Thursday, May 17, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - May 19, 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- "This is America" - Childish Gambino (new) -- With Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, debuting at No. 1, that gives us back-to-back-to-back No. 1 debuts. The last time we had a triple feature like that was back in 1995 with Mariah Carey's "Fantasy," Whitney Houston's "Exhale" and Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day." Believe it or not, this is only Glover's fifth appearance on the Hot 100 and his first three songs peaked at No. 64, No. 86 and No. 68 respectively before he broke out with "Redbone," which peaked at No. 12 last year. So "This is America" is both his first top 10 entry and his first No. 1 hit, getting there after 65.3 million U.S. streams, which is mostly due to the music video that has garnered a lot of attention, and 78,000 sales. With radio being nonexistent at this point and sales taking a normal second week hit, it'll be up to that streaming to determine if Gambino can hold off Drake again next week. Regardless of what happens next week, with this No. 1 debut combined with his upcoming role of Lando in the new "Solo" movie and his already strong presence on TV with the likes of "Community" and "Atlanta," it's safe to say that 2018 is the year we officially knighted Donald Glover as a multifaceted superstar.

2- "Nice for What" - Drake (-1) -- After a combined total of 15 weeks at No. 1, Drake has finally ceded the top spot to someone else. But I wouldn't rule out a return to the top spot if Glover's song ends up being more frontloaded as a social commentary track rather than a traditional single. If Glover does get consistent streaming and finds a radio audience with his song, then that could stay there for a while. But speaking of radio, "Nice for What" has now broken into the top 10 on radio with 72 million. Add that to already consistent streaming and this song is going to stick around in the top five for a while regardless of what Glover does.

3- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- Continuing with Drake, in my opinion it would now be appropriate for him to release "Nice for What." He could've celebrated 14 weeks at No. 1 with this song and after two weeks of being topped by other acts, he then could've taken that top spot back and had "Nice for What" lead for possibly longer than just four weeks. But it is what it is. The silver lining for Drake if he really doesn't care about records that he could've set is that both of these songs are remaining consistent in the top five. With "Nice for What" rising fast on the radio, it would make sense to me that "God's Plan" eventually starts falling down unless the radio decides to keep playing both tracks given that "God's Plan" is still No. 3 on radio while "Nice for What" claims No. 8.

4- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-2) -- With Post Malone's album bomb officially in the rear view mirror, I can now rest comfortably knowing that "Psycho" will never go No. 1 as it falls back down to the bottom half of the top five. Unfortunately, though, this also just hit the top 10 on the radio, meaning that it's going to be here for a while. I'm hoping that it can at least drop out of the top five sooner rather than later.

5- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-1) -- I was hoping that this song would've broken out a bit higher and claimed that No. 1 spot, even if only for a week or two, but ultimately the hill was too big to climb. But all is well because this still is looking like it could be one of the top songs of 2018 given that it's stayed in the top five for 10 weeks now. It did officially give up it's lead on radio this week to the song in the Hot 100 right below it, but its lead on the Hot Country Songs chart extends to 24 weeks.

6- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (-1) -- Despite a fall from No. 5 back down to No. 6, "The Middle" is now our leader on radio, which is the first time any of these artists have been No. 1 on radio. The radio numbers have peaked at this point, meaning it got here thanks to "Meant to Be" falling a lot harder this week, which also means the two songs could flip-flop in top 10, sending "The Middle" back to No. 5.

7- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (+2) -- I'm really confused as to why this song is still around. I mean, I get it. Drake. But this is such a dumb song that I have no idea why it's remained in anyone's streaming playlist for this long. I'm also not surprised that it jumped two spots with J. Cole and Post Malone's album bombs officially out of the way. But I'm hoping that it can now fall out and stay out.

8- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (-2) -- Camila survived the drop in sales this week after her song was boosted last week with a new Kane Brown remix. Now I'm hoping that it can gain traction and make its way back up. Given that the four or five songs directly above it aren't that strong at the moment, I would really like it if this can take advantage of the moment and ride its radio momentum to a top five spot and camp out there like "Havana" did.

9- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+3) -- Ed Sheeran was kicked out by J. Cole and Post Malone the last two weeks, but now that those two are gone and no one else felt like stepping up to the plate, I'm not at all surprised to see this song back in the top 10. I'm not sure how long it's going to last, though, which makes me slightly nervous given our current selection of songs at No. 11 through 15 that you'll see in the rising songs section in a bit.

10- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (=) -- Well, I can at least be happy that Ariana managed to stay in the top 10, but I would really prefer if it started to get some positive momentum, meaning mostly that it would be nice if the radio woke up and started playing it more because it's still down at No. 19 on radio and not climbing super fast, which could result in it tumbling out of the top 10, making me really sad.

Rising on the Hot 100:

11- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (+2) -- It was great to see this song get pushed out of the top 10 and it's also great to see that it failed to go back to the top 10 this week after the Hot 100 resets itself following the two album bombs in the last two weeks. Speaking of which, we have nearly a third of the Hot 100 landing in this section this week, so let's go through all of it fairly quickly.

12- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+9) -- Unfortunately Imagine Dragons had a lot of momentum even during the album bomb weeks, meaning that I knew this would soar pretty high as its currently the No. 5 song on the radio, because apparently boring Imagine Dragons songs are now radio magnets, making me glad that the speakers in my car still don't work because I would hate the work of constantly dodging this song.

14- "Walk It Talk It" - Migos featuring Drake (+4) -- I was upset that this song was in the top 10 for a week and was glad that it immediately left. Given that it's Drake teaming up with Migos and everything that Drake has been touching has turned to gold, it's surprising that it only last a week in the top 10. But I'm not complaining.

15- "Mine" - Bazzi (+4) -- I think we've dodged a huge bullet here. This song has been looming in the teens for quite a while and I've been nervous that it would sneak into the top 10, but so far it hasn't. I'm crossing my fingers that said losing streak continues as we don't need this useless, partial song doing anymore damage. Bazzi also released a full album during this success and I'm glad that, for the moment, none of his other songs have crossed over. I suppose we'll deal with them if they do come, but for now I'm content with making this guy a one-hit wonder.

17- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (+20) -- This was another song that shot up pretty higher during the album bombs, so I'm not surprised to see it crack the top 20 with another huge gain this week. If this moment continues to build, I won't be surprised if this is in the top 10 sooner rather than later.

18- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+4) -- This was supposed to be Cardi B's big single, yet she has only managed to get two weeks in the top 10 and now it's struggling to get back. This wasn't the worst song from the album, but I'm still happy that it's struggling to find success for the long term because it's still not that great of a song.

19- "Chun-Li" - Nicki Minaj (+31) -- And speaking of pleasurable experiences with songs' failures, Nicki having little luck with her two singles also makes me happy. It only got a huge jump this week because Nicki timed the music video release rather well so that the song could get an extra boost at the same time that Post Malone's song fell out. But this won't be sticking around. At least I hope not.

20- "Heaven" - Kane Brown (+8) -- The top country gainer of the week goes to Kane Brown. I suppose I'm not upset at this, but I also have no excitement either. This is around where normal country songs peak at their absolute best, so I don't envision this getting much higher. And it still has a lot of work to do if it's going to catch "Meant to Be" on the Hot Country Songs as "Meant to Be" has now gone 24 weeks at No. 1 on that list, which is second longest in the history of that chart.

22- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (+8) -- In a world where streaming is taking over the Billboard charts, why can't a collaboration between The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar have had more success? I know it was in the top 10 for six weeks, but it couldn't even crack top five and at the moment it's the radio keeping it alive, not streaming, as this is No. 6 on the radio charts this week. I also wonder if the DVD release of "Black Panther" had anything to do with this song's bump this week.

26- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+5) -- Get this guy out of here. I'm glad that this song hasn't hit top 10 and I would prefer that we keep it that way.

27- "In My Blood" - Shawn Mendes (+9) -- The year 2018 has not seen Shawn Mendes crack the top 10 yet, which is kind of an ironic twist of events given that his recent releases are a significant improvement over his previous crap that the radio drooled all over. I would still prefer it if "Lost in Japan" were his song to perform well instead of this one, but we'll see if this has any power to do anything in the weeks to come.

28- "Powerglide" - Rae Sremmurd & Juicy J (+11) -- If you want to know a really funny story, Rae Sremmurd had a triple album released titled "SR3MM," which consisted of an album from the two of them together as well as solo albums from both Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi. That release date was on May 4, meaning it was supposed to impact the charts this week. Out of a potential of 27 songs, they got exactly ZERO to chart this week. In fact, this was the only song that managed to even rise on the charts from the songs they previously released to promote the album. That's an epic failure on their part that means I don't even have to talk about any of it. Except for this song, which I actually find quite catchy. At least when Rae Sremmurd is at the mic.

30- "Wait" - Maroon 5 (+8) -- It's been a while since Maroon 5 has been in the top 10. They once had a string of eight straight top 10 entries, ranging from "Moves Like Jagger" to "Sugar," but the album "Red Pill Blues" hasn't been very friendly to them comparatively, which is good. Let's keep it that way. Maroon 5 has been crap for a long time and it would be nice to see that bland mediocrity finally catch up to them.

33- "You Make It Easy" - Jason Aldean (+8) -- This is the other big country gainer this week, following Kane Brown's "Heaven." And I don't really care much for either of them.

34- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (+26) -- What is this song doing rising 26 spots. I can see a bit of a boost after the after effects of Post Malone, but I was happy seeing this song fade away after it annoyingly spent two weeks in the top 10. Let's send it back away.

35- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar & SZA (+14) -- I guess the "Black Panther" DVD release did boost both its major singles as "Pray for Me" and "All the Stars" saw success. I'm happy with that. But it also probably means this won't last, which is a shame because I think both are good songs.

36- "Dame Tu Cosita" - El Chombo (+7) -- Why is this song still rising? Make it go away! At least it only jumped seven spots this week compared to its 38-spot jump last week.

37- "Ric Flair Drip" - Offset & Metro Boomin (+8) -- For a while I was nervous that this song would do something. I'm glad that it's mostly fizzled out now.

