Thursday, August 17, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 26, 2017

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- Another major milestone has been reached for "Despacito" as this crazy phenomenon of a song has matched the 14-week run of "Macarena" as the longest run at No. 1 for any Spanish-language song on U.S. Hot 100. In fact, that's the high mark for any non-English language on the U.S. charts as out of the nine songs that have made it to 14 weeks or more, "Despacito" and "Macarena" are the only ones not in English. And speaking of these nine songs that have hit 14 weeks, only one of them managed to make it past this mark, that of course being Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," which ruled for 16 weeks starting in December 1995. The other seven songs failed to get any further. Thus will history repeat itself for "Despacito" or will history be set with "Despacito" standing on its own in second place? Signs are pointing to the latter as "Despacito" scores 82,000 sales (down 3 percent), 49.4 million streams (down 1 percent) and 134.6 million radio audience (down 4 percent). The margin this week in chart point percentage for "Despacito" vs. "Wild Thoughts" is 1.46-to-1. Which Billboard reports is the same exact as last week. Two weeks ago it was 1.59-to-1. Three weeks ago it was 1.73-to-1. That's a margin that's simply not closing fast enough. Thus I honestly think that, unless we have a major debut drop this week or next, the record is going down.

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- The advantage that Rihanna has here over "Despacito" is on radio as "Wild Thoughts" rose up 6 percent to 135.1 million in radio audience, narrowly edging out "Despacito" by half a million in total audience. But that 6 percent rise is down a bit from last week's 9 percent rise, meaning "Wild Thoughts" could be close to peaking on radio, which is not a good sign if it wants to move up to No. 1 because sales and streaming are still not good enough. Billboard actually didn't report specific sales and streaming numbers for "Wild Thoughts" in their article this week, but they did report that both "Despacito" and "Wild Thoughts" are both down 2 percent in overall chart points, so do the math from last week and sales for "Wild Thoughts" are somewhere around 30,000 with streams somewhere around 33 million. In order for "Wild Thoughts" to go No. 1 in the next week or two, "Despacito" is going to need to suffer an epic collapse somewhere because these sales and streaming numbers for "Wild Thoughts" simply aren't good enough and I see no signs of that changing.

3- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (=) -- I actually wouldn't mind it if this song went No. 1. But it certainly has no chance of doing so in the next month or so. Sales and streaming are about equivalent with "Wild Thoughts," but the radio is quite a bit behind. But if it manages to be consistent enough, it could happen.

4- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (+1) -- And then there's the rest of the top 10. Full of songs that are either crumbling due to them well overstaying their welcome or songs that are rising by default. Imagine Dragons is one that's going up by default, but I don't think it has a serious chance of breaking into the top three. And while I certainly prefer this over Mr. Puth or Mr. Mendes, it makes me sad that this is becoming the Imagine Dragons song that is starting to become one of their biggest hits when they've had so many other songs that deserved such an honor but never got it.

5- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+2) -- Seriously. Why did we let Mr. Puth into the top five? I know he's been here before as a part of "See You Again," but he was more of the frosting on the cake on that song with Wiz Khalifa carrying the meat and depth. In other words, Charlie Puth as an appetizer or side dish is just fine. But as a main course, he's just boring and bland. I don't get it.

6- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (+2) -- And I honestly don't know which song would make me more upset if it stuck around in the top five. I'm grateful this song hasn't hit the region yet and I can only hope it gets stuck at this spot, but I'm made that Charlie Puth did so instead. No one on planet earth is going to remember either of these two songs in a year from now if they can even remember them at this point. I blame the radio for all of this because that's all these two songs have.

7- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (-3) -- Oh thank heavens, a miracle has occurred. Bruno Mars' most boring and forgettable song yet has FINALLY exited the top five. It didn't belong there in the first place and after over 20 agonizing weeks, it's gone. Now let's hope a quick exit from the top 10 altogether is in the cards for the near future.

8- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+6) -- I've been demanding more female presence in the top 10 for much of the year near since 80 percent of the artists in the top 10 in 2017 have been male. But this is not what I meant when I request more females. Cardi B is a Nicki Minaj wannabe and is quite honestly just as bad and annoying of a rapper. Yet sadly I think this is here to stay. It's had so much momentum. This could even be a future No. 1 hit... which scares me.

9- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- Oh hey, speaking of prestigious records, I hadn't even been paying attention to how many weeks "Shape of You" has spent in the top 10. But it just clocked in its 31st week. The all-time record, which is currently now being shared by LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Love" and The Chainsmokers' "Closer," is 32 weeks. If "Shape of You" manages just one more week, it'll enter a three-way tie. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

10- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (-4) -- Oh thank heavens, another blessing from above this week! I was honestly shocked to see this plummeting four spots, but I'm certainly not complaining. This is also a song that is so boring and dull that it never belonged in the top 10, but got there by name recognition alone, not by quality of song. Smart move financially for DJ Khaled to organize this posse, but I wish America would've been smart enough to reject bad music. Apparently not. If this is indeed this song's final week, then, well, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Rising on the Hot 100:

12- "Bank Account" - 21 Savage (+6) -- On second thought, our current top 10 can stay put. As much as I don't like "I'm the One" or "That's What I Like" and as sick as I am of how long "Shape of You" has stuck around, I'd still listen to those songs any day of the week when given the option of them or this pile of trash by 21 Savage. Like seriously, why are we letting this get so high?

23- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William (+5) -- The eventual replacement of "Despacito" in the top 10? Although it has slowed down a bit compared to its first few weeks, but I'm really curious if a non-English song like this can enter the top 10 WITHOUT an English remix. That would be the real milestone for foreign-language songs.

24- "Praying" - Kesha (+8) -- I'm so glad to see this gaining traction on the charts! And I'm sure Kesha's album release will give it even more of a boost next week. This SO belongs in the top 10! It's certainly much better than anything in there right now.

40- "What Ifs" - Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina (+8) -- A lot of country songs had small gains this week. This is the one that increased enough to qualify for this list. And I'm fine with it. I'm not madly in love, but we've certainly had worse.

42- "No Promises" - Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato (+9) -- Here come the Cheat Codes! If you didn't like the Chainsmokers, don't worry. These guys will guarantee you will be equally as upset. Because to heck with inviting good EDM artists into the top 50, let's popularize all the average and lazy ones. Sounds like a solid idea, right?

46- "It's a Vibe" - 2 Chainz featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz & Jhene Akio (+7) -- I'm getting a vibe that this song needs to STOP climbing the charts. It's seriously one of the worst songs of the year. Why have we now invited it to the top 50?

49- "Young Dumb & Broke" - Khalid (+15) -- I've been rather impressed with this song's continued jump of the charts. I didn't expect it in the top 50 this soon. I also don't expect this to break top 20. I'm predicting it will slow down now. At least I hope that's the case. I don't mind the song, but I might be a little upset if it gets too high.

62- "Back to You" - Louis Tomlinson featuring Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals (+12) -- So happy to see that this got a huge boost this week! Let's keep it coming. I've noticed that this is gaining traction on the radio, so I hope that's a good positive sign.

75- "The Weekend" - SZA (+14) -- We're making SZA a star now. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I mean, it's better than this Cardi B woman that's now in the top 10. But I'd prefer if this sudden SZA craze was hit the breaks. 

77- "Honest" - The Chainsmokers (+11) -- Oh dear, please no. Sure, I can't panic just yet at a No. 77 placement, but an 11-spot jump after its arrival on the charts is a bad early sign. I was hoping that we would collectively pretend this song doesn't exist so that it can go away.

