Thursday, June 21, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - June 23, 2018

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:




1- "Nice for What" - Drake (+1) -- I've never been happier to see Drake at No. 1 as "Nice for What" gets its third stint at top. It initially debuted at No. 1 and stayed there for four weeks. It got dethroned by Childish Gambino for two weeks before going back to No. 1 for two more weeks. Last week it was Post Malone's "Psycho" that took the top spot, but this week Drake fights back and regains the top spot, thanks mostly to streaming as Post Malone actually leads Drake in both sales and radio. Although both sales and streaming numbers crashed for Post Malone this week, likely due to the effects of the iTunes discount wearing off. But still, neither song is particularly strong as "Nice for What" rules with 20,000 in sales, 31.6 million U.S. streams and 87.5 million in radio audience, none of which are particularly strong for a No. 1 hit. And those numbers aren't getting any higher. That means Drake is vulnerable to the likes of Cardi B's "I Like It" and/or Juice WRLD's "Lucid Dreams," the strongest contenders at this point.

2- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-1) -- I would like to see Post Malone gone from the top 10 altogether, but I'll take him only getting that one week at top as a minor victory. Although that's not much of a consolation prize given that this song is still one of the top songs of the year and only gaining steam the longer it camps here in the top five. I'm so confused as to how such a boring, lazy song can be loved by millions, even when it comes to pop radio. That's 2018 for you, I suppose.

3- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin (=) -- With Drake and Post Malone wavering at the top with weak numbers, Cardi B appears to be in the best position right now to take that top spot away from them. She's actually ahead of them in streaming and in the same ball park in regards to sales. The thing holding her back for the moment is radio as Drake and Post Malone are both still very high on radio. Cardi is gaining on radio, but is still significantly behind and her margins on streaming aren't quite high enough for that to make the difference. But given that this song has gained enough traction to cement its place in the top five for the perhaps unforeseeable future, it's probably only a matter of time before Cardi gets this song over the hump and into that top spot.

4- "God's Plan" - Drake (+1) -- Thanks to a bit of a dip from Maroon 5, Drake recovers a bit with "God's Plan" as it jumps to No. 4. Although I don't think it'll last long as this song is still on the downward track after an excellent run in the top five. If Maroon 5 doesn't jump back ahead, Juice WRLD might push Drake back down.

5- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B (-1) -- I suppose I'm happy that Maroon 5 fell a spot this week, but the horrible news is that this song is gaining strong on radio. Sales are collapsing following its huge sales numbers last week, but that YouTube video is still going strong, meaning the streaming is still pretty consistent, but given how in love the radio has been with Maroon 5 over the last five years or more, those country-wide DJs are salivating that they now have a new Maroon 5 song to overplay for the next six months or so, which completely crushes me as I have no idea what the appeal of this song is. It's boring album filler made worse by a Cardi B feature that does not fit the tone of the rest of the song, thus screaming desperation on the part of Maroon 5.

6- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (+3) -- This is our top song on streaming this week with 38.8 million U.S. streams. The reason why it hasn't jumped into the top five as of yet, despite those large streaming numbers, is that the radio still hasn't touched this song as it still hasn't charted on the radio songs chart and is completely M.I.A. in regards to pop radio. The sales are also pretty weak, but not completely awful comparatively, but if this song is going to contend for a No. 1 spot and make a case to stay in the region for a long period of time, the radio is going to have to do something. Streaming can hold it up for a while, but after a month or two if it still has no radio, this song will start to collapse. But that's just a quick look into the future. I'm still happy this song is around and I'm hoping radio will connect with it because I'd certainly rather have this infiltrate pop radio than Post Malone, Cardi B or Maroon 5.

7- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (-1) -- Same story here with Ella as with Juice WRLD. Streaming for this song is still pretty consistent, currently at No. 5, but sales have collapsed and the radio still hasn't quite caught on as it's No. 16 on the radio charts. Hence is why it drops a spot this week. And it's pop radio that's the problem here as it hasn't crossed over there at all, which is kinda surprising to me. Pop radio has fallen in love with Post Malone and Drake, but they refuse to pick of Ella Mai? I mean, her song seems more pop friendly than those two artists. We'll see if that changes in the coming weeks.

8- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+2) -- Following the departure of Kanye West and Childish Gambino's song completely collapsing, the bottom half of the top 10 sees some interesting recoveries that I don't know if I saw coming. After this song collapsed to No. 10 last week, I was wondering if it was doomed to disappear given that sales and streaming aren't that high, but that strong radio total is good enough to help it maintain consistency as it's still the top radio song for a sixth week and hasn't wavered much overall, down just 1 percent from last week.

9- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (+4) -- It's great seeing Ariana back in the top 10 after she got bullied out last week. She's actually seen pretty consistent numbers overall, but the best news is that pop radio has officially fallen in love with this song as it's No. 4 on pop radio and No. 7 overall on the radio charts, while having decent numbers on streaming and sales. So hopefully this resurgence will help this song stay in the top 10 and perhaps contend for a spot in the top five. I would really love that as this is probably my favorite song in the top 10 right now.

10- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+2) -- This was actually the most surprising for me this week. After Bebe and FGL bowed out last week, I thought their run in the top 10 had come to an end. No hard feelings as it's been quite the run for this song. It never quite hit No. 1, but it had 11 weeks in the top five and now has accumulated 19 weeks total in the top 10. Those are solid numbers for a country pop hit that I still find catch and fun.


Rising on the Hot 100:





11- "Yes Indeed" - Lil Baby & Drake (+4) -- I totally forgot that this song was booted out of the top 10 last week, thus in hindsight I'm really glad it was Ariana and Bebe that snuck back into the region, leaving Lil Baby and Drake momentarily in the dust. I'm not confident that it'll stay that way, but with no radio and no sales, this is a streaming only hit, so that gives me hope this this won't stick around for long.

14- "Walk It Talk It" - Migos featuring Drake (+3) -- While Migos and Drake only managed one week in the top 10 with this song, this has managed to remain just under the top 10 for quite some time now. I'm just glad that it's been held back from returning because this is an annoying, useless piece of crap with no effort put in.

15- "Mine" - Bazzi (+8) -- Believe it or not, this song is actually No. 2 on pop radio and has been around the top for quite some time, so I'm surprised that this never hit the top 10, but certainly not disappointed as this is still more of a dumb internet meme that's barely even a full song. Let's keep it out of the top 10, please?

16- "In My Blood" - Shawn Mendes (+4) -- Kanye's album bomb kinda threw off Shawn Mendes' groove, but he's trying to recover as this song jumps back to No. 16 this week. I suppose I wouldn't mind if this song hit top 10, which still seems strange for me to say. Although I would prefer it if "Youth" is the song of is that becomes a bit hit.

17- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+4) -- A momentary boost for Ed Sheeran as the charts reset after the Kanye album bomb. It's still surprising to me that I never got sick of this song.

20- "Better Now" - Post Malone (+14) -- A better song than both "Psycho" and "rockstar," although with Post Malone that's not saying very much as this song is tolerable at best. If it steals momentum away from "Psycho," than I suppose that's a good thing, but I won't be happy if this becomes equally as big.

22- "Back to You" - Selena Gomez (+9) -- I'm pushing for this song to become big. Or at least crack the top 10. The momentum for Selena continues to grow as this is now close to being a top 20 hit. I just hope it doesn't get stuck in the top 20 because as this really deserves to be a smash hit on the radio. Stop playing those dumb hip-hop songs on pop radio and start playing real pop music.

24- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (+5) -- A momentary boost for Post Malone as the charts reset after the Kanye album bomb. And thank havens because I still hate this song.

25- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+12) -- Taylor stalled a bit last week, as did most songs in the top 50, but I'm glad to see her recover again this week, continuing her upward momentum. This has hit top 10 on pop radio, which is excellent. It's good seeing Taylor finally gaining traction with a single from "reputation." That album really isn't that bad. She just released the wrong singles at first that rubbed people the wrong way, so it's good to see her correcting that and finding real success.

27- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (+6) -- A momentary boost for Camila as the charts reset after the Kanye album bomb. Although I really wish that Camila would've put more effort into promoting "Never Be the Same" because I wanted that to become equally as big as this song, but it sputtered out as she instead gave "Sangria Wine" a push. I still enjoy the latter, but I'm apparently the only one on the planet to do so as the song collapsed after its debut and still hasn't resurfaced on the Hot 100. So whatever Camila is doing is not working, which is unfortunate.

30- "One Kiss" - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa (+8) -- I'm mildly surprised that this song hasn't risen faster. It seems like a solid summer hit that radio should be clinging onto, but it hasn't quite gained as much traction, even though it's doing decently well on pop radio. There's still plenty of time, though, and a top 30 appearance is encouraging.

32- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+9) -- The biggest country gainer this week. I'm not overly upset at this as I suppose this is a harmless country song. I've also never been emotionally invested in this, either, as I feel this is mostly an average, run of the mill country song about a guy complaining about losing his girl.

34- "Love Lies" - Khalid & Normani (+8) -- Here's a song that seems to be quietly flying in under the radar. While Camila has been struggling to find a follow-up hit after "Havana," our second Fifth Harmony girl is making her case as a solo artist and I'm also rooting her on. I'm not going to say I'm madly in love with this, but her and Khalid have solid chemistry on this song, making this a solid romance duet. If Normani does pursue a solo career, I think she has a ton of potential, perhaps even more than Camila.

35- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (+5) -- Another song getting a momentary boost following the Kanye album bomb. Although I would really love for Dua to gain more success as she's a pop singer that deserves more attention.

36- "Te Bote" - Casper Magico, Nio Garcia, Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna & Bad Bunny (+7) -- Can we all agree to ignore this messy, crowded, lazy Latino song? I would love for it to go away.

38- "Taste" - Tyga featuring Offset (+21) -- For the second straight week following its debut, Tyga and Offset get a huge boost. And I have no idea why as this is a useless piece of trash. The rap community really has me confused as to why they drool all over themselves over garbage like this.

41- "All Girls Are the Same" - Juice WRLD (+8) -- The Juice WRLD song I don't care for. And apparently neither does the rest of the world as this is still down at No. 41 while "Lucid Dreams" is becoming a smash hit up there at No. 6 already.

46- "I Like Me Better" - Lauv (+7) -- It's excellent seeing this song hit top 50. It's already top 10 on pop radio, which makes me really happy. I hope it can continue to gain traction in other areas because I would love to see this get much higher on the charts.

48- "Get Along" - Kenny Chesney (+8) -- Is it bad that I already completely forgot about this song from Kenny? Not that I've ever really cared for him. I suppose there could be worse songs out there in the country world.

49- "Up Down" - Morgan Wallen featuring Florida Georgia Line (+9) -- Like this. I've given FGL more leniency than the probably deserve, but this song is pretty awful and I would love for it to go away.

