Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - July 21, 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- "In My Feelings" - Drake (+5) -- The Drake surge from last week is over, but yet it's Drake at No. 1 again with his third No. 1 hit of the year? Yeah, this really shocked me as I was totally expecting "I Like It" to return to the top. Not "In My Feelings," which was the fourth highest-charting Drake song last week. I guess that just means I wasn't following the sales and streaming numbers since my last post because this song has been going insane with 71.1 million U.S. streams and 89,000 sales, which is easily the top of both categories. But why? Well, as it turns out, the comedian Shiggy posted a video on his Instagram of Drake performing a random dance routine during a live performance and that quickly evolved into what is now known as the "In My Feelings" challenge where the whole is dancing like Drake. Because, you know, why not? We live in such a stupid age that the second someone says internet challenge, everyone has to try to get their 10 seconds of fame. But eh. Whatever. While I may be extremely annoyed by how this got No. 1, the song is one of the better Drake songs from the album. Not as good as the other No. 1 hits, "God's Plan" and "Nice for What." There's also two or three others from the album that I would also put higher. But this is decent. Better than Cardi B's song actually. I think I'm done with Drake at No. 1, though. It's time for him to share the spotlight. Or maybe the overexposure will hurt his future. I'll go for that.

2- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+1) -- I almost feel bad for Cardi B. She's still surging in all three categories and with the Drake album bomb out of the way, she was ready for what would've probably been a lengthy run at No. 1, especially after taking the crown on the radio charts this week, dethroning Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey with "The Middle." Now the big question will be how long does this "In My Feelings" challenge last? If it causes the song to hold the top spot for as long as "God's Plan" (11 weeks) or "Nice for What" (8 weeks total on four different trips), then Cardi Be may just have to settle with that one week she got at No. 1.

3- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B (+2) -- Another interesting thing going on right now is that rap has been No. 1 for 25 consecutive weeks with Drake, Drake, Childish Gambino, Post Malone, XXXTENTACION, Cardi B and Drake again. As much as I would love for that streak to end because too much rap domination scares me, I certainly don't want this wannabe song to be the one to break that streak, so let's keep the rap streak going for now. I'm still baffled as to why this is still here. I mean, I'm aware of the numbers behind it. But why is it getting those numbers? What is the appeal of Maroon 5 in general at this point? And why do people care about a song that sounds like lazy album filler from an already boring band, that's barely even a band?

4- "Nice for What" - Drake (-3) -- I think it's safe to say that "Nice for What" will not be getting a fifth separate trip to the top 10. The song's fun reigning has come to end. But what a strange run it had. After said run, it totaled eight weeks at No. 1, which is fairly impressive. Drake himself has now accumulated 20 total weeks at No. 1, which is approximately two-thirds of the year. That's way too much Drake. But at least they've been enjoyable Drake songs that have reigned.

5- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (+6) -- It's really happy seeing that Ella Mai managed to survive the onslaught of Drake last week. I was a bit nervous that she would be a casualty of war. But not only did she survive, she managed to come out higher than ever, locking down her first ever top five hit as an artist, which is impressive for her first ever hit on the Hot 100. I'd like to say it's Billboard's updated streaming rules that helped her, but it's actually more likely that the song was boosted by a remix which adds Nicki Minaj and Quavo. What an awful duo to add to a perfectly good song. But hey, at least it's not the remix that's credited on the Hot 100 at the moment because I still support the original, but I won't touch that remix. I got 20 seconds in and I was done.

6- "God's Plan" - Drake (-2) -- I'm not sure how much life this song has left in the top 10. It was a week or two away from disappearing altogether before the album dropped and gave it a good boost. Even though most of Drake's song's completely floored out when it comes to their streaming numbers this week, "God's Plan" managed to hang onto enough residual streaming from the album to stick around probably for at least a little bit longer. I mean, if it collapses and is gone next week, my feelings won't be hurt because it's been here for 25 weeks and will almost assuredly will be the top song of the year. But I'm guessing it will have at least a couple more weeks in the top 10.

7- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (+9) -- You can say that Drake killed Juice WRLD's momentum as this was at No. 3 and challenging for No. 1, but I actually think it was Billboard's new streaming rules that hurt it because streaming was, and still is, the only thing holding this song up. As a reminder, Billboard now gives more weight to paid streaming services over non-paid services. So all that crap that Spotify automatically throws onto everyone's playlists, regardless of if they asked for it or not, now counts less. I think that's a great thing. I still like "Lucid Dreams," but if fake streaming was giving it an extra push, then maybe it doesn't deserve to be that high.

8- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (+7) -- Another song that I'm glad to see has survived the Drake onslaught. Although this song seems destined to hang out in the bottom half of the top 10 rather than finding its way back into the top five. I'm not sure why Maroon 5 has cemented a place in the top five while Ariana can't get back, but such is life. Ariana's new song "God is a Woman" seems to be gaining a lot of traction at the moment and is set for a debut next week. I'm not going to predict a top 10 debut, but I imagine it will be somewhere in the top half of the charts.

9- "Psycho" - Post Malone (+3) -- Part of me was bracing for Post Malone to return to the top five this week after Drake's disappearance, thus I'm glad to see that he could only manage to rise three spots despite a whole bunch of Drake songs falling below it. That means the momentum for this song is finally slowing down. Unfortunately, though, that doesn't mean we're done with Post Malone as "Better Now" is rising rather quickly.

10- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (=) -- Much like Post Malone only rising three spots, X remaining equal this week isn't as good as it normally is because that means it's starting to lose its momentum. Which makes sense. Usually when a song gets boosted following the death of a singer, that song lasts one week before falling back down. The fact that "SAD!" has managed to maintain its momentum for multiple weeks is impressive in its own right. This is probably it's final week, though.

Rising on the Hot 100:

12- "Better Now" - Post Malone (+12) -- With Drake's album as a whole tanking this week in its second week, which isn't that surprising, we have a whole ton of rising songs this week. In fact we nearly have the whole top 50 in this section this week, so let's go through these quickly. "Better Now" was initially reported as being No. 10 this week by Billboard on Monday, before they quickly corrected that. That means it's probably a good guess that it'll be in the top 10 come next week.

13- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+6) -- It was a great run for "The Middle" in the top 10, which appears now to be over. It also had a great run at the top of the radio charts, which means you've probably heard this song endlessly if you listen to pop radio. An even better run for "The Middle," which is still ongoing, is that it's No. 1 on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart this week for a 24th week. Since that chart's inception in 2013, only two songs have been No. 1 for longer: "Closer" by The Chainsmokers and Halsey with 27 weeks and "Wake Me Up" by Avicii with 26 weeks. That means "The Middle" only needs four more weeks at No. 1 to set the new record. Can "One Shot" by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa, the current No. 2 song on the chart, catch it in time?

14- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+8) -- The run for "Meant to Be" in the top 10 also seems to be officially over. It got 19 total weeks in the top 10 so that's a solid run for a country pop song. It also almost has the record for most weeks on top of the country charts, currently held by Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road."

15- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+8) -- Taylor survived the Drake onslaught to now rise up to No. 15. I hope she can crack the top 10 and keep going. She deserves some success.

17- "Yes Indeed" - Lil Baby featuring Drake (+9) -- I'm glad that this song hasn't been able to resurface in the top 10. "Look Alive" by BlocBoy JB and Drake got 13 weeks in the top 10. I'm glad "Yes Indeed" only managed two weeks.

18- "Taste" - Tyga featuring Offset (+21) -- You'll notice that hip-hop didn't have the greatest week when it comes to this rising songs section. I think credit to that goes to the new streaming rules that give more weight to paid streaming. Unfortunately, though, that hasn't hurt all hip-hop as for some reason this piece of trash continues to rise high. I can only hope it gets slowed down before getting to the top 10.

19- "Mine" - Bazzi (+6) -- Even though this song has camped out in the teens for what seems like forever, I'm glad that it never was able to break into the top 10.

20- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie (+13) -- I thought that this would hit top 10 after getting all the way to No. 11. I'm a little sad that it wasn't able to break through and give Marshmello his first top 10 hit. It would've been Anne-Marie's second after she was also featured on Clean Bandit's "Rockabye," which got to No. 9 in the U.S.

22- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+7) -- It's impressive that "Perfect" has managed to stick around in this general area for so long. Whether or not you like the idea of this song being one of the top songs of the year is one conversation, but surprisingly this song never got old for me. I still think that it's fairly sweet, even though it's been played a lot.

23- "In My Blood" - Shawn Mendes (+8) -- Not the best week for Shawn Mendes considering that it seems like this song had more momentum in prior weeks. I'm feeling that this song is doomed to not get top 10, which I'm not shedding any tears over. Although I wouldn't have been upset with this going top 10.

24- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+10) -- I don't know how much higher this song will be as I'm not sure this song has the pop crossover necessary to be as huge as "Meant to Be" or "Body Like a Back Road." It seems to be that high-20's or maybe somewhere in the teens is where this will peak. I certainly hope so anyways.

25- "Love Lies" - Khalid & Normani (+21) -- This week we have to pay close attention to the songs that rose 20 spots or more because those are the real winners. And this is one of them. This is a song that has been under the radar for a few months now and I'm happy to see it gaining momentum because I think this would be a solid addition to the top 10 if it can keep this momentum going.

26- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+9) -- I'm a little sad that Camila didn't put more effort into pushing this song. It seems like she went for "Sangria Wine" a bit too early and that blew up in her face with it only being a one-week appearance on the charts. Now to see where Camila goes from here because there's still plenty of songs from her new album that would work as singles, in my opinion. "Something's Gotta Give" is my favorite, but "She Loves Control" and "Consequences" would also be good to see as singles. We'll see what she does, though.

27- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+13) -- I'm not happy to see this rising, but it is what it is. I'm just glad it missed out on getting into the top 10 because it would be awful if it got as popular as "Believer" and "Thunder."

29- "One Kiss" - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa (+16) -- As I said previously, "One Kiss" is close to passing "The Middle" for the top spot on the Dance/Electronic charts. But will it get there before "The Middle" breaks the record? It has four weeks to play spoiler.

30- "Apes---" - THE CARTERS (+13) -- I'm happy to see Beyonce and JAY-Z's collaborative album failing, because I thought it wasn't very good based on the songs that showed up on the Hot 100 from the album. Now if we can get this song to dropout that would be good. Both artists are capable of much better.

31- "Back to You" - Selena Gomez (+18) -- I'm glad to see this song rise 18 spots, because that means there's actually a chance for it to gain more momentum going forward. I would love to see this song in the top 10. If it ends up peaking in the 20's or 30's, that will be sad because Selena deserves so much better.

32- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (+12) -- Now I'm having nightmares of when this song wouldn't leave the top 10. I'm glad those days are over.

33- "I Like Me Better" - Lauv (+19) -- Is it just me or have pop songs this week had an especially great week? Could it be that the new streaming rules have hurt hip-hop and helped pop? That would be a great thing, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see if there's long-term effects that balance Billboard more.

34- "Moonlight" - XXXTENTACION (+13) -- This is only here because all of the Drake songs fell hard. I don't expect that I'll be bringing it up again in the future.

