Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - February 24, 2017

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- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- I posted the music video for this song on my personal Facebook page the other day and that post got a lot of attention. If you weren't one of those that saw that, then give this music video embedded right above this paragraph a watch. As reported in the video itself, the budget they were given to make this music video was $996,631.90. Instead of using that to make a super fancy video, they decided to give it away to various people and organizations who needed. The music video is them filming the reactions of the recipients. What an amazing thing to do! I think that alone makes me want this song to stay for 10 more weeks at No. 1. Which it might do anyways because this is the fourth week that the song has had 75 million U.S. streams. And that's without the help of the video, which will impact the song's numbers next week. Sales were steady from last week and radio is rising. And there's zero competition. So you better get comfortable with this being here.

2- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- Just like last week, the rest of the top five is the exact same. Which I'm kinda disappointed about because it's time for some movement here. But I'm still fine with "Perfect" being at No. 2. It still holds the top spot on the radio for a seventh week, even though Dua Lipa reigns again on pop radio. Both songs are starting to collapse on radio, so I don't expect either lead to last much longer. But the numbers for "Perfect" on radio will probably hold up well enough for it to slowly descend down instead of a sudden collapse whenever it decides to relinquish this No. 2 spot.

3- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (=) -- It's making me happy that "Finesse" is having the inability to get higher than No. 3. Unlike "Perfect," though, "Finesse" is slowly rising up those radio charts, meaning it could swap places with "Perfect" soon. But unless the streaming for "God's Plan" falls, I don't see "Finesse" getting higher than No. 2.

4- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (=) -- I've been impressed with Camila's staying power in the top five. It's been great seeing her have this much success. However, I think this song is in big danger of having the floor fall out from under it as the radio numbers holding it up this high are falling much faster than both "Perfect" and "New Rules."

5- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (=) -- Seriously. Can SOMETHING please replace this in the top five? I'll take anything at this point. Even if it's another awful rap song because I just need this gone.

6- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (new) -- I hate to go from praising Drake so much with his "God's Plan" music video to trashing him again so quickly, but I suppose this shows that I'm still not a Drake fan. I'm just a fan of the song and video for "God's Plan." I'll get more into this song down below, but this song's debut has absolutely nothing to do with BlocBoy JB, who is another SoundCloud rapper, this time from Memphis, and is celebrating his first ever Billboard Hot 100 hit, making him one of the few artists to get a top 10 debut with their first ever Hot 100 entry. But no, he did nothing to earn this. Drake found him. Drake wanted to collaborate. Drake sent him his half of the song. JB jumped up, recorded a quick verse of his own. Drake flew into town for the music video. And now the song debuts at No. 6 thanks to 34 million U.S. streams. I just hope this song goes the way of Drake's "Diplomatic Immunity," which debuted in the top 10 at the same time as "God's Plan," but now four weeks later is completely gone from the charts.

7- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+2) -- I was wanting Dua Lipa to replace "rockstar" in the top five, but I'll take this instead. As long as it actually does something and doesn't just peak here at No. 7. "Look Alive" will be gone next week and if "rockstar" actually tumbles enough, it'll set the stage for this to gain big. And if "Havana" also falls, this could go as high as No. 4. I suppose I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself, though. I'll just be happy with this being at No. 7 this week and cross my fingers that it can get higher.

8- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (-2) -- I feel I've mentioned this song a ton already, but I am sad that instead of jumping into the top five this week, it instead falls down to No. 7. Radio has been the only thing holding this up and with that now starting to decline, I guess this was inevitable. But I hope it can remain consistent enough to at least hang out here in the bottom half of the top 10.

9- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar & SZA (+22) -- The big story of this past week was "Black Panther" debuting to $242 million domestically over the four-day President's Day weekend. The movie boosts the "Black Panther" soundtrack along with it. The three prior songs that had already debuted in past weeks either held steady or got a huge boost. And five new songs debuted, giving us eight tracks from the album on the charts this week. The interesting part of all that is, despite the huge hype for this soundtrack, it was shoved aside in the movie. Only three of the 14 songs even played in the movie. Two of them were brief background noise and this song, "All the Stars" was merely the first end credits song. But hey, I enjoy this song, so I don't mind it being here. When it debuted I was curious as to how the lyrical content would fit into the context of the movie. It doesn't. It's just a random rap song for them to play in the end credits. The question for next week will be where does this song go from here?

10- "Stir Fry" - Migos (-2) -- That big album bomb for Migos a couple of weeks ago didn't last long. There's still a good handful of the songs hanging out on the Hot 100, but they're all falling pretty quickly, which I'm happy about. I thought this song would remain the one steady song out of all them, but it appears to not be lasting long, either. Which I'm not too upset about. This is probably the best Migos song that exists, but that's not saying much and I would really love it if Migos started to become irrelevant. If that means this song has to go away, too, then so be it.

Rising on the Hot 100:

17- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+5) -- I'm still waiting for "Let You Down" by NF and "Love." by Kendrick Lamar to jump into the top 10. But those songs remain stuck at No. 12 and No. 13, respectively, with "Pray for Me" by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar falling out of the top 10 to No. 11. "Pray for Me" was the only song actually featured in the "Black Panther" movie, albeit briefly, so I wouldn't be surprised to see that jump back into the top 10 next week. But amidst all that, it appears that "The Middle" by this trio of artists is another contender to go top 10 as it's doing pretty well on iTunes at the moment and is gaining some real radio traction. I will admit that this isn't the best that Zedd and Maren Morris have done, but it's an enjoyable enough dance tune that fits well on the radio.

22- "Mine" - Bazzi (+7) -- This is the final week that Valentine's Day effects the charts. So I'm hoping that means this will start to fall next week? Or at least see its momentum slow down? I guess we'll see next week if that was me being a good fortune teller or just wishful thinking on my part.

35- "River" - Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran (+7) -- This song confuses me as it can't decide if it's going to become a hit or if it's going to go away. I would kinda prefer the latter. And if you didn't see my comments on the Eminem album that I put on Facebook, I wasn't that impressed. The album is way too long and is all over the place thematically and in tone. It's like Eminem couldn't decide what direction to take the album, so he just did everything and shoved it together on one album. But if he wants to release "Like Home" featuring Alicia Keys, "Need Me" featuring P!nk, "Castle" or "Arose," those are the best songs from the album that he hasn't tried releasing yet. Let's get rid of "River" and replace it with one of those four.

38- "King's Dead" - Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake (+31) -- Out of the three "Black Panther" tracks that were released before the album and movie were released, this is the one track that I thought was both a bad track and would not fit in the movie at all. And I think this might be a situation where Ryan Coogler and/or the folks at Marvel actually may have agreed with me on when they listened to it because this did not show up in the movie. "All the Stars" was an end credits song while "Pray for Me" was played in the background for a minute while they were in Korea and the song "Opps" by Vince Staples and Yugen Blakrok, which didn't even chart this week, played during the car chase sequence for a moment. That's it.

43- "Wait" - Maroon 5 (+12) -- It makes me mad seeing this in the top 50. This is the generically boring Maroon 5 song that I keep forgetting even exists. If we can get this to stall out before it becomes a real hit, that would be nice.

47- "You Make It Easy" - Jason Aldean (+5) -- The only country song on this rising songs section this week. And that's because Jason Aldean just barely sneaks into the top 50. And it would be really nice if we shoved him back out next week.

61- "Dura" - Daddy Yankee (+20) -- A big jump for Daddy Yankee. If this continues to go higher, I'm sure we'll be getting a remix with some sort of American pop star to try to send it higher. We'll see how I feel about that when that comes. But as is, I really enjoy this song as a fun Latino dance song, so I hope for its continued success.

75- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+12) -- The next single from Imagine Dragons? Joy. This is worse than "Believer" and "Thunder." Dan Reynolds says that he's going to do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes... for WHAT? To be successful, I suppose. I guess that's what he's saying in his pretty bad rap verses that he shouldn't do again. This is empty and meaningless. Just like the whole album. A good song to put you to sleep at night because it's also extremely boring. If Imagine Dragons wants to release a fourth single from this album, they should pick "I Don't Know Why." It's literally the only track from "Evolve" that sounds like decent, classic Imagine Dragons.

New Arrivals:

6- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake -- I talked about this song a bit up above with it debuting at No. 6 this week, but this is about what you'd expect from Drake. Seeing him doing something good with his music is more shocking. Phoned in, boring rap music with zero depth is more of what he's known for and that's what we get here. Drake spends most of his verse droning on about riches and success in typical, dull Drake fashion. JB actually brings a bit of personality into his verse, but his content isn't anymore interesting. There's a Drake chorus repeated three times in between the two rappers' verses. And that's it. There's really nothing to it outside being boring, nonsensical rap that I hope disappears after a few weeks.

49- "X" - ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz & Saudi -- Here we have the first of five new "Black Panther" songs. None of these five new songs appear in the movie, so I'll just simply judge them as regular rap songs. Now to be fair, the album title mentions that this is "music from and inspired by" the movie. It's just that the lean heavily on the "inspired by" aspect of this as only two of the 14 songs show up during the movie, with the third showing up in the end credits. The inspiration for this song "X" is most likely the X that the Wakandans make with their arms to greet each other. But with X being the roman numeral for 10, that's what we're going for here as Kendrick, who takes care of the hook of the song, despite not being credited here, repeats the question, "Are you on 10 yet?" Meaning, "Are you ready for action?" After Kendrick asks that on repeat in the chorus, each of the three credited artists take turns getting distracted about riches, fame and girls. I suppose they missed the memo that they are writing a "Black Panther" song and just rapped about whatever the heck they wanted.

62- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid -- Not a "Black Panther" track. Thankfully. The world, nor the "Black Panther" movie, needs any of this kid. Send him off into space where he thinks he is in the song. Like, seriously. There's an astronaut on the cover of this single and a lot of space references as well as space-like sounds throughout the song. But I spent way too long trying to figure out how everything connects together in this and I finally found that the term plug is slang for drug dealer. There's also a lot of references to money, girls and fancy cars, which he refers to as his spaceships. The song isn't quite as annoying as "New Freezer," but that's not saying much.

63- "The Ways" - Khalid & Swae Lee -- The second of five new "Black Panther" songs. Also not included in the movie. With this one, I'm not sure how it would fit into the movie or what the inspiration is here. Khalid and Swae Lee express their desires to have a power girl, which means this is a love song and they're confused because this girl is mysterious. I suppose this could be referring to Lupita's character Nakia, the love interest of Black Panther, but even that feels like a stretch. So I could've used more creativity in actually referring to the movie instead of just having this be a random rap song. Or more of a pop song as neither Khalid nor Swae Lee do much rapping. The song isn't bad on its own. But it's mostly just boring and doesn't have any depth to it.

67- "Paramedic!" - SOB x RBE -- The third of five new "Black Panther" songs. Again, this song is also not in the movie itself. And SOB x RBE are a rap group consisting of Yhung TO, DaBoii, Slimmy B, Lul G, Kiing Rod and Yhung Wayne, the last two of whom don't show up in this specific song. So we have Slimmy B, Lul G, DaBoii and Yhung TO each taking a turn rapping a verse with Kendrick. Kendrick does the chorus in between with Zacari and Kendrick, who collaborated on the song "Love.," taking the intro. So yeah, a lot of cooks in the kitchen with this song. And I kinda wish it would just been Zacari and Kendrick, because the intro starts out really good. We even open with the line "I am Killmonger," which makes me believe they are rapping a song from the perspective of Killmonger, which I would be down for. With themes of them establishing their dominance, I can see this working out, but when our SOB x RBE group jump in, the song loses focus. These guys are that bad overall, but I think they forgot they were in a "Black Panther" track and just ramble on about establishing dominance in the streets. I got bored after the first verse because it was just copy and paste with each new voice added, but it was four verses long.

71- "Big Shot" - Kendrick Lamar & Travis Scott -- The fourth of five new "Black Panther" songs that didn't show up in the movie. Unlike our previous song "Paramedic!," this song is more simple with just two rappers instead of six rappers all stepping over each others' feet. The problem is Kendrick and Travis don't do a lot here. The song opens up with the lyrics "Wakanda! Welcome!" But that's as Wakandan as the song gets. Kendrick and Travis instead spend the song reminiscing about their rich and fame, which is really disappointing come from Kendrick, who often puts depth and passion into his projects. But I guess he just didn't care too much here. I kinda like the flute that plays in the background. It gives the song a light-hearted, unique tone to it. It paints the picture of people living relaxed and peaceful, meaning the song had potential here, had there been lyrics that were worth anything.

72- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie -- This is obviously not a "Black Panther" track. Marshmello doesn't quite fit into that movie's style. If you don't know Anne-Marie, she's an English singer who was featured by Clean Bandit on the song "Rockabye," which I really loved. "Rockabye" is the only time she's charted in the U.S., even though she's had a decent amount of success over in her home country of the U.K. "Friends" now becomes her first U.S. crossover as a lead act with her and Marshmello being listed as co-leads on this song. No, this song isn't as awesome as "Rockabye," but that's because Marshmello doesn't hold a candle to Clean Bandit when it comes to the construction of songs. But I do like the attitude that Anne-Marie brings to this song as she's trying to drive home the message to this guy that they're just friends. Marshmello backs that up with some harsh tones to make this a more "in your face" sort of song rather than a typical Marhsmello dance beat. So this doesn't blow me away, but it's enjoyable.

91- "Black Panther" - Kendrick Lamar -- The fifth and final new "Black Panther" song this week. This being the title track as well as the track opening the album, you would hope there would be something worthwhile here that actually feels inspired by the movie, which is something those previous four tracks I have talked about don't have. And this does! Although it's not super deep in doing so and the song is rather short and simple at just two minutes, which is probably why it barely managed to chart. Kendrick spends the first half of the song saying all the things that he's king of. The second half of the song is him giving a monologue, as if he were a king speaking to his people or possibly to himself. He ends by saying, "I am T'Challa," which of course drives home the idea that the whole song was spoken from T'Challa's perspective. And it works fairly decently. Although I don't think it's quite as focused and sharp as Kendrick usually is.

96- "I Like Me Better" - Lauv -- We finish this week off with a song that's developing into a decent worldwide hit as it's already top 50 in nearly 20 countries, mostly across Europe. We'll see if it catches on the U.S., which is where this guy is from. He's a 23-year-old kid who released his first EP back in 2015. This song was inspired by a relationship he had when he was living in New York City and is pretty simple as he states, "I like me better when I'm with you." In addition to the lyrics being simple, most of the song is fairly stripped down instrumentally speaking with a slight electronic touch right after each chorus finishes. So it's simple, but it works. For those wanting more complexity to the song, there are a few remixes to the song, most notably being a Cheat Codes remix that adds a lot more EDM to the song as well as a Ryan Riback remix that is probably the best of these three versions. For context, Ryan Riback is the one who remixed Starley's "Call On Me," so he's got a lot of talent when it comes to remixing pop songs into EDM hits. At least with both of these songs, anyways.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - February 17, 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- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- With sales continuing to drop and radio having not quite caught up yet, you would think Drake would be vulnerable to be overthrown. But then you take a look at those streaming numbers and this song only fell 4 percent to 79.6 million U.S. streams, making this the first song ever to have three weeks of more than 75 million U.S. streams. As a reminder, in its second week it had 83.3 million and in its first week it had 82.4 million. In terms of all-time weekly streams, that's good enough for fourth, fifth and sixth place. Until those numbers drop significantly, like half of what it currently is, this song isn't going anywhere. It's currently celebrating its third week at the top. As a reminder, Drake's "One Dance" spent 10 weeks at No. 1. I think there's a very good chance that Drake equals that mark or even get higher, unless there's a song in the next month or two that can equal these streaming numbers.

2- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- While Drake reigns for his third straight week, the rest of the top five has also gotten stuck. Ed Sheeran's radio is starting to drop, but it's still at a solid 146 million in total audience, good enough for his sixth straight crown on the top of the radio charts. Since the radio is in love with Ed Sheeran, "Perfect" will still probably be around for a while as when it starts to fall, it'll be a slow fall. Dua Lipa is already on top of pop radio with "New Rules," so that's the song to look out for.

3- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (=) -- If Ed Sheeran can keep Bruno down at No. 3, I'll be super happy. But nonetheless I am expecting the two songs to switch places before too long. Although I don't see Bruno going No. 1 unless Drake's streaming numbers fall and it doesn't look like that is going to happen any time soon.

4- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (=) -- In a perfect world, "Havana" would trade places with "Finesse" and we'd have Drake, Ed and Camila in our top three. But alas, I don't think that's going to happen. Camila looks like she's strong enough at this moment to stay ahead of "rockstar," but the moment anything starts threatening this stalemated top five, "Havana" will probably start to drop.

5- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (=) -- Can we please be done with "rockstar" in the top five? This got old a long time ago, but it's still here. I also learned this week that this has also been playing on pop radio. Like... why?

6- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (+1) -- I would really be happy if Dua Lipa would switch Post Malone next week, sending "New Rules" into the top five. As I previously mentioned, this is already the top song on pop radio and is threatening Ed for the top spot on overall radio as it currently sits at No. 3 on that latter list behind Ed and Camila. I mean, that's pretty much all this song has going for it as sales and streaming are practically M.I.A. But hey, the radio is doing something right because I like Dua.

7- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (new) -- Our weekly debut from the "Black Panther" soundtrack debuts in the top 10 this week, which is impressive. And hey, it's easily the best of the three songs that have charted so far. I'll get into my opinion more in depth down below, but I would totally be fine if this stuck around for a while. With the full soundtrack having been recently released and the movie coming out this weekend, I imagine that this will at least get solid numbers for the next few weeks. Second week drops always happen for big debuts, but we'll see if the album and the movie will be enough to keep it around.

8- "Stir Fry" - Migos (+4) -- Last week was the really difficult week where I had to cover all of Migos' new songs that charted thanks to the album drop of "Culture II." Thankfully most of those songs took major hits on this week's charts, but with the help of a new music video that is in its first full week of tracking, "Stir Fry" survived the slaughter and snuck into the top 10. And I'm fine with this. This was the only decent track from the album. If we have to have rap songs holding a place in the top 10, I'm content with this being one of the placeholders. In fact, this combined with "God's Plan" and "Pray for Me" means that three of our four rap songs right now are decent ones. Now if we can just get rid of "rockstar," I will be happy with the current set of rap songs.

9- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+2) -- Queue the choirs of angels singing hallelujah! Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line have done it! I'm so happy to see this song finally crossing over to the top 10. Bebe and FGL work really well together in creating this highly entertaining country pop song. In fact, Bebe going country works very well for her as she mashes amazingly well with FGL for this. And thanks to the crossover appeal, this is being promoted to both pop radio and country radio, which is what's stemming it's surge into the top 10. And here's your funny stat of the day. With Bebe Rexha now celebrating her 11th week at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, she breaks a record for most weeks on top of that chart for a female singer... passing Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." The latter part is the funny part. Because that Taylor song is 100 percent NOT country.