53- "Woman, Amen" - Dierks Bentley (+13) -- It's a good week for country as this is our third straight song on this list. But it's also a bad week in terms of quality because this is our third straight song that's completely forgettable, which doesn't give me much hope for the immediate future of country radio.

63- "Mercy" - Brett Young (+11) -- Fourth straight country song and the fourth straight country song that I don't really care for. Which is unfortunate because I mostly like Brett Young as I really enjoyed his previous two singles. But this just falls into bland, empty country song territory.

79- "Youngblood" - 5 Seconds of Summer (+17) -- A harmless rise towards the bottom of the charts. There's not much to this song in terms of content, but musically speaking I suppose it's passable. So I'm neutral towards this. If it becomes a hit, then I probably won't be too upset. But let's wait and see because No. 79 still isn't anything to write home about.


New Arrivals:





39- "Reborn" - KIDS SEE GHOSTS -- Here's the third seven-track album produced by Kanye West in his five-week series this summer. We started things off two weeks ago with Pusha-T, continued last week with Kanye's own album and now this week we have Kanye and Kid Cudi's collaborative work, wherein they call themselves KIDS SEE GHOSTS instead of simply saying Kanye West & Kid Cudi. In case you're wondering, next week will be Nas and we'll finish things off in two weeks with Teyana Taylor. Although I'm not sure how those final two artists will do as Nas's album hasn't been that big these past few days on streaming and Teyana Taylor has yet to chart on the Hot 100, so I'm not sure how much people are aware of her with this second studio album that will be released tomorrow. I guess we'll take those as we come. As far as Kid Cudi goes, I'm not super familiar with his music. He was really big from 2008 to 2010 with his first two albums, but hasn't done much since that has been impactful on the charts. However, he did have a song called "Revofev" that was used in the advertising for "Kill the Messenger," a movie I really loved and that song was perfect for the movie's trailers and thus I've loved the song ever since. So I did have some hope for this album, despite it being him AND Kanye West instead of just him.

As far as this song goes, this is the fifth track of the album and even though I went into this album with a bit of hope, the previous four songs on this album are empty. The first two tracks have potential, but ultimately go nowhere while the next two tracks are pretty awful without any focus or direction. This fifth song is probably the best song thus far and is the closest to actually resemble a fully realized song with a total length of 5:24. Kanye's verse talks about all of his troubles and it's the best that Kanye has done recently with simply giving his emotions of what he's gone through without purposely trolling the world with his controversial statements. And I actually really like Kid Cudi's verse as he gets fairly raw and emotional with his own struggles. However, Kanye's verse is only 30 seconds long and Kid Cudi's verse comes close to 40 seconds like. Which means four of the five minutes of this song is Kid Cudi's chorus where he says he is reborn and moving forward. And it's a good, catchy chorus. But there's just too much of it. I would've preferred more in terms of content and less of the same repeated chorus that takes up the last two minutes of the song, the first minute and a half of the song as well as 30 seconds in between verses. So this is a much better effort from these two, but still not quite there for me.

42- "4th Dimension" - KIDS SEE GHOSTS -- The third track from Kid Cudi and Kanye's album. The first two tracks, "Feel the Love" and "Fire" had some potential with the setup and the framing, but ultimately went nowhere. With this third track, I have absolutely no idea what these two were thinking. In fact, I'm pretty sure that they weren't. The song starts by sampling an old 1936 Christmas song by Louis Prima called "What Will Santa Claus Say," which is a fun, groovy swing song. But then after the sample, Kanye and Cudi take turns going in strange, random directions that have nothing to do with the sampled song, made creepier by an interlude between the two of them consisting of a really creepy laughter. This song is disconnected, disjointed and I no longer want to think about it. So I'm just going to move onto the next song from the album.

47- "Feel the Love" - KIDS SEE GHOSTS -- Here's the opening track from this album and it starts with a lot of potential actually. Kid Cudi is handling the chorus of the song and it's a decent chorus with him repeating the line "I can still feel the love" over some decently catchy music. But the problem is that it doesn't go anywhere. There's only one rap verse and that's neither Kid Cudi nor Kanye, but Pusha T. And all Pusha T is talking about is drugs, girls and how he's better than everyone else. He has decent flow, but the content is boring and I don't know how it fits in with Kid Cudi's chorus. After that verse, the only thing that happens throughout the rest of the song is Kanye making gun sounds while Kid Cudi's line is repeated. So the framing of the song is just fine, but there's just no content here. It's like buying a nice picture frame, but hanging it on the wall with no picture inside it. I'm not quite sure what to do with it.

62- "Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)" - KIDS SEE GHOSTS -- The fourth track from Kid Cudi and Kanye's album, this song being a sequel to last week's song "Ghost Town" from Kanye's album "Ye." Thus this warrants a quick revisit of that song, which was extremely disjointed. We had PARTYNEXTDOOR saying he wants to smoke marijuana and relax on Sunday, a stretched out line from Kid Cudi, Kanye reminiscing that one day all this controversy will go away and finally a long outro where a random rapper named 070 Shake talks about not feeling pain anymore after putting her hand on the stove and feeling nothing. Why we needed a sequel to this is beyond me, but here it is. And it's not quite as disjointed as "Ghost Town," but I mostly find it boring. We start with an excerpt from a speech by Marcus Garvey saying that man in the full knowledge of himself is a superb and supreme creature of creation. After that, the rest of the song is a combination of Kanye, Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla $ign and Anthony Hamilton taking turns bragging about how they're free and they don't feel pain anymore. That's it. And yes, they stretch out the word free like in the title, but more. So it sounds like they're saying "I feel freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...," which gets really annoying after just one instance, but it continues for three and half minutes, as if they were all smoking marijuana while recording this song in the studio.

67- "Fire" - KIDS SEE GHOSTS -- The second track from Kid Cudi and Kanye's album. Following on the heels of "Feel the Love," this has these two heading in a positive direction. Instead of Kid Cudi sticking to the chorus and Kanye making sounding effects, while letting Pusha T handle the only verse that has nothing to do with anything, both Kid Cudi and Kanye actually have a verse on "Fire." But each of them only takes the time for a 30 second verse where both of them talk about troubles they've had or not caring about their haters. Framing the verses is a lot of instrumentals that are pretty good and an outro from Kid Cudi that serves as the song's only verse wherein Kid Cudi asks heaven to lift him up after all these scars he's received. Then the final 30 seconds is some sort of guitar riff that's a complete shift in tone, almost as if it was added on in post-production by accident. So the idea here is nice, but as a whole this is still very surface-level stuff. If Kid Cudi were to cut Kanye off the song, use his outro as an actual chorus and dive deeper with perhaps a few more verses, while keeping the same instrumentals, this could've been a good song. As is, though, it's more like an unfinished project that barely crosses two minutes thanks to that strange guitar riff at the end.

69- "Cudi Montage" - KIDS SEE GHOSTS -- To finish off the album, we have this seventh and final track called "Cudi Montage." I don't know what type of montage this is or why it's even referred to as a montage. Perhaps it's just a montage of everything else he's done on the album so far? Because, yeah, this song is rather boring. At the very least, Kid Cudi does a good job on this album providing interesting music and catchy choruses even if the songs themselves are a bit underdeveloped. This song has a boring chorus with no catchy beat with recycled themes from this album as if they were trying to drive it home on the final track, but ended up lazily copying themselves, with an added verse of Kanye trying to talk about world peace, of which in totally flubs the idea with absurd content despite a potentially interesting subject matter. You know, basically the story of Kanye West. So overall, this album had moments of potential, but ultimately it's all squandered with underdeveloped songs and Kanye ruining everything whenever he tries to say something he deems important. It's not awful, but I'm not impressed. I don't think the world is going to remember this album in a couple weeks.

73- "Kids See Ghosts" - KIDS SEE GHOSTS -- Here we have the sixth track from the album, which is the title track. "Kids See Ghosts" by KIDS SEE GHOSTS from the album "KIDS SEE GHOSTS." A lot of kids seeing ghosts. In other words, this has to be good or else this whole thing was a waste, right? Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the first half of this song. This has a dark beat to it which fits the dark title of kids seeing ghosts. Then we have the subtle ghost whispers while Kid Cudi rather depressingly talks about how kids see ghosts sometimes and I found myself really intrigued because I wanted to see where this was going. But then the whole thing is ruined by Kanye jumping in with his longest verse yet on this album where he dives deep into all the Kanye stuff that we've all hated him for these past weeks, months and even years. And the results are what we all knew this whole time. Kanye is an idiot. Yet he thinks he's not. He thinks he has a lot to say to his haters that will make them understand. But he doesn't. This song just makes you want to punch him in the face and cross your fingers that he just goes away and leaves the rest of the world alone.

84- "Lose It" - Kane Brown -- After listening to all of the "KIDS SEE GHOSTS" album, the intro to this song was rather refreshing. It was an upbeat, fun country song that I was enjoying. Unfortunately I specifically mentioned the intro was refreshing because then Kane Brown comes in with his deep, twangy, boring voice and I was brought back down to Earth knowing this was just another boring country song. I was open to it getting better. And I will still say that the beat is pretty good. But the content is as boring as Kane's voice. He sees a girl and she's so amazing that it causes him to lose it. Because we've never seen that in a country song before. He tells the girl that she has no idea what she's doing to him and when she approaches, he tells her that he just wants them to lose it tonight. Which had me facepalm. But at least he's not as explicit with his sex references as our next two songs from Nicki Minaj and Lil Skies.

88- "Rich Sex" - Nicki Minaj featuring Lil Wayne -- Eh, em. Do I need to even say anything here? Nicki is an awful rapper. I've never liked her. This song is exactly what you expect when you look at that title. She's talking about riches and sex. Except it's really gross and graphic. If this type of music is your thing, well then I'm sorry. I'm just not into listening to Nicki graphically describe how amazing it is to have sex with her.

90- "I Know You" - Lil Skies featuring Yung Pinch -- Yung Pinch? Really? On a song with Lil Skies? If this is what the world of music is coming to, I want no part of it. All this song is about is these two rappers rapping all about their newly found fame and how all these girls just want to sleep with them because their famous. But serious. Is anyone interested in listening to two rappers who the world barely knows bragging about how famous they are? This is almost as bad as the Nicki song, and makes the Kane Brown song feel extremely tame and clean. Turns out that I'd rather go back and relisten to the "KIDS SEE GHOSTS" album then revisit these final three songs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - June 16, 2018

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:




1- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (+1) -- I'm not one bit surprised that this happened, but I'm still really angry about it. I was hoping that this song would be blocked from hitting No. 1, despite it being in its 15th week in the top five, but Drake's song just didn't have enough momentum to keep that top spot while Post Malone is still celebrating decent sales due to his iTunes discount, good enough streaming, and shockingly strong radio that now sees it as No. 1 on pop radio. I don't even know why pop radio is playing this song at all, let alone playing it more than any other song around. The good thing about this song being in its 15th week in the top five is that it can't hold this spot for too much longer, so it'll be a quick reign for Post Malone.

