Thursday, April 19, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - April 21, 2018

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Nice for What" - Drake (new) -- I find this new No. 1 for Drake a rather humorous situation. Had the release of "Nice for What" been postponed, this would be the 12th week at No. 1 for "God's Plan," as no competitor was close to topping it. And that would've meant it would be only four weeks away from tying the record, which would be a realistic possibility. But apparently Drake and his party didn't care about the record? I would've waited until something dethroned the previous song before releasing the new single, but that's just me. As is, with Drake replacing himself at No. 1, he becomes the 13th act to do so. He's also the first to accomplish this feat with both songs being ones that debuted at No. 1. As far as debuting at No. 1, "Nice for What" is now the 30th song to do so. With Drake now having his second No. 1 debut, he joins Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears as the only acts to have multiple No. 1 debuts. Drake also ties Elvis for the fourth most top 10 entries among solo males with 25, behind only Michael Jackson (29), Stevie Wonder (28) and Elton John (27). Madonna leads everyone with 38 top 10 entries.

So yeah, a lot of accolades for Drake with this latest No. 1 hit. He does so on the strength of 60.4 million U.S. streams and 88,000 sales. For comparison's sake, "God's Plan" topped 70 million U.S. streams in its first week at No. 1, then jumped to over 100 million U.S. streams when the video finally arrived. The 60.4 million U.S. streams for "Nice for What," while still an impressive feat, is significantly lower than "God's Plan," and that's with the music video already having arrived. So I wouldn't expect this to be another 10+ week leader at No. 1. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if "God's Plan" returned to No. 1 next week or if "Meant to Be" eventually jumped both of them. For now, though, I think "Nice for What" will hang on for at least another week.

2- "God's Plan" - Drake (-1) -- I've been saying for a while that if "God's Plan" is going to be dethroned before tying or breaking the 16-week record, it would most likely have to be a new arrival that would top it. So I'm not too surprised to see it go down, especially since that streaming number is at 47.5 million U.S. streams this week while sales numbers are tanking and the radio seems to have peaked. I just didn't think Drake would be the one to dethrone himself.

3- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-1) -- Thanks to Drake's most recent debut, "Meant to Be" gets knocked down to third place this week. Although the song has gotten even higher on radio, up 4 percent to 136 million in total audience for its second week on top of the radio charts, a number that's now significantly higher than "God's Plan." But the lack of streaming and sales at this point is the song's Achilles heel. But still, if that radio remains consistent, the possibility remains that this could sneak ahead of both Drake songs in the next month or so, depending on how well those songs hold up. I'm not going to bet on it at this point, though. But I do think the radio is strong enough to keep the song in the top five for quite some time.

4- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-1) -- It's great seeing Post Malone drop a spot. But I'm really annoyed by how consistent this song is remaining. I want it to drop out already as I am still baffled as to how a hip-hop artist as lazy and boring as Post Malone is still being worshiped as a king.

5- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (=) -- Speaking of songs that I'm annoyed by their consistency. I remind you, this song dropped out of the top 10 at one point and I was celebrating. But now it is back in the top five and seemingly stuck in this spot. Yet with this being the third Drake song in the top five this week, I do have to point out that another accolade Drake is celebrating is becoming just the fourth act in Billboard history to appear three times in the top five during the same week. The other three were The Beatles, 50 Cent and Justin Bieber, with The Beatles and Bieber still being the only ones to do it as a lead artist in all three songs. The Beatles, of course, are still the only act in history to monopolize the entire top five back in April 1964, an achievement that I highly doubt will ever be replicated. 

6- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (=) -- My goodness, "The Middle" remains stuck behind "Psycho" and "Look Alive," despite huge radio. I desperately want this song to jump ahead of both of those songs so that we can rid the top five of awful rap music. But like with "Meant to Be" seeming to be unable to get over the hump by topping Drake, it's now seeming like "The Middle" is going to have a hard time breaking into the top five, which makes me sad.

7- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- I'm not sure how much longer that has left in the tank, but staying at No. 7 this week with two new debuts in the top 10 is an impressive feat, which can be attributed to the radio still loving this love ballad, even though the weekly numbers continue to bleed. And hey, I don't blame the radio stations. I still enjoy hearing this song when it's played.

8- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (new) -- It's the week of Cardi B as her new album impacted the charts this week in a huge way, so I'm not surprised at all to see her have a top 10 debut. I'm actually surprised she could only get as high as No. 8, which means that I think this will be gone next week. Much more on this song and the rest of that album here in a bit in my new arrivals as this is one of 10 new Cardi B songs that I have to listen to and comment on. Noticeably, Bad Bunny gets his first ever appearance in the top 10 while J Balvin gets his second. Both artists should be on their knees thanking Cardi for helping them achieve those accomplishments.

9- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (=) -- With Drake and Cardi B debuting in the top 10, I'm really disappointed that this song clung onto that No. 9 spot. I'm completely done with this song being a thing. I was able to tolerate it for a week, but it's an embarrassment to this country as a whole that this has now had four weeks.

10- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (-2) -- The downward spiral continues for Bruno as this song has thankfully completely lost all staying power. With this being the week of Cardi B, I'm partially surprised that she wasn't able to give this song one final small push, but certainly not upset. In fact, I'm rather happy at the idea that this could be the final week of this song in the top 10.

Rising on the Hot 100:

11- "Be Careful" - Cardi B (+5) -- This song debuted at No. 16 last week, which means I thought it was going to jump into the top 10 this week. But it makes me happy that it narrowly missed out at that because this is an especially lazy and emotionless song from Cardi. I'm crossing my fingers for it to tank next week.

29- "Japan" - Famous Dex (+24) -- You'll notice that this week only has three entries in this rising songs section. And two of them are Cardi. That means out of the entire Hot 100, this painfully awful song by Famous Dex that has nothing to do with Japan is the only song to survive Cardi's onslaught. That really perplexes me. And it also makes me super nervous because I don't want this anywhere near the top 10.

32- "Bartier Cardi" - Cardi B featuring 21 Savage (+19) -- Yup. That's it. Most songs in the top 50 dropped 5-10 spots while a lot of songs below the top 50 dropped 15-20 spots. No surprise that "Bartier Cardi" got a huge boost, but I'll be excited to see it tumble with the rest of her album next week. Only having three entries in this section this week also means next week will be quite busy as the Hot 100 resets itself following the album bomb. I'll be really curious to see which songs recover next week and which songs got permanently damaged by Cardi's massacre.

New Arrivals:

1- "Nice for What" - Drake -- Before we get to all of Cardi's stuff, we of course have to talk about the major debut of the week. You know, the song that debuted at No. 1 this week. When it comes to Drake, let me remind you that I think he's one of the laziest rappers in the business and I totally don't understand why some worship him as a god. I think it's absolute blasphemy that he's tied Elvis for number of top 10 entries, although I think that statistic means a lot less in 2018 than it did in Elvis' day, since artists like Drake and Rihanna can write songs in their sleep, or completely stoned and drunk, and somehow still have half of the country drooling all over themselves when they release said meaningless, incomprehensible nonsense.

Which made me extremely surprised when I listened to "God's Plan" and found myself hooked on it. I still find myself listening to it quite a bit while getting it stuck in my head randomly throughout the day. And it's also why I'm again surprised that Drake has done it again with another solid song. Although admittedly this time around it has less to do with Drake himself and more to do with all the stuff happening around his verses. I do like the overall theme involving Drake singing about female empowerment in a digital age, but I don't think he does a good job of hitting that home in his verses. The writing could've been sharpened up quite a bit and he does sound more monotone than I would like while having bland rhythm. But where the song lacks in Drake's verses, it's helped by the sample of Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor," a much better song than this current one, that's sped up, giving the song quite the groove. Then towards the end of the song we have a surprise appearance from Letitia Wright, aka Shuri in Marvel's "Black Panther," who says "Watch the breakdown!" Shortly thereafter Drake goes into a breakdown that I think honestly will play well at dance parties, regardless of whether or not people like Drake. I found myself jamming out in my chair when that came on. So not a perfect song, but overall it's not a bad effort from Drake.

8- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin -- Buckle up because the next 10 songs are all Cardi B from her debut album "Invasion of Privacy." This is a 13-track album with the other three songs being last year's smash hit "Bodak Yellow," a song that grew on me a bit, and this year's "Bartier Cardi" and "Be Careful," two songs that I did not like and haven't grown on me. This means that this post doubles as a review of "Invasion of Privacy," so I'll give you a grade at the end of the last song from the album before I move onto the other seven songs that also debuted this week.

There's one reason why this song kinda works. It's because if you strip away Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, you're left with quite the fantastic song as this samples Pete Rodriguez's classic boogaloo song "I Like It Like That" from 1967, which was covered by Latin group The Blackout All-Stars in 1994, simply titled "I Like It," made popular again in 1996 by a Burger King commercial, and was re-recorded by Tito Nieves of The Blackout All-Stars in 1997. I had a lot of fun going through all of these versions of the song. It brightened my day quite a bit. Then I listened to Cardi B vomit all over it. Yeah, sure, she's on point with her rap and the beat is fun because the original song is fun. But it's like taking a fun classic song and adding a bunch of unnecessary nonsense to it with Cardi flexing about things that she likes such as money, diamonds and million-dollar deals. Then Cardi gives one verse each to Bad Bunny and J Balvin, which should work because the original song is right in their wheelhouse. But both of them sound like they're here for a paycheck and a boost in popularity.

