Lessons learned from two terrible music videos: WILDER and WICKED WISDOM

Now, I enjoy bad music videos as much as any carbon-based life form on this planet. I’m a connoisseur of crazy.

There are different flavors, however.

Insanely Bad and Weird is far, far more interesting than The Quality’s So Low, You Have to Do the Limbo.

WILDER simply plumbs the depths of low-quality. We’re dragging a boat anchor on the floor of an ocean of garbage: terrible singing, horrible sound mixing, repetitive visuals, terrible dancing and extreme close-ups. It’s just a fiery train wreck packed with Nope.

Our second terrible video by WICKED WISDOM is an entirely different brand of bad. Check it out.

Polar opposites, right?

In the first video, we have an unknown singer toiling away with bad production values. You can understand the quality being bad. The budget was probably nothing.

In our second video, a famous actress–Jada Pinkett Smith–is performing on national TV with a band packed with professional musicians. They can play. She can sort-of sing while screaming, which is appropriate to the metal genre. Yet it’s still bad.

Most people won’t think less of the first singer. She’s not rich and famous, and she doesn’t do anything horribly obnoxious in the video. Maybe this is the first video she ever tried to do. We all can understand and feel for her. I actually would root for her to follow this up with something that actually rocked. 

As for movie stars trying to be singers–and singers trying to be movie stars, and professional athletes trying to be either–there’s zero sympathy from the audience. You’ve got mountains of money already, 12-car garages full of Italian sports cars, bodyguards, stylists, PR agents–everything in the world. But you want more.

So unless they’re truly, truly world-class as two different things, a celebrity is risking a lot doing something like this. The audience expects a lot more from you. They’ll get a lot more pleasure in laughing at your mistakes and failures than seeing you succeed.

VERDICT

Movie stars and other celebrities should, as a rule, stay in their lane to avoid train wrecks like WICKED WISDOM.

As for the first singer, I actually root for her to come back with something better. Give it a go.

We have a contender for Worst Music Video of All Time

Here’s what makes WIRED FOR SOUND a masterpiece in the genre of bad music videos:

First, the song has to be genuinely bad, and it is boring and repetitive, with insipid lyrics.

Second, you want terrible production values, as in “We rented the local skating rink for $50 and only have four hours to shoot this thing, so let’s get it done.”

Third, the costumes need to absolutely pop, and these spandex unitard-things make everybody look like Teletubbies had a fling with Jane Fonda during her leggings and aerobics phase. Then they they discovered a hot tub time machine and went back to 1977 to find the nearest disco.

Which means I absolutely love this video.

Most terrible music videos are annoying, like DJ Khaled shouting his name six times while Justin Bieber tries to rap and look edgy with more tattoos. Here we go with a supercut of DJ Khaled doing his thing, saying his name in songs.

Note: Don’t confuse him with the singer Khalid, who did the brilliant LOVE LIES, one of my favorite songs and videos ever. To cleanse your palate, give this a listen.

WIRED FOR SOUND isn’t purely annoying.

This thing is so bad, it circles back to good, rewarding the viewer who rewatches it to discover new details, like anthropologists from the future wondering what specific drugs we were on and whether the different colors of spandex unitard-things denoted your cultural position and class rank.