41- "Te Bote" - Casper Magico, Nio Garcia, Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna & Bad Bunny (+23) -- There's a lot of Latino songs that are worth something. Why are "Dame Tu Cosita" and this still rising? Make them both go away!

42- "X" - Nicky Jam & J Balvin (+10) -- That's a third useless Latino song rising on the charts. At least this one seems like it doesn't have a ton of momentum.

43- "Dura" - Daddy Yankee (+11) -- Let's make this song a hit and kick out those previous three Latino songs. This is the only one of the bunch that's worth something.

44- "One Number Away" - Luke Combs (+21) -- I'd take this song over Kane Brown and Jason Aldean, but I'm still not madly in love with this.

46- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+10) -- I honestly thought "Delicate" got lost in the madness the past two weeks and was going to drop out, so I'm pleasantly surprised to see it jump back into the top 50 this week. Now if it could start gaining real traction that would be great, because it's the Taylor Swift song from "reputation" that everyone seems to agree on being good, so let's reward Taylor for that.

47- "Overdose" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again (+30) -- Seeing YoungBoy get a huge boost is really frustrating. We're STILL trying to make this guy a thing? Although the positive things about this is that this boost comes from his album release, meaning it will hopefully fall back down next week. The good thing about said album release is that it only got him one new song to debut and that was at No. 98.

48- "Japan" - Famous Dex (+7) -- Shawn Mendes couldn't get his Japan song to do anything, but this much more atrocious Japan song is still finding success. At least this isn't higher. It got beat around quite a bit these past few weeks after seeing a huge surge prior to that. Now if it can officially go away that would be great.

49- "One Kiss" - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa (+12) -- A lot of madness this week, but here's a song that I would like to see do well. I feel like it would do really well as a summer jam on the radio, so let's make it happen!

55- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+20) -- Another country song not worth caring about. I hear comments about people actually liking this duo, but so far I haven't caught the vibe.

70- "Get Along" - Kenny Chesney (+14) -- File this along with the Luke Combs song. It's not an awful country song. In fact, it's better than most others this week. But I'm still not impressed enough to care that much.

71- "Up Down" - Morgan Wallen featuring Florida Georgia Line (+12) -- A lot of country recovering this week if you couldn't tell. This is an annoying country song that I would actually love to see burn and die, so let's not make this a thing.

76- "For the First Time" - Darius Rucker (+14) -- This is honestly probably the best country song that rose high this week. It's the only one worth listening to, so if I had to pick one, I'd pick this one to do well. But I will admit that Darius Rucker has done better.

87- "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" - David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney (+10) -- I want to like this song because it has a good title and good intentions. But all I can do is sing the Bob Marley sing whenever I see that title as opposed to remembering how this one goes. I don't think that's a very good sign.

New Arrivals:

1- "This is America" - Childish Gambino -- I glanced over the lyrics to this about a week ago when it was released, but didn't listen to it. I will say I was slightly nervous when I noticed that Young Thug, BlocBoy JB, Slim Jxmmi, 21 Savage and Quavo were attached to this song. I was ready to be annoyed especially since I've appreciated Donald Glover as his Childish Gambino musical alter ego more than I've loved him, but I didn't immediately listen to the song until I saw it debuted at No. 1 earlier this week. Then I went straight to the video that had a ton of buzz and I found myself enjoying it. There was a dude sitting on a chair, playing a guitar with a gospel choir in the background. Then we see Glover dancing fairly relaxingly when he comes in with his intro while the lyrics are talking about partying and dancing. This was a fairly chill song that was surprising me. Then out of the blue...


Glover took out a gun and shot the guy sitting on the chair in the head. The guy had a white bag over his head when he was shot and Glover shot him while in the Jim Crow pose. He then carefully hands the gun over to a younger teen, who makes sure not to touch the gun itself, but takes it with a red cloth. You've got my attention, Mr. Glover! For the rest of the song, we bounced back and forth from this relaxing party music to the dark verses. In the meantime, Glover his often dancing in the forefront with a group of people while a whole ton of stuff is happening in the background. The more you watch the video, the more that you notice that you didn't see the first time, making for one of the most fascinating music videos I've seen in a long time with so much political, social commentary about the state of America or specifically the role of black people.

The challenge with this is that if I isolate the song from the video and try to pretend that I had no clue of the context of the video, which some might go in without, the song doesn't have quite the same effect as it takes a bit more thinking to figure out what's going on while the video itself definitely makes things abundantly clear. The biggest example is that there's no gunshot sound in the audio only version if you download it on Apple Music or other streaming services. Without the gunshots and the context, it's not quite the same. So do I judge this based on song only or do I judge the video plus the song? I normally try not to let a music video effect my opinion of a song, but in this case I say you HAVE to keep them together because that's how you're going to get the full experience here in what Glover is trying to say and show. It's like listening to a movie soundtrack before watching the movie. Yeah, you can enjoy it. But it's often enhanced by knowing the context of what it was written for. Given that Glover is an actor in addition to being a musician, what he's doing with his dancing and acting in the video is just as important, if not more so, than the lyrics that he's singing. So judging the whole package, Glover has put together something poignant and thought-provoking in regards to today's America and for that I'm giving him a resounding applause.

16- "Watch" - Travis Scott featuring Lil Uzi Vert & Kanye West -- I spent so much time on "This is America" this week that I almost forgot, or didn't care, that we have seven other songs to get to. And that's apparent here given how much I just wrote about "This is America" versus how much time I plan on spending on these other songs. I certainly don't care about a Travis Scott collaboration with Lil Uzi Vert and Kanye West. The intro to this song is interesting as it's a news clip covering the last day that a theme park called AstroWorld was opened. Travis is apparently upset that said theme park got torn down in favor of more apartment spaces, so that's the motivation behind this upcoming album, which he's titled "Astroworld." Despite that interesting opening clip and somewhat fascinating explanation, this song has absolutely nothing to do with that theme park. The three of these guys are just comparing their Rolexes while sharing stories of how rich they are, how they have so much money that they get bored counting it all day and the different girls they are sleeping with, sometimes just an hour after meeting them. This sounds like an album I want nothing to do with.

58- "Beautiful Crazy" - Luke Combs -- The first of two new country songs, that come in addition to all of the rising country songs, sees Luke Combs nearly getting two top 50 songs this week. While I don't think either song is awful, I'd put this as the lesser of the two uninteresting Luke Combs songs. This track comes in towards the end of his deluxe album "This One's for You Too" released this year that I don't care to listen to and has him singing a generic song about a girl. She's crazy and unpredictable, but it's the type of crazy that he finds beautiful. He makes sure that he's extra twangy in the song while stretching out his lyrics to probably attempt to sound romantic, but ends up just boring me. If country girls are swooned by this, then that's fantastic. But listening to it made me personally just want to fall asleep.

65- "Youth" - Shawn Mendes featuring Khalid -- I've been really hard on Shawn Mendes over the years and thus part of me going into this week, knowing that we had a new Shawn Mendes song, wanted to try to be nice to him for a change. Then I did the rising songs section and was reminded that I was nice to him with his recent two singles "In My Blood" and "Lost in Japan" from just over a month ago. That means I'm feeling extra charitable towards this kid. After listening, I initially thought it was just another love song about a girl that broke Shawn's heart, yet he was determined that she wasn't going to take his youth away by breaking his soul. Because of this, I was confused as to why Khalid was on this song with both of them singing to this same girl. But there's one line that suggests that this is about something more, when Shawn says he reads the headlines and is heartbroken because of the devastation in the world. Turns out that he wrote this shortly after the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London as he was touring in Europe at the time. Suddenly that adds a whole new meaning to the song in talking about terrorist attacks that broke his heart. Thus the more somber feel to it adds a bit of weight to the song and Khalid joining in makes perfect sense. My biggest issue, though, is that the lyrics are a bit thin. This was an opportunity for Shawn to go into more depth with what he was feeling after these attacks that could've hit this one home, but he decides to keep it ultra simple, thus is a slight missed opportunity, but is still decent for Shawn Mendes standards.

74- "Done for Me" - Charlie Puth featuring Kehlani -- Why is it that Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth always seem to go together. You can't get a song from one without the other being close behind or on the same week. Unlike Mendes, though, I was feeling less charitable towards Puth even though I've been just as mean in the past. I don't know, maybe mindset going into a song can be a key influence, but this song does nothing for me. While Mendes is somberly singing about how terrorist attacks broke his heart, Puth actually does have another empty love song on his docket here. This time he's mad at this girl because he's given it his all in this relationship, but yet claims that she's done nothing for him. But then Kehlani comes in, playing the voice of the girl, claiming that she's confused about these accusations because she has done a lot for him and suddenly I feel I'm caught in the middle of an argument between a bitter couple that I don't want to be a part of, so I solved the matter and quit the song. There's no direction or point to. He's just yelling at this girl and quite frankly he sounds like the arrogant one that needs to shut his face and grow up.

80- "Gucci Flip Flops" - Bhad Babie featuring Lil Yachty -- I thought we were done with this girl? Literally the only reason she got famous is because she threw a tantrum on Dr. Phil and some moron remixed it into a song that went viral and crossed over onto the Billboard charts. That apparently inspired her to start a rap career and because we don't care about quality in today's age, we're going to accept her into the community? Listen, let the girl rap if she wants. That's her choice. But since she is an arrogant young girl with zero talent, let's have us as a public ignore her and she'll disappear into obscurity where she belongs. But no, now Lil Yachty is collaborating with her and she has another hit on her hands. Because this is 2018's America. Where a 20-year-old male rapper is joining forces with a girl who just turned turned 15 to sing about super expensive flip flops and other riches that they accumulated. Then Lil Yachty throws in a line where he can't sleep with the girl because she has her virginity because then she'll be into him, which I hope is Yachty talking about a different random girl because it would be a BIG problem if that was directed at Danielle. Again, she just barely turned 15. I can only cross my fingers that this goes away after a week or two at most.

