Friday, March 23, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - March 24, 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 (=) -- Drake is not going to last on top of the Hot 100 forever with "God's Plan." The song is in its eight week at No. 1, which is the halfway point to the all-time record that is now a tie between "Despacito" and "One Sweet Day." Again, it's the historically unmatched streaming numbers that are mainly keeping it alive. Those streaming numbers again fell by about 10 million, which it's done in each of the past three weeks, this time to 72.9 million U.S. streams, which is it's lowest total so far. Yet that lowest total so far is still higher than any previous song outside "Harlem Shake" and "Look What You Made Me Do," so it's still in the untouchable range. If it continues to fall at about 10 million per week, that means the song will become vulnerable in 3-4 weeks. The catch, though, is two things. One, the radio for "God's Plan" very well might compensate for its streaming falls and keep it at No. 1 for longer. Two, is there any song that wants the crown? Most of the current songs are pretty weak. It might take a hotshot new debut from someone that we're not anticipating at this current time.

2- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- It's actually kinda surprising to me that Ed Sheeran is STILL at No. 2 this week. That means it's spent eight weeks at No. 2 in 2018 alone, despite losing traction across the board. But it's been consistent enough to remain. Although I keep thinking something is going to crack. I just don't know when at this point. I still enjoy our top two songs, so it could be worse, but I will admit that I prefer movement on the charts rather than things being extremely stagnant.

3- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (=) -- Bruno Mars remains on top of the radio charts for a second straight week with a slight uptick to 136 million in total audience. But the fact that the song still hasn't topped Ed Sheeran means it simply isn't doing well enough in the other categories, so it's instead stuck here at No. 3.

4- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+1) -- This song wins the award for the song that's been stuck in my head most often from the last several weeks. And I don't mind that. If this ends up entrenched in the top five rotation for a while, I'm totally happy for it. And remember, I've never really cared much for Florida Georgia Line, but they do well here and mix perfectly with Bebe, a singer I've always loved. Bebe sets another new career high by moving up to No. 4 while Florida Georgia Line match their peak that they previously set with "Cruise," featuring Nelly, in 2013. The question now is can it pass "Perfect" and "Finesse"? I think so since both of those songs are losing their momentum and "Meant to Be" gained in all metrics this week, with the best jump in radio, which is what's still holding up those two previously mentioned songs ahead of it.

5- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-1) -- It really makes me happy seeing this song fall again in its third week. A second week drop is to be expected, which is why I had to hold back my celebration last week to some extent. But falling for a second straight week tells me that Post Malone just isn't getting quite the same traction as he did with "rockstar," which is a fantastic sign. Let's keep this going!

6- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+2) -- Sure, this song is not the best song by a long shot from either Zedd or Maren Morris, but I still think this is an enjoyable enough song that I'm happy to see gain continual momentum. "The Middle" is starting to become a huge radio hit, so if that momentum continues upward and Post Malone continues to fall downward, I could see the two songs switching, sending Zedd and Maren to the the top five, which is an exciting prospect.

7- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (-1) -- It doesn't seem like there's a lot left in the tank for "Havana." Perhaps only another few weeks in the top 10. It's certainly been a great run for Camila. But there won't be too many tears for her as "Never Be the Same" is the top gainer in my rising charts as it looks like a solid candidate to enter the top 10 within a few weeks, depending on how things flow in the spots between "Havana" at No. 7 and "Never Be the Same" at No. 16.

8- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (+1) -- After a few weeks stuck in that No. 9 position, making me curious if this was going to start gaining or losing traction, "Pray for Me" thankfully jumps up a spot, giving me hope that this may start rising, which I would be totally down for since I think this is a pretty good song from The Weeknd and Kendrick. But I'm still not 100 percent sure what it's going to do as the No. 8 spot is often an unstable position.

9- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (-2) -- "Look Alive" lasted a lot longer than I hoped it would with this being its fifth straight week in the top 10 after I thought and hoped that it would tank after week one. But hey, only five weeks, and possible a couple more, is a lot better than something equally as useless as "rockstar" spending over 20 weeks. So it could be worse. I'm glad this song is failing to gain any traction whatsoever outside the increasingly annoying streaming metric that is simply poisoned by the rap genre. I swear that's the only genre that ever gets streamed.

10- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar & SZA (+1) -- I was sad to see this song prematurely exit the top 10, which means I'm glad to see it back this week. This is actually another song that I've had stuck in my head a lot recently, although it's worth mentioning that SZA's part is the only portion of the song that ever sticks out to me. At this point I almost couldn't even inform you about Kendrick's part. One of his more forgettable ventures, but SZA slays, so all is well!

Rising on the Hot 100:

16- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+3) -- I talked about this song earlier, but as a reminder, I'm glad to see this continuing to go up as it looks even more likely that Camila could straight-up replace herself in the top 10 as "Havana" is dropping out at the same time as "Never Be the Same" is looking to jump. There's a slight traffic jam at the moment between No. 11 and No. 15, though, with much of the same songs being stuck there for the last several weeks, so I hope this song is able to jump over that traffic jam as opposed to also getting stuck in it.

24- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+10) -- Seriously. What's the appeal of this song? I was hoping that we'd be done with Imagine Dragons after "Believer" and "Thunder" FINALLY started to leave us alone. But yet "Whatever It Takes," another empty, useless and emotionless Imagine Dragons song, continues to slowly gain on the charts. I said that I hope "Never Be the Same" is able to jump the traffic jam in the teens. Conversely, I hope that "Whatever It Takes" somehow gets stuck in said traffic jam. We'll see if the music gods decide to smile at me or slap me in the face.
25- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+23) -- Was there a music video dropped for this song or something like that? Why the huge jump? I really hope this is a temporary stay in the top 25 because Rich the Kid is an awful rapper that doesn't deserve anymore time in the spotlight with his awful music.

26- "Say Something" - Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton (+6) -- It's been a very interesting few months for JT. He had everything set up for him to succeed in a big way, but he wasn't able to produce the content that would complete the track. So his album kinda flopped. But yet as it seemed this song would get lost in the fall, it quietly got stuck on the way down and has now started inching its way up to success. I really hope that traction continues to build because this is a really fun song from JT and Chris Stapleton. With Florida Georgia Line and Maren Morris finding huge success, it would be fun if Stapleton continued that country star success by helping this song return to the top 10 after a very brief stay earlier in the year.

29- "Everyday" - Logic & Marshmello (+14) -- Lots of Logic on the charts in our new arrivals today. We'll get to all of that stuff in a bit, but as a reminder with this song, even though I like Logic and Marshmello as individual artists, they do not mesh well, which isn't helped by the fact that neither of them seemed to put much effort into collaboration. Not a good track from the album.

32- "Wait" - Maroon 5 (+7) -- This song is still around? I keep totally forgetting about its existence. It's rather embarrassing when I say this is one of the most forgettable songs of Maroon 5's career since they've been full of nothing but forgettable music ever since Adam Levine started judging "The Voice," which is quite some time now.

36- "Heaven" - Kane Brown (+6) -- How'd we manage to let this song into the top 40? I'm honestly confused by that. Is Kane Brown really a country singer worth knighting to a country superstar? I'd say no. There's so much better country around.

41- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie (+11) -- This is the Marshmello song that I hope has success. Let's forget about that Logic collaboration and continue to push this song instead! I like Marshmello when he's collaborating with good artists!

45- "Broken Halos" - Chris Stapleton (+6) -- The trajectory of "Broken Halos" has been an interesting one to watch. It still hasn't decided if it wants to be a bonafide hit or dwindle into country limbo. And I kinda think it's a song that would've gone away had it not been for Stapleton's collaboration with JT, which might make people more curious about what else he's done. And no, this is not a song I really care about, but I'm also not super offended that it's stayed around.

46- "44 More" - Logic (+19) -- Again, a lot of Logic is about to be covered by me here in a bit with the drop of his album. And again, this song is not a Logic song I care about and I hope it goes away after the album boost goes away.