35- "Get Along" - Kenny Chesney (+18) -- Some good boosts for country as well this week. This I'm not upset at, but we can get some better country songs to rise if country is also getting helped out by new streaming rules.

36- "Be Careful" - Cardi B (+12) -- Cardi gets another boost, but with how strong "I Like It" is still performing, I don't think this song will have a serious shot to get too much higher in the immediate future.

37- "Simple" - Florida Georgia Line (+17) -- Florida Georgia Line has always been hit and miss for me, but this is in the hit side of things as I think this is a lot of fun as they go for a poppy, folkly feel to it.

39- "This is America" - Childish Gambino (+11) -- It was nice having Childish Gambino around, but as this was always more about the video rather than the song, it makes sense that this wasn't a long-term player.

40- "Youngblood" - 5 Seconds of Summer (+26) -- I'm not madly in love with this song from 5SOS, but I'm also not upset at it. It's a decent song to have around and is a step in the right direction for this group. I haven't bothered to check out their new album yet, so I don't know what else they have up their sleeve.

41- "Mercy" - Brett Young (+23) -- Brett Young seems to have serious traction with this song. I'm not surprised because he's rightfully gotten a lot of attention due to his previous singles. This one isn't that great, but is benefiting from his prior success. Or maybe I'm just crazy by not being impressed. Either way, I wish I was happier for this.

42- "Sit Next to Me" - Foster the People (+17) -- I sometimes forget this song exists, but it is a decent song, even though not as good as "Pumped Up Kicks" from back of the day. I still like seeing Foster the People around, so I hope this song continues to rise.

43- "Te Bote" - Casper Magico, Nio Garcia, Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna & Bad Bunny (+18) -- I think the only reason this song is around is how many people got shoved into it. I can only hope its life on the charts isn't much longer.

46- "Big Bank" - YG featuring 2 Chainz, Big Sean & Nicki Minaj (+21) -- Out of all the hip-hop songs to have a great week, I'm upset that this is one of them. But given the names on this song, I'm not surprised to see it rise. People love 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Nicki Minaj for some odd reason.

47- "Changes" - XXXTENTACION (+8) -- Another song from X that I don't expect to see around for much longer. It's just here because the floor disappeared from Under Drake's feet this week.

48- "Bed" - Nicki Minaj featuring Ariana Grande (+33) -- I suppose I'll take this over any other Nicki song. I mean, if "Rich Sex" were here instead of "Bed," I'd be throwing a fit. As is, this is more of whatever for me. Still not great seeing it around, though.

49- "One Number Away" - Luke Combs (+16) -- This is better than "Beautiful Crazy" and "Must've Never Met You" for Luke Combs, but I'm still not going to be too high for Luke.

50- "I was Jack (You were Diane)" - Jake Owen (+19) -- I'd much rather celebrate the success of this country song hitting the top 50. A good spin on a classic hit.

52- "Drowns the Whiskey" - Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert (+18) -- It's because Miranda Lambert is featured on this song, right? Do people listening to this song realize that Jason Aldean shafted her by relegating her to backing vocals? And in the process, wrote another lazy, boring country song to go with it?

61- "Life Changes" - Thomas Rhett (+14) -- I'm not upset at Thomas Rhett having success with this song. It's a pretty decent effort from him, which is more than I'm usually able to say when he comes out with a new song.

86- "Growing Pains" - Alessia Cara (+13) -- It took a long time typing up all these songs in this section. I'm glad things slowed down a bit and I didn't have to type up the whole Hot 100 this week. But out of all the songs to get a good boost on the bottom half of the Hot 100, I'm glad this was one of them because I would love to see Alessia continue her success with this song. Our female pop singers deserve to have more spotlight.

New Arrivals:

53- "WIFI LIT" - Future -- I guess Future was feeling jealous that Drake was having all this success, so he decided to release an album of his own right after. Or mixtape, rather. Technically this is his 18th mixtape as he's only done six studio albums. It's all the same thing, though. Just a collection of awful Future songs. So whatever you want to call it, it's titled "BEASTMODE 2," a sequel to his 2015 mixtape "Beast Mode." In my opinion, he should've waited a bit and he could've optimized his success instead of having this lost in the shadow of Drake. But Future doesn't care about that type of stuff or else he wouldn't have released two albums within a week of each other last year. The winner of all of this poor marketing is me because I only have to cover four of these songs instead of all nine. My biggest problem with Future has always been his style of mumble rap that he popularized. If you love rap, then that's fine. But mumble rap is not something I've ever been able to comprehend the appeal of. Why listen to music that's incoherent mumbling? It doesn't make sense. This song falls mostly into that. I can understand it, but barely. Just autotuned mumbling with a flute sound in the background this time around. The lyrics you can understand are just him bragging about how rich he is, specifically talking about the WiFi he keeps lit while flying his private jet 20,000 feet above ground. I mean, who cares about this?

60- "Jumpsuit" - twenty one pilots -- Before we get to the rest of Future and the other uninteresting stuff from this week, we have the one song I was excited about. The return of twenty one pilots following their huge breakthrough fourth studio album "Blurryface" in 2015 that gave us hits such as "Stressed Out" and "Ride." They then got a third huge hit in 2016 with "Heathens" from the "Suicide Squad" soundtrack. Their fifth studio album "Trench" will be released in October and "Jumpsuit" is the lead-off single to that album. And yeah, this song rocks. There's moments in this song where I feel like flying like the golden eagle on the album art with how smooth and restrained the song is at times. It just soars high at those moments. But then the heaviness of the song is unleashed and it's like the eagle in the air taking a huge dive before stopping and gliding again. The construction of the song is just so awesome and the lyrics are very subtle, yet strong as he talks about how he hates the pressures of a new place and often crumbles under their weight, suggesting a fairly unstable emotional state or possibly lead singer Tyler Joseph using his music to deal with life and vent about various struggles he's going through without shoving them down the listeners throats. The song is topped off by the last 30 seconds where Tyler Joseph shows off his vocal prowess with a hint of well balanced screaming while the instrumentals leave the listener on a very heavy note as well. Thus the song ends leaving you with quite the rush of adrenaline that makes you want to go listen on repeat. I wish more songs like this would chart. Perhaps if this song finds success, it can open more doors.

65- "31 DAYS" - Future -- The second song from Future's mixtape. And this one is way more incoherent than the first one. With "WIFI LIT," at least I can understand what he's saying in his mumbling. In "31 DAYS," not only is he using his typical brand of autotuned mumbling, but he's mumbling extremely fast, so the song is literally just noise, backed up by the most basic production you can get in long, blocky verses. Looking at the lyrics is almost useless because it's all nonsensical. But I looked at them anyways and I still can't understand this song. Something about being with a girl for 31 days and a whole bunch of other random crap. I'm beginning to think he started recording this mixtape the second Drake dropped his album and got it out a few days later.

71- "CUDDLE MY WRIST" - Future -- Cuddle my wrist? What the heck, Future? Why not tell the girl to cuddle with all of you and not just your wrist? Oh. Because you have a lot of jewelry on and you want to brag about it. Makes sense. But it still causes me to roll my eyes. I'll give kudos to this song for having a chorus and verses, thus maintaining some semblance of structure. But said chorus is just him repeating the title of the song and that's the only part of the song I can understand. The rest is just incoherent mumbles. The lyrics of said incoherent verses are just about of name brands and other bragging about wealth. Have I ever told you that's the most boring subject to rap about?

73- "Millidelphia" - Meek Mill featuring Swizz Beatz -- I wondered when Meek Mill would show up on the charts. Granted, he had plenty of songs charting last year, none of which I cared for, but I knew that more was coming from him following his release from in April. I remember that date specifically because it was breaking news on SportsCenter that Meek Mill was being released from prison and immediately flown to the Philadelphia 76ers playoff game that night. Why ESPN ever cared about this is beyond me as it had little to do with sports. It just made me facepalm at the coverage. But yeah, Meek Mill has had a lot of legal issues following a 2008 arrest where he was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and assault a police officer when he was 18. Then he's had all sorts of issues with breaking his parole that has had him in and out of prison since. He got arrested again last year after allegedly assaulting two pedestrians in an airport. Yet at the same time, he's been trying to fight the criminal justice system because he claims unfair treatment from some of the officers and judges handling his case, which is why he got out of prison momentarily despite a sentence of two to four years being handed out this past November. He's out pending the outcome of the appeal. All of this I don't really care for as I have a hard time feeling bad for a thug who can't stay out of prison because he doesn't know how to behave himself.

Yet despite me not caring, I bring all that up for the sake of context behind this song because understanding all of that will help one understand the references here because that's what he's driving home here. Meek is back and he's lashing out against the unfair justice system and all of the people who would rather see him locked up. Again, I don't really care for all the drama behind this. If he violated his parole for the upteenth time and is guilty of assault, then throw the man in prison until he has learned his lesson. That said, the song itself is really intense. It has a dark, heavy production and Meek actually brings an intensity to his lyrics and delivery that are highlighted quite well with the chanting throughout this song. Anyone who is a fan of Meek is going to love this song and I certainly don't blame. It is possible that Meek also has decent timing here because after listening to a bunch of lazy autotuned mumbling from Future, it's a bit refreshing hearing a a rapper with decent rapping skills and excellent delivery. The genre is still not my cup of tea and I'm not really on Meek's side with the legal stuff, but this song I can respect. There's a whole lot worse on the charts this week.

76- "RACKS BLUE" - Future -- Thank heavens that this is the final Future song this week. Of the four, this is the best one, although that's not a very high bar to jump over. This is the best of the four mainly because it's the most coherent and has a nice little piano melody in the background. And it's the one song that seems like he's trying to say something about his life rather than mumbling about how rich he is. Although I don't think his thoughts he's trying to say are fully realized and there's still plenty of flexing in the song about his riches, so it's not a complete pass by any means. It just happens to be a hair better than the other three piles of trash that charted this week.

79- "Dangerous" - Meek Mill featuring Jeremih & PnB Rock -- Meek surprised me with his intensity and passion in "Millidelphia," but the big question here is can he bring that same intensity to a second song or does he have only one powerful anthem in him? Unfortunately it's more along the lines of the second option there because this song is a lot less interesting musically. It does provide a good balance to "Millidelphia" as it's softer and more melodic, but there's just not much passion here from Meek himself as he's just talking about him being with a girl. Meek's first verse has him talking about how dangerous the girl is in this new relationship while is second verse is more self-centered on what he brings to the table. Granted, it's still much better than anything Future brought to the table this week, but I'm not that into it. The best part of the song, though, is actually not Meek Mill. It's Jeremih and PnB Rock as they as combine for a very smooth, melodic intro that also balances quite well on the choruses. I'd almost rather take Meek completely out of the song and listen to a version of this with just the two of them. That might be pretty good.

