You've been here before, haven't you? Killer chorus, solid hook, great pick-up, inspired singing, and then, bam: lame, bullshit verses. Verses so dire and undercooked that it'd have been better had the singer pulled a reverse-engineered version of Crash Test Dummies' "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm."
Here are a couple recent examples of what happens when lyricists can't quite get it up.
5. Suckers, "Chinese Braille"
A shame, a damned shame. Have Brooklyn's Suckers come up with a better chorus than this one? I'm not sure they have. The thing has been beating me about the head and face for weeks now -- the throb and ejaculation of the guitars, the segue of horns, the pealing falsetto, the marital whistling, all of it. But then the verses are insipid and bullshit repetitive as rain drops in a monsoon, even if they do accurately frame the heartbreak lurking just beyond this song's purview.
4. A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
That this irresistible Hit-Boy beat -- alpine synth arpeggios, molasses-slowed rhyming for the chorus, disembodied angelic voices, the sound of somebody slamming a trunk shut doubling as a percussive device -- will crop up on mixtapes everywhere this summer is beyond dispute. If anything, "Goldie" demonstrates that A$AP Rocky has a great ear for production that will flatter him; whatever ungodly amount of corporate-supplied cash he blew to get this sound, it was more than worth it. But here's the thing: dude is just as much of a joke as he was when "Peso" broke and people started hailing him as "the future of NYC rap," even if his coffers are stacked now. He's still frustratingly pedestrian in an every-spitter sort of way, a cypher's cypher. Also: the guy rhymes "stink" with "bank" here. Nuff said.
3. Miss Willie Brown, "You're All That Matters To Me"
Verses: sassy, blue-collar/red-state post-Shania Twain boilerplate bullshit that never stops irking.
Chorus: daisy-chain of metaphors about devotion and love and co-dependence that anybody with a pulse could relate to.
2. Stalley feat. Curren$y, "Hammers and Vogues"
Other people will do great things with this hypnotic, post-Chronic chorus. Stalley opts to go conscious-rap righteous here, while Curren$y unloads a few of his outtakes. Everybody makes mistakes; nobody makes an impression. Listen to this three or four times. Afterwards, you won't remember anything except for the chorus; it's that nondescript.
1. Addison Groove feat. Spank Rock, "Bad Things"
Chorus and verses are pretty much inseparable here, sure. I threw this one in as a red herring for two reasons: 1) to see whether you're paying attention, and 2) because it gives me an excuse to shout out Addison Groove for finding a way to make Spank Rock's lunkheaded brand of club-hopping sportfuckery palatable by chopping it to bits.