Swim Into The Sound’s 2018 Un-Awards

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Let’s face it, lots of terrible stuff happened in 2018. While I could bust out a thousand words on the state of the world, politics, and my own mental health, none of that is why you’re here. No, Swim Into The Sound Un-Awards are designed for a very specific purpose: to highlight some of the year’s worst moments in music. The regrettable lyrics, the bad cover art, the poor decisions that need to be remembered if only so the feeling of shame may never be washed off these artists.

In all honesty, I don’t really like being negative. This blog is, has been, and always will be a place of positivity where I can recommend things wholeheartedly… but sometimes shit just sucks. 

If you’d like a refresher on how this works, feel free to revisit last year’s Un-Awards and give yourself a reminder of something from 2017 that you have tried to block out. Alternatively, if you’d like a more positive version of this list, I’d recommend reading our Diamond Platters which act as a companion piece more in-line with this blog’s usual sincerity and positivity. If nothing else, the Diamond Platters may offer a way to get the taste out of your mouth after reading this list. 

For those of you strong enough to continue, make sure your constitution is at peak performance because this list will test your mind, body, and soul. Be warned ye who enter here; this is the dregs of 2018. 


You Couldn’t Pay Me To Write A Worse Headline

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Winner: Flaming Lips tell us about their plans to make vinyl out of Miley Cyrus' pee 

Look guys, I get what you’re doing, but this needs to stop somewhere. I respect The Flaming Lips for what they’ve contributed to the psychedelic genre, hell, I even respect Miley for what she’s done in pop… but this? This is too far. 

Runner-up: Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst Is Directing A Thriller Where John Travolta Plays An Insane Stalker

Literally every sentence in this headline is worse than the last. 

 

“You Played Yourself” Award for Biggest Dumbass of 2018

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Winner: Nicki Minaj

2018 will forever be the year I lost respect for Nicki Minaj. Between lying in beefs with Cardi B, blaming Travis Scott for her poor album sales, and generally acting a fool on her radio show, she also managed to be a dick to her fans, elevate and legitimize a pedophile, remain openly-homophobic, and even ruin the life of one critic. No wonder why she can’t sell any concert tickets.

Runner-up: Tekashi 6ix9ine

Tekashi 6ix9ine is a pedophile. Let’s just get that out of the way up top. Much like xxxtentacion, this is a guy who never should have never gained a fanbase, legitimacy, or success in the first place. In fact, it’s amazing he’s made it this far without getting killed. This November the prayers of myself and every other sane hip-hop head were answered as Mr. SixNine was arrested on racketeering charges, landing him a minimum of 32-years in prison and a maximum of life. Do I think this will stop any of his more militant brain-dead fans from defending him? Not at all, but at least the guy is behind bars where he belongs. That’s what happens when you film your crimes for clout.

 

Words That Should Have Never Been Put To Music

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Winner: Justin Timberlake - “Hers (Interlude)”

It’s pretty rare that I shudder at a song. While I slogged through Justin Timberlake’s latest mistake of an album for a quick review this February, there have been few moments more uncomfortable than my first listen of “Hers (Interlude).” With lyrics that read like the rambling diary of a serial killer, the song is comprised almost entirely of Jessica Biel monologing over an atmospheric piano-laden soundscape. As the one-minute song wears on, his wife explains how wearing JT’s flannel makes her feel powerful, almost as if she’s wearing his skin. Oof. 

Runner-up: Justin Timberlake - “Sauce”

Okay Justin, I’m sorry, but I had to do this. I know you’re experimenting with new sounds on this album... but I don’t care what genre you’re writing, nobody should ever pen the words “Ooh, I love your pink, you like my purple.” wowzers. 

 

Most Reality-Questioning Collab

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Winner: Car Seat Headrest x Smash Mouth

2018 was a powerful year for collabs. From hip-hop to indie rock, it felt like every genre was blessed with an endless supply of albums that represented the meeting of musical minds… But most of those collabs made sense. Back in February indie darlings and known-meme lords Car Seat Headrest exchanged covers with Smash Mouth leading to one of the most perplexing and unlikely team-ups of all-time. 

Runner-up: William Shatner and Iggy Pop

If I told you that William Shatner and the Godfather of Punk crooned out a version of “Silent Night” earlier this year, would you believe me? Maybe it’s best that you just take my word for it. 