83- "Drug Addicts" - Lil Pump -- Ladies and gentlemen, we've just hit the lowest of lows when it comes to the music industry. Granted, rappers rap about drugs all the time. Also, musically speaking, this isn't as annoying as Lil Pump's own "Gucci Gang" or as awful as pretty much anything 6ix9ine has released, but 17-year-old Lil Pump has now released a song explicitly about how him and everyone in his gang are all drug addicts and he spends the whole time rapping about how amazing it is do drugs, how long he's been doing drugs and how he doesn't care what anyone says about it. And that, kids, is the exact type of mindset that will cause you to drop dead of a drug overdose before you turn 30. I don't know what this is a response to or why he chose to explicitly release a song about how awesome it is to do drugs, but for the sake of his family and friends closest to him, I really hope this isn't his mindset in real life. If it is, I hope he changes his life around. And more importantly, I hope all of the punk teenagers listening to this aren't influenced by him to develop the mindset that drugs are cool. That's what scares me the most and that's why this song is absolutely despicable.

88- "Jackie Chan" - Tiesto & Dzeko featuring Preme & Post Malone -- I was wondering when this song was going to show up. This debuted on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart back in early June and has been dominating there ever since. Currently it's at No. 4 on that list. Now the reason why I was wondering when it was going to show up was not because of Tiesto and Dzeko themselves, but because of the Post Malone feature and the world is in love with Post Malone right now for some reason. In actuality, this song is a remix. The original was released earlier this year and is a Preme song featuring Post Malone. And it's a really horrible song that I'm glad didn't chart on its own. What Tiesto and Dzeko did was take the vocals from that song and insert them into their own production. Yeah, that means the dumb lyrics and lazy delivery from our two vocalists are the exact same. Post Malone talks about meeting a girl who isn't ready for a relationship, so he orders sushi from Japan and now she's ready to kick it like Jackie Chan. Well, I don't know if Post Malone knows this, but Jackie Chan is actually Chinese, not Japanese, which is why these lyrics are stupid. And Preme isn't much better as he's just lazily talking about wanting to get with the girl. But what takes this from awful to tolerable is the production from Tiesto and Dzeko whose dance beats in the song are off the charts and super fun. I just wish they would've picked a different song to remix so that I could be happier that they're around on the Hot 100.

96- "Kream" - Iggy Azalea featuring Tyga -- Remember when Iggy Azalea was actually a thing? It seems like so long ago. And it is surprising how she became so huge with songs like "Fancy" and "Black Widow" while featuring on Ariana Grande's "Problem," all top five hits in 2014 with "Fancy" going No. 1, but then completely disappearing off the face of the Earth. It's not that she hasn't tried. It's just that every time she tries to release a new song or feature on someone else's song, no one seems to care. Poor Iggy. Truth be told, I'd prefer her over Nicki and Cardi, although that's not really saying much. And with this latest attempted comeback, she's certainly not helping herself out as this sounds like an embarrassingly awful Nicki Minaj ripoff song. And I don't even like Nicki. She's as raunchy as Nicki while singing about sex and money like Nicki does, but has no personality at all and just sounds desperate. I mean, you listen to this and "Fancy" back to back and suddenly "Fancy" sounds like a classic in comparison. If this new direction is what Iggy is attempting with a comeback, maybe we should just continue to ignore her or send her back to Australia until she figures out how to do this thing called music.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - July 14, 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 (+5) -- It's the Drakeboard Hot 100 this week as Drake's new album "Scorpion" impacted the charts with insane streaming numbers that resulted in the whole 25-track album appearing in the top 60. Given that "Nice for What," "God's Plan" and "I'm Upset" had already debuted, that means 22 new songs to talk about in my new arrivals section. As pertaining to the top 10, it's no surprise that the previously released singles got a huge boost. It also came at no surprise that four new songs debuted in the top 10, meaning that Drake has a total of seven songs in the top 10, which is an all-time record previously held by The Beatles in 1964 with five. However, The Beatles still stand supreme with their domination because they got five songs in the top 10 long before streaming was ever a thing, so it's an apples and oranges comparison here. The Beatles also remain supreme because their five songs monopolized the entire top five, whereas Drake only has three songs in the top five and four songs in the bottom half of the top 10. So regardless of what report you hear about Drake topping The Beatles' record this week, don't be too impressed because what The Beatles accomplished in 1964 is still way more significant.

Regarding "Nice for What," it now celebrates an eighth total week at top on its fourth different trip, making for quite the unique journey as no other song has had four separate trips to the No. 1 spot. I mentioned a few weeks ago that this could happen, but last week I actually thought it was going to be "Nonstop" as that song's streaming numbers were the best from "Scorpion," meaning that this was slightly surprising to me, but "Nice for What" gets the top spot because it actually has radio and sales and not just a whole bunch of streaming, so it makes sense in hindsight.

2- "Nonstop" - Drake (new) -- As I just said, I thought that "Nonstop" was going to debut at No. 1 this week, but it instead has to settle for No. 2. I'll get to my thoughts on the song, along with the whole album, down below, but I'm honestly confused as to why this is the song from "Scorpion" getting the most streaming because it's not the best song from the album by a long shot. It's not awful, but it's not what you would expect from a No. 1 hit, or a top 10 song for that matter, so I'm glad it didn't debut at No. 1.

3- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (-2) -- After hitting No. 1 last week, Cardi B gets bullied by Drake down to No. 3. But I fully expect Cardi to be back at No. 1 next week. Despite the two-spot fall, it rose in all three metrics. That consistency across the board will do wonders for it moving forward, despite my personal reservations. It's biggest competition was "Lucid Dreams," but that song tanked this week and I think it's due to Billboard making an adjustment on streaming this week by giving more weight to paid streaming over free streaming. Thus hip-hop in general took a big hit this week. Although we'll have to wait a week or two to see what the real impact of that is and what was simply Drake's album bomb destroying the hip-hop momentum momentarily.

4- "God's Plan" - Drake (+5) -- I'm also not surprised to see "God's Plan" take a big jump this week to No. 4. But given that it was No. 9 last week and on the brink of falling out of the top 10, I imagine that next week it will be gone from the top 10 as the charts adjust back to normal following the Drake album bomb. There is a chance that it sticks around, though, if there is still some residual streaming left over from this week.

5- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B (-1) -- On the surface you can look at this and celebrate that this song fell a spot. But if you look between the lines you'll notice that this is actually the second highest non-Drake song, meaning that this could soar up to No. 2 next week, which has me completely baffled because this song is completely useless on its own, no better than a below average album filler on an already dumb album, but is made worse by Cardi B's verse which doesn't connect at all with the rest of the song. But for some reason it's turning into a 2018 sensation. Someone save us.

6- "In My Feelings" - Drake (new) -- This is an acceptable addition from Drake. I'll dive into a bit more detail down below, but I'm fine with this being here. I don't know why he didn't list City Girls and Lil Wayne as featured credits because they're now snubbed out of top 10 entry on their resumes.

7- "I'm Upset" - Drake (+19) -- Yes, I'm going to say this again, but I can't help myself. I'm upset that this song is here. But I don't think it'll be here next week.

8- "Emotionless" - Drake (new) -- Mariah Carey also got snubbed out of a top 10 entry as the only reason why this song is somewhat acceptable is the Mariah Carey sample that plays throughout the song. It's her song "Emotions" that is used. Drake essentially pressed play in the studio, then talked over it as he explained why he kept his child a secret from the world. It's a fine message, but there's not much of a song here.

9- "Don't Matter to Me" - Drake featuring Michael Jackson (new) -- This is the most intriguing entry of all the new Drake arrivals as Drake now gives Michael Jackson his 30th top 10 entry of his career. Drake, on the other hand, soars up to 31 top 10 entries with all of his new entries this week. That gives him the most top 10 entries out of any male solo artist in history and ties him with Rihanna for third most all time as the two of them are behind only Madonna (38) and The Beatles (34). In this process, Drake passed Michael Jackson (30), Mariah Carey (28), Stevie Wonder (28), Janet Jackson (27) and Elton John (27). Having Drake pass all of them feels blasphemous, but whatever. None of them had the power of streaming to help them or were in the peaks of their careers when this album bomb trend became a thing, so I'm not as impressed with all these records Drake is setting. On that note, Drake now ups his total number of Hot 100 entries to 186, which is second only to Glee Cast with all of their annoying covers when that show was a thing. Give Drake a year or two and he'll pass their total of 207. That's what, one more album bomb? As far as this actual song, I have a lot to say about it down below. Short version is I'm split. I love Michael's part, but not Drake's.

10- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (-8) -- The strangest thing has happened to me with this song this past week. It's been stuck in my head and I can't get it out. I still don't think it's that great of a song, though, mostly because it feels incomplete. But I'm also still fine with it being here given the situation with X's murder.

Without Drake's Songs on the Hot 100:

Just for fun, I thought I'd share what the top 10 would look like this week if we completely removed all 27 Drake songs from the Hot 100. In the parentheses is their current position this week. Now it's not a guarantee that all of Drake's seven songs disappear from the top 10. I mean, his album last year disappeared from the charts pretty quickly after the album bomb, but this year could go either way. But it will be interesting to see how closely next week's top 10 resembles this list right here.

1- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (3)
2- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B (5)
4- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (11)
5- "Psycho" - Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign (12)
6- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (15)
7- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (16)
8- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (19)
9- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (22) 
10- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (23)

Rising on the Hot 100:

75- "Life Changes" - Thomas Rhett (+17) -- It's not surprising that we don't have much of a rising songs section this week with 22 new Drake entries. Next week will be quite interesting to see what recovers as I fully expect a very long list of rising songs to discuss next week. There's only two songs that survived Drake's onslaught this week and they're both country songs that shot up super high. It makes me wonder how high both of them would've jumped without Drake. Normally I'm upset about a Thomas Rhett song doing well, but this one I'm fine with. Not overly ecstatic, but this is more tolerable than most of his stuff.

79- "Take Back Home Girl" - Chris Lane featuring Tori Kelly (+19) -- This is also another country song that I don't mind. It's fairly harmless. I just wish Chris Lane would've given Tori Kelly more to do rather than just use her for background vocals because she's a treasure and I want more of her on the charts. This could've been another "Meant to Be" situation, but instead it's just a simple, harmless country song with hints of Tori Kelly scattered in the background. 

New Arrivals:

2- "Nonstop" - Drake -- We have 22 new songs to cover from Drake as his entire "Scorpion" album is all on the charts this week. The album is 25 songs total with "God's Plan," "Nice for What" and "I'm Upset" having debuted earlier this year. Given that 22 new debuts is a ton to cover, I'm going to be as brief as possible with these songs so that I'm not typing this up all week. I still enjoy "God's Plan" and "Nice for What," so I'm hoping to find a few more decent songs, but with Drake it's always been quantity over quality, so I'm not crossing my fingers here. And we're not off to a good start here as "Nonstop" is really boring. There's two long Drake verses where he's lazily bragging about how cool he is. He mentions that he's a hard hitter in part of that, which is funny because this song doesn't hit hard at all. It's very soft. There's a chorus in between the two verses that almost gives this song life, but there's not enough here to make it interesting. It just sounds like he spent five minutes putting this song together. Thus I'm not sure why this is the song that got the most streaming from his album this week.

6- "In My Feelings" - Drake -- I'm not sure why this song isn't listed as Drake featuring City Girls and Lil Wayne. City Girls is a new rap duo from Miami and I'm sure those two girls would've appreciated credit for a top 10 hit. And adding a Lil Wayne feature may have given more attention to this song. But it is what it is. This song has a catchy chorus from Drake where he's talking to several different girls, asking if they still love him and it's balanced by City Girls and Lil Wayne giving more variety to the song with various samples included. There's still not much depth to the song, but it's catchy enough with a variety of different sounds to make it acceptable.