21- "Drip" - Cardi B featuring Migos -- What's certainly a whole lot worse than Cardi vomiting all over a class song is her collaborating with Migos. I mean, it makes sense given the fact that Cardi is engaged to Offset, for now anyways. But still. Get Migos out of here! Of course we needed four people joining in to say how drippin' Cardi is. Nothing like spending the whole song bragging out how rich and famous you are. Topping it all off is the fact that this song goes on for over four minutes, because everyone in Migos had to have their own verse where they all rap on about nothing interesting. And by the way, the word drop is said 120 times in this song. That's the type of song this is. Loads of creativity to go along with great word choice.

23- "I Do" - Cardi B featuring SZA -- I saw this collaboration and thought to myself that maybe Cardi has one good song on here. I mean, I'm not madly in love with SZA, but she has a lot of potential as an R&B artist and is certainly more interesting than Cardi. Thus I was a bit shocked and disappointed seeing that this wasn't SZA being SZA, it was SZA trying to be Cardi, which is a disgusting look for SZA that she should never try out again. She is almost worst than Cardi is. And Cardi spends the whole song flexing about how much better she is than all the other girls around. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance and I'm not sure where the line is drawn, but Cardi sprinted past that, in my opinion. If you like arrogant flex rapping, then you might enjoy this song. But I don't like it at all and I'm disappointed that SZA was wasted.

28- "Ring" - Cardi B featuring Kehlani -- This was the other song that I thought maybe had potential. Although I wasn't crossing my fingers too much because Kehlani's track record is a whole heck of a lot more spotty than SZA's. But as it turns out, this was a more pleasant experience. Instead of Kehlani trying to be Cardi, this is Kehlani being Kehlani, meaning this is Cardi's rap mixed with Kehlani's pop, resulting in a decent combination between the two. And instead of Cardi flexing and bragging about how great she is, she brings some, dare I say, emotion to this song? At least more than normal as she shows that she's sad that this boy of hers is no longer ringing her. I don't know how this fits into her real life experiences with her being engaged to Offset and all. And being sad about a lover leaving the singer in the dust is nothing special, but this song is tolerable and I'll certainly take tolerable over trashy and awful.

38- "Get Up 10" - Cardi B -- Just Cardi with this song. No featured acts. "Get Up 10" is the first song on the album and it's a surprisingly real, down to earth introduction of Cardi to the world as she explains her rags to riches story. Right before Cardi broke out as a rapper, she was living with her abusive ex-boyfriend and in order to escape that and earn her own living, she became a stripper. Not a prostitute, she clarifies. Stripper. Then she eventually went from stripper to rapper and is now the first person in her family to make six figures. It's an honest explanation of her life and I appreciate that. I'm not sure I like the idea of her admitting that she's waited her whole life just to trash talk others. I would hope someone who's gone from rags to riches would be able to have more respect for those who are still in rags, which she showcases that she really doesn't, as evidenced in the song "I Do," which is the final song on the album. But it's whatever. Some will call it a cultural thing with the rap community. I say that's a poor excuse for acting like an arrogant, prideful human being, but I'm just a young, white boy whose an outsider to this whole community, so my opinion might mean nothing.

39- "Best Life" - Cardi B featuring Chance the Rapper -- Another good choice for a collaborator here. I'll take Chance the Rapper over most other rappers in the business right now. He handles the choruses in this song while also taking the second of the three verses. I'm not going to say his verse is fantastic, but it's certainly passable for my ears and his chorus that's repeated throughout is fairly smooth and relaxing as he's saying he's living his best life. The biggest problem is his overuse of the word "skrrt," which you'll know is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me if you've heard my many rants against Migos. Cardi's two verses I don't really care for as she's just responding to all her haters. I was amused by her saying she'll be hot and ready like a Little Caesar's pizza. That's the first I've heard that reference in a rap song. She also tells her haters that God chose her for this rap life. Good for her, I suppose. I have thoughts there that I'll keep to myself. Mostly I'm just bored with her two verses in this one while being mildly entertained by Chance's portion of the song.

43- "Bickenhead" - Cardi B -- My first question for this song was what in the heck is a bickenhead? As I assumed, it wasn't something that I really wanted to know when I learned of it. It's Cardi taking the word chickenhead and replacing the "ch" with her signature "b." I'm not going to tell you what a chickenhead is, though. What I will say is that my clean interpretation of the song as a whole is that she's again snapping back at all these girls that have previously hated on her. It's an angry song from Cardi that's also quite sloppy and chopped up. Not to mention way too dirty for my liking. So this is one of the more unpleasant additions to the album.

50- "Thru Your Phone" - Cardi B -- Here's the second song on this album that feels like it's directly straight at Offset, the other song being "Be Careful," which I talked about in detail last week. Long story short is that ever since Cardi and Offset got engaged, those wonderful rumor mills have been claiming that Offset has been unfaithful. Cardi denied that "Be Careful" was about Offset, but if she wants to put the rumors to rest, she's doing an awful job at it. "Be Careful" sounds like she's warning Offset what might happen if he continues to be unfaithful while "Thru Your Phone" is about Cardi telling him she went through his phone and didn't like what she saw. The first verse is Cardi lashing out at this other girl while the second verse is Cardi lashing out at who everyone is assuming is Offset. It's a brutal, rage-filled attack at the both of them that's not really my cup of tea, but at least the song feels like it has some genuine passion behind it. If the song is not about Offset, then I have no idea where Cardi is pulling this from.

57- "She Bad" - Cardi B & YG -- Out of all the people that Cardi has collaborated with on this album, this one ranks on the lower end of the spectrum. YG is extremely annoying in this song to the point where I felt relieved every time Cardi herself came in because it meant my ears didn't have to be subjected to him. That's a sad statement on this song because Cardi's part is useless and empty. There's a few songs on this album where she brings fire and/or emotion that I can at least appreciate, even when it's not my thing. This song does neither. It's just noise to me. Ear-grating, meaningless noise that I refused to finish listening to.

58- "Money Bag" - Cardi B -- I felt I knew exactly what this song was going to be before I even listened to it. Cardi bragging about how rich she is. In case you forgot, I hate it when rappers rap about how rich they are. I gave this song a shot anyways and it was exactly what I thought it was. Cardi bragging about how rich she is. In fact, it's a lot like the song "Bodak Yellow," but without any flow or groove to it. For the record, even though I claimed "Bodak Yellow" grew on me, it had nothing to do with the lyrical content. So saying this is exactly like "Bodak Yellow," but without any flow or groove is in fact a harsh negative criticism from me. Now that we're officially done with this album, as promised, I have figured out an overall grade and that grade is a D+. So there's a few songs that are tolerable with some other songs that are either boring or forgettable as opposed to straight up bad. But still, this is not an album that, as a whole, I will ever recommend, nor will I ever voluntarily return to it.

59- "Diamond Teeth Samurai" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again -- We're done with Cardi's new album, but we still have seven more songs to cover in this very busy week, so let's get to it. And well, with this song I almost don't have to say anything. "Diamond Teeth Samurai" by YoungBoy Never Broke Again. That explains itself. YoungBoy's name is says to the world that he was once poor and is now super rich. And he wrote a song about him being a samurai with diamond teeth. In other words, in case you forgot that he claims he's never going to be broke again, he's singing a song about how rich he is while also doing a lot of killing like Charles Manson while also watching movies with Meek Mill in Rick Ross' mansion. And in verse two he talks about all his drugs and running from the police as if they're the bad guys for wanting to take away his drugs. Speaking of police troubles, this thug was arrested in December 2016 for attempted murder. After being released in August 2017, he was again arrested in February of this year for charges of assault, weapons violation and kidnapping. He was released on bail in March and has his album coming out in two weeks. So, you know, instead of locking him up in prison, we're going to give him a successful career with his album being released on April 27. Because it's the police that are the bad guys. Not YoungBoy for attempted murder, assault and kidnapping. OK, rant over.

62- "One Kiss" - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa -- I'm still mad at Calvin Harris for his "Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1" album last year. But if he can forget that and go back to what makes him an entertaining DJ, I can be forgiving. Calvin Harris' forte is not collaborating with trashy rap stars while providing lazy, undanceable. It's collaborating with the flashy new pop stars while providing fun, formulaic dance beats that can make you jump up and down while forgetting about life for a few minutes. That's what he goes back to with "One Kiss." This is a very simple song lyrically. Not a lot of depth to it. Dua is just telling us that one kiss is all it takes to fall in love with her while saying she desires a physical relationship. That's it. But Calvin provides a decent groove that convinces me that he actually showed up to the recording session this time. The only thing that this song is missing is an actual classic Calvin Harris drop. Or any drop for that matter. But at least the rest of the song has a good groove.