New Arrivals:

70- "The Race" - Tay-K -- We have eight new arrivals this week, so let's get started! And we begin with... who in the heck is Tay-K? And why are we inviting him to the party? Out of context, this is another Migos wannabe song with a message I don't understand and plenty of "skrrts" that make everyone drool all over themselves for some reason. Boring. Dull. Awful. I made it through a minute of this song before I was done. And heck, I was almost halfway finished. Oh but then we add context and this gets even better. Tay-K is a 17-year-old kid formerly a member of a trio called Daytona Boyz, all of whom are facing criminal charges, with Santana Sage having been convicted of murder. In a separate incident, Tay-K was a part of a home invasion recently that led to the death of 21-year-old Ethan Walker. Tay-K was placed on house arrest, but decided he was done with that, so he cut off his ankle monitor and fled from Texas to New Jersey, where he was caught again and arrested. He wrote this song during this little escapade and got it released the day he got arrested. Now he is currently sitting in jail awaiting criminal charges for murder, of which the death penalty is an option on the table. So you know, punk kid with a criminal history that possibly might include a murder. Could spend the rest of his life in prison. But we're giving him a chance in the spotlight before that. That's 2017 for you. Well, at least this means we're getting nothing else from him, right?

76- "Patty Cake" - Kodak Black -- Well, at least our next song isn't from a guy currently in prison while facing murder charges. But it is boring, ole Kodak Black, who keeps becoming a thing for some reason. Yes, I don't mind "Unforgettable," but that has more to do with Swae Lee's part, not Kodak Black's rap. And this song, well, he's just talking about drugs, being rich, stealing your girl. The usual for an uncreative dull rapper these days. In the chorus he uses the phrase clap someone like a patty cake. I don't really know what that means and I don't know if I want to.  

81- "OMG" - Camila Cabello featuring Quavo -- Next up is one of two releases from Camila Cabello, everyone's favorite Fifth Harmony girl. Now I didn't mind "Crying in the Club" from earlier this summer. Not great, but better than most of the garbage from Fifth Harmony. However, both songs from me had me nervous just because I noticed features from Quavo and Young Thug. Sounded like a desperation move from a girl that just witnessed her other single flop on the charts. And, well, I'll speak about "Havana" in a second, but "OMG" is about as dull as I expected. The only good thing that came out of this experience for me is that it put Usher's "OMG" in my head and that made me happy, so I went back and listened to that, too. The difference here is that Camila's "OMG" is like a dull, lifeless version of Usher's. She just spends the whole song telling how good this guy looks. Which is actually the same thing that Usher's song does. But the difference is that Usher's version is catchy and infectious with a really awesome groove to it. Camila's is boring, slow, not catchy and has no groove. I also find it interesting that Usher's version actually says "Oh my GOSH," with an "sh." Camila just uses the Lord's name in vain over and over. I don't like cursing in my music in general, but using that word over and over really puts me off. The one positive thing is that Quavo doesn't annoy me too much, even though he's pointless in this song.

82- "What About Us" - P!nk -- How about some good news for a change? P!nk has a new album coming out in October! It's her first since 2012 and this is the lead-off single. Now P!nk hasn't been completely gone. She had her "Alice Through the Looking Glass" song last year as well as her feature with Kenny Chesney. But I'm ready for P!nk comeback with a new album! I love how much fire and personality she brings to her music. She also has a fantastic voice and is a good lyricist. This song implements a lot of these classic elements, which makes me happy. Although she does hold back quite a bit in this song, which I really like. She's not in outright attack mode. This is closer to a P!nk ballad. But there's a lot of emotion bottled in and she does a great job of belting it out in classic P!nk fashion. This is a rather fantastic song that I hope does well. Female singers have had a lot of bad luck in 2017. I hope this changes things. In fact, I believe this hit No. 82 with just a day or two. I'm curious to see how high it can go with a full week of sales. I don't think it has enough power to dethrone "Despacito" at the top, but that would be totally fine with me. Realistically I'm thinking top 20 or top 30. But that's just a random guess. If it can hit top 10 next week, I would be beyond ecstatic. The radio does like P!nk and since they've been desperate for something to latch onto, I hope this is the song. The charts could definitely use a bit of P!nk right now.