75- "Tell Me You Love Me" - Demi Lovato (+19) -- I'm surprised to see this song get a huge boost this week. I thought its run was finished. But that surprise is definitely a pleasant surprise. Demi's album that she released last year is all over the place and thus very forgettable, but this was one of the better songs from it that I was hoping would turn into a hit. Can it somehow manage to get a second wind here?

New Arrivals:

54- "Zombie" - Bad Wolves -- It completely broke my heart when I learned of the death of Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of 90's band The Cranberries, this January at the young age of 46. Upon hearing that, I listened to "Dreams" on repeat for a while and it made me super emotional. I've always loved that song. I was hoping that in honor of Dolores, we'd get a resurgence of The Cranberries on the charts. And I was kinda sad that "Dreams," "Linger" and "Zombie" never re-entered. But now we have some sort of ode to them on the Billboard charts this week as it's the cover of "Zombie," by the band Bad Wolves, that enters this week. It was interesting for me to look back and learn that The Cranberries didn't have a huge impact on the Billboard charts in the U.S. at the time with only one top 10 hit in "Linger" and only four songs to appear at all on the Hot 100. In fact, had the original "Zombie" charted back in January, that would've technically been a new entry as that song never charted here. The Cranberries were huge over in their home country of Ireland as well as some other European countries. I suppose we were just late to game in the U.S. as I've definitely heard "Dreams" on the radio quite a bit growing up. Based on that and nothing else, I would've assumed that "Dreams" would've been The Cranberries hit that has stood the test of time best, but if I look at The Cranberries' YouTube account, it's "Zombie" that has 700 million views while "Dreams" has around 100 million views. So this is their most well-known song.

So how is this cover? Well it's absolutely fantastic. Metal is a genre that's not often represented on the Hot 100 and that's a darn shame. "Zombie" is a bit of a heavier song for The Cranberries anyways, at least when compared to songs like "Dreams," which is more light and, dare I say, dreamy? So going even harder with this metal cover fits it quite well. There's a lot of raw emotion and power coming from lead singer Tommy Vext that I think Dolores would be proud of. In fact, she was apparently supposed to record with Bad Wolves, but died just before the recording session, so I imagine she had her personal stamp of approval. This song was initially written by Dolores as an outcry towards humanity as she witnessed the decades-long conflict between Ireland and the U.K. and compared all these violent warmongers to mindless zombies killing for no reason. Her lyrics say it's the same old theme since 1916, which Bad Wolves updates to saying that it's the same old theme in 2018. Which is true. I mean, I don't personally know much about the conflict between Ireland and the U.K., but the violence around the world today is quite tragic, thus making the original song extremely relevant and this cover quite powerful. I'm not going to go as far as saying this is an improvement over the original like I did with Disturbed's "The Sound of Silence," but it's definitely a really good cover. I'm guessing you'll love it if you're a fan of the original.

56- "Indica Badu" - Logic featuring Wiz Khalifa -- It's the Logic show on the charts today as his new album "Bobby Tarantino II" dropped recently and has debuted eight new songs for Logic on the charts, giving him a total of 10 songs on the charts this week out of a total of 13. Again, I like Logic as a rapper. He's better than most rappers today and I loved what he accomplished with his suicide prevention song, but his previous two promotional singles from this album, "Everyday" and "44 More" didn't impress me, so I wasn't crossing my fingers with the album. Yet we'll take this one song at a time and see what we come up with. And, well, we're not off to a good star here as Logic joins up with weed-smoking legend Wiz Khalifa for a weed smoking anthem where the two of them go off on how amazing it is to smoke weed for exactly 4:20. The instrumentation fits this well as it has a more relaxing tone to it and both rappers flow well with their bars. So I'd prefer this over most of the untalented mumble rap. But content means a lot to me and I don't like weed-smoking anthems, so this song doesn't do it for me.

60- "Contra" - Logic -- We go from a weed anthem in "Indica Badu" to a song in "Contra" about how famous and awesome Logic has become. That's even worse. Luckily he doesn't spend time on all of his riches, fancy car, jewelry and girls he's been sleeping with like other rappers who constantly drone on about this subject. But still. The whole song is about how awesome and famous he's become while trashing on the people who have tried to jump on the bandwagon just because he's famous. As in girls wanting to love him now that he's famous instead of being with him from the beginning. So sure, it could've been worse. But still. He's just rapping about how famous he is and that's boring to me. Logic is capable of a whole lot more.

63- "NBAYOUNGBOAT" - Lil Yachty featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again -- In addition to Logic's album "Bobby Tarantino II" impacting the charts this week, we also had the arrival of Lil Yachty's "Lil Boat 2," which luckily only had three tracks of the 17 total songs debut on the charts. So bad timing for Yachty, but great timing for me as it would be awful if I had to cover all of that. "NBAYOUNGBOAT" is Yachty's collaboration with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, an awful name that is somehow better than NBA YoungBoy, his previous rapper name. And this song is just the two of them starting with lot of skrts and wops at the beginning, then the two of them taking turns rapping about their lavish lifestyles, which is worse than anything Logic put out with his album, which is saying something because that album isn't good at all, as you'll come to see here. There's a non-explicit version of this album and half of the song is censored.

68- "Overnight" - Logic -- What did I just barely say in my thoughts on "Contra"? Logic rapping about how famous he is bores me. And again, that's all that he does here. He even adds in how much money he's making and how your girl wants to date him now. At least he says he's going to give the money back to the people who made him famous and he acknowledges that he doesn't know why your girl is trying to date him, speculating that it's because you haven't been treating her right. But still. The song comes off as quite condescending as he brags that all of his fame came because he was good to everyone and worked a lot harder than everyone. Well, people who are truly good people don't spend their time bragging about how they are good people, so he cancels that out. And if he worked hard in the past to come to where he is, it certainly doesn't seem like he worked very hard on this album. And he's doing better than everyone else BECAUSE he's been trying and working hard? Well, that's funny. Has he noticed all the awful rappers that have had success lately? How hard you work on your music means nothing today, which is a shame. But it also means Logic's bragging has no base to it. Rappers are becoming successful overnight for absolutely no reason.

73- "66" - Lil Yachty featuring Trippie Redd -- The second of three awful songs from Lil Yachty as he combines his boring, autotuned mumble rap with Trippie Redd's uninspired nonsense. All I got from this is that Yachty was senseless thug in high school who dropped out and became super rich, because apparently our generation loves giving rap careers to people who barely know how to rap. So all of Logic's bragging about how hard he's work is the reason why he's so successful is nonsense because Lil Yachty has probably spent his whole life doing and selling drugs and he's charting songs just as high as Logic right now.

74- "Midnight" - Logic -- This is a two part song. Part one is Logic rapping about how it feels good to be the man and how all his old girls all want to date him again. Part two is a completely different sound and flow, but it's mostly one long verse surrounded by two choruses. The verse in the second section has much better flow that the rest of the song, but he's just bragging about all the credentials, money and awards he's made since being famous. Do I need to keep repeating myself? It's not interesting. 

83- "Wassup" - Logic featuring Big Sean -- In this next song by Logic, he's bragging about how awesome it is to be better than everyone else in the rapping industry and how his old girls are coming back to them and need to go away. Sound familiar? The only thing different here is Big Sean gets a verse where he totally owns Logic in his own song. That's embarrassing. Although I got caught up on one line from Big Sean. He says his change will be surprising to people like it would be to see Vader wearing all white. What? I guess that would be a shock, but that's a really random comparison to make.

84- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift -- I saw some people on the internet predicting that this latest single from Taylor's "reputation" would debut in the top 10 and I kinda laughed that off since "reputation" has severely underperformed for Taylor, at least when it comes to her singles, which have fallen off the face of the earth right now. The world has seemingly moved on from "reputation" and I don't blame them because the album as a whole is very experimental and scattered. As she says in "Look What You Made Me Do," a song I still don't mind, the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now... because she's dead. The older Taylor is gone in "reputation," not because she completely lost it and fell off the deep end, but because she heavily explored an electronic undertone with the album, which didn't really work for me in most of the songs. However, there are a few standouts from the album. The three major ones for me when I explored "reputation" were "New Year's Day," "Dancing with Our Hands Tied" and "Delicate," with a couple of others being good, too.

So yeah, maybe Taylor should've STARTED with "Delicate" as a single and maybe the world wouldn't hate her right now. This song is very radio-friendly and feels closer to classic Taylor as she's simply being herself rather than trying to make a huge statement about her reputation. And yeah, she does talk about her reputation again in this song, but she's doing it in a more romantic context as she's saying that this guy must like her for her because her reputation has never been worse. Which is funny, the thing that ruined her reputation is her talking about her reputation so much. But hey, my problem was that Taylor went away from her classic style and tried to be too experiment. I didn't mind the whole reputation stuff. In terms of her experimental style, this is one song where it really worked out for her. The smooth electronic undertones in the song are more subtle and do a great job of adding to the tone of the song, thus enhancing the listening experience, which is what it should do instead of being so distracting in her other songs. All in all, though, Taylor should go back to her old self because that's what works best for her. And she did that in "New Year's Day," the best song on the album. I hope she tries that one out as a single next.

87- Yuck" - Logic -- The title of this song has been my reaction to this whole album from Logic. In this song, he's rapping about how he never responds to other rappers who have a beef with him as he lets the success talk for itself. Which is funny because if he really had the philosophy to never respond to beefs, then he would've never written this song. So it's his way of just making himself sound cool and humble when it just sounds super hypocritical. I learned from this that apparently there's a beef between Logic and Joyner Lucas and this song is most likely directed specifically at Joyner. I suppose Logic justifies himself by not specifically name-dropping anyone, but I don't buy it. And neither does Joyner who called him a coward.

88- "BOOM!" - Lil Yachty featuring Ugly God -- The third and final song from Yachty this week is his collaboration with... Ugly God? OK, forget about the lack of quality from this thug for a second and ponder about me as to WHY Yachty chose to collaborate with him. He charted one awful, partial song last year called "Water," which was only on the charts for a few weeks, and that's the extent of his rapping career on the Hot 100. Doesn't Yachty want to join up with someone who's actually done more on the charts? But oh well. Whatever. These two are going vroom and zoom in this song, then they get to a room with a girl and go boom. Guess what? They can come up with dirty, juvenile rhymes that make both of them sound like they have the IQ of a middle school thug who stumbled onto a bunch of money. Now please let's get these two thugs off the charts and out of my life. That would make the world a better place.

97- "BoomTrap Protocol" - Logic -- This song feels a bit nonsensical to me. I don't know what Logic is getting at here. Bragging about how awesome he is, the greatest alive according to the lyrics, and how he's drinking, smoking and letting us all know what the protocol is to be considered BoomTrap, a more thug version Boom Bap? Whatever that is. I guess I'm just out of the loop there. This song is less annoying than some of the others I just covered. But I still don't give it a pass as I just felt lost while listening to it.  

98- "Warm It Up" - Logic featuring Young Sinatra -- Who in the frack is Young Sinatra? Well, I guess that shows I don't know much about Logic because Young Sinatra and Bobby Tarantino are alter-egos of Logic that he uses. Apparently Young Sinatra was an older alter-ego that he is bringing back for this song. If that means something to you, then I'm happy for you, I suppose. I'm not interested in any of it. Instead I see a guy who's claiming that he's the Messiah and God of rap music, which I find find extremely arrogant and annoying. He's also talking about all the money in the bank he has as well as the sports cars he's purchased. So yeah, he went down that route here. And he makes a few strange pop cultural references like "Pass the Mary Jane like I'm runnin' a train with Peter Parker" and "On tour, I'm having more sex in the city than Sarah Jessica Parker" to describe his lavish lifestyle his enjoying with all of this fame.

That does it for "Bobby Tarantino II." Just for fun, I listened to the three other tracks that didn't chart so that I could give the whole album a grade. We have the "Rick and Morty" intro "Grandpa's Space," which is Ricky and Morty bragging about how awesome Logic is. We have "Wizard of Oz," which is Logic rapping about how he is the Wizard of Oz of the rapping world and "State of Emergency," featuring 2 Chainz, which has a solid beat and an acceptable verse from 2 Chainz, but Logic again bragging about how famous he's becoming. So no, none of this is good. My final grade for this whole album is a D. There's worse rappers out there, but Logic is someone who actually has a lot of talent, so it's disappointing seeing him create an album that is void of any quality.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - March 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 (=) -- Drake celebrates his seventh week at No. 1 this week with 81.8 million U.S. streams. That weekly total is behind only Bauer, Drake, Bauer, Drake, T-Swift, Drake and Drake while being just ahead of Drake and Drake. Yeah, all of those Drakes are from the previous six weeks of this song. It's insane how much streaming this song has gotten. The song also jumps up to third place on the radio songs, meaning if the streaming ever goes away, the radio will be there to keep the song afloat. I don't know when this song is going to disappear, but you better get used to it being here because it's going to be here for a long time still. And it's closest competition took a faceplant this week, so I have no idea what's going to rise to the occasion of dethroning this song in the next couple of months.

2- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+1) -- Ed Sheeran rises back up to his No. 2 spot with Post Malone's minor collapse. Yet Ed finally gave way his radio crown this week to the song that'll come right after this. Despite that, though, the radio for this is still really strong and its sales and streaming were enough to keep it ahead of Bruno again, making it so "Perfect" has now been at No. 2 for seven weeks in 2018. As a reminder, "Shape of You" set the record for most weeks in the top 10 for any song. I'm not predicting "Perfect" matches or breaks that, but it's definitely looking like this is still going to have a lot of staying power in the top 10 for quite some time.

3- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (+1) -- Bruno finally topped Ed Sheeran on radio, but still wasn't able to sneak past him on the charts. But in claiming this top spot on radio, Bruno now has eight career radio No. 1s, passing Usher for most ever radio No. 1s among male acts and third all time, behind only Rihanna (13) and Mariah Carey (11). Keep in mind that the official radio songs chart has only been around since 1991.

4- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-2) -- After debuting at No. 2 last week, Post Malone takes a second week tumble as his streaming drops 24 percent to 41.8 million U.S. streams, which accounts for most of the song's chart points given that radio and sales have refused to contribute much thus far, which I'm totally fine with. I don't want to be too quick in my celebration here, because there's a good chance that this recovers and stays in the top five for a long time. But man it would be really nice if this song continued to tumble instead of gaining traction. The world doesn't need any more Post Malone. And on that note, can we all stand up and sing praises to the music gods that "rockstar" is GONE from the top 10?

5- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+2) -- I've been singing this song all day for the last two days since discovering that it finally broke into the top five this week. Doing so has got the song permanently stuck in my head, which I'm fine with. It's Bebe's first ever top five hit and FGL's second appearance after "Cruise" featuring Nelly in 2013 also went top five. The cross appeal for both country radio and pop radio is turning this song into a radio monster, which could mean that this will camp out here for a while. I couldn't be happier for Bebe. She's been searching for a genuine monster hit and it looks like she's finally found it. Hard work pays off.

6- "Havana" - Camila Cabello (-1) -- It's been a great run for Camila in the top five, so I'm not sad that this song finally fell out of the top five and will most likely start tumbling down the charts now. Well done Camila. Now she has her next hit, "Never Be the Same," showing up in the top 20 this week, so perhaps she can replace herself in the top 10 a few weeks down the road.

7- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (-1) -- With radio still refusing to come anywhere close to this song, it's certainly satisfying seeing it slide down the charts. After this DIDN'T go away in its second week, I got really nervous that it was going to stay around for a while. Now I'm getting a little hope back that this might actually go away.

8- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+3) -- Much applause for Maren Morris in achieving her first ever top 10 hit! She has Zedd to thank for this as he's the one who got this one here. But hopefully that'll give Maren more mainstream recognition because she's a great country pop artist who deserves more attention. For Zedd, this is his fourth top 10 hit, following "Clarity" featuring Foxes, "Break Free," an Ariana Grande song that featured Zedd and "Stay" with Alessia Cara. "Clarity" is obviously the far superior song of the bunch, but I do enjoy this one a lot more than I did "Stay" last year, so I'm glad we have another decent song in the top 10.

9- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (=) -- I'm nervously monitoring this song right now as this is the third week that this song has spent at the No. 9 spot and I have no idea if it's going to take a tumble and drop out or if it's going to gain some traction and make it's way back up. I certainly hope it's the latter because I would like for this song to stick around. It's a solid track from "Black Panther" with great effort from both The Weeknd and Kendrick. It would be a shame if this got replaced by some other awful rap song that doesn't deserve to be here.

10- "Stir Fry" - Migos (+2) -- With no additional song taking advantage of the weak top 10, Migos essentially defaults back into the region and I'm fine with that when it comes to this song. This still remains the only Migos song that actually enjoyed as this constantly gets stuck in my head, which I still find strange. But hey, if Migos were to put out any additional songs like this, maybe I wouldn't hate them as much. But I doubt it'll happen as the rest of Culture II that I was subjected to was typical awful Migos.

Rising on the Hot 100:

16- "Ric Flair Drip" - Offset & Metro Boomin (+20) -- There was a music video for this song that impacted the charts this week. Hence the huge jump. Let's just hope that's all the help this song gets, because if this gets any higher, I might start panicking. Remember what I just said about "Stir Fry" remaining the only Migos song I've enjoyed? Yeah. This is typical awful Migos. Except it's just Offset on this song.

18- "Mine" - Bazzi (+2) -- I'm happy that the Valentine's Day surge for this dumb partial song went away as I was happy to finally see that this stalled out. Slight raise this week that pushes it into the top 20. But I'm not too nervous at this point. I'm confident that this won't get a whole lot higher than it currently is right now.

19- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+5) -- As "Havana" is finally looking like it's ready to give up the ghost and start tumbling, it's good to see this follow-up single for Camila gaining traction. I hope this goes top 10, continuing Camila's winning streak.

23- "King's Dead" - Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake (+5) -- "Pray for Me" seems stuck at No. 9 right now and "All the Stars" fell out of the top 10, so I was a bit surprised to see this song take a rise a few spots, nearing the top 20. I can't say I'm too happy about it as it's by far the worst of the three major "Black Panther" tracks.

34- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+9) -- It's really frustrating for me to see this song continually increasing on both sales and radio. I was really hoping we could forget about Imagine Dragons and simply call 2017 a huge mistake when it came to their music. But we're continuing to push their dull, bland music up the charts in 2018.

48- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+7) -- We gave Rich the Kid another top 50 hit? That's an embarrassing moment for the world of music. What did he do to deserve this honor. I'm at least glad that "New Freezer" stalled out after hitting the 40's. I can only hope that this song does the same and doesn't get much higher than it currently is right now.

60- "This is Me" - Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble (+27) -- Yeah, this is here because this was performed at the Oscars and somehow a lot of people loved that performance, even though I was not impressed at all, which has been the case from day one when it comes to this awful musical. But guess what? After this bad performance of this bad song... IT LOST! "Remember Me" from "Coco," which is a thousand times better than "This is Me," rightfully won best original song. Meaning that the Oscars finally got it right after screwing it up almost every other year.

79- "When We" - Tank (+12) -- I have no idea what this song is doing. It keeps bouncing up and down on the charts. It feels like there's a lot of indecision. So allow me to put my foot down and say that we should reject this song and send it off to the Billboard graveyard where it belongs.

New Arrivals:

17- "Sad!" - XXXTENTACION -- What's truly sad is that we're letting this guy still have a career after that thing he called an album last year was complete trash. And was 11 songs that totaled 21 minutes. Well, now he's branching out this year with an album that'll be titled "?." And he's really branching out as it'll be 18 tracks that total 37 minutes. So the average song length will be about the same. There'll just be more of these partial songs. We'll get to the full thing when it comes out, but there's two songs released from it this week. And this song is, well, surprisingly not awful. Apple Music has this album listed as pop, which surprised me. But then I listened, and yeah, this is not really hip-hop or rap. It doesn't hurt my ears like a lot of his songs did last year. And it's nothing like 6ix9ine yelling at me about how many people he's going to murder and rape. This is just X being sad about a girl committing suicide. At the same time, though, there's not much to it. He has one short verse, then repeats the chorus six times, somehow getting the song to 2:46. It would be interesting if he actually explored the topic more and gave us something that felt more like a complete song instead of a quarter of song stretched out to nearly three minutes.

22- "Top Off" - DJ Khaled featuring JAY Z, Future & Beyonce -- This song is officially listed as featuring JAY Z, Future & B. I assume DJ Khaled's keyboard broke before he submitted the song, so I finished it for him. B is Beyonce. First and foremost, that intro by JAY Z. Like the first three seconds of this song. What the heck? Did Beyonce tickle him right after pressing record and they just decided to keep it in? Did he stub his toe on something? Anyways, after that DJ Khaled once again informs us that "We the best music!" followed by "Another one!" Then he lets his three friends take turns bragging about how rich they are, with Future specific saying that he took the top off the Maybach, a luxurious German car manufacturer that's a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz. Then he has to mention that he's not going to stop by the police. The rest of the song is, just, yeah. They're rich. And they love bragging about it. With Future, I don't really expect any more from him as he doesn't have an ounce of talent in his body when it comes to rap. But JAY Z and Beyonce I'm definitely disappointed with because they're capable of much better than this lazy trash that exists in this song. And DJ Khaled, as usual, is not in this song outside his usual few lines. Nothing to say there.

43- "Everyday" - Logic & Marshmello -- Logic and Marshmello? Are we putting ketchup on our ice cream? These two don't go together. Logic isn't the type of rapper to throw in EDM beats with his rap and Marshmello doesn't usually collaborate with male rappers. He usually sticks with female pop stars, mainly. And that's what he should stick to moving forward. There's not much Marshmelloing going on in this song and they don't really fit together quite well. And Logic, who has done interesting things in the recent past that I've really appreciated, spends this song rather lazily rapping about how he works hard everyday. He doesn't even have his typical sharpness or flow with him. It just feels phoned in, which is ironic considering the song is about him working hard. Maybe he's worked so hard in the past that he feels justified in being super lazy for this song? I don't know. But it doesn't work for me.

46- "No Excuses" - Meghan Trainor -- I feared the arrival of this song and at the moment I'm laughing that Meghan could only manage a debut barely in the top 50. We'll see who gets the last laugh in the end. My history with Meghan Trainor is an excruciatingly painful one. Every one of her previous singles she's tried to sing about something important and empowering for females, but misses the mark by a mile and only manages to sound arrogant and annoying in the process. To her credit with this new single, she doesn't make me fume with her lyrics and her voice isn't annoying. But I pressed play on this a week ago and my big thought was, "That was it?" This song is empty. There's nothing to it. She makes vague references to this guy being disrespectful to her then spends most of the song repeated over and over that he must have her confused with someone else and that there's no excuses. Whatever that means. We get no specifics about any of these. Just vague, generic lyrics that mean nothing. I'd probably prefer this over just about everything she's released previously, but that's not saying very much because I'm cheering for this empty song to be a flop.

