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The Weird Music Moments of the 2010s We Can’t Stop Thinking About

Rolling Stone logo Rolling Stone 12/17/2019 Angie Martoccio
a group of people posing for the camera © Youtube, Cindy Barrymore/Shutterstock

Every decade has its bizarre musical moments that, no matter how big or small, become seared into our brains for eternity. In the Seventies, Barry Williams belted the Who’s “Pinball Wizard” in a powder-blue jumpsuit on the short-lived Brady Bunch Hour. In the late Eighties, Dee Dee Ramone became a rapper under the persona Dee Dee King. A Pizza Hut commercial featuring Ringo Starr and the Monkees Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz comes to mind for the Nineties. And who can forget the greatest couple of the early 2000s: Jessica Simpson and alt-alien Billy Corgan?

Naturally, the 2010s is full of WTF moments like these as well. As the decade comes to a close, we compiled our favorite ones, from Prince kicking Kim Kardashian offstage in 2011 to the random cranberry sauce on the table in Taylor Swift’s “Lover” video. We can only hope the 2020s will be just as wonderfully weird.

Explaining Ariana Grande’s Donut Incident to Future (2016)

Future standing posing for the camera: Explaining Ariana Grande’s Donut Incident to Future (2016) © Prince Williams/WireImage/Getty Images Explaining Ariana Grande’s Donut Incident to Future (2016)

In 2016, I was hanging out in an Atlanta studio with Future and various engineers, producers, managers, and friends, and somehow the conversation turned to Ariana Grande’s various pseudo-controversies. I, for some reason, took it upon myself to try to explain her donut-licking “scandal.” It didn’t go well. Future narrowed his eyes in total puzzlement and said, “She ate a donut?” I’m pretty sure he thought I was making the whole thing up. Future: It’s true! Google it! -Brian Hiatt

“Ima Fix Wolves” Kanye (2016)

“Ima Fix Wolves” Kanye (2016) © Cindy Barrymore/Shutterstock “Ima Fix Wolves” Kanye (2016)

On Valentine’s Day 2016, Kanye West fucked up. He knew he did. His seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo, was finally released after weeks of track changes, Twitter theatrics, scrapped release dates, and at least three title swaps (So Help Me God, Swish, Waves…). By the time the album actually arrived on all major streaming services, it felt haphazardly cobbled together for long swaths of the 60-minute runtime. Hence the reasoning behind the three-word Twitter statement: “Ima fix wolves.”

In the short-term, the tweet was an admittance that “Wolves,” with its newly added Frank Ocean outro and scrapped Sia and Vic Mensa appearances, wasn’t great — and by extension, that TLOP was unfinished. Three years later, “Ima fix wolves” has become an eternal meme that also marks the beginning of the living album era. Kanye did eventually fix “Wolves” on a sonic level, but in doing so, also broke the album as a fixed concept: on every subsequent album, Kanye uploaded an incomplete copy to streaming services and spent the resulting weeks tweaking, re-mixing, and adding elements to projects in real-time. -Charles Holmes

Metallica/Gaga Grammy Mic Debacle (2017)

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Sure, the set-up was a little goofy, from the faux-moshers jostling each other on stage left to the columns of flame that roared up around Lars Ulrich’s drum set. But Metallica’s team-up with Lady Gaga at the 2017 Grammys had all the makings of a lovably excessive spectacle — and a refreshing dose of heavy-metal grit at a show that tends to privilege pop gloss. Too bad someone forgot to check James Hetfield’s mic. Gaga led things off, belting out the opening lines to Metallica’s then-recent rager “Moth Into Flame.” Then Hetfield stepped up, assumed his tough-guy stance, started singing and … nothing. Not a word was audible. He glared offstage but when his turn came around again, the exact same thing happened. Even though the sound eventually came on, the air of sad farce lingered right till the end, as Hetfield kicked his mic stand and hurled his guitar offstage. Part of me wanted to laugh, but rock is already so marginalized at these things that the oversight was fraught. As a Metallica die-hard who had watched the band fight their way back from a lengthy creative slump, this was just like a big sad trombone. -Hank Shteamer