84- "Perplexing Pegasus" - Rae Sremmurd -- So this is awkward. You know how I've been *praising* French Montana's "Unforgettable," mainly because of Swae Lee? Yeah. I totally forgot that Swae Lee was one half of Rae Sremmurd. It's him and his brother Slim Jxmmi. Suddenly everything makes sense. And it rather shocks me because I've never really enjoyed anything the brothers have done as Rae Sremmurd. "Black Beatles" was fine, I suppose. I just was mostly bored with it and mad that the dumb Mannequin Challenge sent it to No. 1. With all this in mind, I can definitely say that this brother duo definitely has a better half and that is of course Swae Lee. He doesn't have the beat and groove backing him up like he does in "Unforgettable," but he's definitely tolerable in "Perplexing Pegasus." The big problem is when his brother Slim Jxmmi comes in. He's really annoying and is in all out Migos mode with his sound effects and echoes. But most of the song is actually Swae Lee, which is good. The problem is similar to that of Black Beatles. The song is kinda boring and repetitive. Perhaps Swae Lee needs someone with him writing the music and lyrics to give that portion of the music actual life, because "Unforgettable" proves that he has potential.

94- "B.E.D." - Jacquees -- Isn't it just lovely that we have another awful rapper invited to this poisonous, festering club of horse crap this is hip-hop in 2017? The benefit to this guy is that he's actually rapping without mimicking Migos, like everyone else is. But this song is nearly four minutes long with about a minute's worth of substance that is dragged throughout the run time. And it's not even good substance. He's talking about a girl who obviously wants a real relationship, but Jacquees is just wanting a girl around for him to sleep with and nothing else. If I were this girl, I would get the heck away from this punk, because he's so cocky and caught up in his fame and riches that he feels he doesn't need to work it out. She's going to be all over him once he gets his fame. Because that's all girls want, right? Sex and money. No. Just, no. I don't know how this guy is in real life. Maybe he's a nice dude. But this song is rather repulsive, sexist and flat out uncreative. I hope it goes away.

95- "Chillin' Like a Villain" - Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart & Mitchell Hope -- Remember two weeks ago when we had two songs from "Descendants 2" sneak onto the Billboard charts in the midst of all that Meek Mill trash? Well, I thought they were fun songs from what I was guessing was a harmlessly fun Disney Channel musical. I was very impressed with China Anne McClain in "What's My Name" and I was fine with "It's Going Down," even though I thought the latter didn't work as well out of context. After that week's post, I had a friend comment who had seen "Descendants 2" and she told me that "Chillin' Like a Villain" was actually the better song from "Descendants 2." So I listened. And yeah. It is the better song. And now here it is! I'm not super in love with the conversation that Cameron, Mitchell and Sofia have in the second half of the song. Maybe that's better in context. And Sofia Carson is certainly not as good of a vocalist as China Anne McClain. But this song is super infectious. I kinda love it in a weird sort of way.  Of course this music isn't anywhere near some of the classic Disney songs from their theatrical animated musicals. But I can see Disney Channel fans loving this song, especially younger kids. And if a song from a Disney Channel musical catches on with the kids, I can totally respect and appreciate that.

99- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug -- Sneaking in right at the end we have Camila's other song and right out of the gate I will say this is better than "OMG." With Camila's verses and choruses, the song has a decent groove that I could see as very radio friendly song that could be harmlessly playing in the background without making me want to change the station. The song is about Camila falling in love with a bad boy from Havana, which is also the place that Camila grew up in, so she has an ode to her hometown, which is cool. The problem here is what I was nervous about when I saw the song. The Young Thug feature. He's really awful with his verse. Worse than Quavo in "OMG," surprisingly. The more frustrating thing about this is that Camila actually worked with Pharrell on this song. He participated in the writing process and is there for all the echoes in the song. So why didn't she give him the verse instead of Young Thug? He was the only one in Calvin Harris' "Feels" that was having any fun. I think he could've added a lot of passion and personality to balance out Camila. But no. That's not what happened. Ultimately this is a fairly forgettable song. As I said, this could be playing in the background and I wouldn't mind. And I do like the trumpet in there. But this could've been a lot better.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 19, 2017