2- "Nice for What" - Drake (-1) -- I don't think I've ever said that I wish Drake were No. 1 instead, but I was hoping this song would hold up well enough to keep Post Malone away from the top spot. But nope. Now we as a country look really stupid by allowing a lazy, piece of crap in Post Malone to have the No. 1 spot on our Hot 100.

3- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+4) -- I wasn't sure what this song was going to do, but now it appears that it's here to stay as the video premier has now bolted it into the top five after it roared back into the top 10 last week. While not the worst thing Cardi has done, I still don't like the fact that this song takes a really good song an spits in its face with atrocious additions to the song from all three of these acts. But if this can be the cause of taking down Post Malone from that top spot before he gets too comfortable, then I'm all for it. In the meantime, I would like there to be a song to come around that's actually worthy of hitting that No. 1 spot.

4- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B (+90) -- What in the blazes is this doing here? I'm genuinely shocked. After this debuted last week at No. 94, I was hoping that it was a sign that the world has stopped caring about Maroon 5. But nope. Apparently the release of the music video, which took effect on the Hot 100 this week, gave this song huge streaming numbers and even bigger sales numbers with it being the top selling song this week. And I have no idea why. At best this is an average filler song on a boring Maroon 5 album. Adding Cardi to the song turned a boring song to an awful song. Even though it's not hard to outdo Maroon 5 on a track, her verse does not fit in at all with the track and just makes this a lazy, desperate piece of crap. I can only that this takes a good tumble next week after the boost from the video wears off.

5- "God's Plan" - Drake (-3) -- It was only a matter of time. This song has been here for a long while now and has been losing steam for the last month or so, but has only stuck around because nothing else was willing to step up. Now things have stepped up and thus Drake finally falls. And I think this is only going to start falling faster as I could see a few songs right below it also passing it up in the next week or so.

6- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (+2) -- Ella is going to need to start picking up on radio a bit faster than the she is if this song is going to be a huge hit, but she does have really strong streaming that is remaining consistent, so that should be good enough to at least keep this song around in the top 10 for quite some time.

7- "This is America" - Childish Gambino (-3) -- I'm not sure how much longer this is going to last in the top 10. Streaming continues to trend downward and the radio is just not there to keep it held up as the streaming continues downward. But that was kinda to be expected as this is less of a traditional single and more of a huge political statement with the video. With it hard to separate the two, it makes sense that radio is really responding and sales have never been too high.

8- "Yikes" - Kanye West (new) -- Kanye's new album "Ye" debuted on the charts this week, with all seven tracks debuting in the top 40. This means I'll have plenty to say about it in our new arrivals section. But my short word on this song is that it could've worked out as it has a dark premise and a catchy chorus. But I just can't get over what he said about the #MeToo movement on this song, which makes it the most frustrating song on a very unintelligent album from a man that seems to have a really low IQ. Let's hope that this is just here for a week and then goes away.

9- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (+6) -- I defended this song when it first debuted, but then I was shocked that it rose so quickly on the Hot 100. Now after just a few weeks on the charts, it's broken the top 10. I had to re-evaluate this song after seeing it rise so quickly. After doing so last week, I'm still a fan of the song and I'm happy that it's here in the top 10. In fact, this is the No. 2 song on streaming right now, meaning that it will most likely be the top streaming song next week after Kanye's album fades away. The problem is that it has no radio at the moment and the sales just don't exist. I could see pop radio picking this one up and loving it. But it hasn't happened yet. If it does, I could see this contending for the top spot. But for now its monster streaming numbers will do a great job of keeping it around in the top 10 until the other metrics catch up.

10- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (-5) -- I was honestly surprised to see this song collapsing this week. It's still No. 1 on the radio charts, even though it ceded the top spot on pop radio to "Psycho," which still makes no sense to me. But I guess being held up by radio only just wasn't enough to survive the storm of everything else that happened this week in the top 10. I suppose I'm not upset as this has had a good run. Although I wouldn't surprised to see this stick around still, especially if some of these other songs end up being one-week wonders in the top 10.


Rising on the Hot 100:





31- "Back to You" - Selena Gomez (+7) -- Due to Kanye's album, most of the Hot 100 below the top 10 stalled out. Which is why I'm really happy that the lone song that rose high enough to qualify for this section of my list. That means it seems to be gaining real traction on the charts and has the potential to get boosted even higher once Kanye's album fades. Let's hope that holds true because this is a really good song from Selena that I want to see become a huge hit.

59- "Taste" - Tyga featuring Offset (+23) -- Out of all the dumb rap songs to debut last week, I really don't know why this is the one to get a huge boost. Not that any of them deserved it, but this one probably deserved it the least. I don't imagine Tyga had anything to do with it. That Offset feature was probably the big reason here.

79- "Lovely" - Billie Eilish & Khalid (+10) -- I am super excited to see this song get a good boost this week. This is one of my favorite songs of the year so far, so I'm hoping Billie and Khalid will continue to gain momentum so that this song can at least be a decent top 50 hit that hangs around for a while.


New Arrivals:





8- "Yikes" - Kanye West -- My reaction when I saw Kanye's new album was dominating streaming, meaning I had to cover this whole thing this week. I knew this album was coming, but I was hoping that we could all just ignore it. But nope, Kanye had to go and say some really stupid things a month or so before the album was released so that he could put himself right in the spotlight. Controversy sparks curiosity, thus the worlds most annoying troll just won with all seven songs from his mini-album charting in the top 40. This is the second track from the album if you care to follow me in the order that the album goes, following "I Thought About Killing You." The main theme of "Yikes" is Kanye talking about his drug addiction, which he talks about being menacing and frightening to him as it could end up killing him like it did Michael Jackson and Prince. That's all fine and dandy, and he actually puts together a really catchy chorus that almost made me give this song a pass. But then he starts rambling on in his verses, which sees him completely dissing the #MeToo movement in his first verse, like so:

"Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too; I'ma pray for him cause he got #MeToo'd; Thinkin' what if that happened to me too; Then I'm on E! News."

In other words, the #MeToo movement is bad and we have to pray for people who got victimized by the movement. NO!!!! If we're praying for people, it's for the people who have been victims of sexual assault who haven't been able to do anything about it because the world cares too much about the celebrity status of individuals, thus we end up protecting sexual predators. And Kanye wants to continue protecting sexual predators by trying to get rid of the #MeToo movement? This is disgraceful. But it's exactly what happens when Kanye opens his big mouth and starts talking.

11-  "All Mine" - Kanye West -- The third track from Kanye's album. The positives of this song is that he doesn't say anything super offensive like he did on "Yikes." But he's also not saying anything super intelligent. The message of this song is infidelity. He talks about the controversy that would rise if he showed up in public with Kerry Washington, Naomi Campbell or Stormy Daniels. Then he says the only reason why Tristan Thompson and Kobe Bryant are still married, despite their cheating scandals, are because they are good ballers. I'm not sure what his purpose to all this because he kinda just says these things, then goes off on dirty tangents while letting whoever Ant Clemons is take care of the dirty chorus in between.

16- "Ghost Town" - Kanye West -- The sixth song from Kanye's new album is a very strange and disjointed one. Kanye himself is only on the song for a few brief moments, which is probably a good thing, except for the fact that he's somehow better than the other three people he features on this song. We start with PARTYNEXTDOOR saying that someday he wants to rest like God did on Sunday, while smoking marijuana and doing what he wants to. His final two lines are slurred and mumbled as if he got drunk and passed out when recording. Then Kid Cudi jumps in and gives a cringeworthy bit where says two quick lines that are extremely stretched out. Then comes Kanye's verse where he reminisces that some day all the controversy will be gone and he can live in peace. A day that will never come until he learns to shut his dumb mouth. Then we get Kid Cudi's bit repeated, followed by a two-minute outro by new rapper 070 Shake, that was apparently not finished until the day this song was released. And I don't know why because it's a lazy, repeated bit where he's repeating that they're the kids they used to be and nothing hurts anymore. The instrumentation behind the song is fine. But the rest of it is so weird and disconnected that I don't know how anyone could listen to this.

24- "Wouldn't Leave" - Kanye West -- The fourth track from Kanye's album. In this track Kanye sings praises to his wife for sticking with him through thick and thin. I guess he felt he probably had to throw this one in here after his ramblings about infidelity in the previous track, "All Mine." He acknowledges all the stupid things he's done and said, claiming he feels bad about them. Which I don't really buy because he says more stupid stuff on this album that's equal to or worse than previous things he's said. He also not so subtly throws out his "Slavery was a choice" comments, adding afterwards that "Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day." This feels like he's trying to justify those comments, saying they were mild and that he's said and done a whole lot worse. Which I believe. But it still doesn't justify that his slavery comments were awful and him trying to downplay them is really stupid. But whatever. The rest of the song sees a decent chorus from PARTYNEXTDOOR, with Jeremih and Ty Dolla $ign chipping in, with verses from Kanye that are otherwise decent. Even if I don't buy he actually had positive intentions with this song, as it seems more self-centered in trying to make himself look good, this is mostly a fine track if you play it on its own. So it's whatever.

27- "Violent Crimes" - Kanye West -- This is the seventh and final track from Kanye's album. After listening to this, I was just glad this listening experience was over. Even though I barely consider this an album as it's barely over 20 minutes, I was glad that Kanye went that route because it meant that I didn't have to cover more from him. This finale is decent, I suppose. 070 Shake, who was featured on the previous track "Ghost Town" gives the chorus to start and end the song. He doesn't really say anything interesting outside setting up Kanye's long verse wherein he discusses his change in mindset after having two daughters of his own. Before he saw girls as something to conquer and now he sees them as something to nurture, then talks a lot about his fears for the future as he plans on being a very protective father towards his daughters. This is certainly the most interesting thing he's talked about on this album as his blunt honesty proves that he also has a bit of a good side amidst most of the murky crap. I still think some of the specific lyrics here show his unintelligence, but compared to most of the rest of his album, this is passable. 

28- "I Thought About Killing You" - Kanye West -- Well that's a disturbing title. Coming from the rapper with the world's lowest IQ makes it even more disturbing. This is actually the opening track from Kanye's new album where he starts off with spoken word, which consists of half of this nearly five minute song. This finds Kanye being honest right off the bat, which is something I normally appreciate. It's better than cliche nonsense that people normally do. But Kanye being honest is just laughably unintelligent. In his spoken word, he says that he thought about killing you and he thought about killing himself, and he loves himself way more than he does you. And he repeats that dialogue a few times, while adding in there that you'd only care enough to kill someone you love. What? Then he tries to justify it by saying that he's supposed throw in something good, so what he said doesn't come off as bad, but instead he decided to be honest and finish that by saying that sometimes he thinks bad things. And I'm just left dumbfounded at how stupid this man is. Then he starts rapping in the second half of the song, which is blocky and boring, seeing him rambling on about a whole bunch of stupid stuff that only makes his case worse.