Macklemore’s Text to Kendrick Lamar (2014)

Ryan Lewis, Macklemore are posing for a picture: Macklemore’s Text to Kendrick Lamar (2014) © Invision/AP/Shutterstock Macklemore’s Text to Kendrick Lamar (2014)

Deep down, everyone knew what was going to happen. The 2014 Grammys pitted out-of-nowhere chart-topper Macklemore against fellow breakout Kendrick Lamar, and it just kind of seemed inevitable that the institution with a history of misunderstanding — if not outright ignoring — rap was going to trip over itself to honor the guy whose success hinged on a song about rocking a used pair of “flannel zebra jammies” like a “motherfucker.” Macklemore did indeed win every significant piece of hip-hop hardware, as well as Best New Artist, while Lamar and his transcendent debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, were shut out. It was so thoroughly embarrassing that Macklemore even texted Lamar, “I wanted you to win,” and, “It’s weird and it sucks that I robbed you,” posting the exchange to Instagram in a cringeworthy effort to prove…we’re not sure, exactly. It was bizarre. Thankfully, time rectified the Grammys’ blunder. Lamar spent the rest of the decade solidifying his status as an all-time great, while Macklemore largely disappeared from the spotlight before emerging this fall to announce he’s become a magician. -Ryan Bort

 

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My text to Kendrick after the show. He deserved best rap album… I'm honored and completely blown away to win anything much less 4 Grammys. But in that category, he should have won IMO. And that's taking nothing away from The Heist. Just giving GKMC it's proper respect.. With that being said, thank you to the fans. You're the reason we were on that stage tonight. And to play Same Love on that platform was a career highlight. The greatest honor of all. That's what this is about. Progress and art. Thank you. #grammys A post shared by It’s Christmas Time Out Now (@macklemore) on Jan 26, 2014 at 10:18pm PST

Kid Rock “Hey, Authority” Middle Finger Tweet (2016)

a man standing on a stage: Kid Rock “Hey, Authority” Middle Finger Tweet (2016) © Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Kid Rock “Hey, Authority” Middle Finger Tweet (2016)

“Hey, authority:” Kid Rock tweeted in 2016, over a photo of him giving the bird to the DeKalb County State Courthouse in Georgia. The message was clear: Kid Rock was rule-breaker with nothing but disregard for the Man. So…why was this ode to anarchy capitalized and punctuated with Elements of Style precision? Why did the devil-may-care rocker respectfully blur out the judge’s name on the placard next to him? Why were his ponytail and goatee so neatly combed for court? Where was the fedora that usually rests atop his head? Had he removed it when he entered the building? Why was he coyly — almost shyly — peeking out of a doorframe, as if ready to hide were he were caught being naughty? Who was taking the photo, and had they remembered to validate his parking pass? Could it be that Kid Rock — the bawitda-bad boy, the real McCoy, the American badass — actually respect (and maybe even fear) authority? Luckily, this photo does contain a breach of societal mores that cements Kid Rock’s outlaw status: since his only appearance at the DeKalb County Court (for an scuffle at an Atlanta Waffle House) took place in 2010, it appears this was an unlabeled latergram being passed off as contemporary “fuck you” to authority, a massive violation of social media etiquette. Rock & roll! -Anna Peele

 

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Prince Kicks Kim Kardashian Offstage (2011)

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By 2011, Kim Kardashian was starting to be culturally omnipresent. Keeping Up With the Kardashians was four years in and a certifiable hit. She was raking up endorsement deals and film cameos. Her debut single “Jam (Turn It Up)” was sweeping the nation (in my mind). Even Prince was mesmerized just enough to invite her on stage at Madison Square Garden during his Welcome 2 Tour trek. Kardashian went stiff, only moving her hands to shield her uncomfortable laughter as Prince danced laps around her, flexing every limb before halting to say, “Get off my stage” to the reality star. Shielding herself from further shame, Kardashian later tweeted that she froze when he touched her from her nerves. The secondhand embarrassment from watching the clip? Absolutely timeless. -Brittany Spanos