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

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- With Billboard back on track this week after being delayed last week, it feels like "Despacito" had an awfully short 12th week at top before now climbing to its 13th week at No. 1, becoming only the 11th song in history of the Billboard Hot 100 to reign for at least 13 weeks. Of the previous 10 to hit this milestone, only two of them managed to get stuck at 13 weeks while seven of them finished their reign at 14 weeks. Only Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day" made it past that 14-week mark, making it to 16 weeks at No. 1, a record that has stood for 21 years. Of the songs that have come so close to topping the record, 13 weeks hasn't been a tough hurdle, but it's that 14 week mark that no one has been able to get past. While we wait to see if "Despacito" will break Billboard's most sacred record, there are a two other major records that "Despacito" just broke. This week it became the all-time leader for most weeks on top of the sales chart with 14, passing Flo Rida's "Low," Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" and The Chainsmokers' "Closer," all of which previous led with 13 weeks. It also just barely passed Wiz Khalfa's "See You Again" for the most viewed YouTube music video of all-time, joining "See You Again" as the only two songs to hit the 3 billion views mark. If you're following my margin's game, Billboard didn't report how close "Despacito" and "Wild Thoughts" are this week after "Despacito" had a 1.59-to-1 lead last week, but the numbers for "Despacito" are as follows: 84,000 sales (down 17 percent), 49.8 million streams (down 6 percent) and 141 million radio audience (down 1 percent).

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- Comparing the numbers of "Wild Thoughts" to "Despacito," "Wild Thoughts" achieved 34,000 sales (down 5 percent), 34.8 million streams (down 1 percent) and 128 million in radio audience (up 9 percent). So comparing these numbers, if in theory both songs were to follow these exact same peercent changes, when the illustrious 16-week mark hits, "Despacito" will still still have significant leads in sales and streaming while the only advantage "Wild Thoughts" will have is radio, a category in which it could pass "Despacito" as early as next week. So the big question is how heavy does Billboard's formula give weight to radio? Can "Wild Thoughts" get a big enough lead on radio to stop "Despacito" from hitting that 16-week mark? Because it doesn't look like it will be able to do much with sales and streaming at this point. I honestly don't know the answer. This is going to be close.

3- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (+3) -- This is what I THOUGHT was going to happen last week. So after surprising me by falling down to No. 6, "Unforgettable" again surprises me by jumping up to No. 3 this week. But No. 3 is definitely where this is going to stay for a while. While the song increased in all three categories, it's still no where close to either "Wild Thoughts" or "Despacito." I could see this going No. 1 eventually. But not in the next three weeks.

4- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (-1) -- I'd say we're making slow progress with this song falling back down to No. 4. But we're really not as this already fell down to No. 4 before somehow jumping up to No. 3 again. I mean, to heck with "Shape of You" and "Despacito," if this song won't leave the top five, this might end up as the most popular song of 2017. So even if you do like this song, tell yourself. Is this song good enough to be declared the most popular song of 2017. And keeping in mind that "Uptown Funk" isn't Bruno's song (he's only a feature on it), is this really worthy of being declared Bruno Mars' best song?

5- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (=) -- Well, Imagine Dragons did manage to jump ahead of "I'm the One," but they all also got leap-frogged by "Unforgettable," meaning they stay put at No. 5. And you know, if it means booting DJ Khaled and friends out of the top five with that overrated snooze-fest, then I'm happy for now.

6- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (=) -- Speaking of this song, let's all stand and shout our hallelujah's that this song FINALLY fell out of the top five. It never belonged there in the first place and only got there because DJ Khaled recruited four popular musicians, not because the song has one ounce of quality. Next step is to get this the heck out of the top 10 and off the charts all together. It doesn't belong.

7- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+2) -- I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, Shawn Mendes once again got held back from rising any further and "Shape of You" is even closer to FINALLY dropping out of the top 10. But on the other hand, it's boring as tar Charlie Puth that rose up to No. 7. So it's whatever, I suppose. I just hope this somehow loses momentum and sputters out before it manages to camp around in the top 10 for way too long.

8- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (=) -- "Despacito" is still the No. 1 song on radio when you combine all formats, but Shawn Mendes just passed "Despacito" on pop radio. Because pop radio has nothing better to do than playing boring, bland, worthless pop songs on the radio. But since Shawn Mendes has no traction at all in sales and streaming, he stays at No. 8 for a fourth straight week. Preventing this song from rising higher is a minor win in my book.

9- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (-2) -- It would really bring me much joy if this were the last week in the top 10 for "Shape of You." I don't hate the song. But it wore out its welcome a long time ago and I want it to go away. It's not deserving of song of the year.

10- "Body Like a Back Road" - Sam Hunt (=) -- Speaking of things that would bring me much joy and happiness, if this song were completely erased from existence that would make me the happiest man alive. Meanwhile Sam Hunt should just completely give up singing and go flip burgers at McDonald's. That would make the world a better place.

Rising on the Hot 100:

14- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+14) -- There's a whole lot of songs rising right now, making it so we can kinda see what Fall has in store for us once our current stubborn top 10 finally breaks. And, well, it's a very mixed bag. As this song from the Nicki Minaj wannabe continues to soar up the charts, potentially breaking top 10 as early as next week, I'm not super excited about this future. It looks like we can just write off 2017 as a crappy year for popular music.

15- "Slow Hands" - Niall Horan (+3) -- Part of me finds great joy that Niall has now jumped ahead of Liam for current top song from a former 1D member. That's another minor win. But I'd still rather see Harry or Louis in this spot, so it's not a very big win.

18- "Bank Account" - 21 Savage (+3) -- Should I be happy that this piece of crap only jumped three spots this week or upset that it managed to crack top 20?

26- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+6) -- This is now just on the outside of the top 25. While one can only hope this stalls before getting too much further, this song rising at all is a big lose for America. I don't get the appeal to this at all.

31- "Loyalty." - Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna (+33) -- I wish Kendrick had picked a better single from his album to promote next instead of the one written just for the sake of popularity with a Rihanna feature, but hey, I'll take this over the other two rap songs I just talked about.

32- "Praying" - Kesha (+6) -- It really makes me happy seeing this reverse course after dropping hard in its second week. I've noticed that the radio has started to latch onto this and that's a good sign. Let's just hope sales and streaming continue to follow because I would really love if this was a major fall hit.

34- "Feel it Still" - Portugal. The Man (+21) -- I would also love for this to become a major fall hit. In a year stuffed full of boring mediocrity, it would give me great pleasure if this and "Praying" can help ease the pain a little bit. We really need more good music.  

37- "Love Galore" - SZA featuring Travis Scott (+9) -- I suppose we are going to make SZA a major star because this song doesn't seem to want to slow down. And if Travis Scott wasn't on this song, I could accept this rising female star. As of now, I'm not happy.

42- "Small Town Boy" - Dustin Lynch (+7) -- Country radio has a lot of rising songs this week. And one of them desperately needs to rise fast enough to top Sam Hunt on the country charts. This song I hope isn't the one because it's not that much better.

46- "Versace on the Floor" - Bruno Mars (+7) -- It makes me happy seeing this song continue to rise. Not because I'm madly in love with it. Because it gives me hope that "That's What I Like" will finally fall off.

47- "Do I Make You Wanna" - Billy Currington (+11) -- Here's a country riser that I would love to see top the country charts. Let's send this one to the top.

48- "What Ifs" - Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina (+15) -- I'd also be fine with this song rising to the top, but not quite as happy as Billy Currington.

50- "Drinkin' Problem" - Midland (+10) -- Even though I lived in a city called Midland for a while, we certainly don't need to encourage these guys to make any more music.

51- "No Promises" - Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato (+17) -- We have a surprising lack of EDM artists on the charts right now compared to what was happening last year. Although I'd love to see more EDM do well, Cheat Codes can go away. Let's actually popularize a good EDM artist because Cheat Codes isn't one of them. And Demi's done much better, too.

54- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (+15) -- Most years I'd be happy to see Imagine Dragons do well. A second song gaining traction on the charts points to them gaining favor in the eyes of the mainstream again after their second album was a big flop in terms of singles. But I just can't get myself to be excited for either "Believer" or "Thunder" doing well.

