before you put this stressful year in your rear view, I’m here to remind you of the lowest of the low.
Yes, once again it’s time for the annual Playa Please Awards, where for seven years running we shame the celebrities, newsmakers and outright weirdoes who defiled our timelines with their depravity.
As always, I’m excluding any political happenings (with one obvious exception) and any Me Too movement offenders. That stuff has been covered to death by other outlets already.
Take a look at bottom six moments that made us want to relocate to another solar system.
6. Taylor Swift sucks the soul out of Earth, Wind & Fire
When you think of Earth, Wind & Fire, you think of passion. Energy. Excitement. Soul.
I sure don’t think of this.
But for some reason, the leader of the Rhythmless Nation Taylor Swift thought it was great idea to cover one of the greatest soul records of all time.
Like a literal R&B succubus, T-Swift drained every bit of soul out of this record, replacing the iconic, full-bodied sound with Nyquil vocals and a boring banjo. I’m usually annoyed by the Internet’s perpetual outrage culture but Taylor deserved every bit of flak she received for this rice cake of a remake.
Allee Willis, who co-wrote song with The Element’s late Maurice White and Al McKay, threw shade in the most polite way possible: “I didn’t really think she did a horrible job. Yes, I felt it was as lethargic as a drunk turtle dozing under a sunflower after ingesting a bottle of Valium, and I thought it had all the build of a one-story motel, but, I mean, the girl didn’t kill anybody.”
It would have been more exciting if she DID kill somebody.
5. Anyone who took the Tide Pod Challenge deserved death
I initially thought the Tide Pod Challenge was a silly Internet rumor, like the Slenderman or Sinbad playing a genie or Cardi B having a good album.
It can’t possibly be true – people CAN’T be eating laundry detergent.
But we were ONE MONTH into 2018 when the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that there were already 86 cases of intentional misuse of the laundry packets in the calendar year.
I mean, yes, those things do look like Kool-Aid Bursts. But I once thought a tampon was a Fruit Roll Up – doesn’t mean I tried eating it.
…No matter how much I considered it.
Apparently, a few Youtubers thought it would be funny to pretend to eat these things. And since the world is filled with sheep, since some guy who can’t legally drink said it was cool to swallow poison, people actually started doing it.
Maybe some of these mumble rappers should have taken the challenge. It could have cleaned their raggedy, rusty throats and we could finally hear what they’re saying for once. Or maybe it’ll destroy their voice for good.
Eh, a win is a win.
4. Drake ain’t built for the art of war
“It’s only so long fake thugs can pretend” – Jay Z, Takeover
When you’ve been billed as music’s second coming as long as Drake has, I guess it’s only natural that you really start believing your own hype. But the second Battle Rapper Drake stepped on a real battlefield, Aubrey got dusted Thanos-style.
A quick recap: Pusha T and his brother Malice had been feuding with Drake’s mentor Lil Wayne for years. Eventually, Push started targeting Drake as well, who for the most part stayed quiet, knowing he was WAY out of his league confronting a lyrical assassin. But after a few rap battle wins over proverbial tomato cans like Kid Cudi and Meek Mill, Drake got froggy and started to fire back. Then, after Push mentioned Drake’s ghostwriter on “Infared,” Drizzy had ENOUGH, and dropped what he just knew was diss track to end all diss tracks, “Duppy Freestyle,” which, to his credit, was a lot more pointed than his usual passive-aggressive stuff.
After years of bating, Drake finally fell in Pusha’s trap.
Then we got THIS.
Pusha unleashed an old photo of Drake in blackface, outed his secret child with an adult film star, ran his upcoming Adidas deal into the ground before it even launched and sent blistering shots toward Drake’s boy Noah “40” Shebib.
Save your memes and hide your Twitter fingers. This, ladies and gentlemen, is rap beef. And Aubrey was NOT ready.
Suddenly, Drake went from Big L to Big Baby Dram – claiming he had the PERFECT response but his rap dad J Prince told him it was toooooo hot and to not unleash it, lest Push be burned from all the hot fyah being spit. And his legion of stans of course rushed to Twitter to run damage control, claiming that Pusha’s diss went too far.
Where were all these pacifists when Drake was targeting Pusha’s fiance and picking on Cudi’s mental-health issues? And Drake playing the victim is even more ridiculous when he allegedly sent goons to disrupt a Pusha concert, a point Drake has yet to deny.
Listen, I do think it’s unfair when people pick on Drake for being “soft” just because of his R&B ties. Drake’s a lot of things – insanely overrated, a panderer, lazy, a bad singer, has stolen more styles than Shang Tsung, etc. – but I wouldn’t call him soft.