97- "Mercy" - Brett Young -- The second of two new country songs this week. This is the one I was looking forward to because I liked both of Brett Young's songs from last year, "Like I Loved You" and "In Case You Didn't Know." The latter song especially had a lot of emotion to it because Brett sounded honest and genuine, despite being fairly simple. It made for a good love song. But I suppose not every song can be a home run because I was a lot less into "Mercy." It's another simple love song. But there's a lot less energy and passion behind it. "In Case You Didn't Know" has Brett nervously expressing his love to this girl for the first time while "Mercy" has him begging her to either break his heart or accept as he begs for mercy from her. I suppose there's an arc to that. But I don't know. I just didn't feel it this time around.

98- "Preach" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again -- I could be angry at seeing yet another YoungBoy song debut on the charts, but instead I'm choosing to be happy. Why? Not because this song is worth anything. But because YoungBoy also released a new album, but could only manage to get one song to debut and that itself barely even made it at No. 98. The only other thing it did was skyrocket "Overdose" up 30 spots. About "Preach," yeah I don't know. "Overdose" wasn't as bad as some of his other songs, like "Diamond Samurai," even though that's not saying much. "Preach" is. I don't even know why it's titled "Preach" outside the fact that he starts out by saying he thinks he turned the preacher's daughter bad. But then he rambles on without much groove or flow about a whole bunch of nonsense that doesn't have any focus or theme to it. Not that I could pick out anyways. So I'm certainly glad I dodged a bullet by not having to cover any other new songs from the album.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - May 12, 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 (=) -- It's the fourth week for Drake's "Nice for What" at No. 1 and it seems like we're closer Drake being dethroned from this top spot as his two songs have combined to reign for 15 weeks straight now. We do have a new runner-up this week thanks to Post Malone's new album giving "Psycho" a huge boost, meaning had Drake not dethroned himself, "God's Plan" would've ended its run at No. 1 at 14 weeks. Although with Post fixing to crash back down next week, things might adjust right back to where they were last week for Drake come next week. I'm not sure what the exact margins were this week for Drake and Post, but "Psycho" was remarkably close to jumping to No. 1. Drake got 48.5 million U.S. streams compared to Post's 47.8 million. Drake is No. 11 on radio songs this week while Post is No. 12. Both songs are awful on sales, but Kworb estimated Drake got 29,000 with Post at 27,000. Billboard reported that the official number for Drake was 28,000, so that might have been really close, too. Again, don't expect Post to jump ahead next week as those streaming numbers will come crashing down next week. Do be on the lookout for Childish Gambino's "This is America," which is currently estimated by Kworb to debut with 94,000 in sales, which is right around where Ariana debuted with last week when she entered at No. 3. If the Streaming number for Gambino is high, he could enter at No. 1. With Gambino, aka Donald Glover, also set to star as Lando in the upcoming "Solo" movie, could he have a No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts while starring in the No. 1 hit at the box office? That would be cool. I don't know if that's ever happened.

2- "Psycho" - Post Malone (+3) -- I discussed this song at length just barely as Post's new album nearly boosted this song to No. 1 this week, but fell just short. It was at No. 5 last week, so I'm expecting it to fall back down to No. 5 next week. And hopefully further. It's time for Post Malone to get out of the top 10 altogether, but I suppose we'll see how much residual holdover he gets from the album next week.

3- "God's Plan" - Drake (-1) -- Could the fall for Drake's "God's Plan" finally begin. After 14 weeks in the top two, it seems like this song is finally starting to bleed out. It could go back to No. 2 next week. Or it could stay at No. 3 if Childish Gambino's streaming numbers are super high. Despite the peak at radio and continually diminishing streaming numbers, I'm sure said numbers will still be good enough to keep this around for a while longer since nothing else seems to want to enter the top five.

4- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (=) -- With a slight bit of shuffling in the top five this week, Bebe and FGL wind up stuck at No. 4 still, despite Ariana's tumble out of the top five. This is because Post jumped up, as I've mentioned a few times now. "Meant to Be" still rules on radio, but it dropped a bit again this week, down to 130 million in total audience, meaning if any song has a desire to start performing well, this current top five is fairly weak. I keep thinking we're about ready for a major turnover, but no song seems to want to step up to the plate, so that might not happen.

5- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+2) -- After being pushed down by J. Cole and Ariana last week, it's nice to see Zedd and Maren back in the top five. I wouldn't say this song is super incredible and memorable, but I still find it to be a fun enough song. It's clinging onto that No. 2 spot on the radio, which is why it's been able to remain consistent on the charts. I mean, pop radio has nothing else to play, so they might as well just keep the same rotation spinning until someone starts releasing new songs.

6- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+7) -- There's lots of anger to be had with Post Malone's new album poisoning our new arrivals section, but this entry into the top 10 made me jump for joy. I thought this song would enter the top 10 several weeks ago when "Havana" fell out, but it's ended up stuck right below for longer than I was hoping, but now it's here! And I'm uncertain that it'll stay because it got a huge sales boost this week thanks to a remixed version where Camila added Kane Brown to the song, giving it a "Meant to Be" feel with a pop star combining forces with country. I'm not sure the song necessarily needs Kane, but he actually does a decent job. Him and Camila feed off each other pretty well. So thanks to Kane for helping Camila get this song over the edge. We'll see what happens when those sales numbers come crashing back down next week, but the positives here are that the song is No. 1 on pop radio this week while being No. 4 overall, behind only "Meant to Be," "The Middle" and "God's Plan." So if it can survive next week, I think it'll stick around.

7- "Better Now" - Post Malone (new) -- Lots of yelling down below at Post Malone's ridiculous, pathetic excuse for an album that somehow has the country drooling all over themselves because apparently we don't actually care about quality in the United States. Out of all the lazy, awful rappers of today, I'm not sure why the music gods have decided to knight Post Malone as a superstar. He is one of the least deserving. But for what it's worth, at least the best song from the album debuted highest. If we HAVE to have a Post Malone song always in the top 10 from here on out, I'd much rather have this song than the likes of "rockstar," "Psycho" or really anything else he's done in his pathetic career. It's tolerable on its own. But don't get too excited because it's rather sad that a boring, generic breakup song is the best that Post has ever done. I'd rather prefer that he quit music and get a job flipping burgers at McDonalds so that he can leave the rest of us alone. He's not welcome in the world of music.

8- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (+24) -- Oh joy. What a horrible tragedy that this song is back in the top 10. I was enjoying watching it tumble each week. And I'll really enjoy seeing it fall BACK down next week.

9- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (=) -- I'm not quite sure what emotion to feel here. Relief that this didn't get any higher or disappointment that this didn't get dragged out of the top 10 with those three J. Cole songs that all tanked. With "rockstar" and "Better Now" set to fall out next week, unfortunately this could jump back up to No. 7. So I'll go with the disappointed side of things.

10- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (-7) -- No surprise here that Ariana tumbled down this week after her huge debut last week. That's a very common thing for a song's second week. However, can we PLEASE send this song back up? It's getting decent radio traction, which is a good sign. Let's keep that going because I would love to see this as one of the songs that gets stuck in the top five rotation along with Bebe, Maren and Camila. It's really refreshing seeing four female pop singers all in the top 10 right now, so let's keep it that way! In fact, lets add more! I'm speaking to you Anne-Marie!

Rising on the Hot 100:

21- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+5) -- Hey look! We have this section of my analysis back this week after no songs rose high enough to qualify on last's week's post. But I am sad that it's headlined by this dull Imagine Dragons song. With Post Malone dominating much of the teens right now, I'm also guessing that this will headline next week's charts when the fallout of "beerbongs & bentleys" sends a whole ton of songs back up the charts. I'm just crossing my fingers that there are at least a few quality songs that jump up with it.

37- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (+18) -- Soaring up 18 spots in the midst of an album bomb is an impressive feat. That means I'm officially convinced this will become a genuine hit. There were three new female R&B singers that debuted songs at the same time a few weeks ago and this was the lesser of the three, but it's still decent. So I'll accept this!

43- "Dame Tu Cosita" - El Chombo (+38) -- Oh goodness, I think I just threw up. If this becomes the next huge Latino dance hit, that will be an utter shame because there's probably hundreds if not thousands of Latino dance songs that are more deserving than this pile of messy horse manure. Get it out of here!

54- "Dura" - Daddy Yankee (+21) -- Ha! Like this! Instead of pushing "Dame Tu Cosita," can we please push "Dura"? Like, not both songs. Just this? There's also a new remix of this song with Bad Bunny and Natti Natasha. I'll take that, too, even though I'm not a huge fan of Bad Bunny. But Daddy and Natti are a good combination for this song and I suppose Bad Bunny has done worse.

64- "Te Bote" - Casper Magic, Nio Garcia, Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna & Bad Bunny (+10) -- Speaking of Latino songs with Bad Bunny. I can't say I'm surprised that this got a boost this week given that it features, like, everyone. But I would categorize this along with "Dame Tu Cosita" in that I would prefer if it went away. Sure, it's not quite as atrocious as that song, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

New Arrivals: 

7- "Better Now" - Post Malone -- This week was a much dreaded week for me as 15 songs from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys" debuted. It's an 18-track album, with "rockstar," "Psycho" and "Candy Paint," songs that have already debuted in the past, rounding out the 18 songs. You can read this in any order you desire. But note that I wrote this in order of track listing so that I could go from beginning to end in covering this album. You'll see that I have the track number listed at the beginning of each song so that you can read this in order if you so desire. "Better Now" is track 9. At this point on the album, I've grown tired of Post's breakup songs. "Rich & Sad" was him being sad that he couldn't buy her love with all his money. "Over Now" was him being angry that the girl was too materialistic. And now for the third time around, we just have a generic love song where Post admits that he's been lying when he says that he's better now without her and assumes that she feels the same way. Which I highly doubt. Given the content of the previous eight songs before this, I don't believe for one second that this means anything. And with how generic it is, I'll bet you'll have a hard time arguing me. I suppose if you were to listen to this song on its own without the context of the album, it's the most tolerable of the bunch. But that's because it's the most generic, so it's not like I'm giving it much of a pass.