10- "Bad at Love" - Halsey (-4) -- As you have just witnessed, while the top five of the Hot 100 got stuck this week, the bottom half of the region was rather busy and the big loser of it all was Halsey as she tumbles down to No. 10. With three new songs in the region, we also lost "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons and "MotorSport" by Migos, which I'm ecstatic about. The third song we lost was "Say Something," which dropped to No. 17 after it's debut at No. 9 last week. I'm wondering if that song will eventually rebound in the coming weeks as I learned on a brief road trip this past weekend that the radio really loves that song. But yeah, overall a solid week for our top 10 losers. Let's officially kick Halsey out next week and bring in either NF or more Kendrick.

Rising on the Hot 100:

12- "Let You Down" - NF (+2) -- It's been a really impressive run for this song already, but the big challenge during the last month or so has been getting over the hump after camping out in the teens. "New Rules" and now "Meant to Be" have both gotten over the hump after being in similar predicaments, so now it's time to for NF to do the same! I hope this can replace "Bad at Love" next week. That would make me happy.

13- "Love." - Kendrick Lamar featuring Zacari (+2) -- Yes, Kendrick is already in the top 10 right now with his new debut "Pray for Me" from the "Black Panther" soundtrack. But I kinda want him to double dip in the top 10 with this joining as well. Or if "Pray for Me" experiences a typical second week drop next week, maybe Kendrick can replace himself, because this current single of his really deserves to be in the top 10.

19- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+6) -- I have no idea what caused this to randomly jump up this week. Was there something I missed that gave Cardi a boost? Well, whatever caused this, I don't expect it to last.

25- "Wolves" - Selena Gomez & Marshmello (+5) -- Oh can we please send this song even higher? It's been consistently hanging out on the charts for four months now and got as high as No. 20. But this was one of my favorite EDM songs of 2017, so I would love for it to get a second wind and jump into the top 20 or even top 10. It's already No. 6 on the pop radio charts, so pop radio has the right idea. Selena Gomez has consistently proven that her voice lends itself quite well to these EDM songs, so I think we should continue to reward her for this.

27- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+5) -- This song also played quite a bit on my recent mini road trip, so I'm seeing visions of it being Camila's next top 10 hit. Perhaps when "Havana" falls out, this follow-up single will be there to replace it. And I'm happy with that. I can't say I'm madly in love with this, but it's a solid pop song from Camila, who has proven herself very capable as a solo artist.

29- "Mine" - Bazzi (+12) -- This is just a dumb Valentine's Day meme, right? After the holiday goes away, this will also disappear, right? At least I certainly hope so. This is barely a song. Things like this don't deserve a place on the Hot 100.

30- "Lights Down Low" - MAX featuring gnash (+8) -- The radio keeps trying to make this song a hit and I'd be totally fine with that if gnash weren't a part of the song. The original is a really sweet love song and including gnash completely ruins the tone. I'm happy for MAX, but I remain conflicted as a whole.

31- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar & SZA (+23) -- With "Black Panther" around the corner, it makes sense for this to get a huge boost this week. I imagine it will get a pretty big boost next week as well with both the album and the movie being around. It's not as good as "Pray for Me," but it's much better "King's Dead."

34- "Filthy" - Justin Timberlake (+17) -- JT's album release gave this song a nice boost on the charts this week. But don't expect that to last as the radio is dropping this song like a hot piece of coal while instead choosing to play "Say Something." While I will still defend "Filthy" as not being as bad as many claim, I would concede that the right decision is being made here. "Say Something" is definitely the better song. With the Super Bowl and the album release now in the past, I'm curious to see how JT holds on because it seems like people aren't too thrilled with his current stuff.

39- "Outside Today" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again (+6) -- I suppose I'm glad this only jumped six spots. That gives me hope that it'll get stuck here in the 20's or 30's. Because we certainly don't need any of this YoungBoy punk hanging around.

49- "El Farsante" - Ozuna & Romeo Santos (+43) -- Here's the big surprise of the week. I totally did not expect "El Farsante" to go from a No. 92 debut last week to top 50 this week. In fact, I was more expecting it to drop out or hang around for a few weeks, then drop out. And it took me a second to figure out WHY it jumped so high. But then it hit me. Romeo Santos wasn't on the song last week. So a new remix with the both of them is what sparked this huge surge. And I'm not going to lie, I don't understand this remix musically. The original was essentially Ozuna begging his girl to come back to him. If he were to add a female singer to be the voice of his girl, it would make sense as a duet. But instead with Romeo it's two guys begging their respective girls to come back to them. Thus Romeo was only brought in for more sales as opposed to musically making sense. And their two voices aren't distinct enough, so if you're not paying attention, you might miss the transition. But oh well. I'm not offended by this. 

60- "New Freezer" - Rich the Kid featuring Kendrick Lamar (+15) -- This I am kind of offended that it jumped high. It's not top 50 yet, so I can't quite complain, but if a phoned in Kendrick Lamar verse added to this awful rap song from another untalented new rapper boosts this super high, I'm going to be mad. We have plenty of good Kendrick songs on the charts right now. Let's call those good and reject this one.

69- "King's Dead" - Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake (+30) -- Well, all three Kendrick songs from "Black Panther" did quite well this week, which no surprise. I'm not a fan of this specific one and I have no idea how it will fit into the movie itself as the context has nothing to do with the characters or the land of Wakanda. But at least I can rest easy knowing that this song is currently behind the other two, "Pray for Me" and "All the Stars." So at least the Hot 100 ordered these three songs properly.

78- "Beautiful Trauma" - P!nk (+10) -- Seeing P!nk rise on the charts makes me happy. If you missed my list of favorite albums of 2017 that I posted yesterday, I ranked P!nk's album "Beautiful Trauma" as my fourth favorite album of the year, so of course I'm stoked that this title track did well this week. I just hope it's more than just a one week boost because this deserves to be a hit.

84- "Most People Are Good" - Luke Bryan (+10) -- Our final rising song sees Luke Bryan jump from the 90's to the 80's. Although there's certainly worse country songs out there, I'm not madly in love with this either. But this is only up to No. 84, so no worries as of yet. But even if this does become a hit, a song called "Most People Are Good" doing well wouldn't really hurt my feelings. At least Luke had good intentions.

New Arrivals:

7- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar -- Isn't kinda interesting that we now have two songs in the top 10 with religions titles? "God's Plan" and "Pray for Me." Neither song is super religious, but it's a fun trend. I've mentioned "Pray for Me" a few times on this post already, but to recap, this is the third song from the "Black Panther" soundtrack to debut on the charts following "All the Stars" and "King's Dead." And it's also the best of the three. While both The Weeknd and Kendrick are totally capable of releasing bad music, they're also two artists who are currently some of the best of their respective genres. The Weeknd's smooth, relaxing R&B fuses well with Kendrick's sharp poignant rap music, giving us a rather enjoyable blend of music in this song. This is also the first of the three "Black Panther" songs where I can read the lyrics and see exactly how this fits in with the movie as it's the voice of  one who doesn't want to fight anymore, but is being put into a situation where he might not have a choice in the matter, so he's asking for someone to pray for him and be there for him while is going through this difficult time. The song stands well enough on its own to be enjoyable with the context of the movie, but I also predict that it will fit well into the movie. This time next week I'll have seen the movie, so I'll pay close attention to these songs to see how they fit or if they're even present in the movie at all.

73- "Man of the Woods" - Justin Timberlake -- I keep saying that I plan on listening to JT's new album and yet I keep having to admit each with that I haven't done so. My official excuse is that I've been focusing on leftover albums from 2017 for my favorite albums of the year list. Given that I have now posted that, it'll now be time to dive into the new albums of 2018. As for now, I will remind you that I thought "Filthy" was decent, I hated "Supplies" and I quite enjoyed "Say Something." This title track will slide comfortable into third place. The instrumentation here is rather thin to the point where the song almost sounds like an a cappella song with a drum and a few other random instruments. I feel JT was going for something creative and experimental here, but instead it sounds a bit too empty. Like it is the rough draft of a song and they simply haven't added the additional layers to it. Much the the music itself, the lyrics also feel a bit empty. JT says he brags about his girls to others, yet isn't worried at all about hurting her feelings because he hears that making up is fun. Thus he ends up sounding like a bit of a jerk who is too insensitive. I think I understand where where they were trying to go with this song, but it doesn't really work for me as it feels unfinished.

81- "Dura" - Daddy Yankee -- I will fully admit that I am not an expert on Daddy Yankee. The Puerto Rican rapper/singer has released six studio albums, a few other live albums and mixtapes, 35 singles and has charted over 50 songs on the U.S. Latin Songs chart in various roles. Yet all I know him from is "Shaky Shaky" and as a part of Luis Fonsi's "Despacito." I really enjoyed "Despacito," but he doesn't get all the credit for that and I really wasn't a huge fan of "Shaky Shaky," which was him on his own. That said, I find "Dura" to be a rather fun Latino song. It doesn't quite have the energy of "Despacito," but it is more creative with its instrumentation than your average Latino song, thus giving it the unique enough flavor to stand out at Latino dance parties. I could see myself having a lot of fun with this song in the future and I predict that people who love Latino music in general will gravitate towards this song. I didn't explore much of the lyrics. Google told me that the word dura translates into "hard," which I think might be better stated as strong or tough as he's telling this girl how amazing she is. So I don't think it's anything fantastic lyrically, but as an English speaker, I try not to analyze these Spanish songs too much. They're good enough for me to give a pass to and the beat is more than enough for me to have fun with. So I think the song does its job.