65- "A$AP Forever" - A$AP Rocky featuring Moby -- This is a strange song. The first half of it is pretty basic rap with A$AP flexing while defending his name against the haters out there. I found it pretty boring with a tempo that felt like it dragged a bit too much. I almost quit after a minute or two because it's something I had heard a thousand times and A$AP did nothing to separate himself from the rest of the boring, awful rappers out there. But I decided to wait until I figured out what this Moby had to offer. And that's where this song gets strange. It's less of A$AP featuring Moby and more of A$AP attaching a Moby song onto the end of his own song. The sampled Moby song is called "Porcelain" and it's a slow-moving, melancholy electronic ballad released in 2000. It's a great song where Moby is sad about a relationship that recently fell apart. But it has nothing to do with this song. It's like A$AP ran out of ideas of things to say, so instead of releasing a two-minute song, he attached a random song he enjoyed to fill up space. Thus A$AP's song just stops and we get a different song with a different tempo, different mood and different theme. It's rather jarring. But it caused me to go listen to the full original and I loved it, so kudos there, I suppose.

83- "Barbie Tingz" - Nicki Minaj -- Because 10 new songs from Cardi wasn't enough, we also have two new songs from Nicki to deal with. I knew these songs were coming, but I thought we had until next week before they debuted. But no, they're here now. And this is typical, trashy Nicki at your service giving a diss track towards someone or a lot of female someones as she claims they're never going to reach her heights because she's the best female rapper in the business. Or something like that. That's me paraphrasing because I just don't care about Nicki. Never have. Probably never will. But the funny thing about her bragging that she's the best is that Cardi has actually topped her. Nicki has never had a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 while Cardi's first song, "Bodak Yellow" went No. 1. So Nicki can give her empty bragging all she wants. But she doesn't have anything to back it up at the moment. So the joke is currently on her.

85- "Get Along" - Kenny Chesney -- Our obligatory new country song of the week comes to us via Kenny Chesney. While this is towards the end of a long week, this song may have come at a good time because I would much rather listen to this than Cardi, Nicki, YoungBoy or A$AP. This is a fairly relaxing, chill country song where it doesn't seem like Kenny is trying too hard. And I actually mean that as a compliment this time around. Some country singers seem like they are trying way too hard to be hip or cool in order to fit into the country groove while Kenny just decided to relax and sing a simple song. So props there. At the same time though, even though the beat is decent and the chorus is catchy, I wish this had a bit more substance to it as it feels fairly empty. At the start of the song I think it's going somewhere, but it never does. So it's a harmless song, but also not a super memorable one.

92- "Chun-Li" - Nicki Minaj -- This is the same exact song as "Barbie Tingz" up above. Nicki bragging about how she's the best. The difference here is that she's comparing herself to Chun-Li from "Street Fighter" for some reason. But given that it's pretty much the same thing, I'm just going to move on with life.

100- "Alone" - Halsey featuring Big Sean & Stefflon Don -- Sneaking in at the very end of this week we have Halsey with her fourth released single from "hopeless fountain kingdom." Or at least the fourth song from that album that's charted. Not sure if all of them were pushed as singles. As far as my thoughts on the album goes, I didn't hate it, but I also wasn't madly in love with it. Yet her choice of songs to release from that album were pretty poor as "Now or Never," "Strangers" and "Bad at Love" weren't the songs I gravitated to. Continuing that trend, we have "Alone," which is a song that sees decent vocals from Halsey, but overall is more boring and lackluster than anything. This specific release is not the album version, but is a remix that adds Big Sean and Stefflon Don to the track. Do there additions successfully spice up the song? Uh, no. The song as a whole is about Halsey feeling alone. She doesn't want to meet a new guy because she tells him that he'll regret the decision. So Big Sean plays the voice of the guy, begging her to let him meet. And I don't know who Stefflon Don is, but he incoherently mumbles something at the end that I didn't understand, not even when I looked at the lyrics. So no, the song still doesn't have any life to it. If it disappeared, I'd probably instantly forget it existed. If it sticks around, I'll probably be angry.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - April 14, 2018

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- Drake has now led for 11 weeks with "God's Plan," meaning the song breaks out of a tie with "One Dance" to become Drake's longest leader on the U.S. Hot 100. It is now down to just five weeks before it can tie "One Sweet Day" and "Despacito" for the 16-week all-time record. However, I have strong reservations on it making that far as the streaming that I point out each week is down to 52.1 million U.S. streams, which is a significant 15 percent fall from last week. Once it hits that 40 million range, it's vulnerable to being topped if a new song with huge streaming arrives, which we have quite a bit of right now. The Weeknd debuted at No. 4 this week with huge streaming. Drake himself has a new single called "Nice for What" that is set to debut high next week and Cardi B's new album just dropped and will also be affecting the charts next week. At this very moment, "God's Plan" is in 9th place on the Apple Music charts, behind "Nice for What" and eight Cardi B songs. That's only one of many streaming services in the equation, but it could mean the song is in for another big hit next week. If it does hold on, it will likely because it still has excellent radio numbers as it's still in fourth place with 109 million in total audience.

2- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (=) -- Speaking of radio dominance, "Meant to Be" has now rose to the top of the radio charts with 131 million in total audience, making it the just the third time that a country act, Florida Georgia Line in this instance, has topped the radio charts since the charts inception in 1990, the other two being Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" in 2010 and Taylor Swift's " You Belong to Me" in 2009. In other words, an actual country song has never topped the radio charts as all three of these songs are more country pop, leaning heavy on the pop. But since all three acts are, or were in Taylor's case, considered country acts, I guess that's what we're counting here. But nevertheless, it's significant that it's the first time in nearly 10 years that a country-ish song has topped the radio charts. In other significant news, "Meant to Be" has now spent its 19th week on top of the Hot Country Charts, tying for third place all time with Leroy Van Dyke's "Walk on By" in 1961-62. FGL's "Cruise" (24 weeks) and Sam Smith's "Body Like a Back Road" (34 weeks) are the only two songs ahead of it in the rankings.

3- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (+1) -- As you'll quickly find out, the floor just completely disappeared out from under Bruno Mars this week as "Finesse" falls from No. 3 to No. 8, meaning "Psycho," by default, jumps up to the No. 3 spot, because something had to and The Weeknd wasn't quite strong enough. It's really unfortunate because I was hoping that this song would start to slowly slip down the charts rather than slowly climb up. I really don't think it's going to get much higher than No. 3, but that's no consolation prize because this boring piece of forgettable nothing never even deserved to be this high in the first place.

4- "Call Out My Name" - The Weeknd (new) -- If we're going to have a new hot-shot debut on the charts, I am 100 percent in on The Weeknd taking over as this debuts at No. 4 thanks to 40.5 million U.S. streams in its first week of tracking. Now if that streaming could translate into radio, maybe this song could climb even higher. It's at least more deserving than "Psycho," so if it could jump up a spot, we'd have a pretty strong top three right now. And yeah, The Weeknd's entire 6-track EP "My Dear Melancholy," debuted on the charts in the top 52, so we'll get to all of it here in a bit, including a more in depth look at my opinion of this song. My sneak peak of that is that I really enjoy this song, so I'm rooting for it to gain traction and become another monster hit for The Weeknd.

5- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (+1) -- Also jumping up a spot thanks to the nose-dive of "Finesse," as well as the continued downward spiral of Ed Sheeran's "Perfect," is this piece of trash. It's unfortunate that this song has found its way back into the top five after falling out of the top 10 a few weeks ago. I was enjoying it being gone and the idea of it getting a second life at the top part of the charts is really frustrating because this is an empty piece of garbage.

6- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+1) -- I could say that "The Middle" also took advantage of Bruno and Ed falling, but this song continues to cruise higher on the radio charts, so it's certainly no surprise to see it returning to it's peak position. It's more surprising that it hasn't yet broke into the top five. I would greatly appreciate it if this can replace "Psycho" or "Look Alive" in the top five.

7- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (-2) -- Not much to say here outside it's been a good run for Ed Sheeran in the top 10 with this combined with last year's "Shape of You." Currently there's no sighting of another Ed Sheeran single anywhere close to the top 10, so he might be taking a break for a bit once this drops out. But does he have one more single from the album hiding up his sleeve? I've heard rumors of "Supermarket Flowers" or "Happier," but so far those are just rumors.

8- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (-5) -- It honestly surprised me to see this song tumble so hard this week. I was thinking it was time for it to start heading down, but I thought it would be more gradual instead of being a sudden drop. But hey, I'm happy. I'm done with Bruno and I hope he goes away for a while. Come back with another album in a year or two that's actually worth something.

9- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (-1) -- I suppose I can be slightly happy that this hasn't gained any additional momentum because it would be beyond awful if this managed to stick around in the top 10 for a long time. If we're getting Cardi and more Drake in the top 10 next week, I hope this is one of the songs that gets booted from the top 10.

10- "Walk It Talk It" - Migos featuring Drake (+5) -- Migos better be kneeling on the ground worshiping the ground Drake walks on because that's literally the only reason this song is here. Even for Migos' extremely low standards, this is an especially empty song with even less meaning than usual. But because Drake phoned it in for a part on the song, the song is now Migos' fourth top 10 hit as most of the country still drools all over themselves at the sight of Drake. Speaking of which, Drake has now celebrated his 24th top 10 entry with this song, meaning he breaks free from the four-way tie he was previously in with Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones, all of whom have 23 entries. This puts Drake by himself in 10th place.

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+5) -- Why? That's all I really have here. Why? Rich the Kid has zero ounces of talent in his body when it comes to rap, so why have we knighted him the next big thing in rap music? Let's get rid of this pointless thug and bring something better into the top 10.

25- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie (+5) -- There's not very many songs rising in the top 50 this week thanks to The Weeknd's EP drop, which makes it all the more impressive that this is one of the only songs to rise in the 20's and 30's instead of momentarily stalling out. I don't know if I really need this in the top 10, but I hope this goes top 20 soon. Perhaps it can get there next week.

46- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+6) -- And Taylor Swift breaks top 50 as the world is slowly picking up on the fact that there is something good from "repuation." I think there's several good things from the album, but I seem to be in the minority when it comes to that. But I'm happy the rest of the world is at least gravitating towards "Delicate."

53- "Japan" - Famous Dex (+17) -- Believe it or not, if we were going to let a Japan song from last week rise big in its second week, I would've rather it been Shawn Mendes' Japan song, not this piece of trash from Famous Dex that has absolutely nothing to do with Japan. Or much of anything for that matter.

84- "No Roots" - Alice Merton (+16) -- Boom! Huge fist pump here! Granted, it's only a jump to the mid-80's, so I should hold my celebration until this makes a real move, but I hope that this song is this year's "Feel It Still" because this song has a lot of groove to it and the Hot 100 as a whole could use a lot more spice to it.

New Arrivals:

4- "Call Out My Name" - The Weeknd -- The best word to describe this song is melancholy, which should be no surprise since this EP is titled "My Dear Melancholy," with the comma at the end. Lyrically it might be nothing special. The Weeknd is just singing about a breakout, making people think this song is about Selena Gomez, whom he recently broke up with. Yet there's a lot of agony in his voice as he exclaims that he put everything he had into this relationship, only to get nothing from her. I feel the passion and the pain from The Weeknd. I also think the song has a perfect tempo with good backup instrumentation to really sell the mood here. So this song is simple, but effective, making it one of the better songs that The Weeknd has put out.

16- "Be Careful" - Cardi B -- Cardi dropped her new album recently and I'm positive that it's going to make a huge impact on next week's charts, which I'm not excited about. Granted, Cardi often has a lot more fire and passion in her rap than other rappers, but what I care most about when it comes to rap music is content and her content has never impressed me. With this song, she actually lacks the fire that she usually has, even though the content is more passable this time around, so this is kinda backwards. She's talking about her boy in a certain relationship, warning him to be careful with her and not cheat, otherwise she's going to drop him and move on. This led people to believe she's giving a public warning to Offset, her current fiance, but apparently she denied those claims, so who knows what she's really speaking of here. It wouldn't surprise me to see a rapper deliver empty content that actually means nothing. Regardless, though, the rap itself is something I find boring. Instead of having a lot of spark and energy, this might put me to sleep if it's played to much. I hope that's not indicative of the album as a whole. Even though I'm not crossing my fingers, I'm hoping to find something that I can at least find acceptable.

26- "Try Me" - The Weeknd -- I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but the six songs from this "My Dear Melancholy," EP charted in the exact order that they appear on the EP. Which could mean people more and more people slowly gave up on it as they got further. But hey, it makes it convenient for me in discussing it because this is all in the right order. So following up on "Call Out My Name," The Weeknd continues this idea of reaching out to this girl, this time finding him on the high end of his register for a lot of the song. There's a lot more detail in the verse where he's talking to this girl, but slightly less passion and energy than the previous song, making this still a good song, but not quite as memorable. Also, if The Weeknd is trying to win this girl's heart back, I'm not so sure accusing her of being prideful is the right way to go, whether or not it's true. "Once you put aside your pride, you can notify me," he explains on the chorus. I'm no expert on relationships, but if you accuse a girl who just broke up with you of being prideful, that's probably just going to widen the gap between the two of you. But hey, that's just me thinking out loud here.

27- "Wasted Times" - The Weeknd -- The next phase of this breakup story that The Weeknd is detailing on this EP has The Weeknd diving into jealousy. He starts by saying that he's been wasting his time with someone else and that he really wants to get back to this girl. The chorus has him asking who is she with now, because whoever it is has nothing on him. If this is Selena, then who knows who she's moved onto since they broke up. The strange thing, though, is that later in the song The Weeknd pulls the card that he knew this girl first before everyone else did, which is why he claims she should come back to him. Which is curious word choice because if he is singing about this recent breakup with Selena, that was a 10-month relationship and he's definitely not been with her from the beginning. So is he actually singing about previous girlfriend Bella Hadid? But that also doesn't fit because he broke up with her before getting together with Selena. Not that I'm the expert on The Weeknd's romance life. But there is the internet that exists and researching that makes this lyrics confusing because it just seems like empty statements from The Weeknd to win this girl's love back. I also am not a fan of him getting a bit to graphic in the second verse. Even though his vocals and emotion are still there, that element turns me off from this song.

35- "I Was Never There" - The Weeknd featuring Gesaffelstein -- First step with the next two songs on this EP was to figure out who Gesaffelstein is. Turns out the answer is that he's a French DJ who helped on the production here. I don't know where he got the stage name Gesaffelstein, but his real name is Mike Lévy, which would've been a lot easier for me to type up, but oh well. His addition to the song makes it sound much more unique than the other songs as there are quite a bit of different sounds involved in this song, most of which are interesting as I especially liked the intro, but then it gets a bit distracting as we get further into the song, meaning I think it was overdone a bit. As far as the content, we're going to call this a downward spiral for The Weeknd as the jealousy in the previous song seems to have turned into depression because he opens up with suicidal thoughts as he poses the question of what makes a man want to take his life, while then answering the lack of happiness. He then reveals that he's dealing with it by poisoning himself with drugs and having mindless sex. He admits that he knows this is wrong, but then he blames it all on her. I appreciated the honesty in the song up until that last part when he throws the blame all on her. Yes, I get the sadness and depression, but at a certain point you gotta take responsibility here for your own actions and realize that your breakup may have not been all her fault.

43- "Hurt You" - The Weeknd featuring Gesaffelstein -- For this next song, The Weeknd brings back Gesaffelstein to help with the production and I'll say that it's a little more toned down this time around as to be less distracting and more natural, which I appreciate. The song also samples and/or interpolates previous songs by The Weeknd in "Starboy" and "I See It Coming," making the song around the content more interesting than some of the previous songs on the EP, but the problem here for me is that it almost seems like The Weeknd ran out of steam here as this is the most empty when it comes to the lyrical content. He seems to have toned down the darkness of the previous song, but it's a little repetitive as he covers ground that he already covered in previous songs talking about being jealous of her being with someone else and that he's better than who she's with currently. But most of the song is just him repeating the lyrics "I don't wanna hurt you." He could've added a bit more detail because as is this feels more like a partial thought as opposed to being fully realized.

45- "Medicine" - Queen Naija -- Before we get to our final song from The Weeknd, we take a quick brake to discuss this song from Queen Naija. But first, who is Queen Naija? Well, apparently she's a YouTuber. In fact, her and her husband Chris Sails had a YouTube channel called Chris and Queen where they did a bunch of vlogging. But then they broke up and have two different YouTube channels, so if you want to know more about them, search for Queen Naija or Chris Sails on YouTube and you have hours worth of videos that will tell you all about them. Queen Naija currently has 2.2 million subscribers on her channel, so it's possible that I'm the one behind here. Sorry about that. I don't keep up on the vlogging universe too much.

Anywho, this song is Queen purging all of her emotions about this relationship and how much he hurt her by cheating on her. What was most impressive to me personally is how beautiful of a song this is because apparently this is the first time she's really taken music seriously. Had I not known any different, I would've thought this came from someone who had been a professional singer all of her life. I prefer her voice, her energy and the emotion she brings a lot more than most R&B singers. In fact, this is similar to Cardi B's "Be Careful" that I discussed previously in terms of the subject matter, but Queen pulls it off way better than Cardi does. I watch Chris Sails' 12-minute reaction video to this song on his channel and he really confused me as he was nonsensically rambling on for most of the time. He also has a song that he previewed in that video and he does not have the talent that Queen does. All of this makes me want to subscribe to Queen and learn more about her. But now is not the time for that. I have a lot more songs to cover first. But I hope this continues to gain traction because it's cool to see a talented YouTuber do well on the mainstream charts.

52- "Privilege" - The Weeknd -- The final song on The Weeknd's EP sees him ending on a bitter note with him insulting this girl, telling her to enjoy her privileged life, inferring that he's going to get better, with the help of more drugs and sex, because she was essentially high maintenance anyways. If there was a question as to who this was in previous songs, it seems obvious that this one is all about Selena because The Weeknd wouldn't be the first to call her high maintenance and the whole privilege thing screams Selena, either because he's using the race card or referring to the fact that her net worth and celebrity status is through the roof. Depending on how you look at that, this could be slightly hypocritical because it's not like The Weeknd's celebrity status is that much lower. In fact, in terms of chart success, he's done way better than she has. So essentially this just feels like a bitter, heart-broken man throwing out lame, emotionally-charged excuses to make himself feel better. Excuses that don't hold up when you examine them. All in all, I still enjoy that first track and this is still a decent project that's better than others in The Weeknd's genre, but it's one that loses steam along the way, so I couldn't give it more than a high-C or low-B grade.

78- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai -- Our second new R&B singer on the charts this week. First we have YouTuber Queen Naija and now we have this girl, who I just learned auditioned on X-Factor season 11 as a part of a trio, but never made it past that audition phase. So the group broke up and Ella Mai later posted a four-track EP on SoundCloud, where she was discovered and signed by DJ Mustard. That wasn't super encouraging for me because not a lot of good comes out of songs produced by DJ Mustard, but this is pretty decent. Like Queen Naija, this girl has a good voice and has put together a solid R&B track, and I'm not usually a fan of that genre because I often find it a bit boring. Now "Boo'd Up" doesn't have as much emotion or energy as "Medicine," but it's a good week for new female singers on the charts. The problem with "Boo'd Up" is when we get to the chorus with all the "Boo'd Up" stuff. Calling someone your boo is something I've always found overly cheesy and weird. I don't like it. And that combined with her mimicking a heart beat sound means we have a chorus of "Listen to my heart go ba-dum, boo'd up; Bibby-da-bum, boo'd up." I just find that a bit silly, thus I have a hard time taking that chorus seriously. She also doesn't put quite as much energy into her romantic lyrics, so it comes off as a bit generic. But overall not bad at all.

89- "OKRA" - Tyler, The Creator -- Tyler, The Creator is a rapper I don't know a whole lot about, although it's a name that I find recognizable. He has four studio albums dating back to 2011, with the most recent one being last year's "Flower Boy." I've listened to none of these. But he did chart his first song on the Hot 100 last year and that was "Who Dat Boy," which I wasn't extremely fond of. So I wasn't super excited to hear a follow-up. And no, this is not worth anything, either. During his verses, it sounds like he turned up the bass too high and is just rapping in monotone about a whole bunch of nonsense. This doesn't make me offended or angry, it just bores me and I can imagine myself completely forgetting this song existed if it were to go away.  

92- "Take Back Home Girl" - Chris Lane featuring Tori Kelly -- I was wondering when Tori Kelly was going to show up on the charts again. Last I saw her was back in 2015 with her debut album "Unbreakable Smile," which I really liked. Outside that, the only thing I've seen her in recently is those Nationwide commercials. Her version of the jingle is actually really good even though it's a silly commercial jingle. Although I wish her return to the charts was on more than just a Chris Lane song. While the song is not bad, without Tori Kelly's vocals backing him up, this would be a generic country song from Chris Lane. The lyrics mean mostly nothing outside Chris being really happy that she's his girl, calling her his "take back home girl." What elevates the song is Tori supporting him in these verses, even though she's relegated to backup singer for most of the song, getting one quick verse on her own. But just like Tori manages to make a Nationwide jingle somewhat enjoyable, she does good giving life to these generic lyrics. So I can't praise this, but I also can't hate it either. I just hope this is a sign that Tori has a second album coming soon because I want to hear that.

94- "Woman, Amen" - Dierks Bentley -- A second generic country singer. The difference here is that Dierks doesn't have a Tori Kelly backing him up. He's just telling us that he's on his knees praying to God, thanking him for this woman he has in his life because she gives him faith, grace, hope and strength after the world previously shook his faith by breaking his heart. So that's a nice idea and all, but it's nothing I haven't heard a thousand times from other generic country singers and he doesn't dive deep into this love story or bring enough passion to the table to make me care. The song has enough of an upbeat tone to it to make it tolerable if someone were to play it while I was in the room or driving in the car. But it's nothing I'm going to remember after it goes away.

96- "Proud" - 2 Chainz featuring YG & Offset -- Couldn't go a week without another song from one of these club rappers, could we? With a song called "Proud," what are these guys going to be saying they're proud of? Their fame? Their fortune? Their drugs? Their girls that they stole? OK, maybe I'm being mean and stereotypical, but can you blame me? Well, as it turns out, this song is about them wanting to make their mommas proud. Oh. Well that's nice of them. And actually, 2 Chainz gives a pretty good verse himself and is also on his game during the choruses, so I can appreciate that. However, his two friends that he brought on forgot the memo of what they were supposed to be singing about out. They're just rambling on about the thug lives they're living and somehow tying their moms into it. So I give a pass to 2 Chainz, but not the other two. And thus for the song as a whole, 33 percent is not a passing grade.

100- "Focus" - H.E.R. -- We have, not one, not two, but three new R&B female singers on the charts this week. That's fun! H.E.R. is the stage name of Gabi Wilson, who made it here after a more traditional route, or perhaps old-fashioned route, by releasing a few EP's and a compilation album after getting signed to a major record label, rather than getting here thanks to YouTube or SoundCloud, like the other two new ladies. I'm not calling that a positive or negative, necessarily. Rather it's more of an observation. In fact, when she was initially signed, her identity was a mystery because she wanted people to focus on her music rather than who she was, which I find respectable. This song here I think is rather mesmerizing or hypnotic and I credit that to the harp that is playing throughout the song with some haunting background sounds/vocals to go along with that. Gabi's vocals layer onto that rather perfectly as she gives a sound of desperation as she's begging this guy to focus on her because she feels alone in this relationship. The lyrics are actually pretty simple, but the hypnotic instrumentals combined with her soulful, desperate voice make this a rather fascinating song that I imagine myself enjoying more as the days and weeks go by.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - April 7, 2018

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- "God's Plan" has now matched the 10-week run of Drake's 2016 hit "One Dance," meaning Drake is the first lead solo male with two 10-week No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Although that's not quite as special as it sounds. Pharrell Williams has done that with "Blurred Lines" and "Happy," although he was just a featured act on Robin Thicke's song. In terms of bands or groups, Boyz II Men, Santana and The Black Eyed Peas all have two 10-week hits. The only solo female to accomplish this feat is the queen herself, Mariah Carey, with "One Sweet Day" and "We Belong Together," both seeing her in a lead role. In fact, both of those songs reigned for at least 14 weeks, making her and Boyz II Men the only acts with two 14-week hits. And finally, Boyz II Men lead everyone as the only act to have three 10-week hits. The other thing Drake has accomplished by hitting the 10-week mark is that this is just the fifth song in Billboard history to reign for 10 weeks after debuting at No. 1. The other four songs are "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (16 weeks), "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" by Elton John (14 weeks), "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (11 weeks) and "Hello" by Adele (10 weeks).

2- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (=) -- Bebe and FGL celebrate their second week at No. 2. How far away are they from "God's Plan" in terms of chart points? Well, quite a ways away. In Billboard's weekly article, Gary Trust reported this week that "God's Plan" has a 1.7-to-1 lead over "Meant to Be," which is narrowed from last week's 1.9-to-1 lead. That means if this trend were to continue, "Meant to Be" could be No. 1 in a month from now. But that assumes the upward momentum continues for "Meant to Be," which could be a struggle because the streaming and sales are not very good, thus radio alone is going to have to be what takes this over the top, which is pretty great with 122 million in total audience, up 10 percent from last week. But I personally don't think it's going to be enough as Drake still has over 60 million U.S. streams this week with 61.1 million.

3- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (+1) -- It finally happened. After several weeks of me thinking it could happen followed by it not actually happened, "Finesse" has passed Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" on the Hot 100, probably helped by a 69-cent iTunes discount that boosted sales as well as its continued reign on the radio charts for a fourth week, although it's down 6 percent from last week to 131 million, which means that "Meant to Be" is probably quickly coming for that title within the next week or two. It also helps "Finesse" that the bottom seems to have fallen out for "Perfect," so this might have happened without the iTunes discount.

4- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (+1) -- Much to my disappointment, "Psycho" also passes Ed Sheeran's "Perfect." I was hoping this song was going to fall out of the top five this week, but instead it rises a spot thanks to the weaknesses of "Perfect." I'm still hoping this will be able to fall out of the top five soon. But that would require something to be willing to step up. At the moment, though, it doesn't seem like anything is ready, which is annoying.

5- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (-2) -- I still really like this song, but with it spending 18 weeks in the top five and 21 weeks in the top 10, I do agree that it's time for it to go. I like there to be more movement at the top of the charts instead of things staying stagnant. I'd say it's also time for "Finesse" and "Psycho" to go, but you should know by now that I never wanted those songs there in the first place, so that should be a given.

6- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (+5) -- I was really happy last week when this fell out of the top 10, down to No. 11. I was hoping that downward trend would continue, so you can imagine my extreme disappointment to see this back up to No. 6 with a huge gain in streaming. Like, why? There wasn't a music video drop. That was already out. Did XXXTENTACION's evaporated streaming this week after last week's album drop cause this song to pick up some of the slack? I don't know. Regardless of how this got back, it's time to send it back out.

7- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (-1) -- I actually thought this song was going to jump into the top five and go as high as No. 3 thanks to the weaknesses of the songs ahead of it. And with a huge boost on radio, up 13 percent to 103 million, it's kinda surprising to me that it fell back a spot. But with that radio continuing to build, I have to think that this is at least going to remain consistent in the top 10. I guess it wasn't strong enough in the other two categories to break top five and fell a spot thanks to the huge streaming boost from "Look Alive."

8- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (+1) -- I said I'd tolerate this song in the top 10 for ONE WEEK. That week is over and instead of falling out of the top 10, it gained a spot? That's frustrating. So I'll repeat what I said last week. I appreciate the creativity with the song, but the execution is just disgusting with some of the worst lyrics of the year. So why is the streaming so huge?

9- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (-2) -- Last week X had seven songs on the Hot 100. This week that is down to four. "the remedy for a broken heart" is barely hanging on to No. 97 this week while "changes" (No. 39) and "Moonlight" (No. 48) are still somehow both in the top 50. And "SAD!" is STILL in the top 10? OK, I'm happy they all fell down. And I'll repeat that "SAD!" specifically is not as awful as X's previous songs last year. But do people really enjoy listening to these lazy, partial songs? If you're going to listen to some awful rap music, why not listen to some awful rap music that are at least complete ideas and full song? And does the fact that X is a horrible human being and a convicted felon bother no one besides me? Can we please get rid of this guy?

10- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (-2) -- It's been a great run for Camila in the top 10 with "Havana." And I'm happy to report that, unlike last week, "Never Be the Same" recovered this week and is back on track to hitting the top 10. But more on that in a second.

Rising on the Hot 100:

11- "Mine" - Bazzi (+4) -- A viral internet meme is about to become a top 10 hit. The sad thing about this song is that it's now gaining a lot of radio traction in addition to already being a monster streaming hit. I re-listened to this to see if there was something I was missing or if I was being too harsh by hating this. And no. It's still only a partial song with little depth or purpose. I imagine Bazzi spent five minutes lazily throwing this together, not expecting it would even go anywhere. Yet because we live in 2018, look at what's happened. And I'm embarrassed for all the talented musicians who spent hours and days constructing their songs. It's the lazy idiots that we gravitate towards in 2018.

14- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (+5) -- At least we have Camila rising in the top 10 this week along with Bazzi. This is an actual full-length pop song where it seems like Camila put some thought into. In a perfect world, "Mine" would get stuck at No. 11 and this would be our new top 10 entry next week. But since the world of music in the U.S. sucks right now for the most part, who knows what's going to happen. I will note that this song has a massive amount of radio play right now. In fact, it's No. 5 on pop radio, so I'll be surprised if that doesn't equate to a top 10 entry soon.

15- "Walk It Talk It" - Migos featuring Drake (+5) -- Migos featuring Drake on paper just looks like a huge winner when it comes to streaming, so I'm not surprised to see this gaining, although I'm not happy about it. We don't need anymore Migos.

18- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+5) -- We let this song into the top 20? Well that's embarrassing. Seriously, who on Earth things that this thug is worthy of having a top 20 hit. If he makes it into the top 10, then help us all!

22- "In My Blood" - Shawn Mendes (+50) -- Apparently Baby Mendes' debut last week was only after a few days of tracking. He jumps 50 spots because this is his first full week of tracking. And as Baby Mendes doesn't have the maturity to know how to write a full song that actually means something, of course I'm not happy about this. But I suppose there's worse things happening right now, so it's whatever.

38- "Powerglide" - Rae Sremmurd & Juicy J (+13) -- Rae Sremmurd's chorus for this song is genuinely catchy, even though the song itself is still trash. But hey, I'll take catchy trash over trashy trash, so if we have to have a certain number of rap songs at the top, I'll accept this one. Doesn't mean I'm giving it a pass, though.

50- "Singles You Up" - Jordan Davis (+7) -- I wish I liked this song more than I did, but while Jordan aimed for fun and intelligent, he completely missed for me. Still, I'm not surprised this is now top 50 and I'll take this over a lot of the other country songs.

52- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+14) -- Two weeks in a row of major gains for Taylor Swift. That's encouraging! Is this actually going to change Taylor's luck and become a hit? I hope so because I really like this song!

59- "Tell Me You Love Me" - Demi Lovato (+14) -- This song just refuses to go away and I'm happy about that. This is a good Demi song. She did just release an EP of remixes for the song, so I'm guessing that's what gave this song a second wind. In that remix EP, there's the original, a Dave Audé remix, a NOTD remix, a Spanglish version, a Spanish version and a live acoustic version. If for some reason you think the song is too slow, the Dave Audé remix nearly doubles the tempo, making the song pretty fun. I'd say it's about 120-130 BPM, compared to the original's 80-90 BPM, but both of those are just educated guesses. The NOTD remix isn't bad, but gets a bit weird in a few spots. The other three are exactly what they sounds like. I will say that the Spanish version is really pretty and the live acoustic is pretty mellow and chill. I don't think I'd ever listen to the Spanglish version voluntarily. I'd either go all English or all Spanish.

74- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+13) -- This song re-entered the charts either last week or the week before. Can't say I'm super stoked about that as I forgot this drinking song existed before then. He can drink all he wants without remembering the girl, but for some reason he gets all broken up and sad when he drinks tequila. So don't drink tequila, man. You can move on with life and so can all of us.

New Arrivals:

60- "Say Amen (Saturday Night)" - Panic! At the Disco -- Foster the People last week, Bad Wolves' cover of "Zombie" the week before and now Panic! At the Disco this week? Man, the last few weeks have been fairly nice to rock music. Panic! At the Disco is a band that I have a generally positive view of. I really liked their 2016 album "Death of a Bachelor," that brought us songs like "Victorious," "Death of a Bachelor" and "Emperor's New Clothes." Then throughout their history, they've given us songs like "I Write Sins Not Tragedies," "This Is Gospel," "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" and the surprisingly decent cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the "Suicide Squad" soundtrack. They're a band that typically brings a lot of energy to their music, making them fun to listen to. And now they have their sixth studio album, "Pray for the Wicked," coming out in June. So that gives us something to look forward to. Lead singer Brendon Urie usually has a lot to say with his music, so the album title makes me curious as to what he has up his sleeve.

With this song specifically, there's a lot of religious undertones here, which most likely stem from Brendon Urie's religious upbringing as he was raised in an LDS household in Las Vegas after being born in St. George, Utah. Thus you can say there's a lot of valid comparisons to Brandon Flowers of The Killers here. Both were raised in Vegas in an LDS family and both drifted away after starting a rock band. The big difference is that Brandon Flowers drifted back while Brendon Urie is still drifting as he claims he's no longer religious. I'm not judging him here, but that's the subject matter of the song. There's a lot of conflict in his head during the verses as he's trying to be the best he can be every day, but admits that he's grown into a different person than he used to be. Then he says on the chorus that he prays for the wicked on the weekend, but then admits that he loves partying on Saturday night wherein he tells God that he's never going to repent. That's a bit jarring for me, but at the same time it feels very personal to Brendon, especially when you take the whole song in context of everything he's saying. I'm not going to say it's the most memorable song from this group, but I find it enjoyable enough with lyrics that feel person, so I appreciate that.

Also, go watch this music video that is posted right above. It's a prequel music video to the music video of "This Is Gospel," which is then completed by the video of "Emperor's New Clothes." Also, thematically all three songs are interconnected, so that's a pretty cool achievement. How many bands or musicians can claim they have a trilogy of music videos that all tell one story? It's also proof that prequels can be good.

64- "Lost in Japan" - Shawn Mendes -- All the Mendesites on the internet who drool all over themselves the second he opens his mouth mostly claimed that they like "Lost in Japan" most out of his two new singles. Personally it doesn't seem like it would be that hard to be better than "In My Blood" as that song is another boringly vague song from Baby Mendes who is basically claiming how a breakup is ruining his life because he just can't handle it. And, well, it wasn't a very high bar to jump over, but this is the better song of the two. Baby Mendes said he was listening to a lot of Justin Timberlake while writing this song and that is extremely evident because he's trying to be JT on this song. Turns out R&B suits him a lot better than his bland, boring pop music and feels a lot more real than him trying to be a rock star on "In My Blood," which also doesn't work. But this kinda does. It has a much more comfortable feel to it than most of his music. But as with EVERY Shawn Mendes song, there's a huge issue with the lyrics. Why in the frack is Baby Mendes singing about flying over to a girl in Japan? Outside that fact, this is another bland love song with no meaning. But seriously. Japan? Why? Oh. Because Baby Mendes said he fell asleep one day and dreamed about Japan. So he wrote a song about it. Whatever, Mendes. Swing and a miss. Again. Perhaps that's why the girl in "In My Blood" broke up with him. Because they were on different continents.

70- "Japan" - Famous Dex -- Another song about Japan? What's up with this Japanese theme this week? I mean, not that there's a problem with that. Just a curious coincidence. The sad thing is neither of these two songs have anything to do with Japan. Baby Mendes wrote another empty love song with his girl being in Japan for some reason. And Famous Dex? Uh, well, he needed a word to rhyme with xans, vans and Gram. He's doing drugs, smoking marijuana, bragging about all his new diamonds, talking about his shoes and sleeping with girls. That's this song. Yet there's a line saying "50,000 in Japan." 50,000 what? And why Japan? I don't know. And I don't think Dex knows. I honestly think he just needed a word to rhyme with xans and Vans.

86- "Up Down" - Morgan Wallen featuring Florida Georgia Line -- It's a rare occasion where I actually praise Florida Georgia Line, so me doing so on "Meant to Be" is pretty unique. I just think they struck gold in collaborating with Bebe Rexha. So could they repeat that success with Morgan Wallen? Uh, no. But first off, who in the heck is Morgan Wallen? This is his first ever appearance on the Hot 100 and turns out he was a contestant on The Voice season 6, but got eliminated in the playoffs round, right before the top 12. And while I didn't watch that season, or any season for that matter, I imagine there's a good reason why he couldn't even get top 12 on a music competition that no one cares about. Because he's not good. This is an annoying country-ish song where Morgan is way too twangy and is just singing about bland, boring country stuff. Parties, beer, hot women, red neck life. I don't care. The only reason this song is here is because he someone conned FGL into joining him. The only thing that brought me emotion while researching this song is that I learned that season 6 of the The Voice is the season that Christina Grimmie got third place. She's the girl that got tragically killed in Orlando after a concert by a crazy psychopath. Rest in peace, Christina!  