11- "Paranoid" - Post Malone -- Track 1 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." We begin this journey learning that Post Malone is paranoid. Why? Well, it took me a second, but his reasoning is in the end of the first verse. He has all this money now, which he says is hidden in his floors, walls and ceilings while saying that even his family and friends have changed and are acting completely different towards. So, in short, he's so rich that he doesn't know who to trust anymore. I mean, you poor little soul, Mr. Malone. Trying to convince me right off the bat that being rich and famous sucks because you don't know who your real friends are. I don't buy it and neither does he. Maybe if he was rapping/singing about a real experience he had, then maybe. But this just feels fake, especially since most of the song is super vague.

14- "Rich & Sad" - Post Malone -- Track 3 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." Following "Spoil My Night," where Post sings about having empty sex because he's so rich, he's now trying to convince us that he's sad because his girl broke up with him. He claims he doesn't care about the money and only wants her love, but he seems surprised that he wasn't able to buy her love with money. Well maybe if he would've paid more attention to her face and not her boobies, maybe he could've attempted to develop a relationship that can actually last instead of one developed based on money and lust. Perhaps some might see this song as Post being deep and emotional, but coming directly after "Spoil My Night," I find it absolutely pathetic. And at least in the first two tracks on the album, he's actually singing, whereas this track he slips back into his normal mumbles that he's so famous for in songs like "rockstar" and "Psycho."

15- "Spoil My Night" - Post Malone featuring Swae Lee -- Track 2 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." For this track, Post has teamed up with Swae Lee, which usually gives me a tiny bit of hope because Swae Lee songs have been known to be enjoyable for me. But I don't know what it is about Swae. He has potential as an artist. I guess he just needs someone to light a fire under him in order for him to perform and Post Malone is not that man. The funniest part of this song is that it starts out with the lyrics, "I don't have much to say, I'll be out front." Ha ha! Of course you don't, Post! And he certainly doesn't have anything to say in this song and neither does Swae. They're just singing about how they're so rich that they can't get the girls off of them. Post admits that he can't see her face, but he likes her because she had beautiful boobies while she only sees the diamonds in his teeth. That's the superficial, empty "relationship" that he has with this girl. Empty, worthless sex because he's rich. But she's going to rock with him like Jumanji? Ha ha! Get it? He's so clever! He made a Dwayne Johnson pun! Sarcasm there, if you couldn't tell.

16- "Ball for Me" - Post Malone featuring Nicki Minaj -- Track 10 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." Meaning we've now moved onto the second half of the album. Yet this feels like a hypocritical prequel to the song "Over Now" as Post is perfectly fine with buying his girl everything she wants as if he doesn't care about how materialistic she is. So he's painting himself a giant picture of how idiotic and stupid he is with this whole album, which showcases his unintelligence and complete lack of musical talent. Nicki Minaj comes in on the second verse to rap about Nicki Minaj things, which may or may not have anything to do with the actual song at hand. She probably doesn't care what Post was singing about prior to her verse, which is totally fine because he didn't care about what he sang about either. Giving me double the reason as to why I shouldn't care. My big takeaway from this disaster of a song is how horribly paced it was. I listened until Nicki came in so that I could judge her performance, and while that was only two minutes or so, it felt like 20 because this is so choppy and stretched out that it was a real chore to get through.

17- "Stay" - Post Malone -- Track 12 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." At this point in the album I can't tell if I've just lost all my brain cells after having gone through 12 Post Malone songs or that Post Malone lost all of his brain cells after recording all the previous songs because I can't even hardly tell what he's getting at here. I think he's trying to say something profound about relationships during certain parts of the song, but in the refrain he tells the girl not to break her back for him because he'll put her out of her misery. Shortly thereafter in the chorus he tells her to not count on him to stay. So after all of these embarrassing attempts to say that he cared so much about this relationship, it sounds like he's admitting that he didn't care to put anything into it. Meaning that I have no idea if he actually cared about any of these girls because each new song he is saying something completely different about his experience, showcasing a complete lack of focus.

20- "Same B------" - Post Malone featuring G-Eazy & YG -- Track 14 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." Did you know that it's extremely derogatory and sexist to refer to a girl as the b-word? So why in the world is it universally accepted in the rap culture to refer to girls as that in such a casual, normal way as if it actual means nothing? And why is it that we are aiming for such a progressive society, but we don't hold our rappers to the same standard, allowing them to be as sexist and racist as they want? It makes no sense to me. And on that light, Post is talking about how he sees the same GIRLS everywhere. They're all the same. Lifeless objects for his lustful pleasures. OK, he doesn't use that specific phrase from my previous sentence, but he might as well have because that's essentially what he's saying. And he wonders why none of his relationships ever work out in some of his other songs. Well maybe if he would treat girls like human beings and not objects, they might think about respecting him back. I didn't even make it to G-Easy or YG's part in the song, but their lyrics are the same and both of them are about as useless as Post Malone.

23- "Zack and Codeine" - Post Malone -- Track 4 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys. And not that I care about Disney Channel shows, but why in the frack is Post referencing the Disney Channel show "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody"? Just for the heck of it, I'm guessing? The show was about two twins living the good life in a hotel, so Post turns that and says that life is so sweet, he feels like Cody. And he wakes up and rinses his mouth out with codeine and later says that he threw a lot of parties in the hotel. So Post is using a Disney Channel show to sing about him doing drugs and partying. Man, what a brilliant lyricist this man is. Totally deserving of having his whole album chart this week. Yes, that's more sarcasm. Being serious now, this song is a perfect example of how little intelligence Post Malone has.

24- "Over Now" - Post Malone -- Track 7 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." This is the second time on the album that Post is singing about a breakup. In the previous breakup song, "Rich & Sad," Post claimed he was sad because he couldn't buy this girl's love with all of his money that he had, which was dumb in its own right because it came right after a song where he admitted to lusting after her because of her looks while not even caring what her face looked like. And now in "Over Now," Post is angrily breaking up with this other girl because she's too materialistic? So he's sad that one girl isn't materialistic enough while angry that this other girl is too materialistic. Because that makes so much sense. It's as if Post is impossible to please. Either that or he's writing empty songs that literally mean nothing to him in order to cover his bases and please all of his fans. I'm going with that interpretation. I will admit, though, that this chorus has a decent groove to it. But that's all I'm admitting because, outside that, the song still is void of any intelligence when listening to all the other songs around it. If you're reading this by track listing, which is how I wrote it, track 8 is "Psycho," so move straight onto track 9, which is "Better Now" at the very top.

29- "Takin' Shots" - Post Malone -- Track 5 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." And I lasted about a minute on this one before I simply gave up. Right after Post uses a Disney Channel show to reference all his drug use and partying, he just continues in this song talking about all the alcohol he's drinking and all the drugs he's doing while sleeping with all of these girls, specifically in a threesome in this instance, while going vroom vroom in all his cars. Considering the album is called "beerbongs & bentleys," you shouldn't really be surprised that this is all he's singing about. But that doesn't make it any less atrocious. This song is an abomination, just like Post Malone. Now if you're reading this in order of track listing, which is the order I wrote this in, then track 6 is "rockstar," so move onto track 7, which is right above this one.

40- "92 Explorer" - Post Malone -- Track 16 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." In case you were wondering, Post Malone bought a '92 Ford Explorer that he pimped out. Because, you know, why not? Not that he actually talks about that vehicle in this song or his experience getting it fancied all up, though. This is just a song about him driving with a girl whose name he forgot while buying all sorts of expensive stuff with all his money. Hey, maybe if he would've done better at remembering these girls' names and treating them like human beings, perhaps we wouldn't have to endure all these awful breakup songs on this album. This specific song isn't a breakup song. It's just a nothing song about Post being rich that he decided to name after his current vehicle for no apparent reason. And don't go looking for track 17 in this last. That would be "Candy Paint," which was initially from the "Fate of the Furious" soundtrack. And no, I don't like that song, either. So you can proceed to the final song on the album.

46- "Otherside" - Post Malone -- Track 11 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." And if you couldn't tell by now, I am so over Post's attempts to make believable breakup tracks because he has no idea what angle to take, so he just takes all of them. The intro to this track had a smooth, almost tropical feel to it which I somewhat enjoyed. But it was all ruined when Post started singing again with yet another song about how sad he was with this breakup, the unique spin this time being that all the beer and all the models can't make up for his loss. Yeah, blah blah blah. Shut up, Post. You don't give a crap about any of these lyrics and I don't either.

47- "Blame It on Me" - Post Malone -- Track 13 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." This song is in stark contrast to several previous songs as he is singing about how awful the rap life is with everyone cutting each other down and no one having any faith. I suppose there might be other rappers singing about this subject and it could be believable. People like Kendrick Lamar are good at being honest with things while making it sound genuine. The problem with Post Malone singing this is that I really don't believe he buys into one word he's saying as he totally loves every bit of this life of his. All of the money, the drugs, the jewelry, the cars, the girls. All of it. That's all he ever sings about. So why should I believe him when he is now saying it's all horrible and it was all for show? Yeah right.

57- "Sugar Wraith" - Post Malone -- Track 18 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." In this final song of the album, Post is just bragging about all the cars he owns and how he enjoys taking his girls out to drive in them while doing his drugs. I'm sure Post owns a lot of cars, but one of them is a white Rolls-Royce Wraith, which is one of the cars he talks about in this song. He also talks about his '92 Explorer, meaning he did that more in this song than the song titled "92 Explorer," as well as a Bentley, which is of course a part of the album title. So, you know, "beerbongs & bentleys" ends with a song about drugs and cars. What more did you expect from a rapper/singer with as little talent and creativity such as Post Malone? With this being the final track, I'll reveal that my grade for this painfully horrible album is a D-.

62- "Famous" - Mason Ramsey -- Hey look! NOT POST MALONE!! That alone makes me happy. What makes me even more happy is that this is an 11-year-old kid charting! Mason is an absolutely adorable little country boy who you may know because of the viral video of him yodeling at Walmart. If you haven't seen that video, go watch it. Then go watch his interview on Ellen. He's the best! But the fun thing about this song specifically is that it's a genuinely good country song and this kid has a better voice than most of the boring country singers around. If I were to be nitpicky about anything, I am slightly nervous about kids singing love songs because I don't know how much the lyrics mean to them as opposed to being words that they simply memorized. But hey, this kid is the same age as a lot of my nephews right now, so I just think he's adorable and I love this song because of that. Ignoring the age, though, lyrically this song is fairly sharp and on point for a country song. The lyrics remind me of a Brett Young song. And regardless of whether the lyrics mean anything to Mason or they're just words he memorized, he pulls it off really well. And country radio is actually playing this, which is cool.

73- "Jonestown (Interlude)" - Post Malone -- Track 15 from Post Malone's new album "beerbongs & bentleys." An interlude. Positioned at nearly the end of the album. It's only at No. 73 because it's barely a song. It's less than two minutes long and the only lyrics are as follows: "It happens every time. It sounds like suicide, but I guess I'll drink the Kool-Aid once again." That's repeated three times with some instrumental around it. What does that mean in context of the album? I don't know. The title of Jonestown is in reference to the Jonestown Massacre where over 900 people died from apparent cyanide poisoning in 1978. Some call it mass suicide while others call it mass murder. I suppose we could speculate as to what Post is referring to when it repeats those words after naming this interlude "Jonestown," but since he doesn't elaborate in the song itself and the album is all over the place, who knows what the purpose of this is.

77- "Overdose" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again -- As if 15 songs of Post Malone wasn't enough, I also get punished with a new YoungBoy track. Although the amusing thing is that YoungBoy's new album was released on the same day as Post's album, meaning we could've had two album bombs this week, but YoungBoy could only manage one song from it, which is a huge win for me and most likely a huge mistake on his part in releasing on the same day as Post Malone. Also surprising is that is a better song than most of Post Malone's crap. Not that that means much, but minor props to YoungBoy rapping about things that actually mean something to him, which I don't believe Post Malone does on his album. And YoungBoy's rap and flow is much better than Post's. But the problem is that YoungBoy rapping about things that mean something to him means he's rapping about the thug life, reminiscing about being in prison and being on the streets shooting people with his gun, which feels a bit odd since he starts off with some dialogue claiming he's not a killer or a gangbanger, he's just made some mistakes in life, which is cool and all, but can you blame me for thinking that sounds slightly contradictory? So no, I'm not giving this a pass. I'm just saying it comes slightly ahead of all of Post Malone's trash this week.

85- "Ye vs. The People" - Kanye West featuring T.I. -- If there's one person that I really have zero desire of dealing with right now it's the moron that is Kanye West. If you haven't heard, he went on TMZ and in the midst of his rantings about how much he loves Trump, he said that slavery was a choice. Even if he was trying to get at something else, that's horrible word choice. But then when he tried to explain himself, I don't think his explanation was that much better. It just proves how little intelligence he has. But on that note, Donald Glover followed that up with a brilliant SNL skit called "A Kanye Place" that makes fun of Kanye while also parodying the movie "A Quiet Place." And all of this is important because this is exactly what this song is about. Kanye wore Trump's hat, which started this controversy and he's tried to defend that controversy with this song and his TMZ appearance, which as I mentioned, only sparked more controversy with his comments on slavery. Zeroing in on the song, this is a back and forth banter with Kanye defending himself while T.I. represents the people attacking him. Or, well, Kanye's views of what he thinks the people are saying. If you want to listen to Kanye politics, why he thinks he should be president and why he supports Trump, then listen to this song and be amazed at how stupid this man is. In a week of a horrendous Post Malone album, Kanye easily managed to be worse than all of it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - May 5, 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 (=) -- This week marks the third week of "Nice for What" at top with "God's Plan" following right after it at No. 2. That means had Drake not stopped himself, "God's Plan" would be in its 14th week at No. 1, with only two weeks left to go to tie the all-time record. But now that will never happen because "Nice for What" is solidly ingrained ahead of "God's Plan." However, "Nice for What" isn't portraying super great holding numbers. Sales tanked yet again. Radio is catching up, but isn't super strong at this point, and the streaming numbers, after being even the past two weeks, are now down 10 percent to 53.6 million. That means the moment we have another song that wants to jump ahead, the stage is set for that to happen. J. Cole wasn't quite strong enough this week, but Post Malone's new album impacts next week. There's a possibility. Although it'll have to mean excellent streaming numbers for these new songs because sales estimates are all pretty weak in compared to what "Psycho" and "rockstar" debuted with, so for the moment I'm not betting on Drake being dethroned.

2- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- I suppose for this song's 14th week on the charts, its streaming number of 40.8 million is pretty dang good. But sales continue to topple and radio, while still strong, seems to have plateaued a few weeks ago. So again I will say that the stage is set for something to take away Drake's control of the top two spots, but I'm not yet seeing what exactly that is.

3- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (new) -- Debuting just under the two Drake songs is our new song from Ariana Grande, which I think is a solid output from Ariana, which gives me hope if this happens to be the lead-off single for a fourth studio album. More on that below, but the numbers here are encouraging across the board as she debuts with 100,000 in sales, 36.9 million U.S streams and 27 million in first week radio audience. I imagine that radio will eventually catch up and if sales and streaming can at least be decently consistent, I can see this song hanging around, which I'd be happy with. I'd love to see Ariana Grande get a No. 1 hit, but the song is going to have to debut some excellent staying power in the coming weeks to get that and that certainly won't happen next week with those huge sales numbers set to come crashing down, which is normal for a big debut. We'll see what happens over the course of the next month.

4- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-1) -- Bebe and FGL celebrate a fourth week at No. 1 on the radio charts. But the bad news is that those radio numbers have now peaked. I imagine Ariana's second week tumble will cause this song to go back to No. 3 next week, unless Post Malone has a surprise in store with his new album, but given that radio is all that this song really has at this point, I think it's only a matter of time before it starts it's downward hike. However, that would require other songs to step up and want to be in the top five, which doesn't seem to be the case.

5- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-1) -- It encourages me to see "Psycho" fall down a spot and get one step closer to finally disappearing from the top five. However, as I've mentioned a couple of times now, Post Malone's new album has been released and that will cause this song to recover and possible jump ahead of both Ariana and Bebe for the No. 3 spot. I'm hoping I'm wrong there, but unfortunately that sounds pretty accurate at this point.

6- "ATM" - J. Cole (new) -- J. Cole sets a record by getting three new songs to debut in the top 10 from his new album "KOD." Before last year, no one had even debuted two songs in the top 10, but now Ed Sheeran and Drake have both done that. With the rest of the top 10 being very weak, J. Cole took advantage and got three thanks to some strong streaming numbers across the board, despite not much else. I'm not so sure what I think about this trend, but only one song at most ever sticks around for multiple weeks, so I'm not expecting J. Cole to last. But I hope it doesn't mean Post Malone will also get a whole bunch of songs in the top 10 next week. I'll have plenty to say about this album as a whole, but this song individually I definitely don't like.

7- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (-2) -- Thanks to three new J. Cole songs and a new Ariana song, Zedd and Maren get booted from their top five standing down to No. 7. Yet that means if J. Cole and Ariana go away next week, this song just might rise up again next week. I'd be fine with that. I'd also be fine with Ariana sticking around, though. J. Cole's three songs can go.

8- "Kevin's Heart" - J. Cole (new) -- You'll find out below that I really appreciate J. Cole's new album as a whole and especially love the second half of it. But all three songs that debuted in the top 10 are from the first half of the album and that's the lesser of the two halves. This is a song about J. Cole, or possibly Kevin Hart, having struggles staying faithful to his girl. I get its placement in the album as a whole, but on its own, without the context, I think it's a second bad song.

9- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (-3) -- The best part of this week's top 10 is seeing this tumble three spots. I would love to see it tumble further and fall out of the top 10 next week, but we'll see what happens with Ariana, J. Cole and Post Malone next week. There's not too many songs begging to be in the top 10 at the moment, so this could just as easily stay in the top 10 or jump back up a few spots.

10- "KOD" - J. Cole (new) -- The final song of J. Cole's album is a straight-up drug anthem. Again, the theme here is that in context, the album is actually an anti-drugs album where J. Cole is saying that life is going to throw you some hard curveballs and you're going to have to learn to make the right choices instead of letting yourself mix drugs with depression, which is a bad combination that J. Cole has personal experience with that he dives into later on. But on it's own, I don't want to see this song stick around. I'd rather see some of the other songs sneak up to the top. In other news, with a record-breaking four new songs debuting in the top 10, I'm happy to note that "Freaky Friday" is gone as is Cardi B's "I Like It" and Nicki Minaj's "Chun-Li." "Perfect" also slipped down to No. 11, but I'm keeping that a separate note from those other three songs because I still like "Perfect." And it could be back next week.


34- "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii -- You'll notice this week that my "Rising on the Hot 100" section is conspicuously missing. That's because all 12 of J. Cole's songs debuted this week, pushing everything down and there were no songs that rose high enough this week to qualify for this list. So for this week, and this week only, I'm replacing it with a re-entry section because I wanted to make note that "Wake Me Up!" by Avicii is back for a week on the charts after the tragic passing of Avicii earlier this month. This broke my heart as Avicii is one of my all-time favorite DJs and I might even do a separate blog post ranking my favorite songs of his in tribute to him. Avicii lived a troubled life surrounded in health issues and alcohol trouble. TMZ even reported that his death was due to suicide. I'm not one to judge his life, but that tells me that there were a lot of demons that he was dealing with on a regular basis. But yet he still managed to put his heart and soul into his music, which resulted in some fantastic music that helped change the EDM landscape, so that's what I'm going to remember him for. I only expect this song here for a week, but I'm glad to see that he is loved by enough people to get this song to re-enter at No. 34 as a result of his passing.

New Arrivals:

3- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande -- I've always loved Ariana's voice. She has one of the best female voices in the business when it comes to the world of pop music. I've not always loved her writing with her songs as the overall quality has been very inconsistent. As an example of that, one only needs to check out her album "Dangerous Woman," which has good songs such as "Into You" and "Dangerous Woman," but also awful songs such as "Focus" and "Side to Side." Again showing quality, since that album she joined with John Legend in credits version of "Beauty and the Beast" for the recent live action movie and did a cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to benefit those were victim of the Manchester tragedy on May 22, 2017. So the girl's got a lot of talent  and one heck of a voice. Perhaps I just need to remember that she's just 24 years old at the moment, so maybe maturity in writing will come with age.