36- "No Mistakes" - Kanye West -- This is the song that charted last from Kanye's album, but follows after "Wouldn't Leave" as the fifth track from the album. This is a really simple song. It has one verse from Kanye that is framed by a chorus from Charlie Wilson and Kid Cudi that states "Make no mistake, girl, I still love you." The final chorus also echoes in the line "Believe it or not, the Lord still shines on you." The verse in between is something that I don't really know how it fits in with the chorus as Kanye talks about how rough the past year has been for him, how he's not taking advice from people less successful than him as well as a few other random things that just seem random. An inoffensive song. But a useless one where I don't understand the point of it. It's also the shortest song from the album at barely two minutes.

55- "Simple" - Florida Georgia Line -- Despite how much praise I've given "Meant to Be" these past several months, I still don't necessarily get excited for a Florida Georgia Line song, especially when they're on their own and not featuring a good pop singer like Bebe Rexha, which is a big reason why I enjoy "Meant to Be." But this works decently enough. Dare I say that this is a... simple song? Because it is. It has a fun, upbeat tune that feels a bit folky to me with a nice banjo strumming in the background. The lyrics are the male voice claiming he wants a simple romance with his girl, thus fitting the simplicity theme of this song. I think it could've used another voice in the mix, maybe to play the voice of the female as the song might get a bit overly simple and thus not super memorable. But I'm not upset that it's around and I'll be fine if it does well.

81- "Must've Never Met You" - Luke Combs -- I haven't been a fan of the previous songs released from Luke Combs' recent album, that being "One Number Away" and "Beautiful Crazy" from this year, so I didn't expect much from this and in turn I didn't get much, so I guess the song met my expectations. This is Luke being a little overly bitter as he complains at all these cliche phrases used to make people feel better, because obviously the people that came up with them didn't know this girl and how awful she was to Luke. As if Luke is the only person to every experience a breakup and is the only one to feel pain afterwards. Yeah, it feels a bit self-absorbed even though it's trying to be real and human. I just don't buy it. And it's too heavy on the country rock for the music itself to fit with the lyrics that he's singing.

85- "Humility" - Gorillaz featuring George Benson -- It's not too often you wake up and learn a Gorillaz song has charted on the Hot 100. In fact, it's been 13 years to be exact as their previous Hot 100 entry was "DARE," their follow-up single to their smash hit "Feel Good Inc." in 2005 from their album "Demon Days." Although they have been active recently as they released an album just last year called "Humanz" that sold decently and had songs chart in various countries and on the U.S. rock charts, but not on the Hot 100. Now they're back with their sixth studio album "The Now Now" later this month that finally got them back on the Hot 100 with this lead-off single. The feature of George Benson means he's also back on the Hot 100 for the first time since "No One Emotion" in 1985. So this is a pretty significant entry here. Now I can't honestly say I'm a huge fan of the Gorillaz. I love "Feel Good Inc.," but that's the only song of there's that I've really gravitated to. That said, I would certainly prefer Gorillaz over most everything else on the charts today, so this is a welcome entry and a rather groovy song. It's fairly mellow and laid-back, but has a good enough beat to it that'll make you want to dance around in your chair as you listen. I want to say the lyrics jump out at me and are mind-blowing, but they're really not. Serviceable, I suppose. And given that I'm not super huge into this group, don't ask me how this compares to their previous work, because I don't know. It's not as hot and fiery as "Feel Good Inc.," but few songs are. Yet I enjoy it and I would love to see this gain traction on the charts, although my confidence in it doing so is not super strong.

89- "Africa" - Weezer -- First we get Gorillaz on the Hot 100, now we have Weezer? This just a couple weeks after Backstreet Boys also charted. Remind me a gain what year this is? Because Weezer haven't charted since 2009 and this is actually only their sixth song to hit the Hot 100 as they've mainly been content to dominate the U.S. Alternative Songs chart over the course of their career. Although Rivers Cuomo himself charted as recently as 2010 as featured on B.o.B's "Magic," a song that I've always loved. Weezer themselves, if I'm being honest, is a band that I've heard my friends talking about over the years more than I've paid much attention to myself. A lot of people in my Junior High and High School loved Weezer. I never jumped on the bandwagon for whatever reason. Although this song specifically doesn't require a vast knowledge of Weezer as this is a cover of Toto's popular 1982 song "Africa." They did this following a viral Twitter campaign requesting they do so after they covered Toto's "Rosanna." They don't reinvent the wheel with this cover. It's actually mostly a beat for beat cover, with the main difference being Weezer add their own stronger modern rock edge to it. Rivers Cuomo does a great job of matching the vocals of the original song and they also throw in the synthesizer and other instruments of the original. This performance me of when you go to a rock concert and the band does a quick cover of another previous classic just a change of pace. It's often an enjoyable change of pace while you wait for their main stuff. And it's fun to have this song and Weezer back on the charts.

96- "Youngblood" - 5 Seconds of Summer -- I was also surprised to see this group back, although the sad part of that is that they came back in March of this year with "I Want You Back" and I already forgot about that song. Both "I Want You Back" and "Youngblood" will be on their third studio album, which gets a release later this week, in case there's anyone on Earth that still cares about this group. It's always funny to me reading about a group like this talk about the writing process of a new album and song because it just confuses me. If they really put all this work into a new song or a new album, why does always end up so generic and boring? He's just bantering about a relationship, wanting this girl back in his life. It's something that we've heard a thousand times before, done better hundreds of time. To their credit, though, the chorus does have a bit of life to it. They go from a smooth intro to the sharp chorus with some aggressive vocals that play rather well. So that might make this more memorable than their previous efforts. But I still wish they had something in terms of content.

99- "Sin Pijama" - Becky G & Natti Natasha -- For some reason I thought I'd already covered this song. But no. This is the first week it's charted on the Hot 100. I guess my faulty thinking came because the Music Video Sins YouTube channel covered this music video about a month ago as it's already topped 300 million views after being published on April 20 of this year. So I guess it just took a while to finally chart here in the U.S. Without looking up any of the lyrics to the song, as it's all in Spanish, a direction I'm totally fine with Becky G going, I'd say this is a fun Latino dance song. It has a fun beat to it that's worthy of dancing to. Becky G and Natti Natasha play off each other quite well, even though it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two if you listen casually as their voices are fairly similar. Problems do arise when you actually translate the lyrics or you know Spanish. I don't know a lot of Spanish, so I often play the ignorance card here when the beat and music are good, but the lyrics are sketchy. It doesn't take much to figure out that title. "Sin" translates to "without," which is what I guessed before looking it up, because I do know a bit of French from Junior High and I knew that "sans" is the French word for "without." And, well, that second word is the same in English and Spanish, so you connect the dots.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - June 9, 2018

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:




1- "Nice for What" - Drake (=) -- I mentioned last week that this was a week No. 1. Now it gets another week at the top and it's an even weaker No. 1, but nothing was quite strong enough to jump ahead, despite Post Malone's iTunes discount getting "Psycho" awfully close. "Nice for What" is No. 2 on the streaming charts, No. 5 on the sales charts and No. 7 on the radio charts. It's only No. 1 because it's the most consistent song across the charts, but the second a new song debuts with a huge streaming number, Drake's reign will be over. Let's just hope said artist is NOT Kanye West, because his seven new songs from the thing he's calling an album (It's seven tracks and only 23 minutes -- feels more like an EP to me) are doing quite well and might all chart next week. Unfortunately for me, "Psycho" getting over the hump and hitting No. 1 is also a real possibility. In other words, I don't really know what's going to happen with "Nice for What" being so weak, but I'm rooting for Drake to sneak in another week because I really don't like our alternatives.

2- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (+2) -- Let's stop for a moment and evaluate this song again. At this point, the most generic and cliche thing that a rapper could rap about is all the money, jewelry, cars and other riches that they own. That's all this song is. The idea of rapping about this wasn't interesting to me the first time I heard it, whenever that was. And now that it's been rapped about in like 90 percent of the mainstream rap these days, releasing a song where you rap about how rich you are is the laziest and easiest thing you can do. It's the idea at the bottom of the barrel that rappers turn to when they have no other ideas. And since none of these mainstream thugs have very much creativity, that's all that they end up rapping about. To make things worse, not only is this a really lazy song for Post Malone when it comes to the lyrics, when you listen to it, it doesn't feel like Post Malone really cared. He sounds bored beyond reason as he lazily phones in the song because he doesn't have any other ideas. Now if Post Malone wants to be lazy and dumb, then fine. Whatever. But why are we as an American public still buying, streaming and playing the song on the radio to no end after 14 weeks of it existing? As I said, an iTunes discount on this song boosted its sales and got it to No. 2. I can only hope that it means that said sales will come crashing back down next week.

3- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- I'm not sure how much longer "God's Plan" is going to last. It's No. 8 on the streaming and No. 10 on the sales charts, but is being held up because it's still No. 3 on the radio charts. But its radio numbers are quickly diminishing. Like "Nice for What," the only reason it's so high is because nothing else has stepped up, so Drake will just calmly sit here with his two huge hits for the time being.

4- "This is America" - Childish Gambino (-2) -- With still very little radio, it jumped up to No. 43 on the radio charts this week, "This is America" is going to continue to fall down in the coming weeks as its sales continue to collapse and the streaming slowly fades away. Again, with the nature of this song, it makes sense that it's more of a frontloaded song rather than being one that sticks around for a long time.

5- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (=) -- I wouldn't be surprised to see this song jump up a spot or two, simply on the strength of its radio, of which these artists are celebrating a fourth week on top and holding rather well. I wouldn't say the song as a whole is super strong. It's No. 22 on the streaming charts and in today's world, you need streaming if you're going to do well. The sales are fairly decent, though. But the radio isn't going away, which means this song probably won't go away, even if it camps out around this spot for a while.

6- "Yes Indeed" - Lil Baby & Drake (=) -- Much to my displeasure and utter confusion, this is our top streaming song of the week. Although it hits this mark not solely on it's own strength as it lost streaming this week when compared to last week, down 5 percent to 37.5 million U.S. streams. In other words, everything else ahead of it just fell harder. With sales and radio still M.I.A., this song might not last very long unless those two categories catch up, but "Look Alive" was propped up by streaming for several weeks while the other two metrics slowly caught up, which is why it stayed in the top 10 for so long. That could happen here, unfortunately. But I hope not.

7- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+12) -- This is a bit of a surprise. Last week it appeared that the Cardi B song that had more momentum was "Be Careful," not "I Like It." I suppose they're taking turns with success as "I Like It" shot back up into the top 10 while "Be Careful" tumbled just below the top 20. Although the big reason that "I Like It" got a huge boost was from the release of its official video, so in that light, this makes sense. With that in mind, this is not guaranteed to stay around in the top 10 unless it can keep up the momentum from that video release. If it can't stick around, I certainly won't have any hard feelings. But if it does, well, it's better than "Be Careful," so I suppose I'll accept it. Although I don't ever see myself voluntarily listening to this version of the song over the excellent song it samples.

8- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (=) -- Now that "Boo'd Up" is here, it's going to have to start catching up on radio and sales as opposed to just being boosted by its huge streaming numbers. Said numbers are catching up, but it still has a ways to go to make a huge impact. So for now it'll probably hang around this spot for a while.

9- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-2) -- On the flip side of things, it appears that the floor has finally disappeared out from under Bebe and FGL, but no complaints here from me as this song has had an absolutely solid run on the charts. It didn't quite hit No. 1, but it's still one of the top songs of the year thanks to how consistent it has been in the top five. In a year where mostly awful rap music has dominated the charts, it's been nice having this song around.

10- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (-1) -- It's making me sad right now that Ariana is struggling to gain traction at the moment. Sales and streaming are starting to falter and, while radio is on the rise, those radio numbers aren't rising super fast. I want this song to climb into the top five and hang out there for a while, but right now it appears that it'll struggle to hold its spot in the top 10. I mean, come on pop radio. Stop playing "Psycho" on repeat and start playing an actual pop song from a great pop singer like Ariana. Let's get priorities straightened out here.


Rising on the Hot 100:





11- "In My Blood" - Shawn Mendes (+9) -- This is what I thought would happen last week following Mendes' BBMAs performance. But instead it got stuck. This week it was the album release that got the song kicked into gear, nearly landing Mendes his latest top 10 entry. If the song does get over the hump, I'll be fine with it. I mean, this is the lesser of his three new songs, with "Lost in Japan" and "Youth" being the other two better ones. But this is not bad. Mr. Mendes seems to be slowly figuring out how to right better music, which oddly enough coincides with the radio not having as big of a love affair with his music. I guess sometimes the radio simply loves dumb pop music and is more hesitant to play decent pop music. If this song remains consistent, maybe it'll help Mendes have luck with "Youth." That's the song I want to be here.

15- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (+20) -- I've been defending this guy these past two weeks as one of these new rappers coming out of nowhere who actual has a lot more talent and passion in his music than most, but I said that with the idea that this would a song hanging around in the middle section of the charts for a few months at best. Seeing it get a second huge boost in in as many weeks made me want to slam on the breaks and re-evaluate since I am shocked that it's now a top 20 hit that seems like its heading directly for the top 10, possibly as early as next week. It's a perfectly acceptable rap song and Juice WRLD is better than most of his direct peers, but is this worthy of a top 10 hit in my mind? So I re-listened, and, yeah. It is. In fact, I think that this has a catchy enough beat and a clean enough flow that I could see pop radio grabbing onto this rather easily, especially since they've fallen in love with Drake and Post Malone recently. This certainly seems more radio friendly that those songs. So in conclusion, I'm holding my ground. This is a good song and I'm happy for it.

28- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+6) -- I would also love seeing Taylor continue her momentum up the charts. There was a time where it seemed like any Taylor single would be a guaranteed radio smash, but she kinda messed that up with "reputation." However, it appears that "Delicate" is helping her get her good reputation back. I hope she learns from this moving forward so that she releases the proper type of singles moving forward that both fit her best and are the type of singles that the general public want from her, as opposed to her going a little crazy with her music. I mean, I've been mostly just fine with this whole ride, but objectively speaking a lot of the country hasn't. Which is why I'm glad to see "Delicate" finding success.

32- "One Kiss" - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa (+11) -- I've said from the beginning that this feels like the perfect summer jam that Calvin used to put together before he meddled with a bunch of hip-hop artists and overstuffed singles that made his most recent album quite awful comparatively. I'm glad he's put together a classic Calvin song with "One Kiss" and I also hope it continues its momentum.

37- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+7) -- I still don't buy this country song. I feel it's very bland and cliche when it comes to country. A dude crying over his former girl after a drink of Tequila brings back all of her memories. What's interesting about that? And how is the music around those bland lyrics anything special? Yet, despite being boring and forgettable, at least this isn't offensive and awful, so it's whatever for me.

38- "Back to You" - Selena Gomez (+8) -- Is Selena going to gain traction with her "13 Reasons Why" song? I certainly hope so, because this is a dang good pop song from Selena that showcases her increasing maturity as a pop song. Instead of trying to prove to the world that she is a grown up woman, she's actually writing good music. I really hope this continues to rise and doesn't simply get stuck in the 20's or 30's. The current radio lineup is lacking new quality music right now, but if the radio rejects this song, then I will say the sub-par quality of the radio is certainly not due to lack of option, but rather the messed up priorities of whoever is picking the songs to play. And on a completely different tangent, when I initially covered this song, I said that I had no idea where it played in context of "13 Reasons Why." It seemed like the perfect song for Clay reminiscing about Hannah. It turns out that it instead ended up being a Justin and Jessica theme, which felt way out of place when it came to the season as a whole. But that was one of the many problems with the season itself, not the song, which is still a dang good song even though the show used it in a weird place.

47- "All Girls Are the Same" - Juice WRLD (+6) -- Juice WRLD's "Lucid Dreams" is the song maintaining all of the momentum while "All Girls Are the Same" seems to be slowing down. Now when I talked about expectations for "Lucid Dreams,"  the way that "All Girls Are the Same" is performing as how I thought "Lucid Dreams" would do. In hindsight, I'm certainly glad that "All Girls Are the Same" is slowing down, because it's the far lesser song that doesn't deserve the success.


New Arrivals:





19- "I'm Upset" - Drake -- Yeah, I'm upset, too, Drake. I look at this long list of new arrivals and they almost all look really bad. Then I try to look forward to next week and all we have to look forward to is Kanye West's new album that I'll have to cover. Anyways, we start out this week with yet another Drake single. Despite me enjoying "God's Plan" and "Nice for What," Drake is still a long ways away from being out of the dog house for me, especially since at the same time as releasing those two previously mentioned songs, he helped BlocBoy JB and Lil Baby soar into the top 10 with horrendously awful song. So good Drake is still more of the exception than the rule. Which is exactly why I wasn't disappointed or surprised at all when this song turned out to be awful. Instead of constructing an interesting song with lyrics that mean something, he's back to his normal lazy self. There's no catchy beat here and no interesting flow. The beat is simple and boring. And the flow is very block. Meanwhile, Drake is essentially complaining that he has to be responsible, which makes you want to just slap him in the face and ask him to grow up instead of relating with something that he's upset about. If Drake has an actual album coming out, I'm not excited for it.

45- "Praise the Lord (Da Shine)" - A$AP Rocky featuring Skepta -- It's "real world" stuff that A$AP Rocky is talking about on this song. Like making sure you don't answer when random people call you. Check your text message history first. That's what A$AP says about this. Some of these dumb rap songs have verified commentary from the artist on Genius and sometimes I listen to them. All I really got from A$AP on this song is that he came up with it while smoking weed and it's hard for him to describe the experience to sober people. Since I'm one of said sober people who doesn't understand the drug/weed culture, I'll just move on and let the druggies slobber all over themselves while listening to this song that doesn't make any sense when I try to figure out what it's about. A$AP says real world stuff. I just say random bars and random thoughts thrown together that have no connection as a whole. When it comes to the whole "Praise the Lord" stuff, A$AP has a whole spiel about his views of religion vs. spirituality on said commentary that's kinda interesting. Too bad none of it shows on the actual song. After the randomness of A$AP's verses, Skepta just comes in with a very blocky, annoying chorus talking about praising the Lord, then going and breaking the law. Because, you know, that makes perfect sense. I guess they believe in God and want to praise him, but don't think that God cares about them following rules. To each his own, I suppose.

46- "TATI" - 6ix9ine featuring DJ SPINKING -- We're STILL giving 6ix9ine a career? I mean, I'm glad we've rejected most of his stuff this year as he's starting to have a hard to maintaining traction after high debuts, but I would like it if we could get to the point where he doesn't debut at all, let alone in the top 50. His style of yell rap is not pleasing to the ears, especially when most of the content is pure garbage. Lots of gun shots in this song to go along with his yelling, because murder is his favorite subject to talk about. But thankfully he doesn't spend much of the song actually speaking of murder. Just yelling at his girls for being unfaithful with a bunch of sexual raunchiness thrown is. In other words, not a huge step up from his usual.

65- "Infrared" - Pusha T -- I'm not super familiar with Pusha T, but he has four songs on the charts this week thanks to the recent release of his third studio album "DAYTONA," which is the first of five seven-track albums being produced by Kanye West this summer. The second one is Kanye's own album "Ye," that will be talked about next week. The final three are albums from Kid Cudi, Nas and Teyana Taylor. I'm not sure how much mainstream appeal those last three artists have, but if they all chart, I suppose we'll cover them when they show up. For now we deal with Pusha T. After listening to songs from Drake, A$AP and 6ix9ine, hearing Pusha's style of rap felt like a slightly decent breath of fresh air. It's a lot more tolerable than those other three, though that's not saying very much. Throughout the song, there's echos of "Infared, yeah, you know what I mean?" No, actually I don't. Please elaborate. And he certainly does elaborate, but I'm not sure I can detect a specific theme here as this is just one long verse with a whole bunch of stuff crammed in and if I have to follow all the rappers' individual beefs in order to understand, then I'm going to be lost because I don't care. I will say here, the individual segments of the song are interesting, but instead of honing in on one thing and elaborating, Pusha seems to want to talk briefly about everything, so even though his style of rap is more tolerable, I still have a hard time connecting with this specific song.

66- "Big Bank" - YG featuring 2 Chainz, Big Sean & Nicki Minaj -- Before we get to two more Pusha T songs, we have to stop and talk about a collaboration between YG, 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Nicki Minaj, which just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. And if you look at these credited artists and see that the song is titled "Big Bank," you might immediately think that this is going to be a generic rap song about all of them bragging about how rich they are. And you're exactly right. It seems like I say multiple times each week that I hate songs where all the creativity a rapper can come up with is talking about how rich he or she is. It's the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the genre, yet all four of these people bask in the laziness of the song as they obviously care more about how much money they're all going to make by collaborating together than coming up with a song that's worth anything. Because for some reason, no one who listens to rap ever pays attention to what they're listening to. YG is mumbling all the way through. 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj are as annoying as they always are. Big Sean is the best of the bunch when it comes to his rap style, but his content is still as dumb and lazy as the rest of them. I don't know why people love this genre.

73- "If You Know You Know" - Pusha T -- With this song, Pusha admits that he's speaking in cryptic code, directly aimed as his core fan base who he feels will connect with his music on a personal level and will still be able to find hidden gems throughout the song the more they listen. He doesn't feel the need to dumb it down so that the common person who doesn't follow him super closely will be able to understand. Because, you know, if you know you know. That's all fine and dandy, but I don't speak Pusha's cryptic language, so this song is just confusing to me. If it blows your mind, then great. But it goes right over my head, so I can't sing its praises. All I can say is that it has confusing lyrics that don't seem to connect and Pusha is dragging to the extreme while rapping them, so his flow is just off for me. I don't really understand everything "Infrared" is getting at either, but at least that song had a better flow to it whereas this song feels like Pusha needed to double the tempo.