90- "Hardaway" - Derez De'Shon -- Here's a novel idea. A rapper using his ACTUAL name. Or, well, first and middle name. More rappers should do that instead of coming up with horrendous rap names that make them sound like they have an IQ of a 4-year-old. That's the extent of my compliments towards Derez, though. What certainly isn't a smart idea is to admit that you don't take any time writing lyrics or thinking about your songs. This guy just walks into the studio, they turn on a beat, and he raps whatever comes to his mind. And thus we get something as unintelligent as this as Derez rambles on in unfocused manner about doing drugs and spending money. The song really has nothing to do with its title subject matter of Penny Hardaway outside throwing in a bunch of Hardaway puns. "I took the HARDER WAY." "I gave this HARD AWAY." "That s--- took my HEART AWAY." He probably said those lines and thought, "Hey, that sounds like Hardaway!" So he randomly name dropped Penny Hardaway a bunch of times. I mean, Penny Hardaway is kind of an obscure basketball player to rap about, unless Derez was a fan of the Magic in the 90's. But I would've rather had that than this unfocused, unintelligent piece of rap that we got instead.

92- "At the Club" - Jacquees & DeJ Loaf -- For some reason I keep thinking I should know the name DeJ Loaf better. She charted for a week with the song "No Fear," which I apparently enjoyed, but since it was only around for a week at No. 100, I quickly forgot it existed. She also charted with the song "Try Me" in 2014 and "Back Up" in 2015. I'm not really familiar with either of those songs. Jacquees did the song "B.E.D." last year, which was not a good song. So how are these two going to work together? Well, I suppose with the context I just gave, it shouldn't surprise you that this is a mixed bag. Every time Jacquees is singing, I'm super bored because he literally has the same bar or two of music repeated on each line, but with different words. And lyrically he's just talking about being in a club with a girl. It's dull and feels like it was thrown together in 30 seconds. But then DeJ Loaf comes in and adds personality to the song, sounding like she actually tried to make this a song, even though the material in front of her wasn't any more interesting lyrically. So this is whatever. Not annoying or awful. Just boring with Jacquees and decent with DeJ Loaf.

93- "The Long Way" - Brett Eldredge -- Meanwhile in the world of Brett Eldredge, he fell in love with a girl. Happy Valentine's Day, I suppose. And he certainly takes the long way around getting through this song. There's not a whole lot of content here, but   h i s   l y r i c s   a r e   r e a l l y   s t r e t c h e d   o u t.   It's like when you're singing at church with an older person as the chorister or there is no chorister and it feels like your walking through taffy trying to get through the song because it's supposed to be twice as fast. This could've been a decent love song for Brett, but I think he really needed to pick up the tempo quite a bit because it feels like he's lagging quite a bit in an attempt to fill up the three minutes with his 90 seconds worth of content. Thus I instead got bored with this pretty quickly, even though there's certainly worse country songs around.   

94- "Singles You Up" - Jordan Davis -- With Jordan Davis' first ever trip to the Hot 100 after securing a recording contract in 2016, he shows decent potential, although I'm not sure he leaves the absolute best first impression. This "singles you up" phrase that he came up with is a rather curious way to say "breaks up with you." I suppose he was going for a bit of a unique flavor here instead of going super cliche, which I suppose works. Thematically someone compared this to "Jessie's Girl," which I suppose works. Both songs are about a guy being a little too in love with someone else girlfriend. I suppose this can be a relatable sentiment, being jealous when a girl you had a major crush on falling in love with someone else. But Jordan oversteps his boundaries here just a bit as he needs to give this couple more distant instead of chomping at the bit, waiting for them to break up so that he can snatch her up. Hence the "Jessie's Girl" comparison. I mean, back off Rick. Go find your own girl. The big difference is that "Jessie's Girl" has an awesome 80's groove to it that makes it a blast to dance to while "Singles You Up" is a bit too similar to most modern country.

98- "A Girl Like You" - Easton Corbin -- In the world of country this week, Brett fell in love. Jordan is jealous. And Easton feels lucky to have his girl. Except out of the three of them, this is the one that sounds most cliche as Easton uses his deep southern twang to sing about all the bars in town and how they have a lot of things, but they ain't got a girl like the one he has. No originality here. Nothing to separate it from the thousands of other boring country songs you've already heard. Just beer, bars and girls. Snooze.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

DrogeMiester's Top 10 FAVORITE ALBUMS of 2017

My final music list of 2017 is finally here! I wanted to get this out earlier, but there were a few more albums that I wanted to get to first. Surprisingly, this is the first time on this blog that I've put together a list of my favorite albums. I usually just declare my favorite album on my facebook page, but I listened to more albums in 2017 than I have any other year, so a top 10 list felt appropriate. The parameters are simple. The album had to be released in 2017. And it had to be a full-length album, not just an EP. I also disqualified "best of" albums, cover albums or things like that.  Original songs by the artist from this year is what I was looking for. That mainly means I eliminated "Synthesis" by Evanescence, the real best album of 2017. It just didn't seem fair to include it. And finally, it's probably impossible for me to listen to every album released in 2017, so I didn't try. I just listened to the ones that caught my attention for whatever reason. In essence, this list is representative of my favorite albums of 2017 of the ones that I have discovered and listened to up to this point. So let's dive in!

10- "Woodstock" - Portugal. The Man

Portugal. The Man is a little alternative rock band that almost literally came out of nowhere in 2017, unless you are deeply ingrained into the alternative rock world, to be a huge success worldwide. We can credit this success to the song "Feel It Still" being included in commercials for the Apple iPad Pro and Vitamin Water starting in June 2017. Once the world saw those commercials, they rightfully fell in love with the song because it's so upbeat and infectious. The song went all the way to No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and top 10 in 20 other countries. So hey, why not check the entire album out? Sure, the whole album isn't quite as fantastic as "Feel It Still," or else this would be a lot higher, but it's still a really solid alternative album, inspired by frontman John Gourley stumbling on his dad's old Woodstock ticket and becoming obsessed with the 60's pop culture and politically charged music. "Woodstock" is the band's eight studio album and the first one I have listened to. After listening to this album, I'm excited to go dive into the rest of the band's discography to see what I discover.

9- "Unapologetically" - Kelsea Ballerini

Given my general distaste for most country music, you might be surprised to see a country album show up on this list. Truth be told, though, I find myself really enjoying country music when it comes from female singers. I especially like my country pop girls and Kelsea is a prime example of a girl from this genre who just melts my heart with her simple, yet heartfelt music. Much of this album consists of rebounding from breakups and the uncomfortable nature of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. On paper that sounds like nothing special, but there's a sense of honesty here that I appreciate that reminds me of a young Taylor Swift or what Taylor could've sounded like today had she stuck with country pop instead of transitioning to pure pop or whatever genres she experimented with in "reputation." I think Kelsea especially excels on "In Between," "End of the World" and "I Hate Love Songs," the latter of which is just so darn clever. Kelsea is only 24 years old and thus has a long, successful career ahead of her and I hope she sticks to this country pop genre instead of wandering off.

8- "Rainbow" - Kesha

What a journey it's been for Kesha. There's no time here to dive into this whole situation with Dr. Luke, but regardless of what was truth from Kesha or what was her being a bit of a drama queen, it certainly translated into a shockingly mature and emotional album that I totally bought. I mean, the same girl that sang "Tik Tok," "Die Young" and "Timber" has now recorded songs like "Praying" and "Hymn" on this new album, a sign that she's either found Jesus or has a lot of emotions to express after years of abuse and frustration. But lest you think it's an album full of just pain and frustration, the second half of the album is what you call classic Kesha with her simply having fun with songs like "Boots" and "Godzilla." She even goes country with Dolly Parton on "Old Flames." And that's what I love about this album. It's half emotion and half Kesha sounding more comfortable than she's ever sounded. Even though I don't like the song "Woman," the rest of the album is more than good enough to make up for it. I just wish she would've had more chart success because she deserved it.

7- "The Aviary" - Galantis

The winner of the best EDM album of 2017 quite easily goes to Galantis. That means you now know what other artists didn't make the cut. Ever since The Chainsmokers were knighted as superstars, I've thought that there's another duo that was much more deserving and that of course is Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw, the Swedish duo that make up Galantis. I've been waiting for their big U.S. break after the phenomenal EDM songs of "Runaway (U & I)," "Peanut Butter Jelly" and "No Money," but it hasn't happened. The best they got was the latter of the bunch hitting No. 88, despite all three rightfully being major hits over in Europe. And maybe it would've helped if they pushed the right songs from "The Aviary" as singles, but oh well. It is what it is. They don't re-invent the wheel with this album, but they have quite a few solid dance songs here that would make crowds at dance parties go crazy. If you want to test me on that, try playing "Hey Alligator," "Love On Me" and "Pillow Fight" for your party friends and see how they react. Pure, solid fun. We could use more of that in this world. That's why I love them. 

6- "Something to Tell You" - HAIM

I felt rather proud of myself when I discovered this band in 2017. Traditionally rock bands are male-dominated. Even the select few with female lead singers often have men at the guitars and drums. And I don't inherently have any problems with that. There's a lot of great male rock bands. But I really love it when we break tradition by having an all-female rock band. And not for politically correct, progressive reasons. Female rockers are just awesome. HAIM is a trio of sisters, Este, Danielle and Alana Haim. And dang are these girls talented. I don't know if there's one particular song that jumps out at me as being spectacular, but I really enjoy all 11 of the songs from this album. Finding consistency like that is rare as artists will often have 3-4 great songs with the rest serving as album fillers. But not here. The whole album is extremely enjoyable. As I listen, I feel like I am transported back to the 80's or 90's where this genre was on fire. Now I'm just waiting for them to crossover onto the Hot 100 with something, but sadly they're probably too good for that chart. I hope I'm wrong, though.