Azealia Banks “What Now?” Breakfast Club (2018)

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There are many reasons why you might remember Azealia Banks in the 2010s, plenty of which I’d like to forget. But outside of her music, which remained very good to god-tier throughout the decade, one gratifying moment with Banks emerged in a 2018 Breakfast Club interview, in response to host Charlamagne Tha God’s non-question, “One of our interns says you make music for gays.” Banks’ two-part comeback turned the awkward exchange into one that was equally surreal and hilarious. Can you think of any other response to a bad interview question as perfect and succinct as this? “[Silence] What now?” never took off as a huge meme, but it is a meme in my heart. -Claire Shaffer

Peter Gabriel Playing 90 Seconds of a Genesis Song After Refusing For 23 Years (2016)

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Peter Gabriel quit Genesis in 1975 and has petulantly refused to perform the band’s music since he became a solo star in the early Eighties, reneging only for a one-off reunion benefit in 1982 and an impromptu rendition of “I Know What I Like” at a show by former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett in 1983. And so when he toured with Sting in 2016 and the former Police frontman wanted to bring the 1973 Genesis obscurity “Dancing With the Moonlight Knight” — a commentary on England’s status as a faded empire — into the show to protest the recent Brexit vote, Gabriel made Sting sing it himself at every night until the very last show in Edmonton, Alberta, when he finally surrendered and took the lead.

The whole thing lasts just 90 seconds and the vast majority of the crowd didn’t even seem to recognize it, but a lone fan captured the moment from way up in the rafters. I’ve probably watched the clip upwards of 50 times. It never fails to send a chill down my spine, especially when Gabriel delivers the line “selling England by the pound” with more than a touch of sorrow in his voice. The skinny kid that once sang those lines is now a weary man pushing 70, giving the elegy for his home country even greater meaning. This could be the first sign that he’s considering a Genesis reunion or the last time he sings a note of the band’s music in public. Either way, it made me unreasonably happy. -Andy Greene

Willie Nelson’s ‘The Scientist’ Chipotle Commercial (2012)

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As if corrupting your colon wasn’t enough, in 2011 Chipotle somehow tricked Willie Nelson into covering the Coldplay weepie “The Scientist” for one of its ads. As Nelson warbles about “science and pro-gress,” the two-minute animated spot — titled, of course, “Back to the Start” — follows a sad-faced factory farmer who comes to an epiphany that he must stop allowing his livestock to be compacted into cubes of processed meat sludge. Instead, he decides to let them roam free before being turned into your carne asada. The fast-food giant did extensive market research before creating the “short film” (they also released an eight-minute making-of movie), during which they presumably learned that depression and burritos go hand-in-hand, which we could’ve told them for free.

There were two other ads in this series: Karen O. covering Waylon Jennings’ “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and Miss “This world is bullshit” herself, Fiona Apple, tapping her “Across the Universe” vibes for the Willy Wonka song “Pure Imagination.” But Willie doing Coldplay was the most egregious, despite his longtime advocacy on behalf of American farmers (a portion of proceeds from sales of the track went to support sustainable family farms). The fact that the commercial, aired prominently during the 2012 Grammys, won more praise than Coldplay’s actual performance that night (on Twitter, at least) simultaneously served to redeem Nelson and to underscore just how lame a choice this collaboration was. —Maria Fontoura

Cranberry Sauce on the Table in Taylor’s “Lover” Video (2019)

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So many beautiful images in Taylor Swift’s “Lover” video. Yet every time I watch, I get distracted by the cranberry sauce. I am haunted by this cranberry sauce. This happy loving couple, enjoying a romantic dinner for two, with pasta…and cranberry sauce? Why? Why in God’s name is there cranberry sauce at this dinner table? These two people don’t even like cranberry sauce. They’re not eating it. It’s just sitting there untouched, two whole cans of the stuff. Who puts cranberry sauce on spaghetti? (I’m not really a “food” person — is this combo a thing now?)

