F2K No. 30: Swizz Beatz with Ja Rule and Metallica, "We Did It Again"
F2K is a countdown of the 50 worst songs of the decade. Track our progress here.
It's shit, snitches!
After rap-rock had successfully worn itself down into a parody of self-parody, hip-hop producer Swizz Beats set out to make the most cartoonishly macho rapcore song in history. In fact, every time "We Did It Again" was played on the radio, your car stereos speakers farted Axe Body Spray. If you don't remember that revolutionary ad campaign, it's because radio played the song exactly twice, each followed by a moment of silence for the program directors that hung themselves with own their belts after staring directly into this bleak vision of a never-ending douche dystopia of fitted caps and creative facial hair.
As a pathetic news-peg grabber for his sleepy 2002 solo album, G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories, Swizzy snagged mighty metal heroes Metallica and teamed them with Ja Rule, hip-hop's most available replacement when you can't afford DMX. The track was so lousy that Swizz buried it on his own album and--even though it featured the biggest rock band on the planet--it still got third fucking billing on the Biker Boyz soundtrack... yes, even after a Crystal Method remix of a P.O.D. song! It's sad since the song is the living embodiment of the letter "Z" in Biker Boyz. Honestly, it should be sealed with the DVD in a time capsule and wrapped in a No Fear T-shirt and an American flag, just so we can show the pussy-ass archeologists who dig it up who was boss!
Swizz unwittingly caught Metallica at their creative worst: the band was set to release their pukeworthy-by-all-accounts, trashcan-bashing, Bizkit-biting career low St. Anger. Also Hetfield was fresh out of rehab at the time and was probably not thinking straight. (For the record, rehab step 8 is "Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all," so dude probably owes a lot of people an apology for this shitheap.) Meanwhile their rap cohort, Ja Rule, was known as the guy who always stepped on Ashanti's hooks and was two years away from falling off the face of the Earth entirely.
But as bad as these guys were in 2002, nothing could prepare listeners for "We Did It Again, a song that truly answers the musical question "Did you guys do it again?" Metallica is a joyless doom sponge, chugging and blaring to absolutely no one. Ja Rule is even more tuneless than usual. And by the end he's just shouting badass things in hopes you'll think he's cool: "Born in the U.S.A... Highway... Harley..." Dude was just seconds away from saying, "I'll let you guys borrow my Nintendo. Come oooon."
Beatz had talked with Hype Williams about directing a video--which didn't happen, presumably because Hype was too busy working on more important things like Blu Cantrell. Swizz envisioned the video as a split screen. "I want to show Metallica got one world going on, Ja got the other," he told MTV News. So even his vision for the video was like Run-DMC's "Walk This Way" if Steven Tyler never broke through the wall? I dub thee unforgiven.