75- "What Would Meek Do?" - Pusha T featuring Kanye West -- Since Kanye is the one producing this song, it makes sense that he'd get one song where he's featured. The title of this song asks, "What would Meek do?" Well, guess what? I don't care what Meek would do. All I really know about Meek Mill recently is that he was in prison for a while, but when he got released, it was a huge breaking news story on SportsCenter that was he was being released and was flying directly to a Sixers playoff game. Meanwhile, I was sitting there wondering who the fetch cares about Meek Mill going to a playoff game? Anyways, now that I got that out of my system and you know that I don't give a crap about Meek Mill, on to the song. Where in context of Meek, Pusha has an angel on one shoulder, but Meek as the devil on his other shoulder, so I guess that's what we're going for here. Kanye asks Pusha how he responds to all the crap and Pusha responds with self-bragging about how awesome he is and how he wants to follow Meek's crazy lifestyle. Or something like that. Then Pusha asks Kanye how he responds. And, well, Kanye is this country's biggest troll right now. It seems like he purposely causes all this controversy and then laughs as he watches everyone go crazy. He acknowledges this in his verse, but when it seems like he's about to respond to it, he doesn't really respond to it. So because of Kanye's stupidity and Pusha's arrogance, this is currently the worst of the Pusha songs this week.

80- "Dinero" - Jennifer Lopez featuring Cardi B & DJ Khaled -- I was about to get super excited at seeing Jennifer Lopez on the charts this week, especially after slogging through an extra dose of awful rap. But then I saw she invited Cardi B and DJ Khaled to join her, so my spirits sunk. Though I was wondering if this song was going to show up since she performed at the BBMAs. It took an extra week, but it's here. After finally listening to this song, I was extremely disappointed. This might not be the worst song of the week, but it's the one that made me the most frustrated because Jennifer Lopez has talent and a whole lot of potential. A Jennifer Lopez song on the charts should at least be passable, but this whole song is just J-Lo talking about all the money she's earned and how it's only money she wants. It's disgusting seeing her dip to this level, like a beauty queen skipping a beauty pageant to go wrestle in the mud with pigs. She got DJ Khaled to yell a few echoes, because heaven forbid he actually sing a full verse on a song. Cardi B is the third verse rap feature, who does Cardi B stuff by also rapping about money. I was hoping for this song to at least give me a mildly pleasant break from the rest of the trash this week, but it's just as trashy as the rest of this crap.

82- "Taste" - Tyga featuring Offset -- I feel like a broken record right now. A rap song where the rapper brags about all the money he has. Do I need to repeat how awful and lazy this is? Oh, but this one is different. At least according to Tyga. All those other rappers are not being genuine because they're not actually when they're rapping about money and jewelry. Tyga actually is rich and can back it up by naming all the brand names. This actually made me laugh because I have no idea who Tyga is talking to. They're all rich. If you chart a song on the Hot 100, you get rewarded with money after the brainless zombies listening to this crap all stream your garbage. Plus, everyone else listed a lot more brand names than Tyga does in this song, so that doesn't help his case. When I speak of laziness, this is a prime example and the topping on the cake to prove my point is that Tyga sounds bored on this song as he gets out-rapped by a phoned-in Offset verse on his own song. Maybe I've just lost my mind this week, but this song made me laugh for all the wrong reasons.

89- "Lovely" - Billie Eilish & Khalid -- I really don't know who Billie Eilish is. But this is her first song on the Hot 100, so I don't feel too bad. I learned that she released her debut EP last August that I guess did decent enough. Good enough for her to get invited to join Khalid on a track for a song from the "13 Reasons Why" season 2 soundtrack. Again, I don't know when this song showed up during the show because I wasn't paying too much attention to the music. There were a few moments during the season where the music was excellent and the emotion at the moment was quite powerful and I'm wondering if this was one of the songs playing during said scenes because this is excellent. It does feel weird to me that a girl born in 2001 is charting on the Hot 100, but then I remember that 2001 was 17 years ago, which feels even stranger. So her age is appropriate and her voice is amazing. This is a somber song about depression grabbing hold of someone and Billie has opened up about her experiences with depression, so there's genuine emotion embedded in. Khalid has been hit or miss for me because he seems to collaborate with everyone and not everyone he collaborates with fits his style, but in this case him and Billie are excellent together. Their voices blend well together to create the perfectly somber track that probably fits perfectly in with a scene in a show where the character is feeling sad and depressed. The lyrics are fairly simple, but they're effective. In a week where everything has been a bunch of crap, this was quite refreshing and makes me want to hear more from this girl.

93- "I was Jack (You were Diane)" - Jake Owen -- Well, if you're going to reference "Jack and Diane" so strongly, there's a lot of pressure to live up to that instead of coming off as a cheap wannabe that lazily uses song references to try and be more relevant. So I was nervous going in, but I found myself being decently entertained by this listening experience. Part of this is that Jake Owen uses a lot of the melody of that song with his own country spin on it. I'm not sure if it's a full interpolation, but it's at least close. And we have a little bit of song Inception here as this is a song about the song instead of just referencing the lyrics. Jake tells us his experiences of when him and his girl were younger and "Jack and Diane" was their song because he was Jack and she was Diane. After telling that experience, he then asks the girl if she has nostalgic memories every time the song comes on, almost in a bit of a longing sort of way. He doesn't explicitly state if they are still together, but it almost makes me think that they aren't, but listening to the song brings back good memories for him of their former relationship and he's hoping that she feels the same way. So yeah, I was skeptic going in, but I think this works out fairly decently.

94- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B -- Is Cardi B just going to join up on everything she can? There's a thing called overexposure that can hurt an artist if he or she is everywhere because it can sometimes lead to them releasing a new song no longer being special. On the flip-side, we have Maroon 5, who thankfully have started to wear off their welcome. I mean, I stepped off the train years ago, but it still rode a long ways after that, which frustrated me because all they knew how to do were generic songs that meant nothing. So now I figure they called up Cardi B to try to help them be relevant. "Girls Like You" was a track from their "Red Pill Blues" album last year, but the album version is without Cardi B. So if I'm reading the tea leaves right, they're planning on this being their next single, so they remixed it with Cardi B. Without Cardi it's decent enough, I suppose. A more mellow song where Adam Levine gives the band nothing to do with a simple strumming in the background as he sings repeated that "I need a girl like you." He doesn't spend a whole lot of time explaining why he needs a girl this girl, just that he does, making this song feel more like empty album filler, which is kinda like what the whole album is based on the singles they've released from it thus far. But still. While it's inoffensive, it's also not super memorable. This remixed version with Cardi does not fit together well, though. The type of girl that Adam seems to be talking about is not the type of girl that Cardi is. And having Cardi come in fiery and aggressive on a fairly relaxing song is rather jarring and just screams desperation on both parties. Thus maybe I'd be slightly forgiving of the original album cut was released, but this remixed version clashes, so I'm not buying into it.

98- "High Hopes" - Panic! At the Disco -- Here's the next single from Panic! At the Disco, leading up to their new album "Pray for the Wicked." And sorry to be dumb, but when I looked at the lineup this week, I certainly had high hopes that this would be the song to win me over this week because the rest looked bad. It was nice that I ended up getting two other good songs with "Lovely" and "I was Jack (You were Diane)," thus finishing this week off with three good songs ended up being pleasant, because yeah this song is rocking awesome. To me it feels like a perfect stadium song for any various sports team and if this song catches on with the general public, I can see this becoming a popular sports anthem. And I thought that before learning that the Las Vegas Golden Knights used this song as their introductory anthem for as they entered for the Stanley Cup Finals. The song is about having high hopes for your future and living up to them as you live out your dream and it starts out with a bang as it features a trumpet/saxophone anthem and never lets up as the song moves forward. It's the type of song that should be great at giving you boost if you need a burst of energy for whatever you're doing.

100- "The Games We Play" - Pusha T -- The final song from Pusha T this week is not as annoying as his song with Kanye, but I also find it worse than the first two as all I can really gather from this song are Pusha's tales of rising to the top of the rap game as well as the drug-dealing game. I'm not sure bragging about being a drug dealing is the best thing to do on a song. It's certainly not a subject that's ever going to connect with me personally, so you shouldn't be surprised to see me hating on this song. I don't like songs about rappers flexing with their money, jewelry, etc., and I certainly don't like songs about drugs. Pusha's rap is fine. Better than most rappers I cover each week. But there's no worthwhile content to go along with it, so I refuse to give it a pass.

Friday, June 1, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - June 2, 2018

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:




1- "Nice for What" - Drake (+1) -- I'm not at all surprised that Drake managed to get back to the top spot on the Hot 100. "This is America" has been held up these past two weeks mostly on huge streaming numbers, which crashed a bit this week. "This is America" still has slightly more streaming than "Nice for What," but the reason why Drake went back to No. 1 is more consistency on the radio while neither song got much in terms of sales. Even so, this is a really weak No. 1 as the numbers for "Nice for What" this week were 36.8 million U.S. streams, 23,000 sales and 78.9 million radio audience. That means it's not going to stay here for much longer unless nothing is willing to jump up, which at the moment almost seems like the case. The rules are that someone has to be No. 1, so Drake will gladly hold onto the title until someone steps up.

2- "This is America" - Childish Gambino (-1) -- The streaming numbers for "This is America" dropped to 45.2 million U.S. streams, which is ahead of "Nice for What," but again those radio numbers are only at 21.7 million in audience, up from 16.7 million last week, so it's increasing, but not by much. That number is enough to debut on the radio charts at No. 46, so it has a long way to go to be relevant. With this not being your typical single as it's more of a political commentary on today's society in the form of a song and video, it makes sense that the song ends up being more frontloaded in terms of its performance. But hey, the fact that it debuted at No. 1 and stayed there for an additional week is impressive in its own right. I would love to see it stick around, but I'm not sure how long it actually will.

3- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- I think "God's Plan" is about to start it's decline, but doing so would require other songs to want to start rising. A lot of movement in the bottom half of the top 10 this week, but nothing strong enough to shake up this current lineup at the top, so until then Drake will be camped out here. And I'm totally fine with that as I enjoy both "God's Plan" and "Nice for What."

4- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (=) -- I'm really happy that the rest of Post Malone's album is fizzling away rather quickly from the Hot 100, but I'm also really concerned as to why this is still here. The radio is incredibly strong with 83.6 million, jumping from No. 8 to No. 6 on the radio charts. I am fully aware that streaming is a thing that's dominated by the rap and hip-hop genre, but why is the radio falling in love with this? I mean, in addition to being No. 6 overall on radio, this song is No. 3 on pop radio and still gaining fast in spins. I don't know why any pop radio station would even play this song, so the idea that all of them are playing it so often is baffling to me. That means it could actually even start to jump up on the charts if the three songs ahead of it continue to fizzle out and that would be quite the shame.

5- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+1) -- "The Middle" leads the radio charts for a third straight week, but is slowly slipping, so I don't know how much life it has in it at the moment, but it jumps up into the top five because it's remaining more consistent overall than "Meant to Be," which took a bit of tumble this week. I'm content with this holding a spot in the top five for the moment, though I would prefer that "Boo'd Up" and "No Tears Left to Cry" take a turn in the region as "The Middle" has been in the top 10 for a while. That's 12 weeks to be exact, or about three months, as it's wavered between No. 5 and No. 8 for those weeks.

6- "Yes Indeed" - Lil Baby & Drake (+43) -- This is a situation where we jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. After a total of 13 weeks in the top 10, "Look Alive" by BlocBoy JB and Drake, has finally slipped beneath the surface of the top 10, but yet Drake replaces himself as he drags another punk rapper with zero talent into the top 10. Rest assured, Lil Baby had nothing to do with this hit. It's all Drake's name on the song that boosted it this high. And no, Drake's actual musical content has nothing to do with this either. Just his name being on the song. Because Drake sounds as bored as ever as he lazily phones in a verse as if he lost a bet while Lil Baby put together a generic rap song around it where he mumbles and slurs his way through bars as if he recorded it drunk after barely memorizing the lyrics or possibly reading through the lyrics while recording. I hope that I don't have to wait 13 weeks for this song to go away.

7- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-2) -- No hurt feelings for me here, even though I still enjoy this song. "Meant to Be" was in the top five for a total of 11 weeks and is in its 16th week in the top 10. It was bound to start falling at some point. It also spends a 26th week at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, with no signs of faltering there any time soon. 

8- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (+3) -- It's really impressive that this little song has become quite the phenomenon. Ella Mai hit the sweet spot with her first Hot 100 entry as this has been on fire ever since it debuted. Based on that momentum, I was expecting it to be here this week. But when I initially played and talked about it a few weeks back, I did not envision it being the type of song that would be a top 10 hit. The interesting thing about this song is that it's only at No. 30 on the radio songs with 35.1 million audience and has practically no sales. It's done well based on strong streaming that has continued to gain momentum. That means there's still a lot of room to grow and if it taps into this potential, this could be here for a while.

9- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (-2) -- I expected the BBMAs to have a bigger impact on the charts this week. I was hoping Ariana would be boosted up to the top five instead of being muscled back down to No. 9 following huge gains by "Yes Indeed" and "Boo'd Up." I really want this song to be a monster hit that holds a spot in the top 10 for the next few months because Ariana deserves it. And the pop genre really needs more hits because it's been struggling, especially when it comes to female pop artists. Not enough of them have done that well recently.

10- "Fake Love" - BTS (new) -- Ha ha, they did it. BTS got a song of their's to hit the top 10 of the U.S. Hot 100. And because of it, the BTS Army is in major celebration mode. If you go look at any comment section for a YouTube channel or website that covers the Hot 100, all you'll see is an endless stream of comments from this rabid fan base celebrating this major achievement. Because, yes, this is the first top 10 appearance for BTS on the Hot 100. It's also the first appearance in the top 10 for a K-Pop group and the first time a K-Pop song has debuted in the top 10. Although it's NOT the first time a K-Pop song has been in the top 10, lest we forget that a dude named Psy was a thing as both "Gangnum Style" and "Gentleman" hit the top 10 in 2012-2013.

Ever since BTS became a thing, this Army has been everywhere in comment sections wondering why BTS hasn't been in the top 10 or No. 1 every time a new song of their's is released. Now this is a very illogical, emotionally-driven fan base that have been endlessly drooling all over themselves for months and years, so I don't expect them to care about or listen to a random music blogger such as myself, but I'm going to point out a major distinction anyways that none of them care to think about. This is the Billboard charts of the UNITED STATES. Streaming and sales from are counted from THIS COUNTRY ONLY. In other words, the 110 million YouTube views that "Fake Love" has accumulated in a week means almost jack squat when most of those views come from Korea. The actual results for this song are 27 million U.S. streams across ALL streaming platforms. And it has no U.S. radio and very weak sales that are only going to plummet. In other words, this is going to act like nearly every One Direction song on the charts. Strong first week and nothing in the ensuing weeks.

I'll have plenty more to say about this song and this group down below, but I have not been shy in my opinions that this is a mediocre-at-best boy band with little talent and pretty bad music. Why they've become such a monstrous hit is beyond me, but let's keep these boys back in Korea where they belong and away from the United States. Not that we as a whole listen to quality music anyways, but we certainly don't need any of BTS's garbage spamming our charts even more. If saying this causes the BTS Army to swarm and attack me, then so be it. But I'm not a significant enough of a presence in the world of music for them to actually do so and none of my Facebook friends have admitted to me that they are into these boys, so I think I'm safe in saying all of this.


Rising on the Hot 100:





11- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie (+5) -- There are a few other songs that I thought would get more of a boost this week than "Friends," but I'm certainly happy that Marshmello and Anne-Marie are now closer than ever to breaking into the top 10. Anne-Marie has been in the region with Clean Bandit on "Rockabye," but if the two of them break in next week, this will be Marshmello's first appearance. For the sake of female pop songers and the EDM genre, I really hope this makes the jump. Being that BTS are set to come crashing down next week, the door will be wide open.

16- "Be Careful" - Cardi B (+7) -- It's been a rougher than expected journey for Cardi B ever since this new album debuted. After "Bodak Yellow" vaulted her into superstardom, you wouldn't think it would be that difficult for her to get a song to stick in the top 10. But she is now significantly closer to getting back in. Although I'm surprised she's seeing more success with "Be Careful" than "I Like It." The latter is the one that debuted in the top 10 during that album bomb debut week and seemed like the type of song that would be a monster hit, even though I didn't want it to be.

19- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+2) -- Speaking of "I Like It," as you can see, it isn't too far behind "Be Careful." Though if you do the math on how much each song rose this week, "Be Careful" has a lot more momentum at the moment as "I Like It" was ahead last week. "I Like It" is the slightly better song, but not by a whole lot, so I would rather neither song had success. Maybe both songs will get stuck in the teens.

35- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (+39) -- In case you missed my comments last week, surprisingly this is a song that I don't mind at all. When it comes to all these untalented SoundCloud rappers that come out of nowhere to be huge hits, this song is a lot better constructed, Juice WRLD is actually rapping so that you can understand what he is saying and has decent flow, and the song feels like Juice WRLD actually cares about what he's singing instead of just rapping about about drugs, sex, money or fame. I'm not going to say I love this song, but I'd be fine if it keeps this keeps momentum.

42- "Overdose" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again (+10) -- I would definitely prefer Juice WRLD becoming a thing that YoungBoy continuing to gain momentum. Luckily his songs haven't had huge breakout success as he doesn't seem close to getting a top 10, but YoungBoy occupying any spot on the Hot 100 is frustrating because it means he's keeping someone else out. Most likely someone who is more deserving of being there.

53- "All Girls Are the Same" - Juice WRLD (+39) -- This is the lesser of the two Juice WRLD songs on the charts. I prefer his relationship venting in "Lucid Dreams" than "All Girls Are the Same," especially since the mindset of all girls being the same is certainly not going to get him very far in life. Luckily "Lucid Dreams" remains the higher charting song as both songs jumped 39 spots after their debut last week. I'm curious to see how these songs perform moving forward.

58- "For the First Time" - Darius Rucker (+13) -- Not a ton of country doing well this week, but I'm not going to complain at a Darius Rucker song doing well, even though he's done better in the past. But still, Darius Rucker not quite giving it his all is still way better than most country in this world, so let's bring this song to the top 50.

70- "Alone" - Halsey featuring Big Sean & Stefflon Don (+14) -- Does anyone even remember that this song exists? I certainly don't until I see it again every week while going through the charts. And I hope it's that way with everyone because we need to stop giving a bland singer like Halsey success on the charts. It encourages her to keep making bland music. Let's dig deeper and award other female pop singers who are actually trying to make good music.

71- "Mercy" - Brett Young (+15) -- I expect Brett Young to find a lot of success on country radio. I suppose that's not the worst thing ever. But his previous major country hits were actually worthy of being hits while this one is becoming a hit simply because country radio assumes we all now love Brett Young rather than rising on its own merits because this is rather forgettable.


New Arrivals:





10- "Fake Love" - BTS -- When I first covered this group on this blog at some point last year, I was apologetically underwhelmed. I heard so much hype about them because the internet won't shut up, but when I listened to them, I was like, "That was is?" But now I've completely dropped the apologetically aspect of that because the BTS Army is the most annoying fan base, possibly in the history of music. And there's been a lot of annoying boy band fan bases over the years. Their non-stop clamor that these boys are practically gods that have descended down to Earth along with their inability to shut up and stop spamming every single music website has completely driven me into the ground. Every week when I look up the new top 10, I enjoy spending a bit of time in comment sections to see what other people thought. Yet in weeks where BTS released a song, the comment sections are overflowed with the BTS Army, regardless of whether or not they charted, wondering why BTS isn't No. 1 or isn't in the top 10. So you can imagine what this week was like with they actually debuted in the top 10.

To be fair, despite my extreme annoyance with the BTS Army, if these boys come up with something good, I will be honest and praise them. I won't hate just to hate. But the thing is, I've not yet heard a BTS song that was worth anything. These boys are worshiped as gods, yet their content is void of anything interesting. This song here is them being upset at this fake love. They've tried hard, but the relationship is not working because love isn't perfect. It's quite generic. I could probably come up with hundreds of songs that attempt this exact same sentiment, but actually have depth and emotion to it. This is just generic and empty. The other problem that really annoys me is that there's seven of these boys. Yet if I'm not following along with the lyrics on Genius, I have no idea where one of them begins and the other ends, except for when they try to sound hip and modern by rapping a lot more than they should or when one of them is singing English while the others are singing Korean, so that they can try to pander to their English-speaking audience. Otherwise, they all have similar-sounding voices and they spend no time trying to harmonize. They just take turns with the main melody. The voice of the lyrics is singular. The song doesn't need more than one person. If they came up with various harmonies or had distinct voices with some on tenor and others on bass, then they could justify three or four people. But seven? It's overkill.

In short, these boys could possibly do well in a dance competition and they're attractive enough to swoon all the teenage Korean girls, but their music isn't interesting. The lyrics are basic and generic. All their voices are too similar and they spend no effort justifying the existence of seven members. This song specifically is a forgettable song about a broken relationship and it's so forgettable that when you throw me the title "Fake Love," I'll probably start singing the Drake song instead of the BTS version.

