10 Reasons to Hate Boyz II Men's "End of the Road"
One of the most successful songs of the '90s, Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" ruled the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks, setting a new record. The soundtrack single was a major triumph not only for Boyz II Men, but for producers L.A. Reid and Babyface and for mainstream R&B as a whole.
We hate it.
"Gee, gosh," you might be asking yourself. "How could anyone hate such a lovely, timeless song as 'End of the Road?'" Well, first of all, the song is not timeless. In fact, it sounds dated as hell. Second, we can think of several reasons to hate "End of the Road." Ten of them, to be precise.
Because Rocks Off has never been shy with our strong opinions, we've decided to share with you our top 10 reasons to mock, scorn and despise the global smash, "End of the Road." We think you'll find them compelling, but if not, do us a favor: Buy yourself some damn headphones and give the rest of us a break already.
10. Outrageous Overexposure
Let's get something straight right off the bat: "End of the Road" was not the worst song of the '90s. At its core, the tune is a glossy, formulaic bit of R&B soundtrack fodder that's inoffensive by design. It's a little silly and it's a little overwrought, but those flaws aren't enough to inspire genuine hatred.
What was truly revolting about "End of the Road" was its sheer inescapability. In addition to completely dominating radio and MTV, it was played at every school dance. It was played at every high-school graduation. It was even a popular wedding-reception tune, which is especially bizarre given its pitiable breakup theme.
Long after its run at No. 1 ended, "End of the Road" was still just... everywhere. Despite all claims to the contrary, there was absolutely no end to that road in sight, and after a short while it made us want to jab letter openers into our eardrums.
9. A King Dethroned
So, "End of the Road" set a new record for consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. No matter how you slice it, that's pretty darn impressive. Impressive and also exasperating, when you consider who the Boyz bumped out of the record books: Previously, the single with the most weeks at No. 1 had been Elvis' "Hound Dog."
Now, we won't deny that "End of the Road" has earned its place in pop music history. It was a hit all over the world, and at least you can sort of slow dance to it. But "Hound Dog" damn near single-handedly kicked off the rock and roll revolution, effectively ending the "race music" era and giving young people a sound to call their own at last.
It's a timeless, stone-cold classic that helped spawn a movement now in its 56th year. "End of the Road," on the other hand, sounded dated before the '90s were even over. We can't be the only ones to find it rather insulting that this was the song to slap the King's crown off his head.
8. Got Any Prozac?
For one of the biggest smash hits of all time, "End of the Road" is pretty goddamn depressing. It's the tale of a jilted lover who, despite being cheated on repeatedly, simply can't let go of his misbegotten ideal of unshakeable love. Basically, it's the ballad of a sucker, and it's painful to listen to.
Have you ever really listened to the lyrics?
When I can't sleep at night without holding you tight
Girl, each time I try I just break down and cry
Pain in my head oh I'd rather be dead
C'mon now. If you'd prefer agonizing death to the prospect of sleeping apart from a serial cheater, you may have some serious psychological issues that need to be worked out before you can enjoy a happy, meaningful relationship. This is not a healthy vision of love (or sex!) that deserves to be immortalized in song. Either get some self-respect or turn in your man cards, Boyz.
7. The Spoken-Word Bullshit
Boyz II Men were refreshingly egalitarian when it came to the spotlight. On "End of the Road," each of the four Boyz gets his own solo verse to show off his pipes. Each, that is, except for bass Michael McCary, who gets saddled with an inane spoken-word passage that's practically a cruel parody of R&B tropes.
"All those times of night when you just hurt me and just run out with that other fella (fella?!), baby I knew about it... I just didn't care," says McCary in his best Barry White impersonation. "You just don't understand how much I love you, do you? I'm here for you."
Yeah, here for you to repeatedly cheat on. These spoken-word bass interludes were an unwelcome feature of several Boyz II Men songs, but rarely were they quite this embarrassing.