The 20 Worst Songs of 2010, #2: Bret Michaels, “What I Got”


F2K10 is a countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010. Track our progress here.

Look how the cat drags on…

We’ve accepted Bret Michaels’ transformation from balding has-been to ultimate sex symbol of the Ed Hardy Mama Grizzlies. We’ve accepted his even weirder transformation from dating show sleazbo to chillax family man and Celebrity Apprentice. Hell, we took it in stride when he basically turned our beloved Poison into a glorified solo act while Rikki Rockett was one paycheck away from flipping burgers at Johnny Rockets. But, Bret, Bret, Bret, we are not going to sit idly by as you turn into a 47-year-old hip-hop soul-poet.

Covering a Sublime song is a bad look for even the most bottom-dwelling of local bands. I wouldn’t expect this song coming from a 7 p.m. happy hour show from Funk Moreland live at Boba Feta’s Gyro Hut and Crab Shack in Bumblefart, Georgia. So, I really shouldn’t expect it from some dude who was doing the “Unskinny Bop” in leather chaps while Public Enemy and N.W.A. were changing the world. Not to mention that (as Maura is quick to point out) Sublime’s doughy everydude Brad Nowell was like “the unsexiest frontman of all time” and channeling his spirit isn’t doing Bret any favors.

Michaels does whatever the opposite of “updating” a song is (backdating? carbon dating?), by playing Sublime’s uniquely post-modern blend of punk/rap/spiritual-jam-bro steez like a straight late-’80s tractor-pull boogie-rock jammer. He finds his inner Doug E. in the year of the Dougie, coating it all in the decidedly wack beatboxing–the kind you’d expect from the man who’s heretofore funkiest moment was covering Loggins & Messina. Also, he changes “motherfuckin'” to “mothertruckin'” because his fans are presumably sensitive souls even though they were grooving on “Talk Dirty To Me” when Nowell still looked like this.

I know this song is about love, but your version fills me with a cloud of hatred so powerful that could render the soil infertile, turn icecaps to brackish pools and void the oceans of all but the most ghoulish and unlovable of creatures.

Whither Lou Dog?