The 50 Worst Songs of the ’00s, F2K No. 44: Aaron Carter, “America A O”


I think everyone remembers 9-11 the same. The shock of the first impression, the haunting images on TV, and the lingering question–“How will this all affect Aaron Carter?”

Cuddly pop troll Carter, who rose to fame during the fallow period between Hanson and Lizzie McGuire, was essentially the musical version of Poochie: A rapping, shiny-suited, catchphrase machine who could have only come from the twisted, syphilitic mind of Lou Pearlman. “People love these damn Backstreet Boys—does one of them have a younger brother we can tart up?”

Carter recorded more than Jandek throughout the early part of the decade to keep up with the pixie-stick-addled attention spans of the pre-teens and pedophiles who made up his fanbase. Songs came down the ol’ poop-pipe, each more irredeemable than the next: the nauseating hip-hop cover of “I Want Candy”; the Dennis The Menace shit-eating-grin of “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)”; the shrill Fresh Prince knock-off “That’s How I Beat Shaq”; and the suuuuuuuper-fucking-creepy growth spurt “Not Too Young, Not Too Old,” where the now-13-year-old hornball begs a girl to show him some “body” in the backseat, only to–no shit–ditch her to battle a bully over prowess on rollerblades. Eventually, Carter created a perfectly drawn Venn Diagram of noxiousness by teaming with the Baha Men for the frozen-Margarita-puke anthem “Summertime.”

But worst of all was the late-career, jingoistic, funky-fresh ode to the red, white and blue, “America A O.” As far as I can tell, the “A O” doesn’t actually stand for anything. (It’s pronounced “ayo,” new jacks.) With a fake Clipse beat, the song was so cornball and classless that it made Toby Keith’s “The Angry American” sound like it was performed by Kelsey Grammer in a top hat and monocle. “Troubled times bring about troubled vibes,” Carter says, deftly referring to our harrowing year of panic, paranoia and in-fighting as “vibes.” He adds, “I chill you out, baby, let me clear your mind.” Why didn’t we just send Aaron Carter to chillax the mellow of Bin Laden or Saddam or the Lizard People or whoever? Dude already beat Shaq once!

Then Carter drops a totally suspicious, “No matter what they say, I’ll be livin’ here anyway!” which basically makes us wonder who exactly was telling him to leave. Was it the Taliban? The American left? Drake and Josh?

This last part isn’t Aaron (or America’s) fault, but cracked me up anyway. Four different lyric Web sites (incorrectly) list the second verse as: “Everybody come together, make it half-black, white, Spanish, Chinese…” I’m pretty sure that means that Carter’s idea for world harmony would be to have everyone ejaculate in a big bucket and make a new race of awesome hybrid people. And they gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize?! Carter in 2010! His parents are out of town, let’s party!