Another thing I wouldn’t call him – a battle rapper. Stick to getting Grammy nominations for underwhelming albums, homie, you’re great at that. Leave this hip-hop thing to the pros.
3. Nicki Minaj and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year
How many years in this very space have I told y’all that Icki Garbaj was a charlatan? And how many years have y’all called me a crusty ol’ hater?
But then Nicki finally crosses someone y’all like and people say “I think Nicki has changed.”
The war between Nicki Minaj and the Internet’s new favorite female screechy rapper Cardi B could be a 1,000-word column all in itself. But that’s just a mere pebble in the landslide of bad press for Nicki.
In the past 12 months, she picked needless fights with Cardi and when Cardi actually stepped to her in public LITERALLY HID; accused journalists of being paid off to criticize her work with 6ix9ine, a deviant who looks like a bunch of Now and Laters melted together in a hot car and wished to become a real boy; released yet another mediocre album Queen (which, honestly, is better than most her other garbage albums), pointed fingers at Spotify for the disappointing album rollout and even started to bully Travis Scott AND HIS OWN BABY when he outsold her; compared herself to Harriet Tubman for lord only knows what reason; and even went after her ex-Safaree, aka, the guy who wrote most of the (garbage) songs y’all loved when it was cool to like her.
She even created Queen Radio, a propaganda radio show to slander her enemies and spin her narrative while her brainless minions lap it all up. Nicki Minaj is truly the female Trump.
It’s about time y’all started listening to me.
2. Jacquees, the Burger King of R&B
It takes a special brand of suck to jump all the way to No. 2 on the list just two weeks before I hit publish. But that’s Jacquees for you – he’s mastered failing upward.
Just a few weeks ago, Jacquees hit Twitter, proudly proclaiming to be the King of R&B (for his generation).
100% of the Internet collectively said:
Even with the “my generation” caveat, that label is pure fiction. This foolishness spawned a nearly 48-hour debate about who was TRULY the king of R&B. And honestly, it was kind of refreshing to see the genre being discussed so prominently.
But then this Jackee boy had to go and ruin it.
TMZ caught up with my man, the OG of R&B himself Keith Sweat, and attempted to ask him to weigh in on the king convo. Before Keef could barely open his platinum-selling mouth, Birdman Jr. Jr. runs outta nowhere, cuts off Keith and HIJACKS THE INTERVIEW to scream about how he’s really the king.
Look at Keith’s face. Y’all really got him Twisted.
During a follow up interview with Tigger and Tank (for some reason), Keith rightfully put the little amoeba in his place, making him apologize on camera. And then when Keith tries to make a point that the legends like Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass never wasted time pretending to be kings, instead letting the music speak for itself, this guy CUT KEITH OFF AGAIN, screaming “well they didn’t have the Internet!”
If Keith killed him RIGHT THERE on camera no one would have minded. I got you on bail, big homie.
The sheer audacity that IceJJacqueesFish would step to Keith is ridiculous. Look at the scoreboard: Keith has sold 30 million records, has REAL classics and more No. 1s than Jacquees has pairs of clean underwear. Jacquees has ONE OK studio album, a couple of singles that no one remembers and a bunch of covers of other people’s song.
You’re the king of karaoke, not the king of R&B. Be humble.
1. Konservative Kanye Kardashian
Yeah, No. 1 was pretty obvious this year, as one of the voices of black America went from the producer of Talib Kweli’s “Get By” to an extra in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”
And before the MAGAs get sensitive and run up in my mentions, let me be clear – in this instance, I don’t necessarily care about who Kanye votes for. I care that he recklessly used his platform to undermine the community he spent the majority of his career supporting.
In a year filled with missteps – from his own sloppily released LP (and the supposed follow up which remains on CP time) to endless nonsensical Twitter rants – the biggest nail in his coffin was by far this statement:
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.”
That statement is the most disgusting example of privilege I’ve ever heard. Our ancestors were ripped from their homelands, literally had their families stolen from them, were mutilated, beaten and systemically brainwashed. They endured the unimaginable and it’s a miracle the black race wasn’t rendered extinct by the 1900s.
But their suffering was a choice?
Nah, you choose to sell people clothes that look like hand-me-downs from Walking Dead zombies. You choose to put out mediocre music then criticize people who don’t understand its alleged genius. You choose to suck up to an administration that would rather build and hide behind walls than build bridges and promote unity.
You choose to suck.
I know Kanye has since backed down from those comments. And yes, I know he has struggles with mental health. But here’s a great idea:
Get off Twitter
Stop running your mouth
Get some help
And take your L
Who incurred your wrath this year? Share your Playa Please nominees below.
And while you’re at it, catch up on previous Playa Please Award recipients: