Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:
1- "Nice for What" - Drake (new) -- I find this new No. 1 for Drake a rather humorous situation. Had the release of "Nice for What" been postponed, this would be the 12th week at No. 1 for "God's Plan," as no competitor was close to topping it. And that would've meant it would be only four weeks away from tying the record, which would be a realistic possibility. But apparently Drake and his party didn't care about the record? I would've waited until something dethroned the previous song before releasing the new single, but that's just me. As is, with Drake replacing himself at No. 1, he becomes the 13th act to do so. He's also the first to accomplish this feat with both songs being ones that debuted at No. 1. As far as debuting at No. 1, "Nice for What" is now the 30th song to do so. With Drake now having his second No. 1 debut, he joins Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears as the only acts to have multiple No. 1 debuts. Drake also ties Elvis for the fourth most top 10 entries among solo males with 25, behind only Michael Jackson (29), Stevie Wonder (28) and Elton John (27). Madonna leads everyone with 38 top 10 entries.
So yeah, a lot of accolades for Drake with this latest No. 1 hit. He does so on the strength of 60.4 million U.S. streams and 88,000 sales. For comparison's sake, "God's Plan" topped 70 million U.S. streams in its first week at No. 1, then jumped to over 100 million U.S. streams when the video finally arrived. The 60.4 million U.S. streams for "Nice for What," while still an impressive feat, is significantly lower than "God's Plan," and that's with the music video already having arrived. So I wouldn't expect this to be another 10+ week leader at No. 1. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if "God's Plan" returned to No. 1 next week or if "Meant to Be" eventually jumped both of them. For now, though, I think "Nice for What" will hang on for at least another week.
2- "God's Plan" - Drake (-1) -- I've been saying for a while that if "God's Plan" is going to be dethroned before tying or breaking the 16-week record, it would most likely have to be a new arrival that would top it. So I'm not too surprised to see it go down, especially since that streaming number is at 47.5 million U.S. streams this week while sales numbers are tanking and the radio seems to have peaked. I just didn't think Drake would be the one to dethrone himself.
3- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-1) -- Thanks to Drake's most recent debut, "Meant to Be" gets knocked down to third place this week. Although the song has gotten even higher on radio, up 4 percent to 136 million in total audience for its second week on top of the radio charts, a number that's now significantly higher than "God's Plan." But the lack of streaming and sales at this point is the song's Achilles heel. But still, if that radio remains consistent, the possibility remains that this could sneak ahead of both Drake songs in the next month or so, depending on how well those songs hold up. I'm not going to bet on it at this point, though. But I do think the radio is strong enough to keep the song in the top five for quite some time.
4- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-1) -- It's great seeing Post Malone drop a spot. But I'm really annoyed by how consistent this song is remaining. I want it to drop out already as I am still baffled as to how a hip-hop artist as lazy and boring as Post Malone is still being worshiped as a king.
5- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (=) -- Speaking of songs that I'm annoyed by their consistency. I remind you, this song dropped out of the top 10 at one point and I was celebrating. But now it is back in the top five and seemingly stuck in this spot. Yet with this being the third Drake song in the top five this week, I do have to point out that another accolade Drake is celebrating is becoming just the fourth act in Billboard history to appear three times in the top five during the same week. The other three were The Beatles, 50 Cent and Justin Bieber, with The Beatles and Bieber still being the only ones to do it as a lead artist in all three songs. The Beatles, of course, are still the only act in history to monopolize the entire top five back in April 1964, an achievement that I highly doubt will ever be replicated.
6- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (=) -- My goodness, "The Middle" remains stuck behind "Psycho" and "Look Alive," despite huge radio. I desperately want this song to jump ahead of both of those songs so that we can rid the top five of awful rap music. But like with "Meant to Be" seeming to be unable to get over the hump by topping Drake, it's now seeming like "The Middle" is going to have a hard time breaking into the top five, which makes me sad.
7- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- I'm not sure how much longer that has left in the tank, but staying at No. 7 this week with two new debuts in the top 10 is an impressive feat, which can be attributed to the radio still loving this love ballad, even though the weekly numbers continue to bleed. And hey, I don't blame the radio stations. I still enjoy hearing this song when it's played.
8- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (new) -- It's the week of Cardi B as her new album impacted the charts this week in a huge way, so I'm not surprised at all to see her have a top 10 debut. I'm actually surprised she could only get as high as No. 8, which means that I think this will be gone next week. Much more on this song and the rest of that album here in a bit in my new arrivals as this is one of 10 new Cardi B songs that I have to listen to and comment on. Noticeably, Bad Bunny gets his first ever appearance in the top 10 while J Balvin gets his second. Both artists should be on their knees thanking Cardi for helping them achieve those accomplishments.
9- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (=) -- With Drake and Cardi B debuting in the top 10, I'm really disappointed that this song clung onto that No. 9 spot. I'm completely done with this song being a thing. I was able to tolerate it for a week, but it's an embarrassment to this country as a whole that this has now had four weeks.
10- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (-2) -- The downward spiral continues for Bruno as this song has thankfully completely lost all staying power. With this being the week of Cardi B, I'm partially surprised that she wasn't able to give this song one final small push, but certainly not upset. In fact, I'm rather happy at the idea that this could be the final week of this song in the top 10.
Rising on the Hot 100:
11- "Be Careful" - Cardi B (+5) -- This song debuted at No. 16 last week, which means I thought it was going to jump into the top 10 this week. But it makes me happy that it narrowly missed out at that because this is an especially lazy and emotionless song from Cardi. I'm crossing my fingers for it to tank next week.
29- "Japan" - Famous Dex (+24) -- You'll notice that this week only has three entries in this rising songs section. And two of them are Cardi. That means out of the entire Hot 100, this painfully awful song by Famous Dex that has nothing to do with Japan is the only song to survive Cardi's onslaught. That really perplexes me. And it also makes me super nervous because I don't want this anywhere near the top 10.
32- "Bartier Cardi" - Cardi B featuring 21 Savage (+19) -- Yup. That's it. Most songs in the top 50 dropped 5-10 spots while a lot of songs below the top 50 dropped 15-20 spots. No surprise that "Bartier Cardi" got a huge boost, but I'll be excited to see it tumble with the rest of her album next week. Only having three entries in this section this week also means next week will be quite busy as the Hot 100 resets itself following the album bomb. I'll be really curious to see which songs recover next week and which songs got permanently damaged by Cardi's massacre.
1- "Nice for What" - Drake -- Before we get to all of Cardi's stuff, we of course have to talk about the major debut of the week. You know, the song that debuted at No. 1 this week. When it comes to Drake, let me remind you that I think he's one of the laziest rappers in the business and I totally don't understand why some worship him as a god. I think it's absolute blasphemy that he's tied Elvis for number of top 10 entries, although I think that statistic means a lot less in 2018 than it did in Elvis' day, since artists like Drake and Rihanna can write songs in their sleep, or completely stoned and drunk, and somehow still have half of the country drooling all over themselves when they release said meaningless, incomprehensible nonsense.
Which made me extremely surprised when I listened to "God's Plan" and found myself hooked on it. I still find myself listening to it quite a bit while getting it stuck in my head randomly throughout the day. And it's also why I'm again surprised that Drake has done it again with another solid song. Although admittedly this time around it has less to do with Drake himself and more to do with all the stuff happening around his verses. I do like the overall theme involving Drake singing about female empowerment in a digital age, but I don't think he does a good job of hitting that home in his verses. The writing could've been sharpened up quite a bit and he does sound more monotone than I would like while having bland rhythm. But where the song lacks in Drake's verses, it's helped by the sample of Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor," a much better song than this current one, that's sped up, giving the song quite the groove. Then towards the end of the song we have a surprise appearance from Letitia Wright, aka Shuri in Marvel's "Black Panther," who says "Watch the breakdown!" Shortly thereafter Drake goes into a breakdown that I think honestly will play well at dance parties, regardless of whether or not people like Drake. I found myself jamming out in my chair when that came on. So not a perfect song, but overall it's not a bad effort from Drake.
8- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin -- Buckle up because the next 10 songs are all Cardi B from her debut album "Invasion of Privacy." This is a 13-track album with the other three songs being last year's smash hit "Bodak Yellow," a song that grew on me a bit, and this year's "Bartier Cardi" and "Be Careful," two songs that I did not like and haven't grown on me. This means that this post doubles as a review of "Invasion of Privacy," so I'll give you a grade at the end of the last song from the album before I move onto the other seven songs that also debuted this week.
