10 Artists That Blew Up…But Shouldn’t Have

January 13, 2012  |  
5 of 9

If you haven’t seen our story “9 Artists Who Should Have Blown Up…But Didn’t,” you’re missing out on a great list of super talented people who deserve more success. But obviously, by the title above, today’s list is more dedicated to the people whose talents are a bit on the questionable side, but whose success is a bit more than they probably should be getting. While all of these people have had a few songs that had us wopping out in the club, I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen people on the train who can sing and perform better for a dollar. But to each their own.

Ashanti

I’m not going to lie, this chick had a few bangers that I was bouncing my head to in the car (“Rain on Me,” “Baby”), but still, we all know her voice was a bit too paper thin. However, when homegirl first dropped, her album was #1 on the Billboard 200, going triple platinum selling six million copies (that’s huge by today’s industry sales), she was awarded the Soul Train Aretha Franklin “Entertainer of the Year” award in 2002, and won a Grammy for her self-titled album. But still…I mean, if the video for “Happy” doesn’t justify why she was highly overrated, I just don’t know what would.

Soulja Boy

“YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!” Who knew a little shucking and jiving could create such a monumental money maker? Seriously, Soulja Boy might have ushered in the idea of artists making themselves famous by publishing their joints online and what not (which is smart and commendable), but the song “Crank That”(Soulja Boy) was the definition of ratchet. And since that track dropped in 2007, he’s followed up with even more ratchetness, a majority of his joints highlighting a supposedly large amount of swag he has. A rapper that was supposed to be a one-hit wonder found a way to just keep going and making more money. But we think his star might be on the decline after taking on the good folks of the U.S. military. Dumbest. Move. Ever.

Rihanna

Love this chick’s style and her “I don’t give a” attitude. However, all that can’t buy you a good singing voice and some dancing skills. She was most recently tagged as the best selling digital artist of all time for the sale of her singles, but we’re still not really sure what people are going gaga over musically when it comes to her. Repetitive talk about sex and sadomasochism are pretty much mostly what we’re hearing nowadays from homegirl. Her performances are okay–not much but standing around and touching her lady parts–but like Ashanti, her voice is not as strong as it could be. She either needs to get herself some real lessons or stop, go be a model (because she’s a hottie) and leave the singing to the JHuds and Adeles.

Taylor Swift

This chick was pretty popular from the start with country fans and what not, but many only knew her for her fantasy-esque love story based songs and being a Jonas Brother’s old boo. But how many people thought she was kicked into superstardom big time after Kanye acted a donkey and interrupted her speech during the MTV VMAs in 2009? Seriously, she went from country star to big time pop star, “Entertainer of the Year,” and won the “Album of the Year” Grammy in 2010, coincidentally. It’s like because she was able to be the bigger person about the incident folks wanted to award her for any and everything. She sings okay and it’s nice that she can play the guitar and write songs about any and every boyfriend she’s ever had, but c’mon: we all know Yeezy put her on big time.

Wiz Khalifa

A Facebook friend of mine sometime last year called it out plain and simple: “What makes Wiz Khalifa a “good” rapper? Don’t people just like him because he smokes weed???”

WORD. “Black and Yellow” was that deal, mainly because of the pumped up opening and chorus, but everything since has just been…’aight. Maybe it’s the great production he gets that have people acting like he’s a young Snoop, but everytime I hear his joints I want to go to sleep rather than rolling up anything. The lyrical prowess heard on Kush & Orange is pretty much all drained out, and now, all I see is Amber Rose’s boo-thing. Here’s to hoping the next album will be a bit…no, a lot better.
*Note: Apologies for the “Black and Gold,” your girl had a brain fart…

Kesha

Everytime I hear this chick’s music my mind is blown. I think to myself, “WORD? This is all it takes to make millions and top the charts? What have I been doing with my life!?” Miss Kesha (or Ke$ha) is classified as a singer, songwriter and RAPPER if you want to call that what she does, but her voice and techno-laced songs just always make me think of a Valley Girl who decided to pick up a new hobby. Every single song she’s dropped on the radio has been like acid to my ears, but awesome-ness to everyone else because she’s always in the top 10 of the Billboard charts. Maybe it’s just me? *Kanye shrug*

T-Pain

“Buy You a Drank”(Shawty Snappin’) had everybody snapping and walking it out, and even “Bartender” was pretty fun to listen to (Epiphany, which both singles came from debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, and homeboy even had an app made in his honor). But let’s keep it real, aside from some pretty good record producing, we don’t even know what real singing skills he has. And honestly, thriving off of auto-tune in this day and age is tired. We should have just left that to our main man Roger Troutman with his custom talk box. But no. And while it was cool for a minute, Teddy Pend-her-a**-down hasn’t really evolved beyond it.

Total

I know you’re probably going to snap about this inclusion, but I ask you, have you ever watched the live performance these three ladies did of “Can’t You See?” at Showtime at the Apollo? HORRIBLE. I’m surprised the “Sandman” didn’t come out and tap dance them off the stage. Their voices were cracking and they were straining pretty badly. You can’t watch this and tell me they CAN sing! Their production, like most Bad Boy acts, was pretty flawless (“Kissing You” is that joint), but they didn’t dance and just didn’t have the sex appeal of other ’90s groups. Love their songs, but uh…that studio manufactured perfection is a trip…

Wacka Flocka Flame

“O Le doo e” That’s what I always used to say until I realized Wacka was saying “O Let’s Do It” all that time. I like his energy, his locks, and um…yeah, that’s about it. But for the most part, he’s hella hard to understand and nothing he says is ever very profound. And I don’t mean that in a conscious way, but in a poetic way. There are no fun double entendres, no fancy metaphors over all that bass–just yelling. Once again, great production covers up any hot mess.

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