Forget the best. Let’s head down to pop’s dankest sub-basement in search of the worst song of the summer. And there, amidst the coyote-howls of Adam Levine and whatever pool party Pitbull happens to be throwing, we will find faded rap star Waka Flocka Flame and pop-punk barnacles Good Charlotte forfeiting their remaining dignity in a new collaboration called "Game On."

Forget the best. Let’s head down to pop’s dankest sub-basement in search of the worst song of the summer. And there, amidst the coyote-howls of Adam Levine and whatever pool party Pitbull happens to be throwing, we will find faded rap star Waka Flocka Flame and pop-punk barnacles Good Charlotte forfeiting their remaining dignity in a new collaboration called "Game On."


The song was commissioned for the soundtrack of "Pixels," a new action-comedy about old arcade games brought to life. It involves Adam Sandler blasting lasers at a giant centipede in the sky — which means "Game On" at least had psychedelic potential.


Instead, it’s crunchy and preposterous. The beat goes boom-boom-CLAP-we-will-rock-you. The guitars sound like amplified snoring. And at the front of the mix, Waka shouts things, such as, "They gon’ play me like a Playstation," and "Can’t Xbox me in!"


What makes this song interesting isn’t its stiffness, or its joylessness, or its vacuity of human imagination. "Game On" is interesting because it revives a weird, dead nano-trend: songs on movie soundtracks where rappers summarize the plot in rhyme. Remember when Bobby Brown met the Ghostbusters in the summer of ‘89? Or when Ton-Loc befriended Ace Ventura in 1994? Back then, rap music was in the process of becoming America’s dominant pop idiom, and Hollywood was clever enough to recruit these new storytellers to tell (and sell) their story lines.


The "Ghostbusters 2" soundtrack was a biggie, featuring songs about actual ghostbusting by rap pioneers Run-D.M.C. and Doug E. Fresh. And of course there was Brown, whose exuberant "On Our Own" eventually topped the R&B charts: "Too hot to handle, too cold to hold/They’re called the Ghostbusters and they’re in control!" (The music video is a surreal time-capsule, thanks to cameo appearances from current presidential candidate Donald Trump, supermodel Iman and Joey Ramone playing the tuba.)


And it set a trend in motion. In 1991, Vanilla Ice rapped alongside the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That same year, M.C. Hammer rapped about the Addams Family, rhyming in triplets, as if predicting the vocal trademark of latter day rap trio Migos. Later in the decade, Will Smith would star in the movies — "Men In Black," "Wild Wild West" — and rap on the soundtrack, too.


These songs were silly, but they also did some unheralded evangelical work for hip-hop itself. They taught a lot of little kids how to love rap music. And then they seemed to stop happening. And now they’re happening again.


Last summer, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and Ty Dolla Sign dropped "Shell Shocked," a song written to promote a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. And while Wiz’s verse was delivered with puzzling earnestness, you could almost hear Juicy J’s check-cashing smirk when he rapped, "You know I got your back, just like a turtle shell."


Alas, there’s no smirking from Waka on "Game On" — just a rapper who never sounds bored sounding bored as he tries to shoehorn the names of various video game consoles into his boasts. Meantime, the Good Charlotte boys — now adult beardos hiding behind big sunglasses — handle the film’s plot summary in the hook: "We won’t be afraid ‘cause we’re the ones who made you/Knock you out the frame, we won’t stop until you’re gone."


The message is either "Don’t give up," or "We gave up," or probably just, "Upon accepting an invitation to rap about invasive paranormal hordes, amphibious vigilantes, or whatever, remember that your only responsibility is to sound like you’re having a good time."