They say “hell is other people,” and it’s a truism verified in this horrific video of Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath inviting people onstage to freestyle. The time: whenever Sugar Ray was popular. The place: some sort of shitty all-day festival. The guest emcees: a shrieking woman and some guy rapping “Ice Ice Baby,” which is not a freestyle and barely a rap.
As edited by Everything is Terrible!, the clip has a nightmarish, elliptical quality. In fact, McGrath, the preening, spiked frontman, almost becomes a sympathetic character, burying his face in his hands as the shrieks clang around him. One almost wonders if they clang for him still.
Sugar Ray had a surprising amount of hits around the turn of the millennium, but they’ve since devolved into one of the easiest evocations of that era’s sunny, TRL-friendly, bowling-shirt clad SoCal culture. Their onetime fellow travelers Smash Mouth have become the muse for some of the internet’s most horrifically low-brow creations; now, it appears, the hivemind turns its incinerating gaze upon Sugar Ray.