 

Worst Album Art

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Winner: Neko Case - Hell-on

I know for a fact that Neko Case is a great artist with a strong voice and a defined artistic vision. This cover does not show that. 

Runner-up: E-40 - The Gift of Gab

Oh no E-40, baby, what is you doin?

 

Worst “Last Call” Ripoff

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Winner: Bhad Bhabie - “Bhad Bhabie Story”

Like so many stars in 2018, Bhad Bhabie initially rose to prominence through a meme. At the end of her 38-minute debut, the queen of Reality Show Rap took a moment to reflect on how she got here. It’s like a white trash version of Kanye’s Last Call, but captured in a surprisingly lucid and earnest light, especially when you consider who we’re listening to.

Runner-up: Logic - “Last Call”

As Logic is wont to do, his version of “Last Call” is both a more technical and proficient version than Bhad Bhabie’s. However, he loses creative points for calling out the fact that he’s doing “his own” Last Call in the song itself. You want it too bad, Logic. 

 

I Know It’s Good, I Just Don’t Have The Patience For It

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Winner: Daughters - You Won’t Get What You Want

Admittedly not an entirely negative category, I know there’s something exciting going on under the hood of Daughters’ fourth studio album… I just can’t bring myself to dig for it. I think I’ve started this record nearly a dozen times but then given up before it has time to do anything interesting. I guess this isn’t the introduction to “noise” that I need.

Runner-up: Anna von Hausswolff - Dead Magic

Another album I’ve heard nothing but great things about, Dead Magic is one of those records I keep scrolling by in my Spotify saved section and telling myself ‘someday.’ Opening your album with a 12-minute droney goth song is just a big ask up front. On top that, ”droney goth” is rarely a headspace I find myself wanting to linger in.

 

Am I The Only One Seeing This Shit?

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Winner: Lil Pump’s Infatuation With His Grandmother

Last year it was 21 Savage’s obsession with food, this year it’s Lil Pump’s love for his grandmother. Penned early on in the year, Lil Pump Versus The Elderly was a then-comprehensive 3,000-word analysis of every time Lil Pump has referenced his grandmother and/or the grandmother of the listener. Quite frankly, it’s a shocking number of times for someone who (still) has such a small discography.

Runner-up: Offset’s Patek Collection

Did you guys know that Offset owns a Patek Phillipe? I know because I compiled all thirty references the Migos member has made to the watch across his storied career. I think it’s safe to say the man has purchased at least one of the high-end timepieces. 

 

Most Regrettable Guest Feature

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Winner: Lil Durk on “Off White VLONE”

Hey, Lil Durk? Of all the things to rap about (see above entry) why on earth would you choose to write about sexual assault? On the intro track to Lil Baby & Gunna’s otherwise enjoyable collaborative tape Chicago-based rapper Lil Durk decided to end his verse with the lyrics “Gotta suck dick on your period / You can't say, ‘No,’ I ain't hearin' it.” At least Lil Baby offers a somewhat redeeming ray of hope later on with a progressive line about consent on “Never Recover.”

Runner-up: Rick Ross on “What’s Free”

Rapping the f-word? In 2018? Please refer to this tweet.

 

American Fuss Award For Most Imbalanced Album 

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Winner: Foxing - Nearer My God

This award, named after a clumsy portmanteau of Bleed American and Hot Fuss, goes to an album that’s half great, half not so much. I’m having a hard time trying to think of an album I wanted to like more this year than Nearer My God. All the singles were great, it was receiving incredible hype, but when I sat down to listen to it, I got mind-numbingly bored. It’s just emo, nothing more than nothing less. It’s even more frustrating because half of this album is absolutely brilliant, but the other half is comprised of some of the most depressingly gray, bland, and boring indie rock I’ve heard in a calendar year. I’m sorry. 

Runner-up: Travis Scott - Astroworld

I love Tarvis Scott. He has some of the best songs in hip-hop right now, but holy god is Astroworld hit-or-miss. The album starts off strong with beat-switch bangers and a stacked guest list, but somewhere in the middle, it feels like he forgot to think of new things to say. I’ve spent thousands of words talking about how I want Trav to be better, but I guess I’ll consider Astroworld a half-step in the right direction for now.

