From Pitbull to Limp Bizkit, why do we still love these terrible songs?

Guilty pleasures or an obsession requiring medical intervention? The Herald's entertainment team confess their love for terrible musicians.
Pitbull is one of the artists that one of the NZ Herald entertainment writers shamefully loves. Photo / AP
Pitbull is one of the artists that one of the NZ Herald entertainment writers shamefully loves. Photo / AP

Pitbull and his spiffy suit

Gracie Taylor: I love Pitbull. Yes, unfortunately I do. I was in a weird/overly-sharing mood at work and accidentally divulged to my very cool workmates that I liked a very uncool musician, hence this week's group think. Woo hoo.

I can't really put a finger on what it is about him exactly that I like. I just know that he is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine for some strange reason, and I am yet to find another friend, let alone person on earth that shares my views.

Firstly he always wears a suit. Which in my books, makes him look pretty cool to start off with. I mean he is a bit too blingy for my liking but you have to admit he looks crisp, fresh and a bit more sophisticated than other rappers on the scene.

But in saying that, his goatee and the sunnies are yuck.

Secondly, he raps about having a good time; nothing super edgy, disgusting or nasty. He just makes poppy little party anthems and that take me back to my first clubbing experiences. Yep, in Hamilton (at the Outback circa 2010) where I would be clomping around in some tacky heels having a few shots and pies at Pie Lab (RIP Pie Lab).

Thirdly, he had his own restaurant in Auckland. Emphasis on the 'had.' Yep, Miami Grill is his worldwide restaurant franchise that makes good ol' American meals. But it closed down before I could get my greasy mitts on some of his fried wings. Sad face.

Rap-rocking with Limp Bizkit

Chris Schulz: Sometimes, perhaps a little too frequently than I'd like to admit, I'll open up a Google search engine, type in the words, 'Limp Bizkit', click the 'News' tab, and hit enter. I don't know why. Maybe I'm broken. Perhaps some angsty teenage residue still resides in me. Possibly it's because Fred Durst once tweeted me back in those heady Twitter days of 2012.

Maybe I really want them to finally release Stampede of the Disco Elephants, a long-delayed comeback album that's shaping up as the Chinese Democracy of nu-metal.

Actually no, I don't want that. I wouldn't listen to it even if they did. Aside from some occasional Limp Bizkit Googling, the backwards-facing baseball cap schlubs of rap-rock have no bearing on my life right now.

But back in 2000, that wasn't the case. Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavoured Water was everywhere. Rollin' was my jam. Whiny white boy nu-metal was my music of choice, and boy, did I have a lot of whiny white boy nu-metal to choose from. So I chose Limp Bizkit.

Thankfully, these days, I've moved on. Aside from the occasional outbreak that's quickly snuffed, nu-metal's mostly disappeared. Part of me is impressed that, now well into his 40s, Durst still thinks his band is entirely relevant to today's musical climate. After all, they've just announced a joint UK tour with KoRn. I wouldn't want to go to the show. That sounds like hell.

But I know this, because I still keep googling Limp Bizkit. And I don't know why. But I hope I stop soon.

A love letter to the Jonas Brothers

Rachel Bache: For an intense few years, I was obsessed with the Jonas Brothers. Even though I was far from being a 13-year-old girl something about them and their music made me fall in love. I just couldn't get enough of their catchy bubblegum pop.

I watched all the episodes of their band mini docos and cheesy Disney TV shows and movies. This Is Me from Camp Rock is still in the top 25 most played songs list on my iTunes. I bought all their albums and played them on repeat. I watched interviews of them on YouTube endlessly. There were even a few times when I spent hours trying to fire off questions to them during a live-video-streamed AMA.

I was infatuated.

I knew everything about their lives, how they were raised, who they were dating, who they broke up with, which songs were about Joe's ex, Taylor Swift and which Miley Cyrus songs were about Nick Jonas. Eventually, my fixation faded, but every so often I'd check back in with the various JoBros.

These days have a weird mumma-bear feeling of pride in Nick for his solo career taking off and in Joe and his DNCE hit Cake By The Ocean, and even in Kevin who's managed to find happiness with starting a family with his wife Danielle. Maybe it's because I was such a hardcore fan when they were just starting to make a name for themselves. And even now I'll have a sneaky listen to some of the songs that I loved the most and feel a sense of comfort.


Siena Yates: I love Eminem. I've listened to him since I was probably far too young to be listening to such things, and I still rap along whenever a song comes on.

And I'm so ashamed.

It's not that Eminem is bad, he's great - a hugely talented rapper with intelligent rhymes, unexpected melodies and comedic value. But his music is packed full of themes that I abhor. It's so incredibly sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, violent and hateful.

I know this, yet somehow I often block it out and absent-mindedly rap along. Right up until a song comes on while someone else is with me. Usually, it plays past the intro and then the second he starts rapping I quickly skip the song, because sitting in a car with your gay friend listening to a song filled with homophobic hate speech tends to wake you up.

I haven't actually owned an Eminem album since The Eminem Show in 2002, but I do still have him on a throwback playlist which I listen to on the regular.

He's literally the only artist that I still listen to even though I wish I didn't. I blame nostalgia.

That said, I might just go ahead and delete those songs now...


Karl Puschmann: Having just written an entire column declaring my love for the deeply uncool genre of 'dad rock' you'd think I'd be all out of embarrassing musical confessions.


All the Things She Said by the Russian electro-pop duo t.A.T.u is one of the greatest pop songs ever released. It came out way back in 2002, went to No. 1 in our charts and still sounds as great now as it did then.

You might remember the song due to the manufactured controversy surrounding every aspect of it, its music vid especially.

But step away from all that and you're left with an amazing pop song that was shamelessly manufactured to be a hit. Hell, even its running time of 3:34 is calculated to pop perfection.

It's absolutely brilliant. So it's no surprise to learn that hit-making wizard Trevor Horn (the Buggles, Yes) co-wrote and produced the thing.

Everything else they ever did was undeniably terrible - covering The Smiths' How Soon is Now was particularly ill-advised - but for that one brief song t.A.T.u were right up there with the pop greats.

- NZ Herald

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