With this recent single that is most likely the lead single for her upcoming fourth studio album, she keeps things simple, which is probably best here. It's a song where she's ready to push herself forward after a sad breakup that left her devastated. But now she has no tears left to cry, so she's picking herself up. Nothing special there, but it's decent enough. But where the song really shines is in the chorus where Ariana allows herself to belt out in classic Ariana fashion. She has a very smooth, clear voice that's quite powerful that soothes my soul and causes me to appreciate this song. If there is an album coming out this year and she keeps to this style instead of trying to be popular and hip by fitting into the huge rap culture of today, I can see myself joining a new Ariana album. We need more pop music to shine right now, especially from female pop singers, so I'm crossing my fingers that Ariana can help us with that.

6- "ATM" - J. Cole -- I don't know much about J. Cole, so I was willing to give him a chance here. Me and him certainly didn't start off on the right foot here as this is the song that ESPN uses to advertise their NBA playoffs. Well, they use the chorus, anyways, which is just J. Cole repeating the phrase "count it up" over and over. I mute it every time, if you're curious. I'll give him some credit for having passion and flow on his verses, but ATM here stands for addicted to money. J. Cole says here that he thinks money is going to solve all of his problems and thus he enjoys falling in love with the big wheels and quick thrills while sleeping with your girl. Based on the rest of the album, I'm guessing that he's rapping about issues he's dealt with in the past. But if you single this song out, that's not made clear at all and thus this is just another song about a rapper flexing about his money and bragging about stealing your girl. I hate it when that's the subject of rap songs, especially in moments where that's all that's rapped about. As is, I'm never going to listen to this song on its own, so I can't give this song a pass.   

8- "Kevin's Heart" - J. Cole -- Our second track from J. Cole's album feels a lot more dull than ATM. It's much slower and feels like it drags. Content-wise, is it any better? Well, not really. I suppose one could commend honesty in this track with J. Cole rapping about a struggle he has, or had, with drugs and cheating on his girl. Part of the song is him talking about how good and perfect his girl is, but then he discusses the temptation of his phone blowing up with other girls wanting to be with him and trying to resist, but ultimately failing. The title of the song refers to Kevin Hart, who admitted to cheating on his pregnant wife and has to deal with the criticism from the public after admitting to this while trying to use the experience to learn despite all the deserved negativity surrounding him. This I say confidently because Kevin Hart stars in this music video. But is the song actually about Kevin Hart? As in, is J. Cole singing from his perspective? Or is he using Kevin's story to relate to his own? I'm not sure. But either way, this song makes me slightly angry because if your girl is so awesome, then why cheat on her? Maybe I shouldn't judge because I have my own demons, as we all do, and looking at those demons on paper, I might get mad at myself for being stupid. But still. I don't know if I'm a huge fan of this one, especially not without context of the album.

10- "KOD" - J. Cole -- Here's the title track of the album. J. Cole confirmed on Twitter that this KOD acronym has a three-fold meaning: "Kids on Drugs," "King Overdosed" and "Kill Our Demons." So you get an idea of what he's going for with the whole album. The overall point is that he's trying to send a message about how bad drugs are and how there's always a choice when we're faced with tough challenges in life. We need to learn to face our own demons. But that's the album as a whole. This song on its own is one that I have problems with because it's a drug anthem. Perhaps he's highlighting the issue at hand or talking about personal experiences that he's had in the past. But like with "ATM" and "Kevin's Heart," I'm not ever going to listen to this song on its own. In fact, I initially listened to this song and was rather taken aback, but not surprised as most rappers love their drug anthems. So I had mean things to say. Until I listened to the rest of the album and then understood what J. Cole was going for. Out of context, this song is awful. But perhaps in context, that's the point. I don't know. As I said, I'm conflicted here. But if I revisit this album, I'd probably just skip this one and move onto the meat of the album where J. Cole has a lot to say.

14- "Photograph" - J. Cole -- "Photograph" is the song on the album that comes right after "KOD," our drug anthem that I just discussed. But this song is simpler and different. It's J. Cole falling in love with a girl that he sees from a photograph, yet complaining about how love has gone digital, which is something that he says in the song is not good for his health. So essentially this is a comment on social media and how that has become a drug. Because in this photograph of the girl that J. Cole sees, he says he follows the girl and hopes to get a follow back. Perhaps this girl is the one later on in "Kevin's Heart" that he admits to not being man enough to be faithful to as sleeping with various girls is also his drug? Maybe. But that's later on and I already complained about that song. Sticking with "Photograph," this is the first song on the album that I buy. There's a lot more meaning here. However, his chorus is stretched out like taffy, so I don't think the song flows as good as it could've.

15- "Motiv8" - J. Cole -- Using numbers to complete words. How original. Instead of trying to be cool and hip, how about you just name the title "Motivate"? Oh well. Moving on. In case you didn't get the message loud and clear in "ATM" that J. Cole is, or was, addicted to money, we have another song that's about him addicted to money and a chorus that's remarkably similar to the chorus in "ATM." Instead of J. Cole repeating the phrase "count it up," he repeats the word "motivate" while occasionally throwing in "get money." So he's motivating himself to get money so he can do his drugs. Granted, in context of the album, these two songs have more of a point to them, but this song on it's own isn't very good and there's a lot more mumbling and slurring than I care to hear. And the over-repetition I find about as annoying as "ATM."

20- "1985 (Intro to "The Fall Off")" - J. Cole -- Fast forward to the final track on the album, which apparently the intro to the next album he is currently working on, titled "The Fall Off." The script in this song is definitely flipped as the whole song is J. Cole, who was born in 1985 and is thus 33 years old, giving advice to all these awful, young rappers that have exploded on the charts. Quite honestly, I really love everything he's telling them. Essentially he tells that that, even though they think the money is never going to end, that's not true because they forget that they're just riding all the horrible trends of today. When all these immature kids grow up, they're going to learn that all of this music is awful and will stop listening to it, thus if these awful rappers continue down this trend, they're going to disappear into irrelevancy because what they're rapping about is a faster way to the ground. Which is very true. I highly doubt many of these rappers that you see me talking about every week will even be remembered in the not so distant future. Granted, I don't think many of the songs from this J. Cole album that I've talked about so far will fare any better, but I love this finale.

28- "The Cut Off" - J. Cole featuring kiLL edward -- J. Cole said in the first track "KOD" that he didn't feature anyone because they aren't worthy. So who is kiLL edward? Well, that's J. Cole's alter ego. So yeah, no true features on this song. Combining the two versions of himself makes for an interesting song here as we're back in the first half of the album. kiLL edward represents someone who is addicted to drugs and spiraling downward while J. Cole himself is rapping about cutting people out of his life who don't belong there anymore. The commentary on Genius gives an elaborate explanation of this where J. Cole is against drugs and doesn't want to see anyone suffer the fate that this kiLL edward voice represents. I don't know if I quite see that in this song as I think some people are adding words here that don't exist. And much of the anti-drugs stuff comes later on. But I do like the contrast of one voice representing a drug addict while the other is J. Cole saying he is forced to cut certain people out of his life that are a bad influence or aren't worthy of being in his life anymore.

30- "BRACKETS" - J. Cole -- Here's a fascinating song from J. Cole. I'll admit that it takes a long time to get started. It was slow and was just about money and climbing up in the tax brackets, so I initially thought it was another money song like "ATM" and "Motiv8," but then J. Cole comes in with a sharp, potent verse with two minutes left in this five minute song where he gets super political and angry about how the government is working and how he is mad that a bunch of old white people in Congress are spending his tax dollars while not even thinking of his particular community. If we would've had that J. Cole verse earlier on instead of slowly building up to it, I think this song would've been much better because I felt like there was too much fluff in the first three minutes. 

41- "Window Pain (Outro)" - J. Cole -- Here's the outro of J. Cole's album, which actually comes right before "1985," the intro to his next album where he's giving advice to all of the dumb, young rappers. "Window Pain" is definitely the best song yet. In talking about "BRACKETS," I mentioned that if J. Cole had spent the whole song with his verse in the second half, then it would be a really good song. Well, that's what this is. The song is framed by a little girl talking about her cousin being shot and killed, then giving her explanation of why bad things happen. In J. Cole's chorus, which is the next layer of the song, after the girl's intro and before the girl's outro, he details how he essentially just wants to keep his family safe. He admits that he was caught up in the culture of drugs and money, but now he's changed, which I find really strong. Then in the middle we get his verse which is quite potent and blunt with the type of life going on around him. This is the type of rap song that would help me enjoy the genre a lot more if everything was like this. It also makes me think that I should forgive the nonsense from the first half of the album as maybe that was an honest reflection about where he was whereas this is a reflection of where he is now. But no, I'll keep this as is. I still don't like those early songs and I wish more of the album was like the second half.

46- "FRIENDS" - J. Cole featuring kiLL edward -- In terms of the acronym KOD that is this album title, "FRIENDS" is the song that deals with "Kill Our Demons." This is a straight-up anti-drugs song. It's framed with the speaker saying he got a lot of drugs today, then we get a bit from J. Cole's alter-ego kiLL edwardThe interesting bit comes in when J. Cole dives into a whole bunch of reasons why people in his community might be justified in having a hard life, but then explains that depression and drug addiction don't blend well, so a better option is to face the demons and challenges head on rather than slipping into a drug addiction. This is another powerful, meaningful song that makes me appreciate what J. Cole has set out to do here with this album.

47- "Once an Addict (Interlude)" - J. Cole -- Here's an interlude from the album. Although I'm not quite sure why it's labeled as an interlude because J. Cole has a really interesting story to tell in this full-length song. Most of it is about the story of him and his mom growing up. According to J. Cole in the song, his mom suffered from depression and was an alcoholic who never treated him well. All he wanted was to get out of that situation and run away. Looking back on the fact, he wishes he would've done more to help her as her life seemingly down-spiraled following extreme depression after her husband left her. The outro in the song states, "Life can bring much pain. There are many ways to deal with this pain. Choose wisely." Looking back on this whole experience diving into this album, I really appreciate that overall message, even though it could've been clearer in the beginning what this was all about. I still don't like the three songs that entered the top 10 or "Motiv8" when I listen to them on their own, but I appreciate the album as a whole and I really like the personal experience that J. Cole dives into with this particular interlude.

