Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott‘s new Ghostbusters theme song–essentially a lead-footed studio rock version of the lighthearted Ray Parker, Jr. original–has been getting slammed online ever since it debuted earlier this week. And granted, there’s plenty to hate about “Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid)”–it’s a ghastly wannabe dubstep re-imagining that sounds about as phoned in a Verizon commercial jingle.
But Missy seems like she’s having a good time with the silliness of doing a Ghostbusters song.
Missy literally raps about scary ghosts, a welcome injection of goofiness into a song that seems preoccupied with coming across as a “serious” tune for a not-at-all serious movie. And while nothing about this song really works, there’s something to be said for an artist having fun with something that’s supposed to be fun. “Night time, my lights on…” Missy raps. “Man, these monsters be big and tall–Ghostbusters, who you gon’ call?!”
But then we get back to the overwrought “I’m not afraid, not afraaaaaaid” chorus and the fun stops again.
The Ray Parker original is a classic of 80s pop culture cheese, and Bobby Brown‘s “On Our Own” from the 1989 sequel is a New Jack Swing classic, one of the most infectious songs of his career and a great bit of songwriting from L.A. Reid and Babyface. Even the cheesy rap (“Too hot to handle/too cold to old/They’re called the Ghostbusters and they’re in control”) is infectiously memorable.
But yeah–this new song is quite the stinker. But it’s not completely terrible. Thanks to Missy.
Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15.
Check out the Ghostbusters themes of yesteryear: