Double J Is Re-Doing The 1998 Hottest 100 So That We Can Fix A Travesty
This time, let's *not* vote for 'Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)'.
Triple j’s hottest 100 has had some pretty big upsets and snubs across the years, but few #1 spots have been as contentious as 1998, when The Offspring’s ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ took out the top spot.
And now, Double J are giving us the chance to rewrite history. Until Monday midday (AEDT), you can vote online for your pick to take the #1 spot, choosing from the Hottest 100 tracks of ’98. Rare is the chance to right a wrong so simple.
What’s on the list? Well, Ben Lee came in #2 with ‘Cigarettes Will Kill You’, so that’s an obvious contender.
Then again, it’s a song which has been played ad nauseam by now (much like #35, Harvey Danger’s ‘Flagpole Sitta’), which prompts the question: do you vote for the song that holds up in 2019, or what you believe should have won back in 1998?
If the former’s the case, we’re going with Hole’s ‘Celebrity Skin’, though if we’re stepping back in time, then maybe we’ll see an iconic Australian band the top honour. In the top 10 alone were Lee, Regurgitator Jebediah, Powderfinger, You Am I and The Living End, for starters.
Then again, maybe we deserve our fate. As Mike Williams wrote in his passioned defence of ‘Pretty Fly’ for the ABC last week, it’s kind of the perfect song for where we were in ’98: awkward, cringe-y, and ready to laugh at someone else instead of examining our own, more subtle, relationship to appropriation.
As Williams wrote, “We shouldn’t feel shame for the skeletons in our shared musical closet; we must embrace them.”
We’ll leave you to ponder that while you look over the full list — as we’ve said, you’ve got just under a week to vote. The revised top 10 will play on Double J’s Mornings with Zan Rowe on Wednesday 6 February from 9am.
Happy voting — and remember, with great power comes great responsibility.