Oh, the power of Taylor’s mind and the decisions she makes. Honestly, nothing about this bill of fare makes sense — a bowl of cherries? A pizza with fried eggs on it? Yet Taylor and her beau don’t even notice. They’re too busy gazing into each other’s eyes. (She’s also distracted by his “salad dressing” joke, which is admittedly a good one.) Maybe that’s what Taylor is trying to tell us. Maybe this cranberry sauce symbolizes what true romance is all about. Maybe love doesn’t have to be burning red. Maybe it doesn’t even have to be golden. Maybe the definition of romance is a sad little plate of cranberry sauce, sitting forlorn on the table, that you don’t even see because you’re just so in love. -Rob Sheffield

Lonely Island’s Bin Laden Song (2016)

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The defining feature of any great Lonely Island song is that it’s so stupid it should never work. Case in point: “Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song),” from the trio’s 2016 film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, a song that literally turns the assassination of one of history’s most reviled villains into an extended sex metaphor. It’s an indefensibly idiotic idea and a perfect song that I find myself returning to at least a few times a month. Of course, it’s the little things that keep me coming back: Andy Samberg’s character, Conner4Real, in a lace nighty, rolling dice between his butt cheeks; Vanessa Bayer, as the love interest with the very specific kink, offering a tactical breakdown of the mission at hand. The punch lines are sublime, from “She said, ‘Invade my cave with your special unit’/ I said, ‘He wasn’t in a cave’ but there was no stopping” to “Seal Team 69, sex-ecutin’ the hit.” And nothing makes me yearn more for the halcyon days of five years ago than when Jay Pharoah, as Barack Obama, calls up Conner and demands, “Come gimme the deets in the White House garden/ I gotsta know how you fucked her like we fucked Bin Laden.”

-Jon Blistein

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (2012)

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2012 was littered with odd hits: “Call Me Maybe” was almost a joke until Carly Rae Jepsen mounted a campaign as a beloved cult pop star; fun. somehow ran the charts for an entire year, and led to Jack Antonoff taking the reins of a significant chunk of pop’s sound moving forward; Maroon 5’s “Payphone” was always on in the background. But nothing was stranger than America collectively lost its shit for “Somebody That You Used To Know,” a melancholy acoustic track with an amazing chorus — even now, its titanic catharsis somehow still maintains some power — tethered to tinkly verses so forgettable it’s hard to understand how anyone made it through the whole song. Seven years later, the music industry seems to take cues from whatever it can; if it’s a success, it must be repeated. But in 2012, this strange song was left to just exist. It’s impossible to replicate — even by Gotye, who never had anything else even resembling a hit. -Brendan Klinkenberg 

Father John Misty Enlists Macaulay Culkin to Play Kurt Cobain (2017)

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Never in my life have I been more baited than when Father John Misty dropped a video that starred Macaulay Culkin as Kurt Cobain. It’s a dazzling intersection of my three primary interests: sardonic indie songwriters, grunge, and Kevin McCallister. The opening line of “Total Entertainment Forever,” in which Misty sings about having VR sex with Taylor Swift, got so much attention it overshadowed the film’s sheer greatness. Kurt Culkin gets crucified at the urging of Misty, who is dressed as Ronald McDonald, but with King Herod laurels and a papier maché hook for a hand. Directed by the collective Four Gods and a Baby (Culkin, Adam Green, Thomas Bayne, and Toby Goodshank), the video was so magnificent, I simply sighed and canceled my plans for the rest of the decade. -Angie Martoccio

Paul McCartney, “Hey Jamesy” (2017)