8- "Emotionless" - Drake -- This Drake song samples Mariah Carey's "Emotions." And that's the only reason the song is interesting. Because that's a really good song with some strong vocals from Mariah. But the reason why this song is bad is that it feels lazy. All Drake does is talk to us while Mariah is singing in the background. He's not even really singing or rapping and there's very little background music of his own that he adds. It sounds like he stepped into the studio, pressed play on Mariah's song, then talked to the world about why kept news of his child secret, which is a controversy that Pusha T created by calling Drake out for hiding his kid. So now Drake is out to explain his reasoning, which makes perfect sense to me. He wanted to keep a low profile with his child because of the state of the world right now. So I can comment on the controversy, but I'm here to talk about a song and there's not much of a song here. I'm not going to give Drake credit for creating a good song when all he did was press play on a Mariah song and almost nothing else.

9- "Don't Matter to Me" - Drake featuring Michael Jackson -- This is the song that immediately caught my attention when I saw Drake's new album. Michael Jackson featured on a Drake song? What strings did Drake pull to make this happen? What Michael Jackson song was he sampling and how does it fit in with Drake's vocals and lyrics? If Michael Jackson were still alive today, would he have any interest in joining Drake on a song? I suppose we'll never know the answer to that last question, but the Michael Jackson song used is a previously unreleased track that he recorded with Paul Anka back in the day, but it was ultimately shelved. I'm not sure how Drake got his hands on it or who from the Michael Jackson party allowed this to happen, but I've listened to this several times in a row now and I'm unsure what to think of it. It's more mellow and relaxed than other Drake songs and it seems like Drake put more effort into the vocals in an attempt to match Michael's style, but he didn't do much with his lyrics in the verses that he wrote around the Michael Jackson chorus. Said chorus is phenomenal because Michael is the best, but I leave the song feeling a bit empty because Drake doesn't do enough to compliment Michael. I come away wishing that there were a Michael Jackson only version of this song where there's some actual substance in the verses from Michael or Paul Anka rather than just Drake complaining about a former relationship in mediocre-Drake fashion. But then we have the question that maybe this song was shelved for a reason. Perhaps Michael didn't feel good enough about it to release it on an album. But I don't know. It's certainly not the worst song on the album and if the song did extremely well, it would kinda be cool to see Michael in the limelight again in 2018 for old-time sake with a new song.

13- "Mob Ties" - Drake -- With the Michael Jackson track out of the way and the rest of these songs being below the top 10, I might spend even less time on the rest of these songs unless I find a song that catches my attention. Which is certainly not this song. Drake is saying he's sick of all these people, either his haters or his competition. I'm not sure which because he doesn't elaborate too much. That and he spends the song mimicking Migos' sound effects and echoes, so I tuned out fairly quickly. I'm not sure why Drake thinks he needs to copy Migos to fit in when he's doing much better than they are and most rappers are trying to copy Drake these days. All it does is make for an extremely annoying song with no substance as he doesn't care to elaborate.

14- "Elevate" - Drake -- This song is co-written by PARTYNEXTDOOR and has some echoes courtesy of French Montana. In case you were curious. The song has a bit of a haunting undertone to it, so if Drake had anything interesting to say here, this could've made for a good song, but he's just reminiscing about how he became so famous and tells us that he's been super busy in the studio thinking about all the money he's going to be making by releasing so much music. Yup, that's Drake for you. Release as many songs as humanly possible in order to make all the money possible. Don't worry about the lyrics because no one cares about those anyways. That's the Drake mindset. He also says he's thankful that God has been working stronger than Satan in all of this as if it's all God's will in helping Drake become so famous. If Drake having a hugely successful rap career was all a part of God's big plan, don't you think God would've helped Drake come up with lyrics and music that actually meant something?

17- "Survival" - Drake -- Here's the opening track on Drake's. And if I had listened to the album in order, I would've immediately rolled my eyes and dreaded the whole project because Drake starts us off my reminded the world how cool he is and that Drake's Mount Rushmore would be himself four times with different expressions and more of how he's on top of the world. Oh, but he can't get too far into it on this song because this is just the intro. And again he reminds us that it was God's plan to make Drake better and more popular than all the other rappers. If you couldn't tell, I'm calling blasphemy on all of that. I don't know why Drake is so popular, but it wasn't God's working. Oh yeah, this song is also just one long verse.

18- "Can't Take a Joke" - Drake -- Drake is trying to laugh with his bros, but they can't take a joke. Whatever that means. Maybe it's him trying to lightly toss aside all his haters and the diss tracks aimed at him. They're all taking things super seriously but he's just laughing it all off because they don't matter. Despite all the hate he gets, he's on top of the world. Which is unfortunately true. At least this song has a bit of a structure to it with two verses and the chorus repeated twice instead of just a boring structure with him rambling on about nothing. That's the best compliment I can think of though. This is not horrible, but it's just a boring song with little substance.

20- "Talk Up" - Drake featuring JAY-Z -- This is the other song from the album that I was slightly curious about when I saw the track listing. Is it possible that Drake could collaborate with JAY-Z and come up with something interesting? Uh, nope. Not this time around, anyways. I will say that the production is darker on this song, so if we had a rapper who knew how to be dark, this could've been ominous. But Drake doesn't do dark. He just does boring. Thus I was listening to the music behind the song and thinking it kinda works, but then I was listening to Drake rap and I was bored because Drake is boring. JAY-Z comes in and does the second half and his voice fits the ominous tone much better than Drake's voice does, but I guess when you collaborate with Drake, sometimes Drake's boringness robs off on you because JAY-Z came up with absolutely nothing in terms of content. Just more bragging about how on top of the game he is. Because we were all dying to hear that for the 1,000th time.

21- "8 out of 10" - Drake -- That's a score that I'm not giving this album. Or this song. That's way too high. That's also one number off when it comes to how much of the top 10 he controlled this week. It was 7 out of 10, not 8 out of 10. Silly Drake. But no, this song is actually saying that he could've come into this with his intensity level at a 10 and completely destroy this Pusha T and Kanye West feud with an out of this world diss track, but he intentionally dialed it back. In which case, 8 out of 10 is still way too high as this is closer to a 1 out of 10. I don't follow these stupid music feuds between artists, so I don't care about this. Drake is also stating that, despite all the hate he gets, everyone still is listening to his tracks, which I would somehow love it if that would stop because someone this boring shouldn't be this popular.

27- "Sandra's Rose" - Drake -- For better or for worse, this song made me laugh. Instead of a bunch of boring nonsense, Drake comes up with a whole bunch of cheesy lines that he shoves together in one song. I don't even want to start listing any of them because there's too much. Almost every line is something absurd and ridiculous. The main theme is that he's Sandra's rose. Who is Sandra? His mom. He's his mom's rose. That's adorable. And it's nice that he loves his mother and is proud that he helped pull her out of poverty. But that's just a small part of the song. The rest of the song is just so hilariously ridiculous that I forget the bit of him talking about his mother.

28- "Summer Games" - Drake -- This song surprised me. Drake is quality over quantity and, as you can see, thus far it's not been so good overall. But this one might be the best one overall thus far. Drake actually doesn't do much rapping in this song. He sounds more like The Weeknd with a melodic pop-sounding voice that fits him much better than his dull rap voice. The song itself has a simple electronic beat to it that captured my attention right away. I expected to be bored when Drake himself came in, but his voice fits the tone of the song well and they combine for a mellow, relaxing groove with a touch of sadness as he discusses a relationship that fell through. No, there's not a lot of depth to it and the themes are quite similar to the Michael Jackson song, but him matching his voice with the tone of the song makes this one work. We've actually had a few songs thus far from the second half of the album, which is where this is from, and those are the ones I've given a pass to while most everything that has been crap has been the first part of the album. Am I discovering a theme here?

30- "Blue Tint" - Drake -- So much for this theory that the second half of the album would be better. If he's trying to tell some sort of weak story in this album, in our previous song he talked about not being with this girl again and in "Blue Tint" he says he's back with her. Or stuck with her as he says later, unsure how stable she's going to be. In other words, any problem in whatever relationship is going on is all her fault. Future jumps on in a few spots on this track to mumble and make noises at us that he claims is music and the rest of the song is paper thin and dull. He does manage to get in a random jab in at our current president, even though that has nothing to do with the song while making sure to again remind us that he's on top of the rap game.

32- "Jaded" - Drake -- We're back to the broken-hearted part of the album where Drake is complaining about a former relationship before they get back together again in "Blue Tint." With this song Drake is going for a slow and smooth R&B feel, but it's just slow and anything but smooth. The music is very minimalistic, but to a fault, making this a very boring song about Drake blaming this girl for doing everything wrong while making me personally think Drake was actually the one at fault, but just doesn't want to admit it because he's too prideful to take any blame.

36- "Is There More" - Drake -- I wish there wasn't more. But yeah, we still have to deal with more songs. This is the final song on the first half of the album, thus it's fitting that it's called "Is There More," because there is. But holy fetch is this song trash. There's some strange noises going on in the background while he drones in a very blocky, monotone way that doesn't sound like singing or rapping. He's just talking as if this was a song he recorded at the end of a very long day and he just didn't care about doing anything with it. I don't even really no what it is he's rambling on about here because there's no focus here with anything he's saying.

37- "That's How You Feel" - Drake -- We're back to the second half of the album after taking a minor detour to the final song of the first half. And we're back to talking about this girl that Drake may or may not want to be with. I'm not even sure where this fits in our chronology of him complaining because it sounds like this is at a point where they're together, but Drake feels like she's not feeling the same about this relationship as he does. That's all there is to the song outside some random samples of a live Nicki Minaj performance that feels out of place. This is another song where Drake leans more R&B and he pulls it off better than in "Jaded" and the song has more rhythm and flow than in "Is There More," but there's still not much to this song.

38- "Peak" - Drake -- This is the first song from the second half of the album. If I was listening to this album in order, then this would be a much needed shift from "Is There More" as Drake transitions to a more R&B and pop feel in this second half. More rambling about relationship issues as that appears to be the whole second half of the album. In this edition of that complaining, he's throwing in a whole bunch of British references, including a "Rest in Heaven, Diana" line right from the beginning. I'm not sure how that all fits in unless the girl he's talking about is from the UK. Musically the song tries to do something interesting partway through, but doesn't quite get there and thus we are left with another off-kilter R&B song that tries to be smooth, but ends up more boring with an unbalanced flow and more lyrics that are simply dull.

41- "After Dark" - Drake featuring Static Major & Ty Dolla $ign -- I honestly thought this song would be much higher up than No. 41 given that Drake actually gives featured credit to his featured artists in this song, one of them being Static Major. If you're drawing a blank on Static Major, he died in 2008 after a medical malpractice in a hospital visit before he was able to release his debut album. He's most well known for his featured credit on Lil Wayne's "Lollipop," which was released two weeks after his death. And now he shows up again on this Drake song, making this the second posthumous feature that Drake has included here, following the Michael Jackson song that debuted at No. 9. I'm not sure where Drake takes the Static Major sample from, but it's mainly just a ploy to get attention, in my opinion, as he essentially found a brief clip of Static singing the phrase "after dark" that's repeated throughout the song. This is also Drake rambling on about this broken relationship, which makes it boring after hearing the same lyrics in every song. The difference is we get a more desperate tone from Drake as he's begging the girl to come back to him so that he can prove himself. Another difference is that the smooth R&B feel actually works this time around as opposed to Drake missing the mark on several other R&B attempts in the second half of this album. So this is nothing to write home about, but it's passable.