95- "For the First Time" - Darius Rucker -- I got distracted with this song. I searched "For the First Time" on my Apple Music account and started listened to the song of the same title by The Script. Great song! Now I'm extremely picky with my country music, but Darius Rucker is a country singer who I actually appreciate. I really liked "If I Told You," which charted last year for him from this same album of "When Was the Last Time." This song isn't as good as that one. And it's also quite simple. Darius is just asking this girl when was the last time you did something for the first time? He's challenging her, and thus his listeners, to go out and do something new. Which is good. The song might not have a ton of depth to it, but it's what I call a fun, relaxing country song. If this got big, I could see this song growing on me.

100- "No Roots" - Alice Merton -- Who is Alice Merton and where did this song come from? Well, listen to this song and you'll hear her story. She's a person who wants things consistent in her life, but consistency is not been her thing. She was born in Germany to a German mother and an Irish father, was raised in Canada and moved all over the place. She's moved 11 times and lived in four different countries. So this song "No Roots" describes her story. It's the first song she's charted. It was actually released back in December 2016 and has slowly grown over time. At the moment it's doing quite well on pop radio as it's in the top 30 and gaining, so if you haven't heard this on the radio already, you'll probably start to. And I'm going to root for it. In addition to being a person song about Alice's upbringing, the construction of this rock song is rather great. It starts with an electric bass guitar, I believe it is. Then Alice comes in. Then we slowly start adding more instruments along the way with a steady drum beat coming in at the 30 second mark before eventually being fully developed. I already kinda love it on first listen and I have a feeling it's only going to grow on me. For a comparison, I'm reminded of "Feel It Still," by Portugal. The Man from last year. An indie song that comes out of nowhere to perform well. In a day where most of the top music is pretty bad, I really hope this can break through and provide some much needed life to the charts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - March 31, 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 reigns for a ninth straight week after debuting at No. 1 with "God's Plan" and it's those streaming numbers that I look at each week. The number the song got this week is 68.5 million U.S. streams, down just 6 percent from its 72.9 million U.S. streams last week. That's not a very slim drop compared to previous weeks and this number has to at least get down the 40-50 million range before there are any realistic threats to dethrone it. And it has to get even lower if our current No. 2 song is going to pass it as "Meant to Be" only has 22.7 million U.S. streams. There's only seven weeks to go before "God's Plan" hits that illustrious 16-week mark. I'm not really confident that "Meant to Be" will be able to top it in time, but if those streaming numbers get low enough, I think another huge debut from someone could sweep in and spoil the run. But time is ticking. Currently I'm still fine with this song at No. 1, although it would be really fun to see Bebe and FGL take the title.

2- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (+2) -- I honestly think "Meant to Be" jumping up to No. 2 has more to do with "Perfect" and "Finesse" finally falling off while "Meant to Be" just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I already mentioned that "God's Plan" has triple the number of streaming numbers as "Meant to Be" does, but looking at those other two metrics, "Meant to Be" is ahead on radio and rising faster, 111 million (up 8 percent) vs. Drake's 104 million (up 3 percent) and sales are fairly insignificant with Drake at 44,000 sales vs. Bebe and FGL's 35,000. I'm currently really happy about this song's success. I still find myself singing it quite often and if it does go No. 1, I'll be quite ecstatic!

3- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (-1) -- It was bound to happen eventually. This song has been slowly bleeding out for a while now, but stayed at No. 2 for eight weeks this year because nothing else was willing to step in and take its place. Finally it gave we to "Meant to Be," which I'm happy with. I like both songs, but "Perfect" has had its time in the spotlight, so it's time to share.

4- "Finesse" - Bruno Mars & Cardi B (-1) -- I find it interested that "Finesse" is still at No. 1 on the radio with 140 million in total audience, which is up 3 percent from last week. Yet its sales and streaming must be in the basement because it still can't top "Perfect" and has also now fallen behind "Meant to Be," which I previously mentioned is only at 111 million in total radio audience and doesn't have super amazing streaming and sales numbers. But hey, I'm not complaining. It's time for Bruno to get out of here. Maybe the radio should stop playing this dumb song, too.

5- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (=) -- Post Malone stays at No. 5. Meh. I want this gone, but at least it doesn't seem to have the ability to get any higher, so I think this is a win.

6- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (=) -- I'm totally expecting this song to break into the top five sooner rather than later. In fact, with "Perfect," "Finesse" and "Psycho" all seeming quite weak, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibilities that this jumps up to No. 3 within the next week or two as it's soaring on radio right now.

7- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (+12) -- Let me remind you something about X. This guy is currently awaiting trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and around 15 felony counts of witness tampering and witness harassment. In a day where we are attempting to end the careers of actors after allegations of sexual misconduct, shouldn't record labels, radio stations and streaming services be dropping this disgusting criminal? Or does the Me Too movement not apply to rappers. Listen, this song isn't as bad as some of his previous songs and is a better than most current rap, if you even want to call this song rap. And it's only this high because of the album boost that provides X with five additional new songs on the charts this week. But still. I'm not just going to ignore this guy's personal life and neither should anyone else. People like him shouldn't be rewarded with successful music careers after such awful behavior. So it's a shame to the United States of America that he now has a top 10 hit added to his resume.

8- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (-1) -- I imagine Camila only has a few weeks left at most with "Havana" in the top 10. It's been a great run. Now I hope that "Never Be the Same" can enter the top 10 as "Havana" falls out. I'm sad to report that it hit a bit of a snag this week and fell a few spots instead of continuing to rise. But let's hope that it recovers and doesn't peak in the teens.

9- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (new) -- I'll talk about this song in my new arrivals section down below, but why in the heck are we letting Chris Brown debut in the top 10? Let's hope this is just a one-week thing. I think this is supposed to be funny and comedic, but I didn't laugh. I'll accept it for this week, I suppose. But if it stays any longer I'm going to be angry.

10- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (-2) -- Well, thanks to X and Chris Brown, a much better rap song got pushed down to No. 10. Let's correct this next week, please? Send those two other songs away and let this good "Black Panther" track go back up. And bring back "All the Stars" as well.

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "Ric Flair Drip" - Offset & Metro Boomin (+2) -- Can we please somehow prevent this song from entering the top 10? That would be nice. I still like "Stir Fry" by Migos, but that's the exception, not the rule. Anything else by any or all of the Migos trio should be blocked. If "Ric Flair Drip" peaks right here, I can sleep good.

15- "Mine" - Bazzi (+2) -- OK, I'm glad this partial song hasn't completely exploded. I was worried that it was going to be the next big, annoying thing. But the fact that it's still managed to hang around is concerning.

20- "Walk It Talk It" - Migos featuring Drake (+49) -- Yikes! This jumped nearly half of the charts because of a music video, right? That means it can fall back down next week? Hopefully? As I said, we don't need any more Migos.

28- "Friends" - Marshmello & Anne-Marie (+13) -- The official friendzone anthem, as the music video title claims. Yes, making friendzone into one word instead of its normal two words. I looked up to see if it was a video that boosted this song as well, but since the video is a month old, it appears that this is just shooting up naturally, which I'm fine with. It's a fun song from Marshmello and Anne-Marie.

30- "Heaven" - Kane Brown (+6) -- I'm not worried that this song is now top 30. It doesn't have the pop crossover to get much higher than this, which is good because this is a dull country song that is probably already higher than it deserves.

37- "changes" - XXXTENTACION (+22) -- A huge boost due to the album drop. Let's hope this is just a one-week thing and this can fall back down next week. If X had written full songs, maybe I'd give him more credit. But he's a lazy criminal that belongs in prison.

40- "Lemon" - N.E.R.D & Rihanna (+21) -- This song is really confusing. I want it to become a hit, but it keeps yo-yo-ing on the charts. It can't decide if it wants to be a hit or if it wants to go away, so it just keeps bouncing around. I don't know why it got a 21-spot jump this week, but I would love it if it actually gained traction.

51- "Powerglide" - Rae Sremmurd & Juicy J (+25) -- Funny story. When this song debuted on the charts two weeks ago, I forgot to cover it. I realized that shortly after posting, but I didn't care enough at the time to go back and edit my post. So here I am right now talking about it after it gets a 25-spot jump after doing nothing last week. Turns out I have heard this song a lot as ESPN uses the chorus from Swae Lee to advertise their NBA games on ESPN. And I find myself being able to tolerate it a lot better than all their other rap-induced commercials that I usually mute. So credit to Swae Lee for writing a catchy chorus that fits well musically into ESPN advertising, even if the content has nothing to do with basketball. It's just a weed and party anthem. They're smoking, sleeping with girls and driving their Lamborghini. And when Juicy J and Slim Jxmmi come in, they destroy any good that Swae sets up. There's probably a reason ESPN doesn't use their verses. Because it's awful both musically and lyrically whereas Swae is awful just lyrically. So I'll definitely pass on this, but I'm not that upset that it's around.

52- "All on Me" - Devin Dawson (+13) -- I kinda forgot this song from the end of last year existed, but in giving it a second listen, I remember that I actually enjoy it. So yeah, if country radio wants to give this song a good push, I definitely approve.