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“Hey Jamesy!” (Oof 1) says the elder McCartney in a video message to his soon-to-be-dying-inside son. “Rock it, man!” (Oof 2) He makes a fist to indicate his hope for said rocking (Oof 3) then air guitars while singing “Doo doo doo doo doo” (Oof 4). Paul then utters an emphatic “Yeah!” to show approval for his own miming ability (Oof 5) then blows a kiss to his son (Oof 6). That’s six Oofs in eight seconds, an achievement that understandably earns a resigned, weary and toneless “Cool” from a presumably horrified Jamesy. Pop’s greatest living songwriter is human; a comforting thought for mortals, I suppose, but sometimes it’s better not to know. Mwah. -Jason Newman

Tiffany Pollard Doesn’t Know Who David Bowie Is, Thinks Fellow Big Brother Contestant David Gest is Dead (2016)

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The week after David Bowie died was unmistakably solemn: He had kept his cancer diagnosis hidden, making the sudden loss all the more shocking and tragic for a world full of fans touched by his music for four decades. When the news broke, his first wife and muse Angie Bowie was locked inside the Big Brother UK house with a collection of C-list and lower celebrities. In the house, the stars are separated from all outside communication, so the producers had to break the news to the devastated Bowie that her estranged former husband had passed.

Things take a turn almost immediately: She confides in Tiffany “New York” Pollard, the long-reigning queen of reality television whose quotes and reactions from reality dating shows Flavor of Love and I Love New York are still popular memes over a decade on. What follows is one of the most unhinged, awe-inspiring and surreal seven minutes of television: upon telling Pollard in confidence that “David’s dead,” Pollard collapses into the grief-stricken woman’s arms. There’s a few minutes of confusion for the viewer: Why would a woman who publicly vied for Flavor Flav’s love — twice! — be this hysterical over David Bowie? Had they met? Was there more we didn’t know? Angie Bowie seemed shocked too, begging a howling, crying Pollard to stay calm and keep it a secret.

Everything begins to make sense when Pollard refuses to honor Bowie’s request, running outside to tell housemates like Jonathan Cheban and Gemma Collins that she thinks another housemate, David Gest, is the one who passed away. Her hysteria seemed justified: She had been living in the same quarters as Gest for some time and had likely spoken to him already that day. Even after the reason for the confusion becomes as clear as it can for everyone else, Pollard still has trouble making sense of it all, going so far as to check on a sleeping Gest in his room. It’s high art from start to finish. -BS.

Tupac Hologram Shouting the Word ‘Coachella’ (2012)

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“What up, Dre!” says fake Tupac. Seems right. “What up, Snoop!” Totally plausible, yawn. “What the fuck is up, COACHELLAAAAAAA!!” Wait, what the fuck? Tupac died three years before the first Coachella. He should not be saying Coachella. He should not be thinking Coachella. Nerds will use the phrase “Pepper’s ghost” — the illusion technique, technically different from a hologram, that Digital Domain used to create Tupac — like they know what they’re talking about, but everyone else will say, “Holy shit, is that a Tupac hologram?!” at Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s 2012 headlining set.

Years before tech companies would announce and usually cancel holograms of your favorite dead celebrity, “Tupac” kickstarted a cottage industry equally beloved and reviled. A team of 20, under the terrifying glare of perfectionist Dr. Dre, spent six weeks day and night creating a virtual human being from scratch. Sadly, he never yelled, “Hologram, if ya hear me,” but HoloPac strutted around shirtless to “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” stunning and bemusing 80,000 fans. “That Pac hologram haunted me in my sleep,” Questlove tweeted. You and me both. -J.N.

Chris Janson Turns ‘Truck Yeah’ Into ‘TRUMP YEAH’ (2016)

Chris Janson standing on a stage: Chris Janson Turns ‘Truck Yeah’ Into ‘TRUMP YEAH’ (2016) © Vince Bucci/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Chris Janson Turns ‘Truck Yeah’ Into ‘TRUMP YEAH’ (2016)

On day three of the 2016 Republican National Convention, Ted Cruz’s Donald Trump-free speech was drowned out by boos. “We want Trump!” the arena chanted over the end of Cruz’s monologue on freedom. Moments later, 30-year-old country singer Chris Janson gave it to them. “Trump, yeah!” Janson sang. “Wanna get it jacked up, yeah! Let’s crank it on up, yeah! With a little bit of luck, I can find me a girl with a Trump, yeah!”