 

Inevitably Going To Be The Slept-on Because It Released At The End Of The Year

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Winner: Parcels - Parcels

Finally, to end on a (somewhat) positive note, I’d like to focus on two albums that were fantastic but will go largely unnoticed due to no fault of their own. Berlin-based funk group Parcels released their self-titled album this October, and it took me by complete surprise. Like a more laid-back version of Vulfpeck, the songs grove forward endlessly in the most compelling way, it’s just a shame it released by the time most major publications already had their end of the year lists ironed out.

Runner-up: Grapetooth - Grapetooth

One of Polyvinyl’s newest signees, Grapetooth is comprised of Clay Frankel and Chris Bailoni, a duo who are crafting sharp and compelling synth-based new wave. Even a cursory listen to the opening track off their debut album will offer a glimpse at the sort of shimmering Future Islands-esque tunes they’re capable of crafting, but an unknown band and a November release date are hardly a recipe for media coverage.

Does Offset Own A Patek Philippe? - A Journalistic Investigation

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It starts off innocently enough: a reference here, a metaphor there, maybe even an allusion or a  simile if things get really extreme. But what happens when an artist becomes so infatuated with consumerism that an individual purchase becomes a recurring theme in their work? We’re about to find out. 

Formed in 2008, most readers will probably be surprised to learn that Atlanta-based trap superstars Migos have been around for over a decade. Comprised of rappers Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset, the group has been releasing a steady stream of mixtapes and albums ever since 2011. While the trio quickly made a name for themselves among hardcore hip-hop heads, they only recently achieved mainstream success thanks to the astronomical popularity of songs like “Bad and Boujee” and “Walk It Talk It.”

Chart-topping songs aside, the group has also proven their strength as a force in pop culture, often credited with popularizing the now-ubiquitous “triplet flow” as well as the (quickly-ruined) dab. While the group’s songs often revolve around the award-winning formula of money, women, jewelry, and drugs, they occasionally do venture into deeper waters... but that’s not what this post is about. 

Following 2017’s immensely-popular Culture, the group dropped a long-awaited sequel earlier this year and after multiple listens an interesting through-line emerged: Offset can’t stop rapping about his Patek Philippe. 

While rap as a whole drops name brands more than any other genre, this level of specificity is unheard of, especially at this frequency. As a bit of a spiritual sequel to 21 Savage’s obsession with food, I’m proud to present: Does Offset Own A Patek Philippe? - A Journalistic Investigation.

We Are The 17%

According to lyrics.com (which is far from comprehensive) there are precisely 180 songs that contain the word “Patek” as of October 2018. At a grand total of 31 references, this means that Offset has cornered roughly 17% of the total Patek-referencing market.

Due to the sheer abundance of Patek name-drops, I’m choosing to focus solely on those contained within the group’s most recent release. For the sake of completeness, I’m going to cite all of Offset’s other Patek references at the end of this article, but for now, let’s jump straight into the madness that is Culture II’s Patek-based hellscape.


“Narcos”

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Culture II’s first Patek Philipe name-drop comes in at track number three. Featuring some of the album’s more visceral Patek language, Offset embraces the slang “water” (an abstraction of ice) to describe his bejeweled timepiece. Through this potent bout of descriptors, Offset explains that his watch is so expensive it’s practically overflowing with excessive adornments. 

 

“Auto Pilot”

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It seems that if Offset happens to own a Patek, it may bear a two-tone design. To fully flesh out this pied timekeeping flex, he draws a direct comparison between the multiple colors of his watch to the multiple colors of women who are throwing themselves at his feet. 

 

“Emoji A Chain”

Much like Ororo Munroe, Offset possesses the ability to change the weather by merely strapping his trusty Patek to his wrist. While (presumably) not literal, this line once again draws back to the water-based well for an elemental flex of wealth and opulence.

 

“Stir Fry”

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In one of Culture II’s more illusory lines, Offset utilizes mucus-adjacent slang to illustrate how fancy and tricked-out his Patek is. Either that, or he has run out of Kleenex and we’re meant to read these words at face value. 

 

“White Sand”

In this star-studded mid-album cut, Offset comes in hot with a straightforward boast in which he explicitly states the amount he paid for his Patek Philippe. It seems we have confirmation, folks. 

 

“Beast”

In a moment of gender equality, Offset throws the listener for a loop as he explains how someone else’s Patek made him feel. Perhaps the inciting incident for his own purchase, this lyric offers a glimpse into the rapper’s consumer-friendly mindset while simultaneously acting as a subliminal criticism of capitalism and the dangers of following the crowd.

