“My Humps” by the Black-Eyed Peas

This has gone down in history as one of the all-time legends of canonically bad songs, an embarrassing token of the excesses of mid-2000s Pop music with some of the most laughable lyrics ever written. But the fact is that the song is extremely enjoyable, and the question is, how much of that effect was intentional on the part of the group themselves? After all, if you try to be enjoyably bad and succeed as planned, you’ve essentially created good art by other means, and if that principle applies to, say, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it should apply here too. And is has to be admitted that some of the lyrics here are so ridiculous, even by Black Eyed Peas standards, that a certain amount of silliness had to be intentional on the part of the songwriters. That said, there was no shortage of songs like these (‘booty-jams’, as they were generally called) in the 2000s, and while this song is far funnier than most of them, it doesn’t really give the impression that it was intended as a cartoonish parody of booty-jams. And in any case, the music and production on the song is too normal, and even, dare I say, capable, to support the idea that the song was meant to be a joke. So while a certain measure of the song’s stupidity did seem to be consciously intended, I don’t think enough of the effect was deliberate to qualify the Peas as purveyors of intentional camp, especially given that they had many other songs that were almost as ridiculous yet far less enjoyable.

Verdict: Enjoyably bad, but still firmly in the ‘bad’ category.

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