47- "Changes" - XXXTENTACION -- The second song from X this week. Check out these lyrics: "Baby I don't understand this; You're changing, I can't stand it; My heart can't take this damage; And the way I feel, can't stand it." That's the whole song. He repeats those lines five times, with a bridge in between where PnB Rock repeats the line "Girl, you're making it hard for me" six teams. This is accompanied by one note from a piano punched over and over throughout the two minutes of length. Again, this has more of a pop feel than a rap feel. And it's not awful. But there's just nothing to it. When I can repeat the entire lyrics of a song and give an analysis in one short paragraph, that's pretty sad. If X had actually written a full song and discussed in detail this relationship he's referring to here, I might be down for that. But as is, this felt like it was written in five minutes. So again, I don't know why we're giving this guy a career.

80- "X" - Nicky Jam & J Balvin -- Not a lot of life here for Nicky Jam and J Balvin. And not enough distinction between the two, so it feels like the collaboration was just for more name recognition and not because they each had a distinct purpose or sound on the song. I think if I just casually listened to this, it might be hard to tell that there are two singers and/or when the transitions are. When it comes to these Latino songs, since I am not a Spanish speaker, I try to make my main focus on the music itself and this song fits in that awkward place where it's not fast enough to make for an upbeat dance song and not slow enough to be a romantic slow song. You'd either have to be creative with your dancing or you'll be awkwardly standing around on the dance floor, waiting for the next song to show up, hoping that it has more life. Because this is kinda dull. Decent background noise, I suppose. But nothing more. I tried looking into the lyrics a bit and at first glance it would appear they are about as lifeless as this song itself.

91- "Stranger Things" - Joyner Lucas & Chris Brown -- I have a friend that keeps telling me I should look up Joyner Lucas. But I've kept being disobedient. And hey look who showed up this week! It's Joyner Lucas! But he's with Chris Brown, which didn't sound like a good sign. So I figured I'd look into his other stuff a bit to see more of what he's like before trying out this collaboration. Doing so taught me that the song "I'm Not Racist" is... really long. But his style and flow reminded me a bit of Eminem, who he references in that song. And the lyrics actually meant something, which is good. So do yourself a favor and go listen to that song so that you can have a proper introduction to him because this current song with Chris Brown is a piece of trash. Just like you'd expect from Chris Brown. He's just bragging about how rich and awesome he is. Then it switches to Joyner and although his rap and flow is much better than Chris, he's also just bragging about how awesome he is. So this song is really dumb. But hey, maybe it'll help Joyner to chart with some of his other music.

96- "Tempo" - Chris Brown -- Another Chris Brown song? This one comes from his 45-track, 158-minute long album last year titled "Heartbreak on a Full Moon." And yeah, I haven't cared to dive into that because an album that long from a rapper with no ounce of talent in him is obviously all quantity and no quality. Luckily America mostly rejected it as very few songs from the album even charted. But hey. I'll give this song a chance because it's here. And it's not an offensive song, per se. Probably even better than that piece of trash with him and Joyner that I just covered. The problem here is that there's nothing to this song. Chris just wants to switch up the tempo with this girl. You can probably guess what he's referring to with that, but guessing is exactly what you'd be doing because he doesn't bother to give any details. Which is almost a good thing for Chris because the songs where he does go into detail are always awful and gross. So I prefer an empty song from Chris over a disgusting song. But still. That's all this song is. Empty. Exactly what you'd expect from a song on a 45-track album.

98- "Sativa" - Jhené Aiko featuring Swae Lee or Rae Sremmurd -- Swae Lee OR Rae Sremmurd? No. Swae Lee IS Rae Sremmurd. Or at least half of Rae Sremmurd with Slim Jxmmi being the other half. So it's stupid and redundant to credit both Swae Lee AND Rae Sremmurd on the same song. At least saying "or" is not as bad as some other recent Rae Sremmurd songs. Like "Hurt to Look," which is credited as Swae Lee FEATURING Rae Sremmurd. But it's just him on the song. Not both of them. It's like Swae Lee doesn't think people know that he belongs to Rae Sremmurd, so he's decided to list both on these songs. With that rant out of the way, how is the song? Well, that's complicated. Sativa is another word for marijuana or weed. The song is about Jhené and Swae smoking weed. That's pretty much it. Vocally, I do like both of them and I think they play off each other very well. And musically this feels very relaxing and euphoric. Kinda like they were trying to put to music what it's like to smoke weed. So I don't hate this. But I also don't like songs that are only about smoking weed. I wish there was more substance here, so I can't get behind this.

99- "I Lived It" - Blake Shelton -- We almost went this whole week without any new country songs. But Blake snuck one in there right towards the end. And in a week full of mediocrity at best, I found this song to be nice and relaxing. Nothing groundbreaking or amazing. But it was nice to listen to someone who seemed to have some sort of concept of how to write a song. With this song, Blake is very relaxing telling us about how live was when he was growing up. I was thinking to myself that this was nice. Then on the chorus he says that I might think he's crazy and I might not believe him, which had me confused because I did believe him. So there was a slight disconnect there, but overall not bad at all. A decent song from Blake that's above average for him.

100- "Broken Clocks" - SZA -- Coming in at the very end of the charts is SZA, who is quickly becoming a rising star in the R&B and Pop world. She's a singer who has a lot of talent and I really want to love her, but I suppose R&B just isn't my thing, which is what she's doing on this latest single from her 2017 album "Ctrl." I really liked her in the song "All the Stars" on the "Black Panther" soundtrack. But admittedly her portion is more pop. "Broken Clocks" just kinda drags for me. I think the tempo could be increased a bit to give it more of a flow because otherwise it feels like I'm walking through mud. Her voice is great, as always, but the content of the song also doesn't interest me. She's talking about how she's still sad about this breakup and how her life is more boring and monotonous at the moment. If you love SZA and R&B is your thing, then you'll probably love this song and get mad at me for not appreciating it. But oh well. It is what it is.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - March 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 (=) -- The bump from the music video debut has ended, meaning "God's Plan" drops from 101.7 million U.S. streams... to 92.8 million U.S. streams. So, you know, super harsh drop. The updated list of the highest number of individual U.S. streams in a week has "God's Plan" occupying six of the top nine spots. Now typically I'm in favor of people sharing the love at the top, regardless of how much I love the song. I'd almost want to go back to the 50's and 60's way of doing things where there was often a new No. 1 song each week. But in this case, let's just keep Drake at the top for the time being. And I say that because I would love it if Drake is able to prevent Post Malone's new song "Psycho" from going No. 1. That aside, I'm honestly curious as to how long this song is going to last. It just tallied over 90 million U.S. streams in its sixth week at No. 1. Even if it dropped 10 million each week, which I'm not convinced it'll do, that'll guarantee it at least 5-6 more weeks at No. 1, regardless of what happens below it. And that's not even taking radio into account, which continues to rise. I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if this stays here for another 2-3 months considering how insanely massive this streaming continues to be.

2- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (new) -- It really upsets me that the second "rockstar" starts to go away, we get ANOTHER dumb song from Post Malone debuting in the top five. Do I have to suffer through 20+ weeks of this song in the top five as well? Because I really don't want to. And I'm as confused as heck as to how and why the music gods have knighted such an untalented, lazy punk as Post Malone a superstar. At least we dodged a bullet with this song being unable to debut at No. 1, which is usually a done deal when a song debuts with 54.9 million U.S. streams, which is 10 million higher than when "rockstar" debuted with 44 million last year, also at No. 2. This time around, 54 million U.S. streams is not even close to good enough when Drake still has nearly double that. I just hope that the world somehow realizes how untalented Post Malone is and allows this song to be extremely front-loaded. But I'm not betting on that. I'll dive into more of my opinion on this down below.

3- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (-1) -- The next four songs are all the exact same as last week, just pushed down one spot each. That means the only thing that changed in the top five was Post Malone's debut. It would really be nice if we got some new life here, but I'm still fine with Ed Sheeran being here. Rumor has it that "Supermarket Flowers" is his next single, which has me beyond ecstatic! "Perfect" remains No. 1 again on radio with 133 million in audience, down just 4 percent from last week. NF remains No. 1 on pop radio with "Let You Down," but can't seem to break into the top 10.

4- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (-1) -- It looks like Bruno won't get back to No. 2 after all? That amuses me. Although I would prefer he did if it meant knocking Post Malone down. At this point, though, I'm wondering if Bruno will be able to switch spots with Ed Sheeran. I keep expecting it to happen. But it keeps not happening.

5- "Havana" - Camila Cabello (-1) -- Camila hanging on for dear life in the top five as her follow-up single, "Never Be the Same" struggles to gain enough traction to make it to the top 10. This is still the No. 2 song of the year at the moment, though. So Camila is in great shape as she's had a fantastic run with this song.

6- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (-1) -- At least this song didn't jump ahead of the songs in front of it thanks to sales and radio being nonexistent. But streaming somehow kept climbing as it's up to 39.6 million U.S. streams. That baffles me. Why do dumb songs like this get so much streaming? Are people's ears broken.

7- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+1) -- Hey look what rebounded this week! But will it be able to get enough momentum to jump ahead of "Look Alive"? With Ed, Bruno and Camila continuing to fall in overall points each week, something is going to default ahead of them, but I have no idea what it is.

8- "rockstar" - Post Malone (-2) -- It finally looks like "rockstar" is dying. But I don't feel very happy due to "Psycho" debuting at No. 2. I want Post Malone gone.

9- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (=) -- "Black Panther" is not fading away at the box office, but the soundtrack had its momentum stopped. Which is sad, because if we're going to stream rap songs to death, why not this one?

10- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar & SZA (-3) -- I would love this song to stick around and take up some of the obligatory streaming numbers, but a sharp drop this week doesn't look good for it. I just hope it can rebound in future weeks.

Rising on the Hot 100:

11- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+2) -- I feel that next week is going to be the week where this breaks into the top 10. Although I thought the same would happen for "Let You Down" by NF, yet that got stuck and falls down to No. 13, with "Stir Fry" taking No. 12 after dropping out of the top 10 this week. I would actually like "Pray for Me" and "All the Stars" to rebound and go up the charts. So if that means this song gets stuck at 11 for another week in favor of that, I'd be fine with that. In a perfect world, this would replace "rockstar" in the top 10. Let's hope that happens!

16- "Gummo" - 6ix9ine (+9) -- Thankfully this song never hit top 10 and, despite a good boost this week, it's not going to. This is up nine spots because 6ix9ine dropped an album that impacted the charts this week. Luckily only two new songs from that album actually debuted. But they'll all die next week. Hopefully, anyways.

43- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+17) -- We jump from No. 16 to No. 43 on this list. That's because most of the songs in the 20's and 30's got stuck this week with only minimal gains or losses. And I would really love it if this song would join that club and get stuck before going too much higher. The world really doesn't need another boring, dull Imagine Dragons song played to death on the radio.

44- "Heaven" - Kane Brown (+10) -- Kane Brown breaks into the top 50. And I couldn't really care less. A song called "Heaven" should really be good. But it's totally not.

50- "Dura" - Daddy Yankee (+7) -- I'm counting the weeks until it's announced this song gets a remix with an English-speaking pop star. With it getting top 50 on its own, that's more of when, not if, right? This is about the general area that "Despacito" peaked at before adding Justin Bieber. And hey, if that makes this a major hit, giving life to the very dead top 10, I'd be totally fine with that because this is a fun Latino dance song.

55- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+14) -- Can we somehow stop Rich the Kid from being a thing? Luckily "New Freezer" stalled out a bit this week, but I would really like it if this song stalled as well. Let's send both songs away as soon as possible.

62- "Nowadays" - Lil Skies featuring Landon Cube (+11) -- I forgot this song existed until I saw it rise up this week. And it debuted less than two months ago. That should tell you something about how I feel.

71- "Candy Paint" - Post Malone (+13) -- This song confuses the heck out of me. Since "rockstar" and now "Psycho" have been huge hits now, I keep expecting this song to gain momentum, but it's instead kinda just hanging out below the top 50, which I'm totally fine with. I'd probably prefer this over both of those two songs, but the better option is to have all three of them go away.

78- "IDGAF" - Dua Lipa (+18) -- I want Dua Lipa to continue being a thing. A follow-up hit would solidify that for her after "New Rules." But I don't really want IDGAF to be that hit. So I'd be fine if this stalled out and she released something else that got big.

85- "Rubbin off the Paint" - YBN Nahmir (+12) -- I also don't care about this song. Or hardly even remember it. As it is just in the 80's, no need to remind myself of specifics just yet. I just remember not liking it, so let's not let it get higher.

New Arrivals:

2- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign -- A song called "Psycho" should be interesting, right? Singing about mental instability is at least more interesting than a rap star pretending he's now a rock star with rap being the new rock. But no, this song has nothing to do with mental instability. He just says his AP's gone psycho. AP meaning Audemars Pigeuet, a fancy brand of wristwatch. Then in that first line he makes some sort of potential double reference to Michael Myers and Michael Jackson by saying "lil' mama bad like Michael." You can guess where this is going from that. Yes, Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign spend the rest of the song rapping about jewelry and money. That's it. Musically, the wrote one bar of music, then copied and pasted it for the whole song. While not as annoying and unintelligent as "rockstar," this song has zero ounces of creativity. I mean, who the frack cares about Post Malone bragging about his jewelry? Apparently a lot of people because this is No. 2 on the charts right now. But I have no idea why. I would think rappers rapping about fame and riches would get old because that's literally all many of them do. It's stupid.

22- "44 More" - Logic -- I really liked Logic's suicide prevention song. He did a great thing with that! So what's he going to follow that up with? Uh, well, nothing apparently. This is a song that's a follow-up to his song "44 Bars," from his 2016 mixtape "Bobby Tarantino." That song was exactly 44 bars long. And so is "44 More." Apparently. I didn't care enough to actually count. But if true, it's 44 bars of him just rambling on about various aspects of his life without much focus. I will give him credit in that he actually is good at rapping. As in he goes super fast with his rap, which shows he has talent. I just wish there was actually substance here. Because there's not.

60- "Billy" - 6ix9ine -- 6ix9ine dropped his album "DAY69," which impacted the charts this week. Luckily I only have to cover two of the songs from it. Not that it would've taken that long to cover the whole thing as it's 11 songs that total up to be a whopping 27 minutes. But the less 6ix9ine, the better. Now I just had one qualification for 6ix9ine. Don't brag about rape and murder in your songs and I'll do my best to just forget you existed and move on with life. Does he meet these qualifications? Nope. Not on this song anyways. This whole song is about him killing people, with lots of gun shot sound effects included. Why is he able to get away with this? Might I remind you that the guy is also a pedophile? So why are we making him a thing? And why are we letting him get away with using the n-word so often? Now, I hate it when black people use that word as if it's a synonym for human being. But 6ix9ine is NOT black. He was born in Brooklyn to a Mexican mother and a Puerto Rican father. So him using the n-word 19-times in this song, especially in context of him shooting these people, is EXTREMELY racist and despicable. So why are we letting him have a career? He should be rotting in prison, not enjoying a successful rapping career.

61- "Want You Back" - 5 Seconds of Summer -- Wait, these guys are still a thing? I haven't heard much from them since their one music video where everyone, young and old, stripped down into their underwear. Which was disturbing on many levels. I suppose they have done some things since "Looks So Perfect," but nothing memorable. They're just the 1D wannabees that also tried to be super hip and cool. And in typical 1D fashion, this comeback single is a generic love song where Luke Hemmings, the only vocalist on this song, is sad because he's always going to want this girl back, but she left him because he's been a horrible boyfriend. And that's it. Apparently she left him because he wouldn't change, but when she broke up with him, he decided not to say anything. So, you know, it's hard to feel bad for him. Thus it's hard to care. I suppose when sandwiched between two 6ix9ine songs, this sounds like a masterpiece. But if this went away, I'd probably have a hard time remembering that it existed.

