7 Godawful Raps By Rock Stars Who Should Know Better

Mumford & Sons have ‘fessed up. Rolling Stone reveals that the crooning farmhands are planning to rap on their follow-up album to chart monolith ‘Babel’. Yes, you read that right.

I’m not going to make any jokes about Weird Al Yankovich but I think it’s safe to say that, if this happens, God will smite Britain. Here’s Marcus Mumford:

We really want to rap. We’ve just got so much to say – saying it through a melody doesn’t really work for me. We’ve been talking with Jay-Z about it, you know. It’s gonna be a fresh experience for our band


Master Mumster’s probably joking, but pop stars can be a mercurial bunch. They sometimes get funny ideas, such as riding on stage riding a massive pair of breasts, or tattooing ice creams on their faces. One of the worst examples is when they attempt to rap. Rapping isn’t a cake walk, as the disastrous banana-slipping attempts of the artists below make clear.

Lou Reed

Oh, Lewis. What were you thinking? Nestling within ‘Mistrial’ there lies experiment in hip-hop ‘The Original Wrapper’. You could praise him for challenging boundaries or you could just recall the line “Better check that sausage, before you stick it in the waffle”. Advocating sexual health be damned – this is a stinker.

Dee Dee Ramone

Fellow pioneering punk legend Dee Dee Ramone made the same mistake just a year later with ‘Funky Man’. He changed his name to Dee Dee King and embarked on a hip-hop career, releasing album ‘Standing In The Spotlight’ in 1989. He pissed off his bandmates and eventually admitted it was a failure.



Madonna’s ‘American Life’ is truly bizarre. Is she taking the piss out of herself? ‘I do yoga and pilates / And the room is full of hotties’ she reveals, and “I’m drinking a Soy latte / I get a double shot-ay”. Arguably the nadir of her career.

Robbie Williams

The former Take That wild child put out a song today about how “fucking boring” the Brits are. He’s not wrong – but he should check his side of the street first. And standing on that street is a giant parping turd called ‘Rudebox’. “Make your body shape like you’re stood on a landmine,” raps the singer, reaching new depths of depravity. Rudebox is rhymed with Playtex, Durex, Semtex and Mandrex and in the video he mimes putting a pill up his bum. Banal.

Adam Ant

It’s hard to believe Adam Ant’s foray into the rap world got to number three in the UK charts. To be fair to the gorgeous genius, it was, if you can call it a rap song, one of the earliest examples to achieve commercial success. ‘Rapper’s Delight’ was released just a couple of years before and Public Enemy hadn’t even formed yet. Despite that, it gave me an existential crisis.

New Order Feat. John Barnes

That this was New Order’s last release on Factory Records is just too depressing to even contemplate. Written for England’s 1990 World Cup campaign, it wouldn’t have been legit had it earned millions for a charity. Just kidding. John Barnes’ rap appears towards the end if you’re in the mood for a body-doubling cringe.

Primal Scream

Bobby Gillespie really should know better. ‘Pills’, from the immersive 2000 album ‘XTRMNTR’, is less than optimum. Despite a banging beat and deliciously sinister strings the rapping is bloody awful. It has no place anywhere near ‘Accelerator’.

Debbie Harry in ‘Rapture’ and Wham!’s ‘Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)’ are perhaps the only two non hip-hop artists who get away with rapping. Just about.