A humorous element about this song is that at the end he includes a montage from a radio station in Canada, making it seem like one of those songs riffed from the radio back in the day. Part of this bit from the radio station has the dude give out the number to call in, which made thousands of people call into this station after the album was released out of pure curiosity to see if it's real or fake. And it's real. 93.7 WBLK in Toronto. The number is 716-644-9393 if you feel like giving them a call. The radio station responded to Drake very appreciative of the huge spike in attention.

42- "Finesse" - Drake -- I don't like Bruno Mars' song "Finesse," but it's much better than this song. I don't know if that's a surprise or not. It feels like a broken record in saying what these lyrics are about. It's the same relationship roller coaster. Although this is Drake saying how much he is in love with this girl, so it appears to be before all the fiasco of breaking up and complaining, then getting back together and possibly breaking up again. Or whatever. I don't know if Drake really planned all of this out. He just probably wrote a whole bunch of romance songs for some reason. While "After Dark" that I just talked about hits the R&B rhythm quite well, this is another example of Drake completely botching it as this song is extremely boring.

51- "Ratchet Happy Birthday" - Drake -- If you ever play this song for me on my birthday, I just might thrown the whole cake at you because this is quite the cringe-worthy happy birthday song as Drake uses a happy birthday backdrop to say how much he loves this girl, like on "Finesse," but also subtly insulting her by mentioning how unemotional she is. Because that's a nice thing to sing to a girl on her birthday. And the chorus of happy birthday begins with "It's your brrrrrrrrrr..." in annoying Migos fashion.

56- "Final Fantasy" - Drake -- We're almost done with Drake. Just one more song after this and we're free until his next album bomb, which will probably happen next year. This here is by far the worst song on the album because Drake spends the whole song graphically describing all of his sexual fantasies with this girl. I don't know if it was supposed to sound sexy, but he describes this fantasy in a dull, monotone style, which makes this sound creepy as if he was a sexual predator planning on going after this girl. I know this isn't what Drake was going for, but he just misses the mark so hard with what he was aiming for that this is what it ends up sounding like. And what an insult to people who like the Final Fantasy games. Drake names his song after that, but it has nothing to do with the games and is instead a gross sexual fantasy song.

57- "March 14" - Drake -- Drake finishes the album with a song that's not really a song nor a rap. He's just kinda talking to us with some noises in the background that sound like drunk fairies while detailing the story of his child, which seems to be a main theme of this album. Pusha T called Drake out regarding this secret child and now Drake is opening about that and how he's a single dad  because he has a child, yet is not in a relationship with said child's mother. What's the significance of March 14? I don't know. He doesn't say. Thus your guess is as good as mine. I can appreciate his take on this whole controversy regarding his child. But this is not a song. It's one long verse of him talking to us. So I'm not giving him any credit with the lyrics.

Now that all 25 songs from "Scorpion" have been covered on this blog, 22 new songs this week plus his three lead-off singles, my final grade for the album is a D+, which is higher than the D I gave Drake's album "Views" last year and also higher than albums this year from Post Malone, Logic and Cardi B. That's because there are several good songs scattered throughout on the album, but it's all quantity over quality, so you have to sort through a whole bunch of messy, boring nonsense to find the few songs that are actually worth listening. That's Drake for you. Are you surprised?

63- "Karma" - Queen Naija -- We're done with Drake this week, but we're not done with new songs from the Hot 100. We have five more songs from artists not named Drake. And we start off with another song from Queen Naija? I didn't see this one coming. Her song "Medicine" was a very enjoyable angry track aimed at her ex-husband after the YouTube couple split. But being that she was a YouTube personality and not a professional singer, the song disappeared rather quickly. Until recently when it resurfaces on the Hot 100. And now we get a second single from her. Does this mean she's going to make the transition into a legit musician? Because I would like that. This girl has potential. Although eventually she's going to have to pick a new subject to sing about because this is another angry song aimed at her ex as she details a lot of the things that he did wrong in the relationship and warned him that what goes around, comes around. Her voice is still really good and she has some emotion packed into this song. But it does feel like she repeated a lot of what she already said in "Medicine," so I don't know how much more of these I will continue to give a pass to if she keeps on going with them, but for now I'm fine with it.

76- "Kiss Somebody" - Morgan Evans -- New country song from a new country singer. I feel this guy has a name similar to a hundred other country singers, which is why I thought I new him, but nope. This is new. Apparently he had a debut album back in 2014 that like two people listened to and now this is a song released in July 2017 for his upcoming second album. I casually read over that and assumed that said release date of the song was this month. But no, we're in 2018, which means this song is a year old. I'm not sure why it's just now entering the Hot 100 or where that second album is, but I don't really care enough to figure out because this is another bland, generic country song from a guy who sounds just as bland as every other boring country singer in the business right now. However, as I was listening more to this song, I started to feel like this was a bit conniving. He's talking about drowning your sorrows after losing someone by drinking, which is nothing new, but then he started saying that if drinking doesn't work out, then go kiss somebody, thus planting the thought into this person's head, after which he suggests she come and start kissing him. In other words, he's trying to take advantage of a girl who is lost in her sorrows by suggesting they start making out. That actually didn't sit super well with me as I thought about it.

86- "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset" - Luke Bryan -- Perhaps Luke Bryan should learn to wear sunscreen. His whole summer with this girl is sunrise, sunburn, sunset, repeat. He says they lit July on fire, but it appears that July lit them on fire. Anyways, as opposed to Morgan Evans sounding like a creepy man you should avoid after he's attempting to take advantage of a brokenhearted girl, Luke Bryan is simply chronicling a simple summer with a girl. This is a harmless song with a bit of a catchy chorus. I could see country fans gravitating towards it. But there's not enough in the song to make me really care about it. Instead I find myself asking weird questions like where did Luke get money from that summer? Did he not have a job or anything else to do with his life rather than spending every waking moment in the sun? Not that those details matter, but sometimes overly simple songs don't work well for me.

93- "Hotel Key" - Old Dominion -- Hey look! We have an Old Dominion sighting! I haven't seen them since they bored me with "No Such Thing as a Broken Heart" and "Written in the Sand" last year. "Hotel Key" comes from the same album, so you know I was stoked for this. And you should also know that sometimes I use a lot of sarcasm, especially when it comes to country singers or groups that have not piqued my interest with their music. And yeah, "Hotel Key" doesn't work for me, either. Just Matthew Ramsey from Old Dominion singing about a one-night stand he had with a girl. The two of them didn't care about three little words unless those were "Do not disturb." In other words, they didn't care about love or about each other. They just wanted to have sex in a hotel room at night after spending the day leading up to that drinking and smoking. They wondered if anyone would miss them if they ran, but then it's stated this isn't a story that ends that way. And he doesn't really say how the story ended because that's the final verse of the song. He just repeats the chorus a few times after that. I guess the twist ended is that she kept the hotel key, inferring that they never saw each other after that. So yeah, boring story that I didn't need to hear from a boring country group singing a boring song with boring music around it.

99- "Growing Pains" - Alessia Cara -- We've finally made it to the end of this long week of new arrivals. We finish off with the one song I was excited about when I looked at this long list. Alessia Cara. I like her and so does pop radio, so hopefully she can provide a bit of life to the charts. This song here is fairly simple as she's talking about the growing pains that are keeping her up. It's the lead-off single to her new album coming soon and it feels more like an introduction to that album with more details to come in later songs. But I don't know, this is been such a an awful week with so much Drake and the three previous country songs not helping things, that this feels like a nice breath of fresh air. Finally there's a song that I can feel happy about. I think the beat in the song is subtle, but it also has a nice little groove to it with an excellent vocal performance from Alessia that matches the more painful tone of the song. So yeah, I enjoy this and it makes me excited for what Alessia has in store for us later this year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - July 7, 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- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+1) -- No surprise here with Cardi B rising to No. 1. She's actually not No. 1 in any of the three categories, but is consistently strong in all three of them, being No. 2 in sales, No. 3 in streaming and No. 7 in radio. Personally I have mixed feelings on this song. It's kinda fun seeing Pete Rodriguez's classic 1967 song "I Like It Like That" hit No. 1, but this specific iteration sees this trio of artists taking turns spitting in that song's face as their additions to the song are cringe-worthy, especially Cardi B. In terms of history, Cardi B is now the only female rapper to have two No. 1 hits, which is a statistic that surprised me. I thought there were more female rappers to top the charts and I was certain that at least one of them had a second No. 1 hit. But nope. Prior to this week, Lauryn Hill, Lil' Kim, Shawna and Iggy Azalea were the only other female rappers in addition to Cardi that were tied at one No. 1 hit a piece. And yes, it's very true that Nicki Minaj has yet to hit No. 1, which I find really amusing. Now every time you hear Nicki rapping that she's the best and on top of the world, well, she's lying through her teeth. Cardi is ahead of her. And Cardi did this with her debut album. The last time any female singer had two No. 1 hits on her debut album was Lady Gaga in 2009. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis last achieved this in 2013 among all artists.

Cardi should feel lucky that she got to No. 1 this week because it very well could be her only week at No. 1 with this song. Drake recently dropped his new 25-track album "Scorpion," which is set to shatter all sorts of records next week as it's already set a bunch of streaming records in the few days it's been out. Drake could have upwards of eight songs in the top 10 next week, with the potential of five or six top 10 debuts. "Nonstop" by Drake should be the song that'll debut at No. 1 next week.

2- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (-1) -- X quite nearly spoiled Cardi's chances of getting to No. 1 as all of his songs held rather well on the charts in the second week following his murder in June. I don't expect them to last too long on the charts, but it's very possible that they hold onto enough streaming to slowly disappear instead of completely dropping off like most songs do when they are boosted following the death of an popular musician. Specifically concerning "SAD!," it debuted it's music video last week, which helped it remain mostly steady in streaming this week. But given how much Drake is dominating streaming right now, this song, along with most songs from various hip-hop artists, are probably set to take a huge hit next week.

3- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (+1) -- Juice WRLD is close to getting his own No. 1 hit as he rises up to No. 3 this week and with "Lucid Dreams," which is No. 2 on streaming, just barely behind "SAD!" by X. The problem is "Lucid Dreams" is only No. 19 on sales and still hasn't seen the light of day on the radio charts. With Drake dominating streaming at the moment, it might be hard for Juice WRLD to fully recover in two weeks following Drake's debut week as this needs to start getting something on radio or else the floor is going to completely fall out for it here soon.

4- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B (+1) -- I don't know why this is still the No. 1 song on the sales charts right now. It's remained way to consistent there for my personal comfort. Not to mention it's still soaring high on radio because of the radio's continued love affair with Maroon 5. Thus this song unfortunately should survive the Drake onslaught, even though I would love for it to get killed off.

5- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (+1) -- I was really excited last week when "Psycho" fell out of the top five for the first time since its debut on the charts several months ago. But just like that it's back in the top five. That because "Nice for What" collapsed down to No. 6 this week. But this is only temporary since "Nice for What" is going right back up next week, along with every other Drake song. In fact, I'm almost certain that Post Malone will get completely bullied out of the top 10 next week. I'm hoping it will be weak enough to not recover in two weeks.

6- "Nice for What" - Drake (-3) -- Drake falling out of the top five with "Nice for What" speaks to the song's long term prospects. It's had a really good chart run so far and it'll be looking to wind down its run. However, as I've said several times now, Drake's album dropped and that'll send "Nice for What" straight back up. Possibly as high as No. 2 next week. And it could celebrate even more weeks in the top five depending on how well Drake holds in two weeks after his big week next week.

7- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (=) -- Ella Mai has reached the top 10 on the sales chart and is still doing really well on sales. But I've said for a while now that the radio just isn't there. In fact, it down in radio this week, which is a bad sign.

8- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (+1) -- I'm hoping for an Ariana resurgence in two weeks because the radio for this song has really started to pick. which is a great sign. But thanks to Drake, this song will take next week off when it comes to the top 10.

9- "God's Plan" - Drake (-1) -- "God's Plan" looks like it has even less life in it than "Nice for What" as I would've guessed that this would be the song's last or second to last week in the top 10 had it not been for Drake's album, which will boost it up next week. After that, I'm not sure how much longer this will have. But it's certainly had a good run.

10- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+1) -- It's a slight surprise seeing this song in the top 10 for one more week. Even though "The Middle" is still No. 1 on the radio charts, it's sales and streaming no longer exist, which led Bebe and FGL to celebrate once more. I don't think this would even be here next week even without Drake's album. But it's definitely guaranteed to get murdered next week.

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "Moonlight" - XXXTENTACION (+3) -- Most of X's songs fell a bit this week, which was expected. The big surprise is that they didn't fall more. However, a bigger surprise is that this specific song actually rose on the charts and I'm not even sure why.

14- "Better Now" - Post Malone (+9) -- I don't know if you could tell by now, but I'm really done with Post Malone. Sure, this song is better than "Psycho" and "rockstar," but that's not a very high bar to reach. I hope this song's momentum sputters out.

15- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+17) -- As for why people are still streaming this song to death, I have no idea. This is more worthless and stupid than most rap songs today.

16- "Mine"- Bazzi (+4) -- Bazzi refuses to go away with "Mine" as it continues to camp around in the teens, but it looks like its chance to hit top 10 has long since passed

17- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+4) -- "Perfect" has had a surprising amount of legs on the charts. I'm impressed. But it's not going to get a second wind. It just rose up because most of X's songs fell.

20- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+7) -- I'm really hoping Taylor Swift can continue her upward momentum on the charts. If this sputters out in the teens or even here at No. 20, I'll be disappointed. "Delicate" is getting great radio, so I think this will at least remain consistent here in the mid-region of the charts.

21- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+13) -- This I don't understand. "Tequila" is not a bad country song, but it's extremely average, so why it's now almost at the top of the country charts is beyond me.

30- "Taste" - Tyga featuring Offset (+8) -- I would love it if Drake is able to kill this song's momentum. I think a lot of hip-hop songs will especially suffer next week and I can only hope that this is one of them.

41- "I Like Me Better" - Lauv (+6) -- Almost top 40 for Lauv. Most of the really good songs this year have failed to do much on the charts, so I'm hoping this song can continue to go upwards because we could really use some actual quality. If you're new to this song, make sure you check out the Ryan Riback remix. The original is good, but that remix adds even more life to it.

44- "Get Along" - Kenny Chesney (+6) -- This song almost does it for me. A decent effort from Kenny Chesney. But ultimately not quite good enough for me to be excited that this is now a top 50 hit.

45- "Simple" - Florida Georgia Line (+9) -- This, on the other hand, is the country song that I'm happy for. Of course FGL goes with a more folkly, pop flavor with this. The title explains the song rather well. It's simple. But it works.

48- "Mercy" - Brett Young (+12) -- I wish I was happier for Brett Young as he gets another top 50 hit. Country radio has now completely fallen in love with this guy and usually I'm cool with that, but this is just not that good of an effort from him.

49- "One Number Away" - Luke Combs (+8) -- A whole handful of country songs getting top 50 this week and only FGL's "Simple" is going to get praise for me. This Luke Combs song isn't offensive, but it is horribly cliche and boring.

57- "Dura" - Daddy Yankee (+13) -- I've been wondering what "Dura" is going to do on the charts. I've been expecting Daddy Yankee to add an English-speaking pop star to the song in a remix because that's how he got "Despacito" so popular, but all he did was a remix with Bad Bunny, Becky G and Natti Natasha back in April. So that's a curious move. But hey, if this original can do well on its own, I'm totally fine with that. Although I think the ceiling is fairly low.

70- "Hope" - XXXTENTACION (+10) -- This is the other song from X to rise this week. And since it was a new entry last week as opposed to a re-entry, I'm not totally surprised. I don't think this song will stick around much, but we'll see.

73- "Drowns the Whiskey" - Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert (+12) -- A boring country drinking song where Jason Aldean brings Miranda Lambert on just for backing vocals. What a waste. But hey, what did you expect from Jason Aldean?

75- "I was Jack (You were Diane)" - Jake Owen (+19) -- If we want to talk about a country song with some actual intelligence behind it, this is the country song to turn to. I love the original version of this song and I think Jake Owen did a great job of putting his own spin on it. I'd be totally fine if this picked up some steam on country radio.

79- "I Know You" - Lil Skies featuring Yung Pinch (+13) -- Can we just forget that these two punks ever made music? That would really be nice as neither of them has any ounce of talent.

81- "Medicine" - Queen Naija (+19) -- In case you forgot Queen Naija existed, she's back. "Medicine" debuted at the same time as "Boo'd Up" did. While "Boo'd Up" shot straight to the top 10 of the Hot 100 rather quickly, Queen Naija fell off the charts until last week. If she can somehow manage to gain traction, I think that would be really cool because I enjoy this song more than I do "Boo'd Up."

New Arrivals:

58- "Sober" - Demi Lovato -- I listened to this song shortly after the lyric video dropped on June 21 and I was immediately touched by it, so I'm glad to see it on the charts this week. The big story behind this song is that early this year on Twitter, Demi tweeted out that she is now celebrating being six years sober. Three months later she releases this song, which is her apologizing that she's not sober anymore, implying that she relapsed recently. There's not justifications or excuses in the lyrics. She apologizes to her mom and dad. She apologizes to a former lover. She apologizes to her fan base and anyone else that's been on this journey before. She talks about her feelings of being lonely and how she wants to be a role model for everyone, but confesses that she is still human, which is something we often forget with celebrities. They're humans just like us. She ends the song by saying she promises that she'll get help and then says sorry to herself. This is such a raw, emotional song that we don't see too much of in the mainstream. Everyone else is releasing all these generic songs with generic lyrics. And Demi releases a song where she pours out her whole soul. I love that!

65- "Legends" - Juice WRLD -- Juice WRLD recently released his debut album "Goodbye & Good Riddance," which includes his two big hits "Lucid Dreams" and "All Girls Are the Same," the former of which I enjoy, but the latter I don't. I naturally assumed "Legends" was a third release from that album since the album is doing very well on streaming, but it's not. And at first I was confused, but then I learned that this song is a tribute to XXXTENTACION and Lil Peep that Juice WRLD wrote follow the news of X's death, so that I appreciate. The message he has to say with that is one of uncertainty and confusion, which also feels very honest. He talks about being shocked out the unexpected death of X as well as being sad about Lil Peep overdosing and suddenly he doesn't know if he wants this newly gained fame. He admits that he doesn't have any specific answers to anything. He's just left in a state of shock and confusion at this point. And that's it. I really appreciated the honest there in the lyrics because I'm sure there's a lot of rappers who feel the same way, but Juice WRLD was the one who expressed it in a song. Musically it's not as catchy and upbeat as "Lucid Dreams," but I don't think it needed to be for what he was going for here.

88- "Coming Home" - Keith Urban featuring Julia Michaels -- Here's a simple song from Keith Urban about how there's nothing in the world like coming home. Compared to what other country singers are singing about right now, this song feels like a step in the right direction as Keith gives a real sentiment and has a catchy enough groove with the music behind the lyrics. But this song left me wanting more. It's a little too simple. He tells us that there's nothing in the world like coming home, but essentially just leaves it at that without going into much detail. And he brought on Julia Michaels and the two of them have great chemistry on the final chorus and the outro, but that's all she's here for. She gets a bridge on her own right before that chorus, but it's not enough. Had Keith dove deeper into the song and included Julia Michaels more, then I think this could've worked. As is, it's a nice start, but it feels like an unfinished first draft.

92- "Life Changes" - Thomas Rhett -- On other country news, we have Thomas Rhett talking about the recent changes he's had in his life. And I find it funny because he starts by talking about the bad songs he wrote in college and how they're now on the shelves at Walmart. I don't know if he meant to admit that all his current music is bad and he doesn't know why everyone likes it, but that might be the truest thing he's said in a song. All this guy does it write dumb, boring country-pop songs and for some reason he has the whole world in love with him. It's kinda frustrating. But actually I surprisingly found that this song isn't that bad. He talks about getting married in the second verse and having kids in the third verse, after that first verse is about him becoming a famous singer. The chorus talk about how it's funny how life changes sometimes. You have all these plans, but then life takes you in a very different direction than what you're expecting. Granted, I don't feel this is anything special or life-changing coming from Mr. Rhett. It's more like decent album filler. But hey, I'll take this over most other stuff he's done, so we're making progress here.

95- "The Light is Coming" - Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj -- I mentioned last week that I really like Ariana as a pop singer, but I also get frustrated with her because after releasing a genuinely good pop song, she'll then turn around and release something trashy, like a Nicki Minaj collaboration, which she does way too much of. This here is our second Ariana and Nicki collaboration is as many weeks. Luckily this week sees Nicki as the featured artist and she only has one verse. At the very beginning. And it's so dull and typical Nicki that by the middle of the song, I forgot the verse had happened. That's also because this is such a strange song with so many experimental things that Ariana does, like a repeated like from a 2009 confrontation between a member of the public and a Senator from Pennsylvania wherein the person says, "You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead." That line is literally repeated throughout the song in the background as Ariana was doing all sorts of weird things with her voice and with the construction of the verses. All of it was so distracting that I couldn't pay attention to what she was saying in the song. Even reading the lyrics makes me unsure. Something about the light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, but I'm not sure what context that speaks of. Ariana has an album coming out this year called "Sweetener" and this is the second released song from it after "No Tears Left to Cry." Let's hope the album as a whole is more like the latter song and not like this. But knowing Ariana's albums, it'll probably be a mix of both.

97- "Solo" - Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato -- We start with Demi and we end with Demi this week. Except this song isn't quite as new as "Sober" as it's been around since, well, the movie "Solo" was released in late May. Pure coincidence there, though. This song is No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and is in its sixth week on that chart. Clean Bandit usually does quite well on those EDM charts, but it's always nice to see them crossover to the Hot 100. Something that DIDN'T happen with "Symphony" featuring Zara Larsson last year. I'm still mad about that. And as is always the case with Clean Bandit, the rest of the world seems to get them as this has been No. 1 in a lot of different countries, but is just now hitting the Hot 100 here in the U.S. If it seems like Clean Bandit and Demi would go good together, it's because they do. No, this song isn't quite on the level of a "Rather Be" or "Symphony" for Clean Bandit, but they provide a fun groove to dance to with this song and Demi is on point with her vocals, even though the song isn't meant to be a strong, power ballad, meaning Demi doesn't get to her usual upper register. The lyrics might be the weakest element of the song as it's a typical "sad about being single" song, but it works well enough. Now if we could somehow get Clean Bandit to be as popular here as they are internationally, that would make our Billboard charts a much better place. So make it happen, America!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - June 30, 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- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (+51) -- Take it, X. And keep it for as long as you want. I said this on my personal Facebook page the day the news broke, but this is a time when we put our personal feelings aside and mourn the loss of a 20-year-old kid. No one deserves to die, especially not someone that young. He had his whole life in front of him, which included the opportunity to change and become a better human being. And now that opportunity has been taken from him. No, I didn't like his music and no, I didn't think he was a very good human being. I mean, he was awaiting trial for domestic violence charges wherein he beat his pregnant girlfriend. So he probably belonged in prison for an extended period of time. But that's still not cause for celebrating his death, which I've seen some people on the internet do. That's disgraceful. On the flip side, I've also seen people praising him as a legend, one of the greatest rappers and/or this generation's 2Pac. Well, I'm certainly not going to complain about that. Just don't expect me to take it that far because I still don't like his music. But I sincerely mourn his loss. It's a tragedy that he was taken way too young.

In terms of this song specifically, I actually don't think it's that bad. And I said that when it debuted back in March. It leans towards pop more than hip-hop and musically it's a pretty good song. I think my biggest problem is that it feels underwritten. He has one short verse, then repeats the chorus six times. It would've been nice if he went in to more depth rather than just scratching the surface, but I would've been alright with this being a huge hit even before X got killed and I'm definitely fine with it staying here with all things considered. However, history suggests that songs that get a boost after an artist passes away usually only lasts a week, so objectively speaking I only expect this to stay No. 1 for this week, but if it sneaks in a few more, I'm totally fine with it.

2- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+1) -- With "SAD!" being down at No. 52 before X got shot, it means had that not happened, Cardi B would've been No. 1 this week as she passed both "Nice for What" and "Psycho." I'm sure Cardi is totally fine with waiting a bit before getting No. 1. She does have strong competition for the spot, but the advantage she has on everyone else is that she's consistent in all three categories rather than just being lopsided in one or two, so my money is on Cardi getting No. 1 next week if X falls from the top spot.

3- "Nice for What" - Drake (-2) -- Drake may have been dethroned... again. But surprisingly I wouldn't completely rule out a fourth separate trip to No. 1 with this song as Drake's album gets released on Friday, meaning I fully expect both this and "God's Plan" to get a huge boost the week after next as album drops usually do that for an artist. But with fading totals in all categories, will that boost be enough?

4- "Lucid Dreams" - Juice WRLD (+2) -- The biggest challenger for Cardi B on next week's charts is this song. Personally I would prefer this song over Cardi's as I still think this is a pretty good song. It's an absolute monster on streaming right now, with totals that very well could push it to the top despite lacking in the other two categories. I will say that sales are catching up, but still not super strong. Yet the big problem is that radio still hasn't touched this song as it hasn't even debuted on the radio charts yet. While streaming can carry this momentarily, absolutely no radio will hurt it in the long run. I'm honestly confused why radio hasn't given this more of a look. All the other rap songs in the top 10 right now have decent radio. Even if you hate this song, is it really that much worse than the likes of Cardi B and Post Malone?

5- "Girls Like You" - Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B (=) -- My nightmares of this song sticking around for a long time are coming true. Radio is starting to eat this up as the numbers continue to skyrocket. Meanwhile sales are still really good and streaming, mostly thanks to the YouTube, is also surprisingly strong. Yet every time I see the title, it's the Kip Moore song titled "More Girls Like You" that I start singing while I'm not even able to recall this tune unless I go relisten to it, which I haven't cared to do much because I never cared much for it in the first place.

6- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-4) -- This is my favorite part of this week's top 10. Seeing "Psycho" plummet from No. 2 to No. 6. When I first saw this, I literally was as giddy as a little school boy. It's about freaking time. Oddly enough, it's the streaming that's the problem for Post Malone. The sales are declining, but not by a lot while the radio is mostly steady. But the streaming completely bottomed out this week, sending this falling out of the top five.

7- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (=) -- I've said this for several weeks now, but despite great streaming, the radio and sales just aren't rising fast enough for Ella, thus she seems to remain stuck here at the bottom half of the top 10. Honestly I'm kinda surprised that radio hasn't moved very fast as its still below the top 10 at No. 15 overall and no where to be heard on pop radio. I mean, why is pop radio playing Post Malone on repeat and falling in love with Maroon 5 again while tossing Ella Mai to the curb? That confuses me.

8- "God's Plan" - Drake (-4) -- "God's Plan" spent a LONG time in the top five after debuting at No. 1. 21 weeks to be exact. In fact, this is the first week that it's been out of the top five. But as I said with "Nice for What," don't be surprised to see this get a boost in two weeks when Drake's album, which releases on Friday, will impact the charts. It should at least celebrate one final week in the top five when that happens.

9- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (=) -- I'm really glad that pop radio has fallen in love with this song by Ariana. It's a fantastic pop song. I'm kinda sad, though, that the other categories don't have as much life in them comparatively, thus leaving Ariana stranded at No. 9 yet again, instead of going up on the charts like she deserves.

10- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (-2) -- One more week for this trio of acts in the top 10 as they hang on for dear life to the No. 10 spot? This song is still No. 1 on the overall radio charts, which is the reason it's maintained enough momentum to still be here, but it's started to plummet on pop radio while losing hard in sales and streaming. So yeah, this could be gone as early as next week.

Rising on the Hot 100:

15- "I'm Upset" - Drake (+13) -- We got an odd mix of new arrivals this week which combined with XXXTENTACION dominating with a whole ton of re-entries. "Moonlight" at No. 16, "Changes" at No. 18, "Jocelyn Flores" at No. 19, "F--- Love" at No. 28, "Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares" at No. 42, "The Remedy for a Broke Heart (Why Am I So in Love)" at No. 58 and "Numb" at No. 82. That means not a lot of rising songs this week, but I'm sure we'll get more next week. What we did get is Drake's next single looking like it's heading for a top 10 spot, which is unfortunate. The song got a huge boost this week thanks to the music video and will get another boost in two weeks with the album. Yes, I liked both "God's Plan" and "Nice for What." I do not like "I'm Upset," so I'm not happy that it's gaining traction. You can say... I'm upset.

49- "Youngblood" - 5 Seconds of Summer (+30) -- We jump straight from No. 15 to No. 49. No rising songs in between all of that. But I'm sure next week will compensate for that, though. This week 5SOS got a pretty big boost with their album release. I haven't listened to very many albums this year, but this one certainly wouldn't be high on my list to catch up with. That said, I don't hate "Youngblood," so who knows.

63- "I Lived It" - Blake Shelton (+13) -- Out of all the country songs this week that could've had a big boost, why this one? Oh. Because it's Blake Shelton. Lame. When will the world of country finally give up on this guy?

87- "Welcome to the Party" - Diplo, French Montana & Lil Pump featuring Zhavia Ward (+13) -- This song debuted a few weeks back, but has spent the time in between not being able to decide what it's going to do. It disappeared, then re-entered, then fell to No. 100. Now it jumped up to No. 87. What's next? I'd say get rid of it.

New Arrivals:

13- "APES---" - THE CARTERS -- The biggest story in the new arrivals section is the surprise album drop from Beyonce and JAY-Z called "EVERYTHING IS LOVE." On the album, their calling themselves THE CARTERS, which makes sense since they are the Carters, of course. Married since 2008. Together long before that. Of the nine tracks from the album, five of them debuted this week, most of them towards the bottom of the charts. But this song is the biggest new song from them, nearly getting them a top 10 debut. And yes, it's censored in this post because I don't type up curse words on this blog. Both JAY-Z and Beyonce released their own albums individually, "4:44" and "Lemonade." I think I was supposed to be madly in love with both of them. I wasn't. Sorry. Doesn't mean I hated them. I just didn't love them. Is that OK? If not, well, tough. It's my opinion. Thus I can't say I was excited when this album dropped. But I was curious to see what they came up with.

We're not off to a very good start with this first song, though. I can see the conversation right now. "Hey love, we should do an album together!" "Great idea! What should we sing about?" "Let's sing about how rich we are and about how we're on top of the music world." "Another great idea! Let's make sure we bring in Migos with our big single that we'll promote." "Perfect!" Yeah, these two are capable of MUCH better than this. The beat is fine and their flow with the rap is pretty good, but for crying out loud I don't give one iota about the content here. It's boring and lazy. And having Quavo and Offset on the song with their echoes and sound effects making it even worse for me. Quite frankly, Beyonce is terrible on this song as she sounds bored when she's delivering her lazily written lines. At least JAY-Z is on fire with his verse, but he's not in this specific song very much. And now I'm sure I'll have people trying to convince me of how much of a masterpiece this song is. But I don't care. I don't see it.

43- "Bed" - Nicki Minaj featuring Ariana Grande -- I consider myself a fan of Ariana Grande, but occasionally she frustrates me by doing stuff like this with Nicki Minaj. Granted, this is not as explicit and awful as some of their previous collaborations, nor is it close to as disgustingly graphic as last week's "Rich Sex" by Nicki and Lil Wayne, but this is still just a sex song. Ariana handles the chorus where she tells the boy that she has a bed with his name on it and a kiss with his name on it. And that's it. Those were the only lines that Nicki gave her in this song. She just repeats them a lot. Then Nicki in her verses talks about her thousand dollar sheets on this bed and the strawberry lingerie she'll be wearing while she's waiting. Her rap isn't as annoying as it often is, so I guess this is acceptable, but I'm mostly just bored with it. With this combined with "Rich Sex," I'm guessing Nicki has 19 tracks of sex and money that she'll be rapping about on her upcoming album "Queen" this summer. I couldn't be less excited at this point. Let's just hope she doesn't album bomb when it does get released. 

53- "Bigger > You" - 2 Chainz, Drake & Quavo -- Oh my goodness, the stylization of this title gives me a huge headache. The title read out is supposed to be "Bigger Than You." But apparently 2 Chainz skipped math class in middle school because the symbol ">" does NOT stand for "Than." It stands for "GREATER than." So essentially what 2 Chainz has done is create a title that says "Bigger is Greater Than You." Which is a sentence that doesn't actually make sense. But, you know, as long as it LOOKS cool and hip, that's what really matters in the rap world, right? Well, as you might guess, the song itself is as unintelligent as it looks. Drake phones in a verse at the end. Like, literally. He mumbles and slurs his way through his verse that probably took him two minutes to write, record and send over to 2 Chainz. Quavo takes care of the chorus were he has some random, generic flex rap while 2 Chainz in his verses talks about all the fancy stuff he owns and how it makes him better than you. Yeah... snooze.

