The Wikipedia page for “Hall of Fame” by Irish pop-rockers the Script calls it the group’s “first cumbia song,” which is hilarious considering that cumbia is a type of traditional Colombian folk music whose modern electronic incarnation contains some of the most daringly innovative sounds being made in the world right now, while “Hall of Fame” is almost fascinating for its total absence of anything even approaching ambition. At one point there could have been something mildly adventurous about combining the broad sweep of a vaguely U2-ish rock anthem with the vocal cadences and aspirational narrative of a rap song, but that was well before a vast number of “Lose Yourself” knockoffs drained every last bit of the small amount of excitement that concept ever had.
“Inspirational rap-rock” is practically its own subgenre now, riddled with cliches, and “Hall of Fame” is dead serious about fitting all of them into one song. There are the vague promises to the listener that they can be not only “the greatest” but also “the best.” There are the weirdly specific promises, like how we can possibly become astronauts. There is the Coldplay-esque chorus engineered for maximum sweep. There is the rolling approximation of a rap drumbeat by someone you suspect doesn’t listen to much actual rap music. There is a featured appearance by Will.i.am.