They made disappinting, often horrific art. They issued tone-deaf statements. They tattooed images of their battered ex-girlfriends on their necks. A look back at the year's lowliest lights.

SPIN's 2012 Hall of Shame

Chris Brown

Unseemly contemporary totem of douchebaggery and occassional pop singer Chris Brown set the shame standard for 2012. He dressed like a terrorist for Halloween, got a tattoo that digustingly recalls the police photograph of Rihanna's battered face, deleted his Twitter after firing a series of obscenely sexist tweets at comedian Jenny Johnson, and essentially flashed a big middle finger at anyone with a conscience. The only thing more shameful was the Team Breezy support squad who got behind this toxic, clueless speciman.

Lupe Fiasco

The aply named Fiasco clumsily offered his (unsolicited) assistance to womankind with "Bitch Bad," dug himself a deeper hole by mansplaining the situation in its trite video, and topped it all off by trying to lead a Twitter rebellion against this very publication because we actually bothered to analyze his work. #BoycottSpinMagazine? We were amused.

Kanye West

This year Yeezy pushed this Kim Kardashian situation to the point of making us physically gag and turn away. There was the public canoodling. The lovey-dovey tweeting. And then, "I wrote the song 'Perfect Bitch' about Kim." It's enough to make you long for the days when the object of West's affections was a sweet credenza.

Tupac Hologram

Congratulations, now-defunct makers of the projection of Tupac Shakur that performed with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at Coachella: You pulled off the most ridiculously "kitschy" stunt of the year and turned the word "hologram" into a hollow punch line.

Kim Dotcom

The founder of one of the web's most massive portals for illegal downloading could have lived happily and anonymously ever after in his enormous House That MegaUpload Built. But the ostentatious Kim Dotcom (spoiler: not his real name!) craved the spotlight, having Kanye West and Alicia Keys declare "I love MegaUpload!" in song. But when Dotcom got busted in his panic room, MegaUpload went down, and the culture of downloading took a dive. After being released on bail, he released an album called Party Amplifier in a last-gasp sad publicity stunt.

The Academy Awards

This year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried to pare down their bloated television broadcast by reducing the Best Original Song category to ashes. Only two songs were nominated (five slots allotted), but producers still couldn't find time to allow the nominees to perform.

Mike Love

The Beach Boys' reunion tour with Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks was far better than we'd expected. But rather than keep the good vibrations going, Mike Love unceremoniously fired the rest of the Boys — by press release, no less — so he could continue touring the globe as his version of "The Beach Boys," which includes no other original members. "I'm disappointed and can't understand why he doesn't want to tour with Al, David, and me," Wilson said after getting pink-slipped from his own band. "We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."

Rock of Ages

Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" was played-out long before Tom Cruise got his hands on it. Rock of Ages — a lame cinematic version of a truly fun Broadway show — currently sports a 41 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Slow clap.

The Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap

Congrats to Burger King for involving Mary J. Blige in the shortest, most poorly conceived ad campaign in recent memory.

The Black Sabbath "Reunion"

By some miracle, every original member of Black Sabbath is still alive. But fans didn't get the reunion tour the band promised because of a contract dispute involving Bill Ward. As a result, "Ozzy and Friends" headlined Lollapalooza without their original drummer, and then engaged in some revisionist history by pretending Ward never existed to begin with.

Hipster Moron

Just try reading this story without slitting your wrist on the jagged edge of a used Penguin Café Orchestra album.

The Sampling Police

In one of the most tasteless moves of 2012, record label Tuf America filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Beastie Boys over samples featured on 1986's Licensed to Ill and 1989's Paul's Boutique albums. Tuf America had more than a dozen years to take action, but waited for the absolute worst moment: when Adam "MCA" Yauch was critically ill from salivary-gland cancer (he died the day after the trio were slapped with the suit). The Beasties have since demanded that the lawsuit be dismissed.


For no apparent reason, Chick-Fil-A chief operating officer Don Cathy openly condemned gay marriage — because who's a better expert on individual rights than the COO of a fast-food chain? Thousands of LGBT couples stormed Chick-Fil-A franchises nationwide to embrace on Mr. Cathy's doorstep. The Black Lips' Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley showed their support by making out — chicken sandwiches in hand — at their nearby Atlanta outpost.

Knife-Wielding Creeps at Concerts

When mandatory metal detectors are inevitably installed at every venue in America, you'll know why: 2012 was an extra-stabby year. The former bassist of Cro-Mags stabbed the current bassist of Cro-Mags at the CBGB Festival. A Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin devolved into a street brawl as nine people were knifed and 30 arrested. Next month, another Swedish House Mafia show, this time in England, was the scene of three more stabbings. A fight even broke out while Tenacious D performed their song "Friendship." And a special fuck-you to the assholes who punched a little girl over a Lollapalooza beach ball.

Universal Music

Some R.E.M. fans restored and posted the band's pre-I.R.S. Records Cassette Set demo, and although Universal owned no copyright on that recording, the major label whined to the RIAA, who issued a Digital Millenium Copyright Act notice, and the demo was removed. We don't publicly condone vengeful acts against record companies, so definitely don't Google "R.E.M." & "Cassette Set" & "Mediafire" in an effort to find the (still-readily-available) demo. That would be so bad.


Live fast, die young, bad girls do it wrong, especially when they flip the bird to an audience of hundreds of millions during a Super Bowl halftime show. M.I.A.'s publicity stunt was supposed to make her look like a badass. Instead, it became the most unnecessary moment in the history of increasingly unnecessary big-budget Super Bowl halftime shows.

The Russian Government



The cartoonish Oakland rapper learned two valuable lessons in 2012: 1) Don't wait too long to cash in on your viral fame, and 2) Don't suck so badly. Kreayshawn delayed more than a year to follow up her hugely popular single "Gucci Gucci," and the result — her major-label debut Somethin' 'Bout Kreay — earned a Worst New Music tag from SPIN. We called the single "Go Hard (La.La.La)" "ridiculous," "a trippy mess" and a "misfire," and those were the nice parts.


Note to the people charged with protecting us and our national security: you have far worse enemies out there than Juggalos.