There's one reason why this song kinda works. It's because if you strip away Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, you're left with quite the fantastic song as this samples Pete Rodriguez's classic boogaloo song "I Like It Like That" from 1967, which was covered by Latin group The Blackout All-Stars in 1994, simply titled "I Like It," made popular again in 1996 by a Burger King commercial, and was re-recorded by Tito Nieves of The Blackout All-Stars in 1997. I had a lot of fun going through all of these versions of the song. It brightened my day quite a bit. Then I listened to Cardi B vomit all over it. Yeah, sure, she's on point with her rap and the beat is fun because the original song is fun. But it's like taking a fun classic song and adding a bunch of unnecessary nonsense to it with Cardi flexing about things that she likes such as money, diamonds and million-dollar deals. Then Cardi gives one verse each to Bad Bunny and J Balvin, which should work because the original song is right in their wheelhouse. But both of them sound like they're here for a paycheck and a boost in popularity.
21- "Drip" - Cardi B featuring Migos -- What's certainly a whole lot worse than Cardi vomiting all over a class song is her collaborating with Migos. I mean, it makes sense given the fact that Cardi is engaged to Offset, for now anyways. But still. Get Migos out of here! Of course we needed four people joining in to say how drippin' Cardi is. Nothing like spending the whole song bragging out how rich and famous you are. Topping it all off is the fact that this song goes on for over four minutes, because everyone in Migos had to have their own verse where they all rap on about nothing interesting. And by the way, the word drop is said 120 times in this song. That's the type of song this is. Loads of creativity to go along with great word choice.
23- "I Do" - Cardi B featuring SZA -- I saw this collaboration and thought to myself that maybe Cardi has one good song on here. I mean, I'm not madly in love with SZA, but she has a lot of potential as an R&B artist and is certainly more interesting than Cardi. Thus I was a bit shocked and disappointed seeing that this wasn't SZA being SZA, it was SZA trying to be Cardi, which is a disgusting look for SZA that she should never try out again. She is almost worst than Cardi is. And Cardi spends the whole song flexing about how much better she is than all the other girls around. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance and I'm not sure where the line is drawn, but Cardi sprinted past that, in my opinion. If you like arrogant flex rapping, then you might enjoy this song. But I don't like it at all and I'm disappointed that SZA was wasted.
28- "Ring" - Cardi B featuring Kehlani -- This was the other song that I thought maybe had potential. Although I wasn't crossing my fingers too much because Kehlani's track record is a whole heck of a lot more spotty than SZA's. But as it turns out, this was a more pleasant experience. Instead of Kehlani trying to be Cardi, this is Kehlani being Kehlani, meaning this is Cardi's rap mixed with Kehlani's pop, resulting in a decent combination between the two. And instead of Cardi flexing and bragging about how great she is, she brings some, dare I say, emotion to this song? At least more than normal as she shows that she's sad that this boy of hers is no longer ringing her. I don't know how this fits into her real life experiences with her being engaged to Offset and all. And being sad about a lover leaving the singer in the dust is nothing special, but this song is tolerable and I'll certainly take tolerable over trashy and awful.
38- "Get Up 10" - Cardi B -- Just Cardi with this song. No featured acts. "Get Up 10" is the first song on the album and it's a surprisingly real, down to earth introduction of Cardi to the world as she explains her rags to riches story. Right before Cardi broke out as a rapper, she was living with her abusive ex-boyfriend and in order to escape that and earn her own living, she became a stripper. Not a prostitute, she clarifies. Stripper. Then she eventually went from stripper to rapper and is now the first person in her family to make six figures. It's an honest explanation of her life and I appreciate that. I'm not sure I like the idea of her admitting that she's waited her whole life just to trash talk others. I would hope someone who's gone from rags to riches would be able to have more respect for those who are still in rags, which she showcases that she really doesn't, as evidenced in the song "I Do," which is the final song on the album. But it's whatever. Some will call it a cultural thing with the rap community. I say that's a poor excuse for acting like an arrogant, prideful human being, but I'm just a young, white boy whose an outsider to this whole community, so my opinion might mean nothing.
39- "Best Life" - Cardi B featuring Chance the Rapper -- Another good choice for a collaborator here. I'll take Chance the Rapper over most other rappers in the business right now. He handles the choruses in this song while also taking the second of the three verses. I'm not going to say his verse is fantastic, but it's certainly passable for my ears and his chorus that's repeated throughout is fairly smooth and relaxing as he's saying he's living his best life. The biggest problem is his overuse of the word "skrrt," which you'll know is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me if you've heard my many rants against Migos. Cardi's two verses I don't really care for as she's just responding to all her haters. I was amused by her saying she'll be hot and ready like a Little Caesar's pizza. That's the first I've heard that reference in a rap song. She also tells her haters that God chose her for this rap life. Good for her, I suppose. I have thoughts there that I'll keep to myself. Mostly I'm just bored with her two verses in this one while being mildly entertained by Chance's portion of the song.
