There are times when a piece of music slides across my desk that makes my brain rise up and run for cover. Sometimes I enjoy checking my brain at the door, as long as the music is, you know, good. Other times, though, the feeling of brain cells rotting is enough to make me turn inside out. Trust me, it’s not as fun as it sounds.
New Boyz have done it this time. TheirToo Cool to Care is their second studio album. Apparently this “rap” duo debuted with the viral hit “You’re a Jerk” from the summer of 2009. Their debut record was Skinny Jeanz and a Mic.
New Boyz are Ben J and Legacy. Both of these dudes were born in 1991, so the use of the “Z” is their idea of “retro.” In fairness, their debut was largely responsible for bringing “jerkin'” to the mainstream. This form of street dance has its own culture, apparently, and these Hesperia, California, natives used “You’re a Jerk” to draw themselves into the spotlight. Record labels rushed to sign a bunch of jerks and here we are.
What Too Cool to Care brings is a step back from the jerk culture in one way and a full leap into the fine art of being a douchebag in another. New Boyz dunk themselves in alternating degrees of synth-pop and “rap” without fully committing to either. The resulting mess is one of the worst albums I’ve heard this year so far.
With lyrical depth that makes Justin Bieber look like a fucking Rhodes Scholar, New Boyz kick things off with a song called “Tough Kids.” This bit of dumbed-down braggadocio features an incredibly abrasive set of vocals from someone called Sabi informing us that “we are tough kids.” I see. New Boyz jump in with admirable energy, but their flow is completely unrefined and boring.
Shit gets a lot worse on “Crush On You,” one of the most annoying tracks I’ve heard in some time. A whistle loop digs in deep, killing eardrums with its shrill attack, and the “rappers” carry on the stupid fratboy act as though they’ve never heard another rap track, like, ever.
With the amount of dick lines the listener’s been forced to endure thus far, it’s unsurprising that the misogyny is in full effect on tracks like “I Don’t Care.” I get that referring to women as “bitches” is part of the language to some extent, but hearing these two morons spouting it over and over again while continually referring to the size of their penises is just all kinds of bullshit.
When you add Chris Brown to this sort of shit, the level sinks even more. Brown adds “vocals” on “Better With the Lights Off,” a dorky-sounding track that tries to woo the song’s subject by telling her that she looks, you guessed it, “better with the lights off.” Auto-Tune is everywhere and the production sounds like someone gave speed to a pile of hamsters and let them run and poop all over the dials and switches.
I could go on and on about Too Cool to Care, I really could. Each track is a sanity-challenging ordeal, a manic and opprobrious siege on the senses. From the cheesy “Meet My Mom” to the moronic “Magazine Girl,” New Boyz just flat-out suck. I wish I felt I owed them a more tactful assessment, but these guys really do come off like jerks.
This was originally published as Review: New Boyz – Too Cool to Care at Blinded By Sound.