5- "Younger Now" - Miley Cyrus

No one shocked my world more than Miley did in 2017. When "Malibu" was first released, I pressed play on my tablet with a "let's get this over with" mindset. Yet as the song played, I was speechless. I think I listened to the song 10 times in a row in that moment just to digest what I was hearing and I've loved the song ever since. But can the whole album be that good? Absolutely! In fact, she went back to her Tennessee roots and made a full out country album, becoming the second lady on this list to collaborate with Dolly Parton. And it is all so wonderful. The title track, "Younger Now," gives the sentiments that, while she doesn't regret what she did in her past, she's moved on and has become a more mature adult. I mean, the same girl that was riding naked on a wrecking ball not too long ago has most recently walked on the stage at the Grammy's last month wearing a stunningly gorgeous ballroom gown while singing a duet with Sir Elton John. I don't know what the future holds for Miley, but I started 2017 hating her. And now I absolutely adore her. And for that she gets a standing ovation.

4- "Beautiful Trauma" - P!nk

The seventh studio album from P!nk was received with much more resistance than I think she really deserved. While I don't care much for what music critics say since music is extremely personal, I get the feeling that people were wanting P!nk to be more fiery and in your face, like she has in the past with songs like "So What" and "Raise Your Glass." While I also like fiery, angry P!nk, I love her softer self just as much, if not more. I mean, her duet with Nate Ruess, "Just Give Me a Reason," is one of the most beautiful love duets I've heard. And it's more along those lines that "Beautiful Trauma" runs in terms of style and tone. She's more calm and toned down. But dang does this girl have a voice and that's what I love most about her. She has one of my all-time favorite female voices and she doesn't hold back in "Beautiful Trauma" as the album is full of beautiful ballads where she just unleashes her vocal power while also knowing exactly when to stay controlled. I mean, did you hear her perform "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" at the Grammy's? It's like that. But the whole album.

3- "Harry Styles" - Harry Styles

I spent most of my time with One Direction making fun of how boring and useless of a band they were. Empty love songs with five guys all singing in unison. Some of the songs were catchy, but the songs I actually enjoyed from them were few and far between. So naturally it makes perfect sense for their lead man to break off and turn into a 70's rock star. Wait what? Yeah. This was not the album I was expecting from Harry. But I'm really glad we got it because this is the exact type of music that we need. None of that boring nonsense that Zayne, Liam and Niall have delivered in their solo careers. Let's bring back the 70's with songs like "Carolina," "Only Angel," "Two Ghosts," "From the Dining Table" and of course "Sign of the Times." My only criticism is that none of the songs stand out as modern classics, but together as a group this album is quite the surprisingly entertaining ride if you like the music from the good ol' days. I'm just annoyed that Harry couldn't find more traction on the charts while the other previously mentioned three could. I suppose that's why we can't have good things in this world.

2- "Wonderful Wonderful" - The Killers

There were two Vegas/Utah rock bands that came out with new albums in 2017 and I find it a shame that Imagine Dragons was the one that the music gods and the American public fell in love with while The Killers were mostly ignored. Imagine Dragons' new album is full of empty nothingness while this fifth album from The Killers is a deep, thought-provoking album full of emotion. Brandon Flowers really outdid himself here as he speaks of his personal journey from prideful rock star to a humble family man and how this whole thing effected both him and especially his wife. When I first listened to this, I had to stop and carefully analyze each song and how they all fit together and what I discovered when I did so was a near masterpiece of an album. He starts with the voice of his old self, transitions into the voice of his wife and how she felt, then goes back to him as he responds to that, showing how far he's come as a human being. That's all just scratching the surface. Each song was a rich experience that contributed to this beautiful story. I really wish we had more albums like this.

1- "Melodrama" - Lorde

There were a lot of really good albums in 2017, yet none of them affected me like "Melodrama" did. I was quite impressed with Ella's debut album "Pure Heroine," released two months before her 17th birthday in 2013. In the nearly four excruciatingly long years where I very impatiently waited for this sophomore album, she grew from a teenage girl to a grown adult as she celebrated her 21st birthday a few months ago. That's a really difficult transition for any normal human being and Ella was able to perfectly capture that in this album. "Liability" brings me to tears when I listen to it as I feel like it's such a raw, personal song about how lonely Ella has felt in life during these years. Although "Liability" is the best song of the album, the other 10 songs have nearly just as much emotion and passion in them, making this album very special and unique. It's probably no coincidence that my favorite movie of 2017, "Lady Bird," also dealt with similar difficult themes of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, so this is a very personal choice for me. But hey, it's my list, so I'm allowed to be subjective with it.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - February 10, 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- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- Remember how I mentioned that Drake received the fourth highest week of streaming ever last week, behind only the first two weeks of "Harlem Shake" as well as the debut of Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do"? Well, said streaming numbers for Drake went UP by 1 percent, from 82.4 million U.S. streams last week to 83.3 million U.S. streams this week. Sales crashed like expected the ball is just getting rolling with radio at just 35 million in total audience, but as long as those streaming numbers are sky high, this isn't going to budge. The fact that those streaming numbers were consistent from last week tells me that this is indeed here to stay. "One Dance" by Drake ruled for 10 weeks. I think "God's Plan" could match or beat that. We'll see what I'm thinking two months from now if this does indeed reign for that long, but for now I'm fine with it. "Perfect" and "Havana" had their time at the top and I would rather not see "Finesse" hit No. 1. For Drake standards, this is a pretty good song.

2- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- Radio is what's keeping Ed Sheeran alive here at No. 2 as "Perfect" remains at No. 1 on the radio for a fifth week with 150 million in total audience, which is down just 1 percent from last week, meaning overall it's remaining pretty consistent. Unless it randomly starts tanking on radio, which I don't see happening given how radio friendly this song is, this song is going to stick around and very slowly depart from the top 10 over the course of the next several months. Remember, "Shape of You" broke the record for most weeks ever in the top 10, so that's how much staying power Ed Sheeran is capable of.

3- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (+2) -- Bruno and Cardi performed this song at the Grammy's, which is the reason for this song getting a good boost this week. Although when I say Bruno and Cardi performed it, I really mean Bruno performed it while Cardi danced around on stage for most of the song, given that she's not really part of the song. She gets a thing at the beginning and a thing at the end because Bruno wanted to mooch of her to get more sales for this mostly lazy and dull song that she adds nothing to. And as I mentioned, I'm glad "God's Plan" is around right now because I'm counting on it to prevent Bruno and Cardi from going No. 1 because this song doesn't belong in the top 10, let alone as the king of the Hot 100. The faster that we get get rid of Bruno and his piece of crap music, the better. He won best album at the Grammy's, which really befuddles me because that album is a worthless piece of trash. The worst best album winner in the history of the Grammy's. 

4- "Havana" - Camila Cabello (-1) -- It would really be nice if Camila would slide back up to No. 3. I was enjoying our current combo of Drake, Ed and Camila in that top three and I'm sad it got ruined with "Finesse." Maybe "Finesse" will drop back down after that Grammy's boost. That's probably just wishful thinking on my part, though.

5- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (-1) -- Why are people still streaming this song? This might be one of the most confusing things in the history of music as to why such a dull, boring, empty song as "rockstar" has this much staying power. This will be pretty high up on my list of all-time most popular songs once I update that on my Excel file later this year and that's an absolute shame.

6- "Bad at Love" - Halsey (=) -- You know, if it means kicking "rockstar" out of the top five, I'd be fine with this jumping up a spot. That's how desperately I want "rockstar" gone. But if I come back down to Earth, a better solution would be to kick both out.

7- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (+1) -- Hey, I found that better solution! Let's let Dua Lipa into the top five instead of "rockstar" and "Bad at Love." She's someone who actually DESERVES to be here. She's someone who actually has talent.

8- "MotorSport" - Migos, Nicki Minaj & Cardi B (+3) -- I'm not surprised to see this return to the top 10. In fact, in thinking about it, I'm almost surprised that it didn't go a bit higher. The reason being is Migos debuted their new album "Culture II" recently, which took effect on this week's charts. There are 11 new Migos songs to talk about in the new arrivals this week, bringing Migos' total songs on the charts this week to 14, tying a record for groups previously set by The Beatles in 1964. While it's certainly blasphemy to mention Migos and The Beatles in the same sentence, let's just remember that The Beatles doing this 54 years ago was unheard of at the time while rappers today getting their whole album or half of their album on the charts happens like every month now. 

9- "Say Something" - Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton (new) -- Our top debut of the week sees Justin Timberlake get his second top 10 debut from his new album. He was releasing one song a week until his album dropped, which is why we're getting so much of him. That album was released this past Friday and he also performed at the Super Bowl this past Sunday. The album bump should help a few of songs on next week's charts. In addition to that, several of Gaga's songs had sales numbers through the roof after her Super Bowl performance last year, so it wouldn't be surprising to see JT find similar success, too. All in all, it should be a decent week for JT next week. After that it'll be interesting to see if he can manage to find traction with any of his songs. And thanks to JT, Chris Stapleton now celebrates his first ever top 10 entry after previously peaking as high as No. 20 with his song "Tennessee Whiskey."  

10- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (-1) -- Only one more week for "Thunder" in the top 10? Please? This week saw Drake's "Diplomatic Immunity" tumble hard down to No. 55, which was expected. In addition, G-Eazy's worthless piece of garbage "No Limit" fell from No. 10 to No. 13. "Meant to Be" is camped out at No. 11 while "Let You Down" and "Love." are at No. 14 and No. 15 respectively. I would love to see any one of those replace "Thunder" next week. "MotorSport" will likely depart again as well after the album boost goes away next week and "Say Something" will also most likely take a second week tumble. So maybe all three of these songs will enter next week? That's probably wishful thinking on my part, but it'll be interesting to see what happens. 

Rising on the Hot 100:

12- "Stir Fry" - Migos (+40) -- Migos didn't actually effect the rising songs as much as I thought they would this week. Only three of their new songs were top 50, so it's mostly the bottom half of the Hot 100 that they disrupted, which should make next week fairly eventful in this section. But of course it is no surprise to see "Stir Fry" get a huge boost with the album. It's one of the better songs Migos has done, so I'm not upset to see it this high. I'll be interested to see if it will maintain the momentum and go top 10 next week or topple a bit after the album boost goes away. I don't want to get too carried away in saying I want this song to do well, but again it's one I don't mind, so if it goes top 10, I'll accept it. But if it falls and never reaches top 10, I won't be upset.

17- "I Fall Apart" - Post Malone (+2) -- I'll definitely be upset if this gets too much higher. Post Malone whining like a little baby that his girl left him is super annoying, especially when he clearly only sees females as objects for his lustful gratification. In a day where we're trying to be so progressive, I don't understand why rappers are allowed to get away with so much awful sexism as most rappers like Post Malone think girls only care about fame and riches when it comes to their views of guys. If I got a dollar for every time a rapper sang about stealing your girl because your girl would rather be with said rich rapper, I would be a very rich man myself.

32- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+5) -- Is this song going to be able to slowly climb up and replace "Havana" in the top 10? I'm not sure, but I would be happy with that because it opens the door for other Camila songs to be successful as well. Even though this isn't my favorite song from the album, I'm finding myself rather enjoying Camila's solo career as I thought the album as a whole was pretty decent. 

33- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid (+13) -- The phenomenal Grammy's performance is definitely what boosted this song this week. And well deserved because this was one of the highlights of the night. I am kinda sad that P!nk, Kesha and Miley got no love from the Hot 100 this week as their performances were also excellent. What's also awful was what the dude in charge of the Grammy's said. He said female artists need to step up their game and then they'll get more praise from the Grammy's. That's a load of crap because females DID step up their game in 2017. We just gave them no attention, which really saddens me. Anyways, that doesn't have much to do with Logic's song, but considering the Grammy's connection, I had to take this moment to get those thoughts out. I'm happy for Logic. This is probably the last week this song gets mentioned, so it's been an amazing run.

41- "Mine" - Bazzi (+15) -- I'm not sure why this is going up, but I blame Valentine's Day. Hopefully that means this stupid meme will cease to exist in a couple of weeks once Valentine's Day is in the rear view mirror because I'd rather not this song be a thing.

45- "Outside Today" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again (+6) -- Why did we let YoungBoy into the top 50? He's not even very talented when it comes to rap standards. There's a lot of awful, boring rappers today and he's one of the worst among them and also has a really annoying rapper name that I'd rather not type up every week.

56- "Wait" - Maroon 5 (+32) -- Funny story. If you read my post early last week, you may have noticed that I initially put this in the new arrivals section without realizing this was actually a re-entry. You see, it actually debuted back in November when Maroon 5's album was released, but I had totally forgotten about it and thus when I listened to it last week, it felt like a new song. That's how horribly forgettable Maroon 5 has become. They haven't done anything worthwhile in like 15 years. I really wish we could join together and collectively reject this worthless group, then perhaps the radio would end their love affair with this group because that's the only thing helping them.

62- "Broken Halos" - Chris Stapleton (+23) -- It's a good week for Chris Stapleton as thanks to JT, he gets his first top 10 entry. And thanks to the Grammy's, this song gets a boost. I believe he won best country album, which doesn't upset me necessarily, but also doesn't have me jumping for joy. I think he has a cool beard and he's probably a nice guy, but I've never really cared to much for his music and I don't care too much for this song in particular, so it's mostly just whatever.

New Arrivals:

9- "Say Something" - Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton -- I see the title "Say Something" and I immediately start singing the song of the same title by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, a song that probably has more depth to it than this song. But I enjoy this "Say Something," nonetheless. When JT did his intro video, many people thought he was leaning more country with this upcoming and they got excited. Then he released "Filthy" and "Supplies" as the first two songs and people were confused. "Say Something" is more along the lines of what people were probably expecting. The song doesn't have any depth to it, but that might be the point this time around. "Everybody says say something; I don't want to get caught up in the rhythm of it" followed by "Maybe I'm looking for something I can't have" and "Sometimes the greatest way of saying something is to say nothing at all." So the song is simple, but it says enough. The song has a wistful tone to it, which plays nicely to its country pop groove that is rather upbeat and catchy. I said earlier that Chris Stapleton has never really done much for me, but there's a first for everything as he plays alongside JT rather well. The two of them bounce off each other really well throughout the song, enhancing the other's performance. This is definitely the best of the three songs. I haven't listened to the full album yet, but I'm hoping that it's more along these lines than the other two.

18- "Walk It Talk It" - Migos featuring Drake -- If you've followed these weekly posts long enough, you'll know that I hate Migos. Their style of short, disconnected phrases I find lazy and their sound effects and echoes are extremely annoying. Yet I surprised myself by actually enjoying "Stir Fry." So my goal with these 11 new songs this week from "Culture II" was to see if there was even one song on that song's level. And given that I also enjoy Drake's "God's Plan," could this song be it? Nope. The song is nearly five minutes long and most of that is Quavo repeating the title of the song over and over. Each of the four get their own verse and all the verses are awful. They're just bragging about how they can walk the walk and talk the talk, which is funny because they can't do either. Their rap is awful and their lyrics don't make any sense.

23- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey -- My girl Maren Morris collaborating with Zedd? That seems like a match made in heaven. A song to get Zedd back on track after disappointing songs with Alessia Cara in "Stay" and Liam Payne in "Get Low" last year. I think the reason why "The Middle" works for me while those other two really didn't was because of Maren Morris having a lot more personality in the song than Alessia and Liam. I like her vocals a lot better than the other two and her country pop style fits well into this EDM song, even though we drop the country part of that here and focus on this being much more pop. But if that helps her better crossover into the mainstream, I'm OK with that as this is already the highest charting song she's been a part of. There's not a lot of depth here and thus the song isn't anywhere close to the quality of Maren's own "Dear Hate" or "I Could Use a Love Song" from last year, but this is upbeat enough to get me excited about it's high debut and hopefully it can climb even higher. Joining the party in helping Zedd mix the song together is the electronic duo Grey, consisting of brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha. They previously charted in another disastrous Zedd song in 2016 with Hailee Steinfeld in "Starving," so it's good they get some redemption here. They did have two songs in 2017 chart on the EDM charts, "Crime" featuring Skott and "I Miss You" featuring Bahari. Both songs are decent, with "Crime" being the better of the two, so go check those out while you're at it.

28- "You Make It Easy" - Jason Aldean -- Hey look, it's a country singer singing about how this girl makes loving her easy. How unique and original! Yeah, Jason Aldean is a country artist I don't care for. None of his songs are interesting at all. This is as cliche as it gets when it comes to country songs about girls. At least it's not offensively bad or sexist, but it's just boring. And his comparison at the beginning of the song is rather perplexing. "Like a rainy Sunday morning makes me wanna stay in, twisted up all day long, you're my inspiration, girl. You take me places, put the words right into these songs." Say, what? Did he just say that her love is equally as strong as his desire to sleep in on a rainy Sunday morning? I suppose that works, but if he was going for a romantic comparison to start things off, that seems like an odd choice. Not something that I think would work as a pick-up line, if you know what I mean. You'll just confuse the girl.

36- "Narcos" - Migos -- I've been meaning to watch the show "Narcos" on Netlfix, which tells the story of Pablo Escobar, who was the wealthiest criminal in history until his death in 1993 as he had a net worth of $30 billion thanks to him being a notorious drug lord and the "King of Cocaine." Yet it this song, Migos are comparing themselves to Pablo, saying they have as much dope as Pablo and cut throat like Pablo. Yeah, I'm not sure this is a good comparison for them to use. Rappers rapping about doing drugs is the laziest and dumbest thing for them to do because I don't think you can ever write an intelligent song while you're high on drugs, which it seems like they did with this song. And I don't get why people enjoy listening to songs written by drugged up rappers rapping about doing drugs. Unless said listeners are high on drugs themselves. If doing drugs is your thing, then I guess you'll like this song. 

48- "BBO (Bad B------ Only)" - Migos feat 21 Savage -- It's funny, in the previous song "Narcos," part of Migos' rap is how their rap is real because they're not mumbling. Yet the next song I'm covering is them featuring the king of mumble rap. Real intelligent. But we go from rapping about drugs to rapping about their desire to sleep with all the bad girls. Specifically, hitting the girl for a minute and then passing her onto the next person in their group. Speaking of passing, I'm going to take a pass on this song.

52- "Notice Me" - Migos featuring Post Malone -- From drugs to sex to bragging about how people are going to notice them because of how rich and famous they are while they're wearing their expensive jewelry. Didn't I mention somewhere in this post how rappers rapping about how rich and famous they are is also one of the dumbest things and one of my current pet peeves? NO ONE CARES! And if that's all you can rap about, you deserve to be sent home and have all your money taken away.

53- "Supastars" - Migos -- Sleeping with girls. Buying the brand new cars. In other words, the last two songs combined. With even more echoes and sound effects this time around. What's next?