55- "DDU-DU DDU-DU" - BLACKPINK -- Let me start by fully admitting that this is an incredibly stupid song. And these girls need serious work when it comes to their lip-syncing in their music videos. I mean, they hit these super high notes, but in the video they're barely opening their mouths. That aside, this is the type of really stupid song that I will categorize into the guilty pleasure. It's like how we all have a ton of fun in dance parties when we ride on our invisible horses when "Gangnum Style" plays. It's really stupid. But a lot of fun. I think what makes this fun is that these girls have a lot of talent vocally. This plays into every K-Pop cliche by being a hybrid of every genre, but it does it well. The dance beats are strong and heavy. The vocals of these girls when it hits the pop portion of the song is off the charts. They belt out their verses and it's breathtaking in an Ariana Grande sort of way. Then when we get to the rap verses, they have some fire to that. Instead of lazily checking the boxes like our other K-Pop group, these girls check the boxes, but then go above and beyond with those cliches. If that makes sense. Most of the lyrics are in Korean, but then we have random bits of English like "toxic," "I'm foxy," "bad girl" and "test me." Then of course, in full English, we have the kicker, "Wait till I do what I do; Hit you with that ddu-du ddu-du." Whatever that means. In fact, I don't think it means anything in either English or Korean. You don't even need to look up the lyrics. You know exactly what they're saying.

On a side note, one thing I also appreciated is that there are only four of them and they all have distinct purposes and styles in the group. This is what a boy band or girl group should be like. Each member should have a specific purpose. When you have a group like BTS, who have 9,765 members and all but one or two of them are completely useless, that really annoys me.

74- "Born to Be Yours" - Kygo & Imagine Dragons --Kygo and Imagine Dragons? Are we topping our ice cream with a mix of onions, mushrooms and olives? I really love Kygo. I think he's extremely talented. And I used to be a fan of Imagine Dragons. But then they got extremely lazy and generic with their music, thus I turned against them. But maybe if we infuse their music with a bit of Kygo magic that would make them enjoyable again? And yeah, much to my surprise, this is exactly what happens. Although the big reason for that is that this is totally a Kygo song that more or less just features the voice of Dan Reynolds. I'm not sure why the whole band was credited or what they did in the recording session, but this is an EDM song that is fashioned perfectly by Kygo with a good tropical beat and a well-placed drop that will have you grooving at dance parties. The lyrics are simple. Dan is singing to a girl and telling her that he was born to hers as well as saying he never knew anybody until he knew her. It's good enough for the song, I suppose, although I could've used a bit more depth, especially since Dan recently just announced his divorce from his wife of seven years. So how does that play into this song? I don't know. I wish he would've explained.

77- "BOSS" - THE CARTERS -- Back to Beyonce and JAY-Z. Did they come up with something more creative with this next song? The answer is no. The good thing about this song when compared to "APES---" is that there are no Migos giving echoes and sound effects. It's just Beyonce talking about how they're boss and their ain't nothing to it. In other words, money and popularity comes easy to them. Maybe that's why she can afford to sleepwalk through this album because she knows she'll get praised to the high heavens for doing jack squat. Yeah, there ain't nothing too this song. The content is boring. Beyonce sounds bored. And not even JAY-Z is on his game this time around as he just talks about his $100 million crib and $3 million watch, all in a very choppy way. That was unfortunate because I thought at least I could count on him.

78- "Ocean" - Martin Garrix featuring Khalid -- Here's a combination that makes a ton of sense. Because Khalid collaborates with everyone, Martin Garrix decided he wanted in on the action and I'm cool with that because Martin Garrix is one of my favorite current DJs and Khalid does best when he's working with the correct people. Martin Garrix is certainly one of those. I will say first that Khalid does a bit more mumbling in this song that I prefer. He's a pretty chill singer to begin with, but he doesn't enunciate all his lyrics in a perfectly clear way. With that out of the way, I like how smooth and relaxing this song is, which goes to show how versatile Martin Garrix. A lot of DJs have their personal style, thus making it fairly easy to tell the difference between a Zedd song, a David Guetta song and a Calvin Harris song, for example, but Martin Garrix is a lot harder to pin down because he does whatever feels right for the song at hand. With a song called "Ocean" wherein Khalid is calmly saying that nothing is going to keep him and his lover apart, Martin Garrix framed that with a relaxing undertone that makes it feel like you are walking on a beach with your lover rather than jamming out to a hardcore dance song, which Garrix is also good at, but was smart enough to know that this wasn't the right song to implement those hard beats in, thus we are left with a relaxing love song that I found myself really enjoying.

80- "Hope" - XXXTENTACION -- This is the week of XXXTENTACION and as I've said above, I'm totally fine with letting him have it. "SAD!" was the biggest benefactor as it soared to No. 1 this week. But as I said in my rising songs section, there were a lot of others that re-entry. Well, here we have a leftover track from X's recent album "?" that never charted with the rest of the songs when the album dropped. Thus this will act as the final new entry from X, unless there ends up being more posthumous releases in the future that he recorded, but never put on an album. As a final entry for X, if that ends up being the case, "Hope" is a nice way to finish things off. Although if I'm being honest, what song suffers from his what the rest of the album suffered from. Being underwritten. X had a nice idea here as this song, as stated in the intro of the song, is dedicated towards those who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting. Or, well, family members left behind. The description on the song's SoundCloud is really nice and touching as he talks about there still being hope despite the fact that we've lost someone we loved. But he doesn't touch on that much on the song itself. It's the chorus repeated twice, wherein he's speaking as the voice of someone going through an awful time bridged together with a short statement saying there's hope for the rest of us. Again, a great idea and sad in retrospect, but I still don't think X ever learned how to properly write a full song. Still, this is acceptable.

84- "SUMMER" - THE CARTERS -- Song No. 3 from JAY-Z and Beyonce from their album. This song actually opens the album and had I listened to this album in order, I might be excited about what they have in store here because this is pretty decent. At least comparatively. The big difference here is that Beyonce is actually trying and she pulls out some classic Beyonce in her chorus as she uses her powerful voice that I know she has, yet also toning it down when she needs to in order to give us a good romantic vibe with this chill summer love song. Although the content of the song is pretty surface level here as she's just talking about making love in the summer time and it's JAY-Z's verse here that feels boring and lazy. Beyonce and JAY-Z have made their fair share of love songs in their days and "SUMMER" is one that I probably won't remember too much. I'd rather return to "Crazy in Love" than touch "SUMMER" again. But at least this is progress when compared to the other two songs. Or maybe the other songs are a digression since "SUMMER" comes first on the album.

85- "Drowns the Whiskey" - Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert -- Any country song with an alcoholic beverage in the title is one that you can almost guarantee that I won't be impressed with. Especially not if it comes from a country artist as boring as Jason Aldean. What I was curious about, though, was the Miranda Lambert feature. She is a good country singer, but what is she doing on a Jason Aldean song about whiskey? Could she make it tolerable? The answer to that is possibly the most frustrating part of the song. Miranda Lambert provides backing vocals to Jason Aldean in this song and that's it. She didn't even get a solo part in the chorus or a verse of her own to counteract Jason Aldean. That could've been something interesting. I mean, he's just complaining about how whiskey is supposed to drown the memory, but the memory ends up drowning the whiskey. That's boring, cliche, country nonsense. Counteracting with a Miranda Lambert verse could've at least been something. But to have a boring country song that brings on Miranda, yet only uses her for backing vocals is a complete waste, turning this song from boring to frustrating.

95- "NICE" - THE CARTERS -- Song No. 4 from Beyonce and JAY-Z's album is indeed the fourth track from the album. So caught this one in the right order. We start with a decent love song in "SUMMER," follow it up with two really bad songs where the happy couple talk about how rich and famous they are. And then we get "NICE." Which is a slight step up from the two tracks following it, but not quite on the level of "SUMMER." I find this song mostly boring as we get the chorus with Beyonce and Pharrell that drags on like taffy and nearly puts me to sleep. Yet the chorus is a huge part of the song. And we also get a post-chorus bit with JAY-Z a couple of times where he says "Nice nice nice nice nice nice" in a very jarring, chopped up way, followed by doing the same with the words "night," "lights" and "ice." That part made me cringe. I thought JAY-Z's verse was fine. Beyonce's two verses were very carefree, which I was mostly fine with. But then in a very carefree, she includes some strange things. And we end the song with a verse from Pharrell. Because... why? His verse doesn't really fit in

96- "Cops Shot the Kid" - Nas featuring Kanye West -- I don't know if you all remembered our series of Kanye West produced albums this summer, but the fourth of five albums in that series, all released one week after the other, was Nas' album "NASIR." And he was only able to chart one song, so I'm just going to talk about this one song. If you are a Nas fan and want to tell me all about the album, then be my guest. But I'm not going to dive into it right now. This one song here is obviously a politically-charged song, which made me nervous because Kanye is on it and Kanye and politics do not mix at all. And I was right to be justified because the second verse, which is all Kanye, is his typical Kanye-isms with him trying to say important things but not being very good at saying them without throwing in at least a bit of controversy as Kanye had to throw in a bit about fake news. Throwing that aside, the rest of the song is actually really good. We start with a Richard Pryor bit about racism, then we get the line "Cops shot the kid" repeated throughout the song by Slick Rick, which includes a scream in it for emphasis. The first verse is Nas properly presenting what Kanye tries to present, that of racism and all the crap that the black community has to deal with when it comes to all the racist cops out there. It's nothing we haven't seen before and I'm not sure there's a conclusion that Nas comes up with or a course of action needing to be taken. I think he could've done that in a second verse, giving this song the impact of a Kendrick Lamar song, but unfortunately as I've mentioned, Kanye comes in and ruins what Nas starting, meaning this song had potential. Perhaps I should look up more of Nas' own stuff without Kanye's involvement as he impressed me.

99- "FRIENDS" - THE CARTERS -- We're going to finish off this mostly underwhelming album from Beyonce and JAY-Z with the sixth track of the album and fifth song that charted. There's four other songs on the album, "713," "HEART ABOUT US," "BLACK EFFECT" and "LOVEHAPPY" that I don't care to listen to because these others that charted had me not caring, so why should I continue? In this song, we have Beyonce and JAY-Z talking about their friends and how said friends have helped them out in their life. That's all fine and dandy. Better than lazily rapping about fame and fortune. However, Beyonce still turns this into flexing as her chorus that repeats has her specifically talking about how her friends are better than your friends. I mean, come on. Do we have to turn everything into a flame war? Why can't we just calmly talk about how good our friends our without bringing in the comparison? What also brings this song down is JAY-Z's super long verse that left me exhausted, even though his content is fine. And Beyonce has a refrain surrounding the chorus that is extremely repetitive. If you loved this album, then feel free to tell me why I'm so wrong. But from the five songs that I covered, I'm not impressed at all. Sorry if that hurts your feelings.