53- "Intro" - J. Cole -- And to finish things off with J. Cole, we have the intro of the album, which is just that. An intro. It's less than two minutes long, but has a good message to say. The female voice in this intro says that a baby has two forms of communication. Laughter, which means, "I love this" and crying, which means, "I'm in pain." Life can bring much pain. Choose wisely. It's a great intro because that's the theme of this album. And as I've chronicled, J. Cole then dives into several songs about drugs and money that I don't really like, before reeling us in and saying that drugs are bad and money doesn't matter. Overall it averages out to a C+ for me, but that doesn't tell the full story. If people say they love this album, I can totally understand why and I can agree with them for the second half of it where J. Cole gets real.

57- "OTW" - Khalid, Ty Dolla $ign & 6LACK -- Khalid is someone I'm usually down with. He's good at his relaxing tunes that have just enough groove to them. The problem with him is that he sometimes has poor choice with who he chooses to collaborate with. I actually think he works quite well with EDM artists, but more often than not he's hanging out with these thug rappers and that's not a very good look. In this song, Khalid does great and the chorus here is pretty darn catchy. The content is good enough as him and Ty Dolla $ign are talking about how they'll be there for their girls when needed. And yeah, surprisingly I didn't hate Ty's verse. I braced for bad impact, but got decent enough. It's that 6LACK verse that ruins everything. Not only is he lazy and near mumbling on the song, but he also condescending to his girl in telling her to get out of park and into drive while flexing about how awesome he is. So someone forgot to tell 6LACK that this was supposed to be more of a gentlemanly song. If we get a version of this song without him on it, then I'll happily listen to it. But as is, I'm not so sure.

72- "Babe" - Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift -- I have to apologize here because I am not familiar with Sugarland at all. In my defense, though, after looking them up, I learned they're a country duo who hasn't released anything since 2011 and were big in the 2000's, a time period where I certainly wasn't paying much attention to country music at all. But it did make me happy seeing Taylor Swift back associating with the country scene again. This is a simple country pop song about a broken relationship that fits Taylor quite well and she blends well with the singers of Sugarland. It's nice to see Taylor going back to her roots a bit. However, if this sounds like a song that should've come from her album "Red," it's because it was supposed to. She wrote it with the lead singer of Train while working on "Red," but it got shelved until now when she called up Sugarland and asked if they wanted to take it. Apparently this specific relationship is about Jake Gyllenhaal? I never even knew Taylor was dating him. And if I did, I forgot. It's hard to keep track of all that girl's ex-boyfriends as there's like 983 of them now.

74- "Te Bote" - Casper Magico, Nio Garcia, Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna & Bad Bunny -- Oh goodness. Why in the frack are there six people on this song? The answer is that this is a remix. The original version just had the first three, Casper Magico, Nio Garcia and Darell. I'm guessing they called Nicky Jam, Ozuna and Bad Bunny just so they could have a big hit with a huge collaboration with these hugely popular Latino singers. I listened to the original version first and it was kinda slow and boring. How do they manage to fit six singers in the remix? Easy. They make the song seven minutes long and each take turns. And it's still not a very interesting song. The problem with the remix is that it's not interesting AND it's seven minutes long. I didn't dive too much into the English translation, but with these Latino songs, I simply ask them to find the right beat. Either make it a good Latino dance song or a romantic Latino slow song. This falls awkwardly in between. Someone needs to do another remix where the tempo is taken up several notches, the song is back to four minutes long and only has a few singers.

81- "Dame Tu Cosita" - El Chombo -- I don't know where this thing came from, but someone needs to make it go away. Yes, in pertaining to the beat of the song, it's upbeat and dancy enough, but there are so many other things that make me scared and disturbed. All of the voices in the song are just not appealing to me at all and it's interjected with a lot of sexually-sounding female sighs. So when I translate "dame tu cosita" into English and find it means "give me your little thing," I've had enough. A dirty Latino rap song is not something I desire in my life.

95- "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" - David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney -- I don't know if any country enthusiasts remember David Lee Murphy, but he was a country singer in the 90's and early 2000's who hasn't released anything since 2004. I know nothing about him. I just looked that up because I was wondering who he was. But he's released in a new album called "No Zip Code" and this song features Kenny Chesney, which is exactly why it's here. I most certainly like Murphy's voice better than Chesney's. He has a calm, normal voice, if that makes any sense, while Chesney contrasts with a deep, cliche country voice. Me and Chesney aren't best friends, but "Get Along" from two weeks ago wasn't completely awful. I'd prefer a version of this song with just Murphy, but even then this is an extremely simplistic song, so I don't know how often I'd turn to it either way. It's also fairly harmless, too, so I can't complain. They're just singing that everything's gonna be alright and that's pretty much it. It did cause me to go listen to "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley, which uses those same lyrics, but in a much more energetic, uplifting way. If I want reassurance that things are going to be OK, I'll turn to Bob instead of David and Kenny.

98- "CLOSE" - Rae Sremmurd & Travis Scott -- We finish this long week off with Rae Sremmurd. I have found myself enjoying Swae Lee on occasion, but this is not one of those times. He is handling the chorus on this song and he's mostly on autopilot while for some reason thinking that spelling out the word close would be a good idea. "You're to C-L-O-S-E to me." I found that distracting. But not as distracting as Slim Jxmmi, who has never been useful or interesting in his career, or Travis Scott, who starts us off on a really bad note to begin with. Listen, nothing in this song worked for me and it's been a long week with all these new arrivals, so I'm just going to leave it at that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - April 28, 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 was honestly curious to see how this week would turn out because I wasn't 100 percent confident that "Nice for What" would be able to hold onto the top spot. The sales were set to tank and the radio hasn't quite caught up yet. If the streaming tumbled, then it was possible that "God's Plan" would recover and go back to No. 1. That's actually a common thing among songs that debuted at No. 1. Exactly half of the songs that debuted at the top, 15 of 30, have fallen down in the second week. But "Nice for What" becomes part of the half that remained at the top in week two and that's because the aforementioned streaming essentially remained even with 59.3 million U.S. streams compared to the 60.4 million from last week. That's a great sign for the song moving forward. Even though the radio hasn't caught up yet, it's starting to gain a lot of momentum, meaning at the very least this should be in the top 10 for a long time, perhaps 20+ weeks.

2- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- With "God's Plan" unable to regain the lead against fellow Drake song "Nice for What," we now begin the countdown of what this song could've done had Drake been smart and not dethroned himself as it now appears that this song's lead is officially over, especially since it's beginning to bleed in every category except for radio and even that seems to have plateaued. This week would've been week 13 at the top. And I'm fairly certain it would've been able to hold on next week to get to week 14. Ariana Grande is heading for a splashy debut next week with "No Tears Left to Cry," but even though she has the sales, I'm not so sure she has enough streaming to debut ahead of "God's Plan." J. Cole also will be album bombing next week and may sneak into the top 10 with "KOD" or "Kevin's Heart." But despite that movement, I think Drake keeps the top two spots again next week.

3- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (=) -- Drake's continued dominance means Bebe and FGL again have to remain content with the third spot. With 142 million in total radio audience, the song remains on top of the radio charts for a third straight week. Normally a radio total that high makes a song contender for the top spot, but Drake still has too much streaming, which is something "Meant to Be" doesn't really have much of anymore.

4-"Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (=) -- I look forward to the day when we can forget this whole Post Malone thing ever happened. As is, this worthless piece of nothing is still leaving an ugly taint on the Billboard charts. The charts will remain awful overall until this song goes away.

5- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+1) -- Fun fact of the week. "The Middle" by this trio of artists as matched the peak of "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World back in 2002. The latter composition will remain the song that stands the test of time as it's quite possible most people will forget about Zedd and Maren's version when all is said and done, but I still think this is a song that's enjoyable enough, thus I'm happy for both artists. I'm neutral when it comes to Grey as they've not yet done anything that's told me they're worth paying attention to, but Zedd and Maren I will root for.

6- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (-1) -- Thank heavens this finally dropped out of the top five. Again. Now let's keep it out of the top five this time around and not let it get back to the region. In fact, let's drop it out of the top 10 altogether. Again.

7- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- There's been a lot of top 10 movement on the charts recently, which makes it impressive that "Perfect" has remained here still where the likes of Bruno's "Finesse" has officially been booted. I don't expect this to last much longer, but I definitely won't be upset if it remains ahead of the next three songs.

8- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (+1) -- I'm ready to completely forget that this song ever existed. I said at the beginning that I would be willing to be content with one week in the top 10 as some stupid, viral song. But now it's spent five weeks in the top 10, which is at least four weeks too many. Listen, I'm not violently opposed to this song. It's just extremely unintelligent and painfully forgettable. I don't think there's one person on earth that will remember this was even a thing a few years from now. Chris Brown fans will probably even forget that he did this.

9- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (-1) -- As was expected, Cardi B's songs most all tanked this week following her album bomb last week. Yet this song remained in the top 10, meaning it just might hold onto some traction and stay here. I wouldn't completely hate that. Yes, it's a disgusting reworking of a much better song, but there were at least seven songs on the album that I disliked even more, so I suppose I could accept this for now. Or, rather, it could be worse.

10- "Chun-Li" - Nicki Minaj (+82) -- The surprising thing isn't the fact that both Nicki's songs jumped up super high this week. They snuck onto the charts last week after only a day or so, meaning this week is their first full week of tracking. The surprising this is that it's "Chun-Li" that broke the top 10 and not "Barbie Tingz" given that it was "Barbie Tingz" that debuted higher last week at No. 83, but only managed to soar up to No. 25 this week. I didn't say much about these two songs last week and I'll continue to mostly ignore them since all this is from Nicki is her feeling jealous that Cardi B is becoming the more popular female rapper, so Nicki anticipated Cardi's album drop and released two songs all about how Nicki is still the best female rapper in the business. And it's laughable because not only is she helping Cardi's case by releasing two atrocious songs that say the same thing, but the first full week of tracking for "Chun-Li" wasn't even able to get higher than Cardi's "I Like It," a week AFTER Cardi's album drop. Both "Chun-Li" and "Barbie Tingz" are poised for a 70 percent or higher drop next week on sales and are both fading from streaming, too. So thankfully they'll be gone next week.