64- "White Sand" - Migos featuring Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign & Big Sean -- Oh no, our next song is where Migos invited all their annoying friends to join them? So instead of three people rapping, we have a group of six. And yet somehow this manages to be less annoying than the other songs because Ty Dolla $ign and Big Sean actually sound like they're rapping on the first two verses and Travis Scott does a decent job covering the choruses. Quavo isn't a huge part of the song and Offset and Takeoff don't join in until the third and fourth verse. And no coincidence is that those two verses are the worst here? Lyrical content is about, well, drugs. I think. It's one of those songs that I don't understand much because lyrically there is zero flow and connection. But white sand is cocaine, so once you figure that out it's just six guys doing drugs. 

73- "Gang Gang" - Migos -- This song is Takeoff and Quavo. No Offset. Which is interesting because they're rapping about doing things as a gang. But the whole gang isn't a part of the song. Takeoff manages to be slightly less annoying when he starts things off, but then Quavo comes in and destroys what he almost had going, even though the lyrical content is garbage yet again.

75- "New Freezer" - Rich the Kid featuring Kendrick Lamar -- Amidst all of this Migos crap, we have to pause for a second to discuss... this. From Rich the Kid, a Migos wannabe who does all of the annoying things I hate about. Lots of sound effects and echoes. Lyrics that make no sense. He even throws in and endless number of "drop tops" in the song. A song titled "New Freezer" just oozes with unintelligence. He says that his (girl) is too foreign for him and needs a visa, so he doesn't need her, which sounds both racist and sexist. Then he just raps about how rich he is and how many (girls) he's going to (sleep with). Parentheses are me censoring his lyrics, of course. And almost the worst part of this is that Kendrick Lamar is in the song. That's offensive because Kendrick Lamar is actually a good rapper who I expect good things from. Yet he agrees to do THIS? Stooping down to the Level of Migos and this Rich the Kid punk? Ouch! Get this away from me! This just might be worse than all of the Migos songs debuting this week and that's saying something if you couldn't tell.

83- "Higher We Go (Intro)" - Migos -- The introduction to the album. It's four minutes long and is slow and boring as tar. I only got through a minute of this song, but that minute felt like the full four minutes. Most of the lyrics is their typical awful stuff and the chorus is them asking us to beg and plead for the culture. Well, the only begging and pleading that I'll be doing is for Migos to go away and get out of my life.

85- "Auto Pilot" - Migos -- This title probably describes their mindset while writing this album as there's nothing unique or interesting on any of these songs. Same awful stuff that is as unoriginal and lazy as heck. With this song, though? A lot choppier than normal even for Migos standards with a lot more sound effects than I care for. And guess what? Quavo says that he didn't graduate, but he knows chemistry is a science!! Oh man!!! I'm so proud of him for learning that!

87- "Emoji a Chain" - Migos -- Make an emoji a chain? I don't even understand what that means, not even after reading through the lyrics. And I'm not even sure Migos know either. The main theme I'm getting from this song is how rich they are. So I pass. I read through the lyrics, but the song itself was so annoying that I only lasted 30 seconds. 

92- "El Farsante" - Ozuna -- I had a hard time finding a satisfactory English translation for this song. I think Ozuna is begging this girl to come back to him because he's not interested in loving anyone else, despite the fact that he's not been very good at loving her when they were together. "Farsante" translates to phony or fake and he's referring to himself as "el farsante" in this song while saying he wants her back. I think I got the gist of that, even if I may be off. But I do like Ozuna's vocals in the song. He sounds quite sincere it whatever it is he's saying. The song also lacks the typical Latino dance beat, which I found a bit refreshing as this is more of a slower, melodic Latino song from Ozuna. If this song goes anywhere, I'll have to talk to some of my Latino friends to get a real translation for it, but for now I give it a pass. I certainly like it more than "La Modelo" from Ozuna earlier this year and at least as much as "Escpate Conmigo" and "Criminal" that he was a part of from last year.

94- "Most People Are Good" - Luke Bryan -- This is certainly a sentiment that I would like to believe from Luke, but I'm not so sure sometimes. There are a lot of good people in the world, though, even if "most people" being good can be up for debate. Nevertheless, this is a nice thing Luke is singing about in this song, so I don't really mind this. Although I do think he has a hard time keeping focused as Luke claims he believes a lot of things in this song. He believes kids should stay young and innocent. He believes kids should spend more time playing outside. He believes we should forgive. He believes most mamas are saints. He believes Friday nights are better when you go to a game. He believes you shouldn't be ashamed of who you love. He believes you shouldn't judge the world based on the nightly news. So yeah, a lot things he believes, thus I don't think the song has a whole lot of focus. Luke is just rambling on about things. But all good things. So this is decent enough when it comes to country.

96- "CC" - Migos featuring Gucci Gang -- And the grand finale for Migos this week, at least with the songs that showed up, is their good friend Gucci Gang joining them. And all they do is talk about fame and riches along with all the raunchy stuff their doing with various girls along the way. I made it nearly two minutes through this song this time, but I stopped this one because I got bored and I'd had enough with their filth. I don't think I even made it to Gucci's verse, but it's not like I cared to hear any of his garbage. When I first started with this section, I mentioned that my goal is to find even one song that was upbeat and fun like "Stir Fry." I went through all 11 songs... and failed. I'm just glad I didn't have to listen to the other 11 songs from the album that didn't chart this week or in past weeks. "Stir Fry" and "MotorSport" and the 11 songs from this week make up the 24 total songs that add up to 105 minutes of "Culture II." And I definitely know that 50 percent of it is pure trash. And all I have to do is look at the titles of the other songs to predict that they'd all be trash, too.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - February 3, 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- "God's Plan" - Drake (new) -- Last week I predicted that Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" would go back to No. 1 this week. While I was on the right track there, we'll get to that in a second, shortly after posting I saw the initial sales estimates for this song and I knew that Drake was debuting at No. 1. That sales number is 127,000 first week sales. And with a number that high for a rap song, you know that the streaming is going to be through the roof as well, because streaming is completely owned by rap music. And yeah, that streaming number for Drake is 82.5 million U.S. streams, which is the fourth highest streaming total ever, behind the first two weeks of "Harlem Shake" and T-Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do." The thing to follow for this song is what it does next week. Last year Drake also debuted two songs in the top 10, "Passionfruit" at No. 8 and "Portland" at No. 9, and they lasted two weeks and one week respectively, which actually surprised me because I thought at least "Passionfruit" would stick around. If "God's Plan" fails to gain traction moving forward, it could be gone in a month or so from the top 10. Or this could be like Drake's "One Dance" from 2016, which spent 10 weeks at No. 1. If I had to make a bet right now, I'd bet on the latter and tell you to prepare for a 10-12 week run here for Drake. I'll get into my opinion down below, but you might be shocked to hear that I don't mind this song.

2- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- When I said that I was on the right track when I said "Perfect" would go back to No. 1 this week, the tea leaves were telling me that "Havana" was going to drop as that's what usually happens the week after an album release, which was the reason the song got such a huge sales and streaming boost. And that fall totally did happen. "Perfect" went ahead of "Havana" again. It just so happens that "God's Plan" spoiled his return to the top, so instead "Perfect" stays put at No. 2 while "Havana" falls two spots. If "God's Plan" ends up being a one week wonder, "Perfect" could return to the top next week. Or this could end up being stuck at No. 2 for a while.

3- "Havana" - Camila Cabello (-2) -- Again, zero surprise that this fell. I would've been more surprised, although certainly not disappointed, if this had stayed ahead of "Perfect." But do know what? It may have been only for one week, but I'm really glad that Camila got her seven days as queen of the Billboard charts. In other Fifth Harmony news, it appears that Lauren Jauregui has also signed, or will sign soon, a solo record deal, which would probably spell the official end of the group. Not that they were able to do anything post Camila anyways, but it's worthy of mentioning. Now we'll see what Lauren can accomplish with a solo career, whenever that starts.

4- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (-1) -- It's good to see this fall a spot. But it needs to fall faster. The only reason this fell this week is because of Drake's debut. It's time the world is able to let go of this song, which was never interesting.

5- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (-1) -- While normally I'd be happy to see "Finesse" NOT rising above the songs ahead of it right now, Bruno and Cardi performed this song at the Grammy's on Sunday, which will most assuredly give this a huge boost on next week's chart. The question will be how big? Will it be able to jump up all the way to No. 2 next week? Or even No. 1 if Drake to maintain momentum? Let's hope not, because this song is not a good song. And in case you missed my personal rant on Facebook following the Grammy's, I am furious that Bruno's album won the award for best album of the year. It might be the worst best album winner in the history of the Grammy's. And if you think I'm crazy, then find me a winner that's worse and we'll see.

6- "Bad at Love" - Halsey (-1) -- Halsey also essentially holds even from last week, which isn't encouraging, but at least it's not getting higher. If "Bad at Love" ends up with only week week in the top five, that'll make me happy.

7- "Diplomatic Immunity" - Drake (new) -- The other song that Drake debuted in the charts this week. With this being the lesser of the two songs in terms of sales and streaming numbers, I'd confidently bet that this only stays here for this week. Last year when Drake debuted two songs in the top 10, the lower of the two songs, "Portland," departed after that one week. And when Ed Sheeran also debuted both "Shape of You" and "Castle on the Hill" in the top 10, "Castle on the Hill" exited after one week while "Shape of You" was the one that stayed around. So this song is gone. I also don't hate this song, but it is by far the lesser of the two songs.

8- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (=) -- I'm really encouraged that two new Drake songs debuted ahead of Dua Lipa, but she managed to stay put anyways. Meaning she essentially continued to rise this week. I'm guessing this song might have a hard time breaking the top five since the songs in the top five right now are pretty solid still, but I'd certainly be happy if it did. At the least, I now expect this to hang around in the bottom half of the top 10 for a while.

9- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (-3) -- It makes me super happy to see Imagine Dragons finally tumbling with three songs jumping ahead of "Thunder." This song never belonged close to the top five in the first place, so please let this be the final week!

10- "No Limit" - G-Eazy featuring A$AP Rocky & Cardi B (-3) -- It's equally as pleasing to me to see this also fall three spots. Let's bring in a few new songs into the top 10 next week. If "Meant to Be" (No. 12), "Let You Down" (No. 14) and "Love." (No. 15) were those three songs, I would be super excited! Although "Say Something" by Justin Timberlake will probably spoil that party as it's having first week sales numbers close to 100,000 sales. And I certainly hope Migos doesn't sneak one into the top 10 as their new 24-track album "Culture II" will probably find a huge presence on the charts next week as all their streaming numbers seem to be pretty solid.

Rising on the Hot 100:

12- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+5) -- With Drake's two entries debuting in the top 10, it stalled our potential new entries for these rising songs, completely stalling out "Let You Down" by NF and "Love." by Kendrick Lamar. But amidst all the action, "Meant to Be" managed to rise five spots all the way to No. 12. That's a very encouraging sing that makes me confident that it'll make the top 10 next week. And I hope that's not just hopeful thinking on my part because I really enjoy this song. Bebe and FGL work great together.

31- "Roll in Peace" - Kodak Black featuring XXXTENTACION (+5) -- I'm upset that I have to bring up this song again this week. I really hope we can leave Kodak Black and XXX in 2017 and not carry their unfortunate success into 2018.

43- "Keke" - 6ix9ine, Fetty Wap & A Boogie wit da Hoddie (+21) -- I'm not surprised here. At least this song isn't as bad as "Gummo" and "Kooda." And at least both "Gummo" and "Kooda" took pretty big tumbles this week. So this week is a net positive with 6ix9ine mostly failing. Let's just please get rid of this song fairly quickly, too, and pretend that none of this 6ix9ine stuff ever happened.

51- "Outside Today" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again (+20) -- No! Let's not give YoungBoy a big hit. It's bad enough that this song debuted. We don't need it sticking around.

61- "No Smoke" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again (+17) -- What did I do to deserve TWO YoungBoy songs rising significantly this week? And why did both of them get such huge boosts? No more of this, please?

64- "Five More Minutes" - Scotty McCreery (+19) -- Is Scotty going to actually get a bonafide hit? He may have been a really popular American Idol winner who's had a few songs chart, but none of them really did much. So this would essentially be a first. While I'm not really happy about that as I've never thought Scotty was particularly talented, I suppose there's worse things that could be happening right now.

New Arrivals:

1- "God's Plan" - Drake -- I'm having a hard time remembering exactly what I thought of Drake's "One Dance" when it experienced it's monstrous reign on the Hot 100, but if I was angry at it, that anger has certainly subsided because in 2017 we have experienced a whole lot worse than Drake on the Hot 100. "One Dance" isn't a song that I voluntarily turn to very often, but it's an enjoyable enough song, at least when it comes to rap standards. I bring that up because "God's Plan" reminds me a lot of "One Dance." It has a continuous beat in the background that does a good job of carrying the song. Then I feel the rest of the instrumentation builds on that successfully throughout the song to make this have a really good flow. I've actually played the song on repeat while typing this post up, which is something I've never done with a Drake song. Lyrically I don't think this is anything inspiring as you might normally think with a song referencing God's plan for someone. I just think Drake is talking about how everyone wants him to fail, but he's not going away as God is going to help him succeed. Now personally I don't think God cares much for how successful Drake's rapping career is, but usually Drake feels very lazy with his rap and this time it seems like he actually tried.

7- "Diplomatic Immunity" - Drake -- You didn't think we were actually going to go two for two this week on Drake, did you? Now in comparison to most of the horrible rap of 2017, this song is very tolerable, which is why I said earlier that I don't hate this song. But mostly this is just boring. Even though the writing is on par with "God's Plan" in terms of it seeming like Drake kinda tried with both of these songs, we have the same beat in the background with a four-note progression that repeats itself throughout. And that's it. Nothing interesting happens musically like in "God's Plan." And the structure with Drake's rap is just four long stanzas. So even though the song is only a minute longer than "God's Plan," it feels like it's twice as long as I was tired of the song after a minute, yet it drags on for four minutes. So overall there's definitely been worse for Drake, but this is a song that I'll probably forget about in a few weeks.

56- "Mine" - Bazzi -- I have no idea who Bazzi is and Google seemed equally as confused when I tried to do a search. I found out via Genius that this song is popular because of a viral internet meme it's included in as well as a fancy Snapchat lens you can download. So that's wonderful. Apparently we're still going to let dumb memes power songs in 2018. The song itself is barely a song as it clocks in just over two minutes and the lyrics are super generic as he's just saying that the girl is his. The Snapchat lens throws in a bunch of hearts and flowers on the screen combined with SpongeBob images when it hits the word "mine," so I guess it's a dumb little thing to post around Valentine's Day? Hopefully this means the song will be gone just as fast as it showed up.

65- "Sick Boy" - The Chainsmokers -- The Chainsmokers spent most of their career releasing individual, non-album singles before they finally caved and put together a debut album last year. The only songs they pushed from that were "Something Just Like This" and "Paris," two songs that they released before the album came out. Now it appears they've abandoned that album completely as they didn't push any other song from the album. I suppose that's a good thing because that album was horrible, but I just find it amusing because "Sick Boy" is again a non-album single. As far as The Chainsmokers go, I really enjoyed them... BEFORE they got super mainstream. After "Closer" exploded, they spent the rest of their career lazily copying and pasting "Closer" over and over with uninspired songs that weren't even set up to dance to. With "Sick Boy" I appreciate them doing something a bit more creative as this isn't just a retread of "Closer" or "Roses." We start and end with a simple piano ballad while building in the middle. Yet the song still lacks a drop, thus making it so you can't play this at dance parties like you could with most of their early songs. The lyrics are a bit more interesting than most of the stuff on their album. It seems like Andrew Taggart is trying to make some sort of statement on America or how the public views him, but it doesn't quite land. Taggart also needs to stop singing on his songs because The Chainsmokers are best when they feature someone who is actually a talented vocalist. So I don't hate this. But it also doesn't take The Chainsmokers back to their old form.

71- "Supplies" - Justin Timberlake -- I think I was one of the few who defended JT's "Filthy" from a couple of weeks ago. I think people were expecting another "Can't Stop the Feeling!" while forgetting the type of singer he is on his actual albums. And compared to his usual stuff, "Filthy" was a pretty decent song. This one I can't defend, though. The fact that it debuted at No. 71 instead of debuting in the top 10 like "Filthy" did or "Say Something" seems to be heading towards next week means that the rest of the country doesn't seem to be able to defend this either. This is choppy, slow and has some annoying sound effects repeating in the background. The song itself isn't that inspiring, either. Granted "Filthy" didn't have the greatest lyrics either, but this feels like a boring re-telling of how he met this girl and is promising her that he's the guy for her. He'll be the light when she can't see, the wood when she needs heat, the generator that she can turn and stuff like that because he's got the supplies. The album comes out this week, so we'll see quickly here if this album is actually worth anything. "Say Something" is a duet with Chris Stapleton and it's pretty decent, so that's two for three thus far. Hopefully "Supplies" will just be a small bump in the road.

82- "No Name" - NF -- I was really happy to see NF show up on the charts a little while back and I assumed it would be just for a few weeks, but now the song is knocking on the door of the top 10 AND we have a follow-up song charting as well. Is NF here to stay? That would be encouraging because it's a great change of pace to see rappers who actually put some thought into their lyrics doing well on the charts. "Let You Down" was a personal song song for NF as he reflects on his childhood and feels like he let himself down. "No Name" seems to be a reflection on his journey since "Let You Down" blew up on the charts. While most rappers would get lazy at this point and brag about how rich and famous they are, I really appreciate NF as it appears he is still focusing on being grounded and true to who he is while trying to become a better person. Now I've previously stated that NF is a Christian rapper and I suppose it's more fair to clarify that he is a Christian who is a rapper as his songs aren't necessarily all Christian songs. But the Christianity in himself definitely shows up as he has a few references to God in this song even though the song itself is more about his journey and not about God. If that makes sense. But I'm coming to really like this guy because, not only is he actually really talented with his rap, but he feels very personal and authentic. He's good at telling good stories about himself or other things he cares about rather than lazily rapping about a bunch of nonsense like a lot of other rappers today.

99- "Rock" - Plies -- Our final song comes from a rapper who I also hadn't heard of. Although unlike Bazzi, Plies is an actual rapper who seems to have had a career for a long time. He even had two top 10 hits around 10 years ago, with "Shawty" featuring T-Pain peaking at No. 9 in 2007 and "Bust It Baby (Part 2)" featuring Ne-Yo peaking at No. 7 in 2008. Although he hasn't really charted much since and I certainly didn't follow rap much 10 years ago, so can you blame me for this guy flying under my radar? Although after listening to this song, it doesn't appear that I was missing a whole lot. The beat is interesting enough and he's rapping about this girl being his rock, so this could be a lot worse, but on this song he doesn't spend much time finishing his words. He rarely pronounces the last consonant on the word and the song is super choppy, so I'm not a fan. But compared to most modern rap these days, this is tolerable, so if it kept a placeholder on the charts, I would be fine with that.