Chris Janson was singing a modified version of “Truck Yeah,” Tim McGraw’s semi-obscene 2012 take on the merging worlds of “truck songs” and party-heavy bro country. (In case the subtle art of this performance isn’t clear, every mention of the word “truck” is replaced with “Trump.”) Watching zoomed-out C-SPAN footage of the performance (all other clips have since been taken down), it’s hard not to be struck by the sheer surreality of it all: Cruz shouts the fairly innocuous statement, “God bless the United States of America,” over a sea of jeers, and three minutes later, Janson is on stage, proclaiming, “I Got Lil Wayne Pumpin’ on My iPod/Thumpin’ on the subs in the back of my crew cab.” The camera zooms in on a sixty-something white woman dancing and holding a “Trump Pence” sign. She appears to be the only person in the arena enjoying the performance, including Trump, who stands next to Ivanka looking profoundly uncomfortable as he waves to his supporters and tries to act like he enjoys country music. But later in the song, the camera returns to the future president, who’s beginning to smile. He’s realized, perhaps, that the song’s chorus is little more than his name, shouted again, and again. -Jonathan Bernstein

Demi Lovato Saying She Used to Be “Best Friends” With a Ghost Named Emily (2013)

Demi Lovato looking at the camera: Demi Lovato Saying She Used to Be “Best Friends” With a Ghost Named Emily (2013) © John Shearer/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Demi Lovato Saying She Used to Be “Best Friends” With a Ghost Named Emily (2013)

Do you know Emily? The 13-year-old ghost who used to be best friends with Demi Lovato? In the middle of a fairly routine interview with Buzzfeed in 2013, Lovato revealed that not only is she really into ghost hunting, she also lived in a haunted house in Texas where she met the ghost in question: a little girl named Emily. The singer said that the spirit used to be not just a friend, but her best friend. Which leaves me wondering: Whatever became of Emily? Did she stay in Texas? Or is she part of Demi’s entourage? -Brenna Ehrlich

French Montana, “Fanute” (2012)

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Part of French Montana’s charm is his voice, which sounds like it’s in an eternal war with the universe’s most consistent and unrelenting head cold. There isn’t enough Mucinex in the world to cut the blunt, nasal-congested, slurred, and off-key impact of the New York rapper’s delivery. On 2012’s “Stay Schemin,” Montana was at full strength and nowhere is this more evident than the first line of his verse where he raps, “From the hoopty coupe to that Ghost, dawg.” For some reason, people ran with the idea that French was saying “fanute the coupe,” which makes no sense, except as it exhibits a strong “Look at rappers making up words hahaha it’s the early 2010s” blogger energy. “Everybody heard ‘fanute’ the first time,” Montana clarified to Complex in 2012 when asked if anyone else in the studio had pointed out the “mispronunciation.” “That’s kinda like how I talk. I knew what I had said, and I didn’t wanna have to keep correcting what other people heard. That’s just how I talk.” -Charles Holmes

 

Dropkick Murphys Tweet to Gov. Walker: “We Literally Hate You” (2015)

a man holding a microphone: Dropkick Murphys Tweet to Gov. Walker: “We Literally Hate You” (2015) © Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Dropkick Murphys Tweet to Gov. Walker: “We Literally Hate You” (2015)

Despite being an anthropomorphic ham sandwich, Scott Walker, was, in 2015, a rising star in Republican politics. The second-term Wisconsin governor’s signature triumph: stripping his state’s public employees of their right to collective bargaining. Having been both raised and educated by unionized public school teachers, it was galling to watch Walker dismantle what made my life possible while pretending to be an everyman fighting back against an elite coalition of [checks notes]… city residents and teachers.