59- "X" - Nicky Jam & J Balvin (+12) -- Out of all the Latino dance songs that could be finding success, this is the one that I don't approve of. Let's make it go away because there's better ones out there that deserve to be given a push over this one.

66- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+18) -- I honestly don't know what this song is going to do. All the other songs from "reputation" have fizzled out rather quickly. Can Taylor break that trend and finally find some traction? Well, I hope so because this is one of the better songs on the album and deserves a nice, long run on the Billboard charts.

85- "I Lived It" - Blake Shelton (+10) -- Meh. Whatever. There's worse country songs out there and Blake Shelton will probably do well because his name is Blake Shelton. But this isn't really one of his good songs. I like the idea behind it, but not the execution.

New Arrivals:

9- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown -- OK, I'm going to give this song points for creativity. I rag on most rap songs for an extreme lack of creativity. I mean, for crying out loud, 95 percent of rap songs these days are about riches, fame, drugs and sex. Lil Dicky and Chris Brown came up with a song about them switching bodies and making fun of themselves. At least that's different. But I suppose it's the concept I'm praising and not the execution. Apparently one of Lil Dicky's greatest desires is to be able to say the n-word and he's jealous of blacks and hispanics because they can say it and he, as a white person, can't. That's most of Lil Dicky's as Chris Brown. Then Chris Brown in Lil Dicky's body spends most of the time about having a different male private part, which recurs at the end when one of them jumps into Kendall Jenner's body. "Oh my gosh! I'm a female and now I have female parts! Now I can understand women!" Give me a break. The only part that I snickered at is when they switched to DJ Khaled for a second and asked "Why am I yelling?" Because, seriously, why?

35- "Moonlight" - XXXTENTACION -- You read what I said about X above. He should be in prison right now, not celebrating a successful music career. But even if we foolishly ignore the nearly 20 felony counts against him, this album he released is 18 tracks that total 37 minutes. That's an average of just over two minutes per song. Meaning he put no effort into this and even lazily titled the album "?" probably because he had no idea what to call it. Since he didn't even care to put much time into this, neither will I in reviewing this songs. "Moonlight" comes in at 2:15, meaning it's sadly longer than the average. In that time period, he drops the n-word 14 times and mumbles his way through something about the moonlight and spotlight. Even if I made an effort to figure out what he was talking about, I don't think it's possible because this is vaguer than something Shawn Mendes would write.

49- "Found / Tonight" - Lin-Manuel Miranda & Ben Platt -- I'm going to make a confession that I probably shouldn't, but is important for my honesty with this song. I have not seen nor listened to the music of "Dear Evan Hansen" nor "Hamilton." I suppose I could lie and say I have, then pretend that I thus love this mashup of "You Will Be Found" from "Dear Evan Hansen" and "The Story of Tonight" from "Hamilton" because of that and I would be safe from all your torches and pitchforks. But that wouldn't be true. So while I run for my life, I will desperately throw out there that I did my homework to some small extent by listening to both songs that this is a mashup of before judging this song. And I enjoyed both songs individually and I think they also work great together. Platt and Miranda mix well together as great vocalists and the lyrics of the songs intertwine rather perfectly. As the album art claims, a portion of the proceeds go to the March for Our Lives initiative, which is fantastic. On that note we have lyrics that say when our children tell our story, they'll tell the story of tonight, which I certainly hope will be the case for this initiative. Then from the other song, we have lyrics encouraging someone who's feeling lonely to stay strong. In terms of the Parkland shooting that inspired the March for Our Lives initiative, this is a rather beautiful and fitting theme song.

Platt said in a press release for the song, "Better gun control is something that all Americans should be passionate about...These students are paving the way for future generations and it's so inspiring to see young people stand up for what is probably the most important cause right now in this country, and demanding action. I hope this song can play some small part in bringing about real change."

Amen to that.

67- "the remedy for a broken heart (why am I so in love)" - XXXTENTACION -- This song is even longer than the previous song at 2:40. But don't trick yourself into thinking this is an actual song. He wrote one verse with some decent flow through part of it before he stumbles and starts mumbling the rest of it. Outside that there's just two different stanzas that he's repeating over and over. All around him is falling and he's going to mix a little bit of weed with a little bit of cash. That's his remedy for his broken heart.

72- "In My Blood" - Shawn Mendes -- Mr. pretty boy is telling us all about how awful this experience is for him. With his descriptions, you would think that he got in a serious accident of sorts and wants to give up, but it isn't in his blood. What's that awful experience? What you are you going through, Mendes? Care to share? This is a song written by you. You are allowed to be descriptive about your challenge instead of giving forever vague lyrics. Yet that's all that ever happens in a Shawn Mendes song. Extremely vague lyrics that probably don't actually mean anything. In his one descriptive stanza, he says that he's looking through his phone again, is feeling anxious and is afraid to be alone again. Oh. So he's just dealing with a breakup, treating it like one silly little breakup nearly ended his life. Grow up, you little punk. Stop acting like a teenage girl.

82- "NUMB" - XXXTENTACION -- Oh my goodness! X surpassed three minutes with a song as "NUMB" comes in at 3:06! But again, don't let that fool yourself into thinking this is an actual song. He has one verse that he mumbles four times. It goes as follows, "And single year, I'm drowning in my tears; I'm drowning in my tears again; I can't seem to forget the pain that you see me me give; The pain you see me give, my friend." That's verbatim. No typos on my end. But it seems he certainly didn't double check his lyrics before he recorded them because they almost make sense, but not quite. I'll let you interpret what he's talking about. The song is three minutes long because of some instrumentals in between the verses and some whoas thrown in there. 

83- "infinity (888)" - XXXTENTACION featuring Joey Bada$$ -- Believe it or not, this is an actual rap song instead of being one or two short stanzas repeated over and over. But it's really just a two minute song because Joey and X spend the last minute of this 2:56 song repeating "I don't feel no pain no more." And also, the intro to the song is them talking back and forth as if they pressed record in the studio too early and didn't care to go back and repeat the recording or edit the song down. So Joey and X each wrote a verse that they rap here. I'll give them credit for writing a real rap verse. But it's sad when that's what it comes down to for X because the content in each verse is pure trash. Only more song from X to go!

84- "One Number Away" - Luke Combs -- From the country singer that brought us "Hurricane" and "When It Rains It Pours" last year. Two awful country songs. Joy. At least with this song Luke has a bit more personality and fire that he brings to the table, but content-wise he's just whining about this breakup that he can't get over, but also can't get the courage to dial her number and talk to her, so he just reminisces about what she could be doing at the moment. I'll give him some credit for being more descriptive with this situation instead of being extremely vague like Shawn Mendes. But I still don't care enough. The music and voice is decent enough, but the content is boring.

86- "Sit Next to Me" - Foster the People -- Oh my goodness, we have a Foster the People siting on the Billboard charts! We essentially haven't seen these guys since their huge debut hit "Pumped Up Kicks" stormed to No. 3 in 2010. They had a brief stay in 2012 with "Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)," which peaked at No. 86. But outside those two songs, they've only camped out on the rock charts without crossing over. So you can call this a comeback single and honestly I want to like this a lot more than I actually do. "Pumped Up Kicks" is a rather fascinating song that sounds super controversial if you're just casually listening to it, but if you actually take the time to dive into the song, it tells a really deep, mind-opening story. It's one of those moments where they caught lightning in a bottle and maybe they haven't been relevant since because they haven't been able to recapture that? I haven't listened to much of their music, so I can't say for sure, but there's certainly no depth behind "Sit Next to Me." It's a relaxing, chill alternative rock song about him searching for this girl. So it's decently pleasing to the ears, but too empty for me to care too much about it.

95- "going down!" - XXXTENTACION -- Of the five new songs from X this week, this is the worst. And the shortest at 1:55. This "song" is one verse surrounded by a chorus on each side. The chorus is essentially X repeating that "it's going down!" And the verse is gross and disgusting. I don't know why people listen to this trashy rapper that is too lazy to even write full songs. And given that this is an 18-track, 37-minute album and four of the five new songs are over that average, that must mean the other songs are extremely short, but I certainly don't care enough to check them out. And if you are wondering why I'm all over the place with uppercase and lowercase when typing his songs' names, I'm stylizing them exactly as he does on the album. I've also seen several different ways of stylizing XXXTENTACION, but again I'm going with all caps there because that's how he stylizes it on the album. Now with seven songs from "?" covered on this blog, I'm singing my praises that I don't have to touch the other 11 songs. Can we officially be done with this felon?

100- "Everybody Hates Me" - The Chainsmokers -- This title makes me laugh. Everybody does hate Andrew Taggart and The Chainsmokers. And it's sad, really, because I liked them a lot before they got super mainstream. But then "Closer" came around and after that became a huge hit, they just got lazy with their music. It was all boring and uninspired like they didn't care at all because they finally got famous. I wish Taggart would learn that their music is best when he's not the one singing. But since he doesn't care, he's back with his own bad vocals yet again singing about how being famous has made him so miserable. Because we all believe that, right? The song tries to incorporate a bit of a drop, but it's not quite heavy enough to make me want to get up and dance. So the combination of lazy lyrics, uninspired vocals and a half-hearted at best attempt to make a dance song make this yet another disposable song from The Chainsmokers. I wish they would go back to making good music, but I fear they forgot how.