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+2) -- It's been a bit of a confusing run for this song in the teens as it's yo-yoed the last month or so when I thought it was going to go straight for the top 10. But perhaps jumping up to No. 13 this week will help it finally sneak into the top 10. I've kinda given up on the idea of this being as huge as "Havana," but I'm still holding out for a few weeks in the top 10, so I hope it gets there.

17- "Call Out My Name" - The Weeknd (+3) -- That EP from The Weeknd may have been disappointing as a whole, which is why I'm not shedding a tear seeing all the songs tank pretty hard, but I'm happy to see this opening track getting real traction. I would love to see this make a return to the top 10 and stay there, because on its own it's still a pretty enjoyable song, on par with most of the songs he's put out in his career.

20- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+2) -- I suppose I can be happy that the momentum for "Whatever It Takes" seems to have slowed down quite a bit after I thought it was on its way to be the third straight dull Imagine Dragons song to camp out in the top 10. So there's that. I'm still not happy to see this in the top 20. Imagine Dragons' music deserves to burn and die in a deep, dark empty pit until the now pathetic band can come back with music that's actually worth something.

21- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie (+13) -- After Cardi's album bomb last week, this week wasn't quite as eventful as I thought it would be, but I'm glad to see that "Friends" is one of the songs that bounced back and is now close to being top 20.

25- "Barbie Tingz" - Nicki Minaj (+58) -- Refer to my comment on "Chun-Li" for my commentary on this song. This jumped up to No. 25 this week, but will thankfully be dropping right back down next week.

29- "You Make It Easy" - Jason Aldean (+12) -- The biggest beneficiary from Cardi's songs dropping off this week is the country genre as a whole as several country songs recovered big. They're led by Jason Aldean, which is not surprising, but is also unfortunate because this song I don't care for.

43- "Most People Are Good" - Luke Bryan (+17) -- The second country song to recover big comes from Luke Bryan. This song has good intentions, making it a step above Jason Aldean in terms of quality, but for the most part it misses the mark for me as well.

57- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+20) -- I know some that will be happy to see Dan + Shay close to breaking top 50. While I'm not upset at their success, they're yet another country act that I don't care for. This song is just another boring drinking/break-up song as whoever is the lead singer is sad because the tequila he's drinking reminds him of his girl while no other drink does. Yawn.

62- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (+10) -- Not a country song, meaning other genres did will, too. This comes from our trio of new female R&B singers from two weeks ago. Of the three songs, this is probably the one I cared for less, but I still think it's an enjoyable song, despite being a touch to cheesy, so I'm fine with it getting a boost this week, although not a huge one, so there's no guarantee this becomes a huge hit.

63- "Everyday" - Logic & Marshmello (+13) -- Logic still exists, in case you're like me and already forgot about everything he did with "Bobby Tarantino II." While nothing from that album has survived, it's his collaboration with Marshmello that still has some life in it, which is not a huge improvement over the album itself. I'd be fine with us continuing to promote other Marshmello songs like "Friends," while letting this song drop off. 

66- "I Lived It" - Blake Shelton (+28) -- Back to country, now. And like the Luke Bryan song, this song ALMOST does it for me. Good intentions. But ultimately it also misses the mark. But because Blake could sing about anything and his fans will eat it up regardless, it's no surprise to see this rising high.

82- "For the First Time" - Darius Rucker (+16) -- Ah ha! Finally a country song that rose this week that actually DESERVES to rise. Granted, this isn't the best thing Darius Rucker has put out, but he's a country singer that I find myself mostly enjoying, so I'd be happy to see this song gain momentum on the country charts.

New Arrivals:

24- "Esskeetit" - Lil Pump -- I've heard some on the internet saying, "God, please give us Avicii back. We'll trade you for Lil Pump." That causes me to almost shout out "AMEN!" Except I don't really wish death on anyone. I just wish Lil Pump would go away. A year after becoming a huge phenomenon after repeating the words "gucci gang" over and over in a song, he's back with another song where he's slurring and mumbling the whole way through about cars, money and drugs. "Esskeetit" is a slurred version of "Let's Get It" in case you were wondering. To all you 10-year-olds, both in literal age and mental state, listening to the rap music against your parents' wishes because you're feeling cool and hip, can you at least go be rebellious and listen to rap music from rappers who can actually rap? Yeah, that's probably too much to ask. But seriously, I don't see how any grown adult with at least one ounce of sense can listen to this and consider it good, quality rap music.

48- "Cry Pretty" - Carrie Underwood -- Here's an actual single from Carrie Underwood, the first one from her upcoming sixth studio album also called "Cry Pretty," which is scheduled for release on September 14. I make that distinction because her previous song "The Champion" was just a Super Bowl song and was thus not promoted to any country or pop radio, which is a shame, I think. But oh well. "Cry Pretty" is a very human, honest song from Carrie, which is not out of the normal for Carrie as she's really good with her lyrics and music. I'm normally not a huge country fan, but I've been a fan of Carrie's from the beginning during her "American Idol" days. In "Cry Pretty," Carrie sings a personal song to all the girls out there saying sometimes you've just gotta let your emotions out instead of covering them up and claiming everything is alright when it's really not. I think that's a good message to declare, even though I'll admit that it's not groundbreaking in any way. And the lyrics in the chorus stumble over themselves a bit as I had to think about it for a second to figure out what exact she's saying. Also, in the very large and impressive Carrie discography, I don't imagine this will ever be one that stands out. In fact, I like "The Champion" quite a bit more, but maybe that's because I'm a dude who loves sports rather than a girl who goes through the specifics of what Carrie describes in this song. All that said, this is good enough for me.

73- "Let Me" - ZAYN -- I almost quit this song after the first line, which goes like this, "Sweet baby, our sex has meaning." Shut the front door and get out of my life, ZAYN. No one likes you and no one wants you. But OK. I progressed further through the song and it was about what I expected. ZAYN is trying to be romantic and sexy, but it all feels empty and artificial. It sounds like he's writing from the perspective of being in the middle of a one-night stand, hoping that this is the girl who will make it through the night and still be by his side, which of course means she's going to be the one he's going to spend the rest of his life with. Yet instead of being romantic and stating why he loves her, all he can really focus on is her body. So again, this feels like the thoughts going through his head during the first night ever with this girl rather than being a song about a long-time girlfriend who he's loved for months or years. That and the song feels boring and lifeless. Instead of giving me the feels about a desired romance, it makes me want to go to sleep and forget this ever happened. 

84- "Guatemala" - Swae Lee, Slim Jxmmi & Rae Sremmurd -- The redundancy of this credit kills me. Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi ARE Rae Sremmurd. Even if I list it how Billboard lists it as opposed to the way that it's listed on iTunes, we'd still have Swae Lee featuring Slim Jxmmi, which is almost as silly. Why not just say "Guatemala" by Rae Sremmurd if both are a part of the song? Sure, this is from an upcoming Swae Lee solo album, but is it really a solo album when he still his other half of Rae Sremmurd singing with him? Anyways, all sorts of headaches there. Onto the song, though, I actually like Swae Lee more than I often care to admit. Songs like "Unforgettable" and "Powerglide" have catchy beats and a lot of groove, meaning the guy has potential. This song feels very stiff, though. Most of Swae Lee's lines are the same length and have the same exact note pattern. Like he wrote one bar of music, then copied and pasted for the rest of the song. Slim Jxmmi comes in on the third verse and in his normal mediocre way, barfs up something awful that's not even in rhythm with Swae Lee. If Swae wants to do a solo album, why doesn't he just abandon Jxmmi? That would be for the best. It would also be nice if someone is around to light a fire under Swae because he has the talent, I just think sometimes he doesn't care to do anything with his talent.

89- "Anybody" - Young Thug featuring Nicki Minaj -- More of Nicki trying to desperately convince people that she's the best female rapper in the business. So in reality, we got three of those songs. But before you get to that, you have to wade your way through Young Thug's incoherent mumbles that lost me a few times when I was even following along with the lyrics. I don't even know what he's talking about here. He starts off by claiming that he didn't kill anyone, but had something to do with that body. But even if you wanted to hear more about whatever that was about, which I didn't, he loses focus and just rambles on about random things. When Nicki picks up, it's apparent that she tried to pick up where he left off and thus keep focus on whatever this song is about, but she even sounds confused as she drops some bars that make no sense before giving up and just rapping about how much better she is than the rest. Yet strangely I enjoyed her verse quite a bit more. Not because it was good. But because I could understand the words she was saying, which is more of a testament to how awful the Young Thug portion of this song is.

99- "Gotti" - 6ix9ine -- I thought I was done with 6ix9ine for a while. I've been happily watching all of his songs that charted this year tumble down the charts after their initial momentum, as if even the people who listen to all this trash rap music suddenly started realizing that this guy is a creep that belongs in prison, not on the charts. But somehow, another from the album snuck onto the charts this week. I gave up a long time ago on 6ix9ine ever releasing anything worthwhile, thus my one condition for me passing his songs off as forgettable nonsense rather than offensive garbage is that he not brag about killing people in his rap. And he mostly fails at that. Surprisingly, in "Gotti," he's not talking about murder. In fact, he's not even screaming at me like he normally is, which rather shocked me. I braced for the screaming and got normal singing. Maybe his throat was just sore after recording the other songs, so he did this one in a normal voice. So yeah, I'll dump this one into forgettable nonsense, which is practically a high praise for me. But don't get me wrong, this is still nonsense. He's not screaming and he's not killing anyone, but it's still all about drugs, money and sex. One line that made me laugh in the middle of the song is when he says he hopes God gives him a chance. I'm not one to judge, but if he actually meant that, he should study the commandment of "Thou shalt not kill." It's kind of a big one among God-fearing people. Also, he still loves dropping the n-word, despite NOT being black. White folk aren't allowed to use that word, but I guess he didn't get the memo.