43- "Bickenhead" - Cardi B -- My first question for this song was what in the heck is a bickenhead? As I assumed, it wasn't something that I really wanted to know when I learned of it. It's Cardi taking the word chickenhead and replacing the "ch" with her signature "b." I'm not going to tell you what a chickenhead is, though. What I will say is that my clean interpretation of the song as a whole is that she's again snapping back at all these girls that have previously hated on her. It's an angry song from Cardi that's also quite sloppy and chopped up. Not to mention way too dirty for my liking. So this is one of the more unpleasant additions to the album.
50- "Thru Your Phone" - Cardi B -- Here's the second song on this album that feels like it's directly straight at Offset, the other song being "Be Careful," which I talked about in detail last week. Long story short is that ever since Cardi and Offset got engaged, those wonderful rumor mills have been claiming that Offset has been unfaithful. Cardi denied that "Be Careful" was about Offset, but if she wants to put the rumors to rest, she's doing an awful job at it. "Be Careful" sounds like she's warning Offset what might happen if he continues to be unfaithful while "Thru Your Phone" is about Cardi telling him she went through his phone and didn't like what she saw. The first verse is Cardi lashing out at this other girl while the second verse is Cardi lashing out at who everyone is assuming is Offset. It's a brutal, rage-filled attack at the both of them that's not really my cup of tea, but at least the song feels like it has some genuine passion behind it. If the song is not about Offset, then I have no idea where Cardi is pulling this from.
57- "She Bad" - Cardi B & YG -- Out of all the people that Cardi has collaborated with on this album, this one ranks on the lower end of the spectrum. YG is extremely annoying in this song to the point where I felt relieved every time Cardi herself came in because it meant my ears didn't have to be subjected to him. That's a sad statement on this song because Cardi's part is useless and empty. There's a few songs on this album where she brings fire and/or emotion that I can at least appreciate, even when it's not my thing. This song does neither. It's just noise to me. Ear-grating, meaningless noise that I refused to finish listening to.
58- "Money Bag" - Cardi B -- I felt I knew exactly what this song was going to be before I even listened to it. Cardi bragging about how rich she is. In case you forgot, I hate it when rappers rap about how rich they are. I gave this song a shot anyways and it was exactly what I thought it was. Cardi bragging about how rich she is. In fact, it's a lot like the song "Bodak Yellow," but without any flow or groove to it. For the record, even though I claimed "Bodak Yellow" grew on me, it had nothing to do with the lyrical content. So saying this is exactly like "Bodak Yellow," but without any flow or groove is in fact a harsh negative criticism from me. Now that we're officially done with this album, as promised, I have figured out an overall grade and that grade is a D+. So there's a few songs that are tolerable with some other songs that are either boring or forgettable as opposed to straight up bad. But still, this is not an album that, as a whole, I will ever recommend, nor will I ever voluntarily return to it.
59- "Diamond Teeth Samurai" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again -- We're done with Cardi's new album, but we still have seven more songs to cover in this very busy week, so let's get to it. And well, with this song I almost don't have to say anything. "Diamond Teeth Samurai" by YoungBoy Never Broke Again. That explains itself. YoungBoy's name is says to the world that he was once poor and is now super rich. And he wrote a song about him being a samurai with diamond teeth. In other words, in case you forgot that he claims he's never going to be broke again, he's singing a song about how rich he is while also doing a lot of killing like Charles Manson while also watching movies with Meek Mill in Rick Ross' mansion. And in verse two he talks about all his drugs and running from the police as if they're the bad guys for wanting to take away his drugs. Speaking of police troubles, this thug was arrested in December 2016 for attempted murder. After being released in August 2017, he was again arrested in February of this year for charges of assault, weapons violation and kidnapping. He was released on bail in March and has his album coming out in two weeks. So, you know, instead of locking him up in prison, we're going to give him a successful career with his album being released on April 27. Because it's the police that are the bad guys. Not YoungBoy for attempted murder, assault and kidnapping. OK, rant over.