68- "Change Lanes" - Kevin Gates -- Since we do have 10 other new songs on the charts this week instead of just BTS, let's get to them. We start with Kevin Gates, the guy responsible for "2 Phones" and "Really Really" in 2016. And he has two songs for us this week, but we start with "Change Lanes." In this song, Kevin starts out by telling us that he's gone through a lot of pain in his life and he's praying to the Lord to take all away. That's a nice sentiment. But it doesn't seem like he's making much of an effort for God to take away any of his pain. OK, fine, we'll steer clear from religion here because Kevin does the same thing in starting his song by talking about religion, but then going off in a completely different direction. In fact, I have no idea which direction he takes because this song seems completely devoid of any focus. If he wanted to write a song about all the pain he's gone through and how he's going to do his best to change, that would be great. But this song seems like a bunch of random phrases thrown together just because they rhyme. It's as if he came up with 30-45 seconds worth of content, then filled up with a bunch of nonsensical filler in order to get it to three minutes.

73- "Like That" - Kris Wu -- After me trashing on BTS, we now move over the China to discuss Kris Wu. Well, kinda. Kris was born in China, but moved over to Canada with his mom at age 10 and lived there for most of his teenage years. When he was 22, he joined the Korean boy band EXO, was in that group for two years before he left and is now doing all sorts of things as a Chinese actor, singer and model. Perhaps a few of our BTS boys could try this. I mean, it's not like they'd be missing anything we a few less members. Back to Wu, on the acting front, he's starred in several Chinese movies, but on the Western front, he was in "xXx: The Return of  Xander Cage" and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets." So this guy is quite versatile. As far as this song goes, lyrically it's nothing special. He's just going on about how awesome this girl is. But what makes this interesting is that he has a lot of charm and charisma. He really sells his generic lyrics to make it seem like he truly cares. And the music itself is smooth and melodic, with enough of a groove to get you moving on a dance floor. The end results in a song that actually feels romantic and emotional, coming from a guy that actually seems like he has a lot of talent that he's making good use of.

79- "Southside" - Lil Baby --  I really had no idea who Lil Baby was until he showed up with Drake last week and is now in the top 10 with said song. But apparently the rap world knew who he was because he has a new album that dropped recently that has a whole bunch of features, including Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert and Offset, in addition to the Drake song. Luckily I only have to cover two of those songs from the album instead of all 17. The first one is Lil Baby on his own, showcasing what he can do as a rapper without any of his friends featured, which is absolutely nothing. He's from Atlanta, so I'm guessing he's talking about his life as a rapper living on the south side of the city. In this song, he's talking about all the drugs his doing and selling, all of the money and jewelry he has, as well as all the girls he's sleeping with. That's all. And he's rapping this in all of his mumbling, slurring fashion. So I'm really confused as to what the world sees in this dude in order to try to make him the new big thing in rap music.

80- "Life Goes On" - Lil Baby featuring Gunna & Lil Uzi Vert -- Our second, and thankfully final song from Lil Baby this week is even more frustrating than "Southside" as it suffers from the sin of only having one line of music that was written. I envision that they put together that one line, then did copy and paste to fill four minutes of music and Lil Baby came up with different generic rap lyrics to fill up the four minutes. Said lyrics consist of cars, girls and riches, with half-hearted, generic jabs at the other rappers in the industry sprinkled in there. And in case his portion isn't boring enough, whoever this rapper named Gunna is, comes in and is even more generic with worse mumbling. Top that all off by a cameo from Lil Uzi who probably recorded 10 seconds of song for Lil Baby just so he could have his name attached. Said 10 seconds gets thrown in at the end as an afterthought to boost sales for the song.

82- "Let It Sing" - Kevin Gates -- The second Kevin Gates song from this week. I didn't like "Change Lanes," as you can see from above, but at least that song had a topic and an idea behind it. This song just feels like he's singing about whatever comes to his mind. I tried to figure out what it was about or what point he was trying to make, but I rather quickly gave up after not coming up with anything. I will say that Kevin Gates has a voice that seems like it fits the genre and thus gives him potential to be interesting, but both of these songs this week feel like they are devoid of any sort of content. So if in the future Kevin Gates picks an interesting subject matter and decides to create a whole song focused around that subject where he manages to stay on topic for the whole three minutes, then maybe I could buy into it. But this week he did the exact opposite.

83- "Sangria Wine" - Pharrell Williams & Camila Cabello -- After a pretty rough stretch of new music, with the only good song up to this point coming from Kris Wu, we finally get rewarded with a song that's worth something. I heard this song when it was first released on May 17th, more out of chance than anything. I saw a new song by Pharrell and Camila and that was enough for me to click the video of the official audio that was trending at the moment. And yeah, this song is infectious. Thus when I saw that Pharrell and Camila performed it at the BBMAs, I was excited because I felt that this meant that it was chart this week. I was wrong about a lot of my BBMA predictions as those performances mostly failed to impact the charts, but I was happy to see this song chart. Sangria is a Spanish drink and the Dutty Wine is a Jamaican dance move. It seems like Pharrell and Camila are combining the two to create their own dance move? The song talks about her moving her body, front and back, side-to-side, doing the sangria wine. And that's it. It's a simple dance song where the song gives us dance moves to move to, infused with just enough Latin Pop to give it the perfect flow. I think this song has all the right ingredients to become a huge, summer dance hit. I hope it does.

84- "Welcome to the Party" - Diplo, French Montana & Lil Pump featuring Zhavia Ward -- Speaking of dancing and parties, one that includes French Montana and Lil Pump is one that I don't care to join. Although Diplo himself has done a lot of great things over has career, the best of which have come from his EDM trio Major Lazer that he founded. But he's also done a whole lot of stuff that ranges from mediocre and forgettable to outright bad, so his name alone doesn't excite me. And finally we have Zhavia Ward invited, who comes from the new singing competition "The Four," that I don't think anyone watched. Yet it's sad that "The Four" managed to get a singer to chart, but the new rebooted season of "American Idol" didn't. The four of these artists together form a fairly generic EDM/rap song that was good enough to be successful background noise in "Deadpool 2," but forgettable enough to make me not even remember that fact until I looked the song up, despite me really enjoying that movie. If Diplo had invited singers or rappers who actually had talent, this could've worked really well. His beat is a bit generically robotic, but if there was talent behind it, it may have been serviceable. But French Montana and Lil Pump were the wrong rappers to bring on, although Lil Pump is better on this than he is from anything on his own, even though that's not saying much. And Zhavia Ward is barely even on this track. In the end, this song isn't awful. But more than anything it makes me a bit annoyed that this is the song from "Deadpool 2" that charted and not Celine Dion's "Ashes."

86- "Champion" - NAV featuring Travis Scott -- Next up we have Canadian rapper NAV, who most recently charted last year with his song "Wanted You," featuring Lil Uzi Vert, a song that I neither enjoyed, nor particularly remembered. If NAV wants to get me to remember his music, featuring Travis Scott isn't much of an upgrade over Lil Uzi. Speaking of Travis Scott on this song, this actually feels more like Travis Scott featuring NAV as most of this song is Travis Scott rapping about how cool he is with NAV coming in for a brief verse in the middle, mumbling some generic rap lyrics. To me this feels like NAV and Travis Scott's pitch to be included in NBA Finals advertising as "Ballin' like I'm in the NBA" is the first line of the song while the chorus includes the line "We got a trophy like a champion," even though I'm not sure how the rest of the song fits in with those two lines. But ESPN never cares about that when they include a dumb rap song like this, so I guess that's all these two really tried to do. Throw those two lines in and rap about generic rap stuff around in. 

98- "Downtown's Dead" - Sam Hunt -- It infuriated me just seeing another Sam Hunt song on the charts after that abomination that was "Body Like a Back Road." The only silver lining was seeing this debut all the way down at No. 98 instead of on the top half of the charts because maybe that means the world has grown cold to this untalented country wannabe singer. I suppose I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself so that I don't curse this. Putting my rage aside, I tried objectively listening to this song, but all I got was bland mediocrity and poorly written lyrics on top of a song that's more basic southern rock than it is country. Without this girl, downtown's dead and Friday night might as well be another Tuesday night, even though he tells us that this a booming city with lots of people. Yeah, I don't care. And I don't really understand what he means when he says "As long as you're in my head, there ain't no way I can paint a ghost town red." Interpret that for me if you really want to. In the meantime, I'll just settle with the idea that he needed words that rhymed with dead for the chorus. I suppose the only positive I can get out of this is that he's not doing something offensively awful and dumb like comparing a girl's body to a back road, while thinking that's romantic enough to sing to his wife. I'll take boring Sam Hunt over offensively awful Sam Hunt.

99- "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" - Backstreet Boys -- Oh this is a treasure. I began this new arrivals section by discussing why I think BTS is painfully average and extremely overrated. Now I get to spend the last entry, comparing them to possibly the best boy band to ever exist. Why do the Backstreet Boys work so well? First off, they're all talented singers on their own. And yeah, they often take turns singing the melody, but their voices are distinct and they do a solid job selling the emotion and the passion behind their music. But potentially more important is that they harmonize. And they are dang good at harmonizing. Each of the five of them has a purpose as together they create beautiful harmonies that make their music soar through the roof. The harmonies are so good, that they perfectly frame the solo outings of the song to make them even better. It's well constructed music with phenomenal singers that have caused this group to stand the test of time. I still hear songs like "I Want It That Way" and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" played today on the radio or at dance parties. Go listen to those two songs, or most of Backstreet Boys' music, then listen to BTS and I think it'll be a no-brainer as to which boy band has knowledge of how to be a good boy band. I highly doubt many people will remember BTS in 25 years like we all do Backstreet Boys.

But that's just a general comparison because the opportunity so perfectly presented itself. Let's zero in on this specific song because sometimes bands or groups are great in their hey day, but are more average in their later years. It's crazy to think that the Backstreet Boys are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and yet are STILL together. In their year of formation, 1993, Nick Carter, the youngest member, was only 13 years old. Kevin Richardson, the oldest member, was 21 going on 22. So they were actual boys. Now they're kinda the Backstreet Men, soon to be the Backstreet Old Men as Nick is now 38 and Kevin will be turning 47 in October. But amazingly, they've still got it. Yeah, the lyrics of the song are basic, but they've always had fairly basic lyrics. The power with all of their songs, this song included, comes with the passion and energy that they bring to the table as a group. The song starts with Nick on his own, but slowly everyone else comes in and we have the powerful Backstreet Boys harmonies that they still are great at. AJ gets verse two, with his verse bringing a distinct sound to it as compared to Nick's. And those two are the only two that get solo time this song because the song as a whole didn't need it. The other three are perfectly fine with adding to the harmonies of the song. What makes this song unique is the modern influence of EDM infused into it. But I don't think it's overdone at all. I think it provides a good balance to the music of the song to make this still feel like classic Backstreet Boys of the 90's and 2000's while giving it a modern edge of 2018. Now just imagine if this became a hit. Wouldn't that be great?