73- "Rondo" - 6ix9ine featuring Tory Lanez & Young Thug-- Try two for 6ix9ine. Can he behave himself? Well, no. But this isn't quite as bad as "Billy," mostly because 6ix9ine is barely in this song. Most of it Tory Lanez and Young Thug bragging about being rich and spending time with this prostitute. I think. 6ix9ine drops in for just a verse and manages to ramble off the n-word another seven times in a matter of 30 seconds or less. It's funny, Genius claims this is a devastating song about a drug-addicted prostitute that slowly loses touch with reality. I don't know which random person wrote that or how they got that out of this song, but I didn't get that at all. In fact, I don't know what I got out of this song as none of these three shows any ability to stay focused on anything. Which I suppose an unfocused song about nothing is better than another song where 6ix9ine brags about killing people. But that doesn't mean I'm giving this a pass. It's just really stupid instead of being really offensive.  

81- "Booty" - Blac Youngsta -- I wonder if Sammie Benson, aka Blac Youngsta, knows that the word black has a "k" on the end of it. He probably does. But you know, it's cool and hip to misspell things. Anyways, Blac Youngsta is a rapper signed onto Yo Gotti's label. This song comes from his 2017 album "I'm Innocent," which was released a few weeks after he was arrested, and shortly released, along with a few associates, being charged with six counts of discharging a weapon into a moving vehicle and felony conspiracy after an instance where fellow rapper Young Dolph's SUV was fired on around 100 times. Young Dolph was unhurt because his windows were bulletproof. Despite being on the album, this song has nothing to do with that instance. But that's who we're dealing with here. And this is a song where Blac Youngsta spends nearly three minutes asking this girl to shake her booty. We've seen lots of songs like this and I don't really like any of them. But at least songs like "Get Busy" by Sean Paul and "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot are catchy. This is like a boring, dull, unintelligent version of those two songs that just comes off as lazy and perverted.

96- "She's with Me" - High Valley -- Canadian country duo High Valley get their first ever entry on the U.S. Hot 100 this week after eight years of pretty good success over in their home country of Canada. And they get that with a song that was initially written for their fourth studio album back in 2014? Yeah, true story. This song has had several releases, including being released in April of last year in the U.S. and finally crossing over to the charts. That's quite the longevity. And I can totally see why it's had such a long life. This is an upbeat, country pop song with a touch of bluegrass or even folk with it's banjos and hand claps that make you want to get up, clap your hands and swing your partner round and round, if you know what I mean. Like in one of those old-fashioned folk dancing parties. This even reminds me a bit of Mumford and Sons. Lyrically this is nothing to write home about. This guy is just on could nine because he's amazed that this girl, who he feels is out of his league, is actually with him. But hey, in a week full of a bunch of other nonsense, this is definitely a refreshing surprise. I'm glad I found something worth getting up and dancing to.

98- "Break up in the End" - Cole Swindell -- We go from fun, upbeat folky country to, well, not bad country, actually. I was expecting this to be boring a dull, but it's actually quite reflective and sorrowful. Like 5SOS's song this week, he's reflecting over a recent breakup. But unlike that song, it looks like Cole put a bit of thought into this song as he rather sorrowfully states that he would still go back and do it all over again, even knowing they would break up in the end. Because the memories he made with this girl are still ones that he cherishes. The slow pianos and stripped down guitars build into this, making it a rather sweet song that actually makes you feel bad for Cole. Well done.

99- "Make Me Feel" - Janelle Monáe -- Here's a good face to see on the charts. Janelle Monáe has made quite the name for herself recently after starring roles in two 2016 best picture nominees, "Moonlight" and "Hidden Figures," the former winning best picture at last year's Academy Awards. Personally I think she did great in both, but she was especially great in "Hidden Figures." As far as her music career, she's been a bit absent from the charts lately. Her first two studio albums sold pretty well, but were released in 2010 and 2013 respectively. And outside one small hit in 2015 that peaked at No. 79, the only other time she's appeared on the Hot 100 was in 2011 as featured on fun.'s chart-topping smash "We Are Young." But now she has her third studio album, "Dirty Computer," coming out next month and this is the lead-off single to that. I will admit that I haven't explored her solo stuff too much, but I do really enjoy this song. This is a very groovy song with some attitude and personality from Janelle. It's set up with some clicks and snaps before slowly building throughout the song as she honestly describes the way that this individual makes her feel. It has quite the powerful conclusion with about a minute left before slowly closing out the way it started. It kinda reminded me of a song by Rihanna or Beyonce when they're on their game. This is the type of sound the that charts could really use, so I hope this becomes a hit.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - March 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 (=) -- I warned you last week that the streaming for this song is going to fly even higher with the arrival of the music video, which affects the charts this week. But even I was shocked when I saw the official numbers. After getting 75 million U.S. streams last week, hitting that mark for the fourth straight week, "God's Plan" had 101.7 million U.S. streams this week, making it only the second week in the history of the streaming charts to get over 100 million U.S. streams, behind only the 103.1 million U.S. streams of "Harlem Shake" in 2013, which only got that much because Billboard thought it would be a good idea to consider ALL YouTube videos using the official audio of the song into their YouTube streaming formula. Think about it. Only two other songs have ever even hit 75 million U.S. streams in Billboard's short history of counting streaming, with "Harlem Shake" doing it twice. "God's Plan" has done it five times, crossing the 100 million U.S. streams mark in the song's fifth week. That's insane. To top it off, "God's Plan" has now hit top 10 on the radio charts, which includes hitting top 20 on pop radio. This song will be here for a long time.

2- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- Ed Sheeran still holds the top spot on radio, essentially even from last week as he only drops 2 percent overall to 138 million in total radio audience. "Finesse," though, officially moved up to the No. 2 spot on radio, so I still think that will switch spots with "Perfect" before too long.

3- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (=) -- If Bruno ends up getting stuck at No. 3, I'll be happy. Though I do think he'll get No. 2. But he's definitely not going No. 1 with how strong "God's Plan" is, barring an unexpected meltdown.

4- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (=) -- For your obscure stat of the week, "Havana" has now hit No. 1 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart, making her the first woman since Mariah Carey on "One Sweet Day" to have hit No. 1 on Adult Pop Songs, Pop Songs and Rhythmic Songs. I don't know how much that really means since throwing that many metrics into a stat like that makes it kind of muddy and obscure, but Billboard reported it and I found it kinda interesting.

5- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (+1) -- WHAT??? NO!!!! When I said I wanted something to replace "rockstar" in the top five, this is not exactly what I meant. This song was supposed to go away this week, not jump a spot and make it to the top five. The radio isn't touching this song and the sales are practically non-existent with Kworb reporting it only getting 10,000 sales this week, down 66 percent from 32,000 last week. So it's surge in streaming is literally the only thing keeping this alive as it jumps 12 percent to 37.9 million U.S. streams this week, which makes this yet another example that supports my opinion of Billboard putting way too much emphasis on streaming in today's chart. They need to update their formula to fix this imbalance. Why is it fair for a song to be able to hit the top five with practically no sales and no radio?

6- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (-1) -- Well, I'm glad this FINALLY fell out of the top five after 22 excruciatingly long weeks of this being in the region. But joy. Post Malone just released his new song "Psycho" featuring Ty Dolla $ign, which is currently No. 1 on iTunes, which probably means it's heading for a strong debut on next week's charts. Why are we turning this untalented punk into a superstar?

7- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar & SZA (+2) -- As "Black Panther" scores the highest second weekend ever in the MCU with $111 million, topping "The Avengers," which previously held the record with $103 million, it appears that the "Black Panther" soundtrack is also feeding off that success as it now has two songs in the top five this week. And while I'm mildly annoyed that "Black Panther" is making so much money, I'm totally fine with "All the Stars" rising on the charts. It's much better than the two pieces of trash in front of it, so hopefully this can go top five soon?

8- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-1) -- I cursed this song, didn't I? Two weeks ago I expressed my desires for "New Rules" to go top five after it hit No. 6 and now this week it's out of the top 10. Last week I hoped that maybe this would go top five instead and it drops a spot instead of rising. Dang it. And that means I just cursed "All the Stars," didn't I? Sorry SZA and Kendrick.

9- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (+2) -- I was a bit surprised to see this fall last week. I mean, I know a lot of songs have second week drops. I'm usually the first to point that out. But this also had the album bump and the movie helping it and it still dropped. But oh well. It's back. And hopefully here to stay. It may have been an afterthought in the movie itself, but this is still a really good song from The Weeknd and Kendrick. If this could stay here in the top 10, that would be really nice.

10- "Stir Fry" - Migos (=) -- One more week for Migos in the top 10 with "Stir Fry"? OK. I'll accept it. I'm slightly disappointed that "Let You Down" by NF and "Love." by Kendrick Lamar now seemed doomed to peak just below the top 10, even though "Let You Down" is the new top song on pop radio. And I suppose that Kendrick currently has two other songs in the top 10 thanks to "Black Panther," so I shouldn't be too upset at "Love." getting shafted. Next week this will probably get booted in favor of Post Malone's "Pyscho." And maybe Zedd reaches the top 10 with "The Middle."

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+4) -- As I just barely noted, "Let You Down," which remains at No. 12, and "Love.," which falls to No. 15, are once again kept from hitting the top 10 and now seemed doomed to get stuck here. But "The Middle" seems to have a lot of momentum. That'll give Zedd another top 10 hit, which is usually always a good thing, and it would give Maren Morris her first top 10 hit. No, it's not with her usual country pop. But I don't care. It gives her more mainstream attention, which will hopefully boost her other songs as well in the future.

18- "Mine" - Bazzi (+4) -- If this is more than just a stupid Valentine's Day smash, I will be upset. This is barely a song and it's a pretty dumb one at that. So go away! It doesn't deserve to be on the Hot 100, let alone stealing a spot in the top 20.

20- "Lights Down Low" - MAX featuring gnash (+7) -- I'd be happier for MAX hitting the top 20 if it wasn't for gnash being lazily attached to the song for the sole purpose of pushing sales. This original song is a sweet, romantic love song. gnash being here makes no sense and in fact hurts the song quite a bit. But oh well.

23- "King's Dead" - Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake (+15) -- The three main "Black Panther" songs all got huge boosts this week. I still laugh that they left this one out of the movie completely. But I'm glad because it had absolutely no place in the movie. It's a dumb song with lazy writing and generic modern rap lyrics. Kendrick should be embarrassed that he put this one together, but he probably doesn't care. Let's just hold this one short of going top 10, please?

42- "You Make It Easy" - Jason Aldean (+5) -- The country world loves Jason Aldean. And I've never been able to understand why. It's not a talented country singer and this is another dull song form him.

44- "Five More Minutes" - Scotty McCreery (+7) -- Scotty McCreery in the top 50? I'm not sure I ever saw that coming after he mostly disappeared not long after winning "American Idol" back in season 10.

46- "New Freezer" - Rich the Kid featuring Kendrick Lamar (+7) -- Ew. Gross. Why are we continuing to make Rich the Kid a thing? Shame on you Kendrick.

58- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie (+14) -- If this becomes a hit, who do we give credit to? I suppose that means Marshmello is now a mainstream EDM artist? His previous songs have done well mostly because of the artists attached to them. But Anne-Marie is a nobody here in the U.S. But if this continues to rise, I'm happy for it. I'm mostly fine with Marshmello's music. He's especially good when he works with talented pop stars and Anne-Marie is pretty good herself. She deserves this mainstream success.

60- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+15) -- Can we please keep this song away? I'm already upset that it got this high. I'll be more upset if or when it goes top 50. If this gets top 10, I'll be furious. More generic, useless Imagine Dragons music? Let's instead popularize a rock band who actually cares about their music.

63- "Most People Are Good" - Luke Bryan (+19) -- I Don't care about Luke Bryan. But I suppose I understand why this is gaining traction even if I think it's personally all over the place. There's worse country songs, though. At least this song has good intentions.

72- "La Modelo" - Ozuna & Cardi B (+14) -- No. Let's not make this a thing. Ozuna and Cardi B were NOT a match made in heaven. It's just a desperate move to make Ozuna popular in the United States. He has much better songs that are actually worth something. Let's focus on those instead.

75- "Hardaway" - Derez De'Shon (+10) -- Should I remind you that this guy doesn't write lyrics? He just in the recording booth and raps whatever comes to his mind, which is why this song is such a mess. Let's send this song away and not make Derez a thing.

77- "Singles You Up" - Jordan Davis (+12) -- I fully expect this song to be a hit in the country world, so it doesn't surprise me at all to see it get a good boost this week. But again, just like the previous four songs that I just mentioned, I don't really care for it. Not such a great week for the rising songs section here.

79- "When We" - Tank (+18) -- This is the most confusing entry on the rising songs chart this week. The song can't decide if it wants to go away or gain traction, so instead it has yo-yoed quite a bit in the last month or so. After re-entering again last week and jumping nearly 20 spots this week, I now hope it yo-yos back down.

New Arrivals:

43- "Love Lies" - Khalid & Normani -- This is the second year that I've been doing this Billboard Analysis segment on this blog. And this week represents the least number of new arrivals that I've had to cover with just two new songs. Usually we get at least four new songs. Strange. But anyways, this duet comes to us via Khalid and Normani, the latter of whom is one of our now four girls from the group Fifth Harmony. This is Normani's first song without the group. I don't know if she's planning on doing her own solo career like Camila is, but after hearing this song I certainly think she should. But this specific song is from the upcoming movie "Love, Simon," which is a movie about a gay high school kid who hasn't come out of the closet and is struggling with that. Honestly it doesn't look that good to me. And I enjoyed "Moonlight" and "Call Me by Your Name," so it's not the subject matter. I suppose we'll see. If it gets good reviews, I'll check it out and review it on my main blog.

On that note, though, if we're making a movie about a gay high school kid, does it make sense for the lead song from it to be a heterosexual love song? I mean, I don't know the sexual orientation of Khalid and Normani, but they're definitely singing to each other in this song. Shouldn't we instead bring on someone like Sam Smith to give us a proper anthem for this movie? But oh well. I suppose I don't know the context of this song in the movie, so we'll also see if that's a real complaint or if I'm just off in left field. That's more of a random observation than anything. If I ignore the movie and focus on just the song, Khalid and Normani blend really well together. The lyrics are generic love song lyrics, so nothing special. But both artists have a lot of character and charisma in the song that make it work for me. I really like Khalid when he's on his game. And he's on his game here. And again, hearing Normani on her own makes me want her to break off of Fifth Harmony and do her own solo career.

93- "Get You" - Daniel Caesar featuring Kali Uchis -- In my investigation in finding out what this song is, why it charted this week and who these two artists are, I got a few answers. Daniel Caesar is a Canadian R&B/Soul singer who released his debut album last year with this song being the lead single to that. In fact, this song itself was initially released in 2016, ahead of that album. And Kali Uchis apparently does a lot of things with her life, but if I'm being simple, she's a Colombian singer. So why is this song here two years after its initial release? Well, I didn't discover why that is, so if you know, please inform me. This guy's album, though, is apparently critically acclaimed, which I don't really care about. But based on this song, I can see why. This isn't just an empty, phoned-in romance song with generic lyrics. This guy has a lot of passion that he brings to this song, thus I can see that he cares. And it's not a shallow song, like Bruno's whole album. He cares about this girl and he's generally surprised that he won her heart. There's a lot of realism there. The only thing I don't like is that he crosses over into the TMI realm with that second verse, but at least it's only a small part of the song and not the whole focus. And I could've used more of Kali Uchis in the song instead of just getting a third verse feature. But in whole, if you like R&B, check this one out!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - February 24, 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 (=) -- 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.