It’s safe to say Jason Derulo is an obsession of mine; a mildly embarrassing idée fixe.
Ever-present but never really a ‘star’ in the vein of Chris Brown or Justin Timberlake, Derulo has somehow hung in there. He has been quietly making shit music for nearly a decade.
Well JD, your time has come. We are bringing you centre stage. We are putting the spotlight on your back-catalogue. We were horrified by what we found. Here is the Jason Derulo discography, ranked from least to most awful.
Note that for your safety, we have only included UK Top 40 singles featuring Jason Derulo as lead artist.
12. Want You To Want Me (2015)
I’ll say it: this song is good. So calling it ‘awful’ may be a misnomer. But then a Jason Derulo song being ‘good’ is itself a misnomer. ‘Want You To Want Me’ is a taut, electopop summer scorcher, regrettably left in the hands of a talentless moron.
Choice lyric: The lyrics are okay actually.
11. Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz) (2013)
Another not-awful song here. Cowbell-heavy beat and dirty horns are sound. Let down by Derulo’s inability to actually talk dirty. Derulo’s bars are about as sensual as a urologist’s prognosis. 2 Chainz features, is let down by the general sexism and misogyny of 2 Chainz himself.
Track is flat-out racist. An Asian girl speaks pigeon English on the in/outro. Derulo brags about his sex tour of Haiti, which at the time of release was gripped by a cholera outbreak. Should probably be higher up the list for these reasons.
Choice lyric: “Met a friend in Rio / She was all on me-o.”
10. In My Head (2009)
Not a good song, but sort of lovably stupid. Thudding eletronic bass and danceable beat are fine. The premise (imagining yourself and a stranger in bed) might have worked for a singer with greater capacity for irony or humour. As is, comes off as sort of impotent and embarrassing.
Choice lyric: “Instead of talking, let me demonstrate.”
9. Ridin’ Solo (2009)
JD attempts an empowerment anthem. In the video, sits at a piano in silhouette in order to set a serious tone; a gesture undone by comical chin strap facial hair. Another so-bad-it’s-good entry.
Wins many points for the aforementioned hilarious video, where JD deals with a breakup by going to a club looking like Blade as dressed by Tim Rice. Therein, girls browse Plenty of Fish on comically clunky early iteration iPad. Harmless inanity.
Choice lyric: “Yeah it’s like S… O… L… O…S… O… L… O… S… O… L… O…”
8. Watcha Say (2009)
Risible for it’s horrific use of an Imogen Heap sample (Heap admitted she thought the track was unfinished when she signed off on it).
Otherwise more of the laughably thick-headed but otherwise inoffensive style of Jason Derulo 1.0. All hallmarks are there – terrible auto-tune, big chorus, obnoxious producer watermark (x2) and Derulo announcing himself at the start of track.
Watching these early videos has been a laugh – mid-00s fashion leaves a lot to be desired.
Choice lyric: “Tell me, tell me whatcha said I (said I).”
7. Swalla (feat. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign) (2017)
We’ve already talked about Swalla. Seen in this wider context the song fairs better. The central synthetic bass loop is okay. The instrumentation sounds cheap and bad, Derulo sings like a dying Geisha and the song is about jizz.
Choice lyric: “Come on take a sip ’cause you know what I’m servin’, ooh.”
6. Trumpets (2013)
A love tune apparently written by someone whose never been in love / is incapable of rational thought. The opening note of the song is out of tune. The premise is that Jason Derulo hears trumpet fanfare whenever he gets an erection; a novel idea. Song is firmly in the second phase of Derulo’s career, complete with sleazy video.
In this, JD lies on a bed with a portrait of himself above it, whilst watching himself on TV. Unclear if this is meant to be funny or not. Song seems to be mostly about attractive women bending over. Singing is terrible, and production which attempts to paper it over is even worse. Flat beat, confusing lyrics and bizarre concept. Despite this the track is entirely nondescript and is forgotten almost instantly.
Choice lyric: “Is it weird that your bra / Remind me of a Katy Perry song?”
5. Don’t Wanna Go Home (2011)
Jason Derulo’s first bid for relevancy. After record buying public welcomed back Chris Brown (despite his well documented domestic abuse) the need for Derulo (a decorated Chris Brown impersonator) evaporated.
Song is a very obvious attempt to recapture the spirit of Brown’s mega-hit ‘Yeah (x3)’, which was so good they named it thrice.
References the ‘Banana Boat Song’ & bastardises ‘Show Me Love’. Signals the end of corny & dreadful early material and beginning of self-aware & dreadful later material.
Choice lyric: “And this girl in my lap passing out, she’s a blonde.”
4. It Girl (2011)
Hey Nineteen would like to reiterate that Jason Derulo has never won a Grammy award.
Choice Lyric: “Much more than a Grammy award / That’s how much you mean to me.”
3. The Other Side (2013)
Jason Derulo’s second bid for relevancy. An obvious aping of Avicci, who was dominating EDM at the time. Vainglorious EDM pap proved remarkably easy to replicate, and Derulo was back in business.
“You sure you wanna do this?” Derulo croons as the video opens: this serves as discretionary advice to the audience.‘The Other Side’ isn’t as tasteless as might be expected; it’s just horribly boring.
Choice lyric: “We got closer, ‘till you were eating off my spoon.”
2. Marry Me (2013)
A proposal song for men who want to propose but have no sense of human decency. Too vague to be romantic and too insincere to be affecting. Video is an advert for an energy drink called Neuro Bliss.
Choice lyric: “A hundred and five is the number that comes to my head / When I think of all the years I want to be with you.”
Honourable Mention: What If (2010)
Jason Derulo grapples with the fleeting nature of existence. Can he wrap his head around concepts of fate, loss and fortune? That’s like asking whether a cat can grasp the concept of TK Maxx.
Choice lyric: “Future with a dog named Ben / Buy a house with a fireplace.”
1. Wiggle (feat. Snoop Dogg) (2014)
A dreadful song. Not even a good booty song. Makes ‘My Humps’ sound like ‘Hotel California’. A song built around and relying entirely on the strength of a refrain played on a recorder – i.e a plastic instrument favoured by primary school children.
Derulo’s anecdotes suggest he is unaware of what is actually good and nice about butts. A twerking song that can’t actually be twerked to – owing to it’s flat, plodding beat. Truly, the worst thing ever made by a mammal.
Choice lyric: “Hot damn it, your booty like two planets.“