It was bullshit, but it worked. Walker won three elections in four years, surviving a recall and remaking a formerly politically moderate state into a right-wing policy laboratory for ideologues and a playground for oligarchs.

And by 2015, Walker was a top-tier presidential candidate, ready to do the same thing for the rest of the country. As he touted this supposed warrior’s spirit, Walker in the run-up to his campaign would walk onstage to the Dropkick Murphys’ version of “Shipping Up to Boston,” an adrenaline-inducing punk song whose lyrics were written by working-class hero Woody Guthrie. The band caught wind of it, and tweeted: “please stop using our music in any way…we literally hate you !!! Love, Dropkick Murphys”

Walker’s presidential campaign was a series of gaffes and embarrassments, and he dropped out of the race before a vote was cast, stepping aside, he claimed, to make sure the nomination didn’t go to some guy named Donald Trump. In 2018, the good people of Wisconsin finally got around to dropkicking him out of office.

That’s something, but the damage was already done. Eight years of what Walker did deprives kids far brighter and kinder and deserving than I ever will be of the opportunities I continue to benefit from today. And for that, Scott Walker, I literally hate you !!! -Patrick Reis

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Phil and Bill Become the New Miles and Kenny G (2015)

Phil Lesh, Bill Murray are posing for a picture: Phil and Bill Become the New Miles and Kenny G (2015) © Mediapunch/Shutterstock, Guillaume Collet/Sipa/Shutterstock Phil and Bill Become the New Miles and Kenny G (2015)

In the 2010s Bill Murray went from being a beloved pop culture icon to the guy that will crash your bachelor party. He was a ubiquitous figure, appearing at so many events that it became unsurprising when another celebrity posted a photo with him, flaunting their A-list mirth and impeccable style.

Therefore it was hardly a shock when Murray attended the Grateful Dead’s final Fare Thee Well show at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 2015, alongside stars like Woody Harrelson, Chloe Sevigny and, of course, John Mayer. But when Jenny Lewis posted an Instagram photo of the actor looking rather bummed to be with bassist Phil Lesh, we were suddenly gifted with an updated version of Miles Davis and Kenny G, where one celebrity looks way more psyched than the other. As with Davis’ expression — in which he looks like he’d rather be anywhere else on the planet than next to the curly-haired smooth saxophonist — Murray appears incredibly uncomfortable. It doesn’t seem to bother Lesh, who is beaming from standing next to Phil Connors. We don’t blame him. -A.M.

 

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phil and bill 💀🌹💀🌹 A post shared by jenny lewis (@jennydianelewis) on Jul 6, 2015 at 9:39am PDT

 

Pitbull Honors Pitbull on #MemorialDay (2017)

Pitbull wearing sunglasses: Pitbull Honors Pitbull on #MemorialDay (2017) © Daniel Knighton/Getty Images, Shutterstock Pitbull Honors Pitbull on #MemorialDay (2017)

All across the world on May 29th, 2017, hearts stopped for just a moment as the tweet scrolled across our screens. The message: “Today we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for America #MemorialDay,” posted from Pitbull’s official Twitter account. The image: the boundlessly gregarious Miami rapper/businessman himself, superimposed in a ghostly manner on a rippling American flag. Could it be? Had Pitbull, after more than a decade of promoting positive thinking on the dance floor, given his life for our nation’s freedom? It was too sad a prospect to contemplate.

“WHY,” replied one frantic fan. “Don’t question Mr. Worldwide,” replied another. Thankfully, those of us who continued clicking learned to our infinite relief that Pitbull was still very much on this planet, and that he only shared this confusing Hunger Games-style tribute (to himself) out of a deep respect for America’s fallen heroes. Each Memorial Day since, at least some Pitbull fans have taken a moment at our respective barbecues and club nights to remember the time we almost thought we’d lost him for good, and whisper a solemn “Dale!” in thanks to the universe. -Simon Vozick-Levinson

 

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