 

“Motorsport”

Venturing back once more to the “water” slang, Offset elaborates that not only is his Patek adorned with jewels, but his Audemars Piguet as well. Hopefully they’re waterproof, because at this point he’s practically submerged!

 

“Top Down On Da Nawf”

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In Offset’s final Patek namedrop on Culture II, he takes a slightly more pensive approach to the jewelry flex, using it to contrast his current level of wealth with his previous life of crime. This confessional exposition illustrates Offset’s desire, nay, need for luxury. A stark contrast indeed.


In Summary

There you have it. All of Offset’s Patek references contained on Culture II. In addition to these eight references from Migos’ latest album, there are an additional twenty-three references below that come from Offset’s features, collaborations, and other Migos releases. Given the scope, size, and sheer number of Patek references, I think it’s safe to say that Offset owns at least one Patek Philippe.

You can thank me for my service in the comments.

In all seriousness, much like Lil Pump and his grandma, I think this is just a case of a rapper revisiting the same topic because they don’t have a lot to say… and that’s perfectly fine. The Migos have produced music for an entire decade, so it’s not surprising any one of them has said the same thing more than a few times. Additionally, nobody goes to Migos for deep cerebral bars. As long as their songs have a dope beat and clean flow, the lyrics are essentially the least important aspects of their music. 

If anything, this exploration proves that the closer you listen to the words, the more you start to realize how unimportant they really are. What’s impressive is how little this lack of lyrical depth actually detracts from my enjoyment of the music. God knows that discovering this specific quirk has only made me like Offset more if only because I’m now listening for Patek name-drops in every song and feature. Here’s to another decade of explosive success and many more Patek purchases. 


Comprehensive Philippe

1. “Balenciaga Challenge” - 6LACK

  • Got a bust down Patek, a plain bitch (Patek)

2. “Bosses Don't Speak” - Migos

  • Hop in the frog and leap (leap) / Patek Philippe (Patek Philippe)

3. “Call Casting” - Migos

  • Spent you a hundred, Philippe on your wrist (Patek)

4. “Darth Vader” - Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Offset

  • I bought the plain Philippe, they said I was being too extra (plain)

5. “Drip” - Cardi B

  • Patek on my wrist, and it's glistenin' (drip, drip)

6. “Do Not Disturb” - Smokepurpp & Murda Beatz

  • For the Patek, I Rollie the watch (for the Patek)

7. “Fucking Up Profits” - Migos

  • Rollie, the AP, the plain Philipe (plain)

8. “Ghostface Killers” - Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Offset

  • Thot and addy (thot), love the Patek on my arm (Patek)

9. “Hook Up” - Lil Baby, Offset

  • Pateks on fleek, got baguettes in my neck (hey)

10. “Iced Out My Arms” - Dj Khaled

  • This is a hundred Patek, 20 more for Piguet

11. “Interlude” - Lil Yachty & Offset

  • I show my Patek so much, say I'm petty (petty)

12. “Lost it” - Rich The Kid

  • 44 millimeter iced out Philippe (ice)

13. “Major Bag Alert” - DJ Khaled

  • Patek Philippe with the snow in the wind (Patek) (Oh)

14. “No Drama” - Tinashe

  • Got Patek on her wrist, in her panties (Patek, hey)

15. “Peek a Boo” - Lil Yachty

  • Look at my Patek, I'm flexin', I'm petty (I'm petty)

16. “Rap Saved Me”

  • His and her Pateks (his and hers)

17. “Ric Flair Drip” - Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Offset

  • Bought my first Patek, it got some rain on it (Patek)

18. “Slippery” - Migos

  • I gave her her first Philippe (Philippe)

19. “Still Serving” - Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Offset

  • Rich bitch, and yeah my bitch got a Patek

20. “Taste” Tyga

  • And she got the Patek on water moccasin (water moccasin)

21. “Violation Freestyle” - Offset

  • Bust down my wrist, bitch I'm Patek'd up (bust up)

22. “Wrist Thunderstorm” - Offset

  • Patek, the diamonds do backflips (woo)

23. “ZEZE” - Kodak Black

  • She an addict (Addict), addict for the lifestyle and the Patek (Patek)

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