62- "One Kiss" - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa -- I'm still mad at Calvin Harris for his "Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1" album last year. But if he can forget that and go back to what makes him an entertaining DJ, I can be forgiving. Calvin Harris' forte is not collaborating with trashy rap stars while providing lazy, undanceable. It's collaborating with the flashy new pop stars while providing fun, formulaic dance beats that can make you jump up and down while forgetting about life for a few minutes. That's what he goes back to with "One Kiss." This is a very simple song lyrically. Not a lot of depth to it. Dua is just telling us that one kiss is all it takes to fall in love with her while saying she desires a physical relationship. That's it. But Calvin provides a decent groove that convinces me that he actually showed up to the recording session this time. The only thing that this song is missing is an actual classic Calvin Harris drop. Or any drop for that matter. But at least the rest of the song has a good groove.
65- "A$AP Forever" - A$AP Rocky featuring Moby -- This is a strange song. The first half of it is pretty basic rap with A$AP flexing while defending his name against the haters out there. I found it pretty boring with a tempo that felt like it dragged a bit too much. I almost quit after a minute or two because it's something I had heard a thousand times and A$AP did nothing to separate himself from the rest of the boring, awful rappers out there. But I decided to wait until I figured out what this Moby had to offer. And that's where this song gets strange. It's less of A$AP featuring Moby and more of A$AP attaching a Moby song onto the end of his own song. The sampled Moby song is called "Porcelain" and it's a slow-moving, melancholy electronic ballad released in 2000. It's a great song where Moby is sad about a relationship that recently fell apart. But it has nothing to do with this song. It's like A$AP ran out of ideas of things to say, so instead of releasing a two-minute song, he attached a random song he enjoyed to fill up space. Thus A$AP's song just stops and we get a different song with a different tempo, different mood and different theme. It's rather jarring. But it caused me to go listen to the full original and I loved it, so kudos there, I suppose.
83- "Barbie Tingz" - Nicki Minaj -- Because 10 new songs from Cardi wasn't enough, we also have two new songs from Nicki to deal with. I knew these songs were coming, but I thought we had until next week before they debuted. But no, they're here now. And this is typical, trashy Nicki at your service giving a diss track towards someone or a lot of female someones as she claims they're never going to reach her heights because she's the best female rapper in the business. Or something like that. That's me paraphrasing because I just don't care about Nicki. Never have. Probably never will. But the funny thing about her bragging that she's the best is that Cardi has actually topped her. Nicki has never had a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 while Cardi's first song, "Bodak Yellow" went No. 1. So Nicki can give her empty bragging all she wants. But she doesn't have anything to back it up at the moment. So the joke is currently on her.
85- "Get Along" - Kenny Chesney -- Our obligatory new country song of the week comes to us via Kenny Chesney. While this is towards the end of a long week, this song may have come at a good time because I would much rather listen to this than Cardi, Nicki, YoungBoy or A$AP. This is a fairly relaxing, chill country song where it doesn't seem like Kenny is trying too hard. And I actually mean that as a compliment this time around. Some country singers seem like they are trying way too hard to be hip or cool in order to fit into the country groove while Kenny just decided to relax and sing a simple song. So props there. At the same time though, even though the beat is decent and the chorus is catchy, I wish this had a bit more substance to it as it feels fairly empty. At the start of the song I think it's going somewhere, but it never does. So it's a harmless song, but also not a super memorable one.
92- "Chun-Li" - Nicki Minaj -- This is the same exact song as "Barbie Tingz" up above. Nicki bragging about how she's the best. The difference here is that she's comparing herself to Chun-Li from "Street Fighter" for some reason. But given that it's pretty much the same thing, I'm just going to move on with life.
100- "Alone" - Halsey featuring Big Sean & Stefflon Don -- Sneaking in at the very end of this week we have Halsey with her fourth released single from "hopeless fountain kingdom." Or at least the fourth song from that album that's charted. Not sure if all of them were pushed as singles. As far as my thoughts on the album goes, I didn't hate it, but I also wasn't madly in love with it. Yet her choice of songs to release from that album were pretty poor as "Now or Never," "Strangers" and "Bad at Love" weren't the songs I gravitated to. Continuing that trend, we have "Alone," which is a song that sees decent vocals from Halsey, but overall is more boring and lackluster than anything. This specific release is not the album version, but is a remix that adds Big Sean and Stefflon Don to the track. Do there additions successfully spice up the song? Uh, no. The song as a whole is about Halsey feeling alone. She doesn't want to meet a new guy because she tells him that he'll regret the decision. So Big Sean plays the voice of the guy, begging her to let him meet. And I don't know who Stefflon Don is, but he incoherently mumbles something at the end that I didn't understand, not even when I looked at the lyrics. So no, the song still doesn't have any life to it. If it disappeared, I'd probably instantly forget it existed. If it sticks around, I'll probably be angry.