63- "Heartache on the Dance Floor" - Jon Pardi (+10) -- And for our final country riser this week, well, let's just be glad that this one hasn't quite broken top 50 yet.

64- "Young Dumb & Broke" - Khalid (+18) -- Khalid's punctuationless follow-up single takes a surprising jump in its third week. I can't myself to be too excited for this, but yet there's definitely a whole lot worse happening right now, so I'm not complaining.

73- "Reminder" - The Weeknd (+27) -- I was wondering if The Weeknd was going to have another single do well from his "Starboy" album. This re-entered a little bit ago and seemed to have trouble gaining traction at first, but is this a sign it will do well? While I don't think this is as good as "Starboy" or "False Alarm," and probably a step below "I Feel it Coming" as well, this song does have a decent groove to it and I would be happy if it did well. After mostly enjoying the album, which surprised me, this is not a song I remembered from the album, so that's not a great sign. But again, there's a lot worse happening on the charts right now, so I'm not going to complain at an average, yet groovy song from The Weeknd doing well.

80- "Down" - Fifth Harmony featuring Gucci Mane (+10) -- One of the things that's a lot worse is that Fourth Harmony is managing to stick around and got a boost this week. I was happy when this song started failing. Now let's please send this to the trash bin.

New Arrivals: 

38- "You Da Baddest" - Future featuring Nicki Minaj -- Oh goodness. We have to suffer through more Future? And it's featuring Nicki Minaj? Yikes! What did we all do to deserve this? And why did this song debut in the top 40? Like, I seriously don't understand how people call this music. Future spends the whole song mumbling as usual, making him sound like he's stoned and drunk while recording. And looking at the lyrics it sounds like the same. Like he threw some random, dirty lyrics on a paper five minutes before recording then lazily stumbling through the song during the studio. All while drunk and high. The only positive thing about the song is that it is mercifully short on the Nicki Minaj side of things. She does a quick pop intro followed by a quick rap verse somewhere towards the middle and that's it.

68- "Unforgettable" - Thomas Rhett -- Gotta love Mr. Rhett's timing on this song. He releases a single titled "Unforgettable" while French Montana's "Unforgettable" is in the top five. Now we have two of these songs to follow. And, well, let's just hope America quickly "forgets" about Thomas Rhett's version because this song is very "forgettable." Granted, when compared to "Craving You," his other single from his upcoming album, this song is much better. Instead of telling the girl how much he craves her (not the best word choice when you're trying to be romantic), he's describing the first day they met... which included him spending 30 minutes trying to guess her middle name? Like, who does that? I think Thomas Rhett is trying to be romantic, but it just comes off as boring. Not offensive or horrible, but a song I'm literally going to forget rather quickly.

85- "When it Rains it Pours" - Luke Combs -- We follow up the previous bland and forgettable country song with one that I find a bit confusing. Usually when you use the phrase "when it rains it pours," you are referring to the fact that one bad thing led to a whole slew of awful things. Instead Luke Combs is talking about his girl dumping him and that being followed by a pouring out of great luck that causes him to be grateful that he left his girl. That's the wrong usage of the term, Mr. Combs. That aside, I don't know what light he is trying to put himself in, but as he's describing these events I just think that he's acting like a total insensitive jerk. Not to mention that musically he's using an extremely twangy, drawn-out voice to try to disguise the fact that this isn't a country song at all. Nothing in this song jives with me at all. It's just a big mess.

87- "They Don't Know" - Jason Aldean -- Third time's the charm for our country songs this week? Nope. It's three strikes and we're out because Jason Aldean has released what sounds like an album filler on what's probably a boring album. He brings his southern rock in full force in this song. But, you know, he sings with a twang and wears a cowboy hat. That means it's country, right? At least this song feels more connected than Luke Combs' song, but we're back in the boring range. Aldean is singing about how know one cares or appreciates the life of a farmer. Which I want to say people actually do. But Mr. Aldean can act butt-hurt for no reason if he wants. I'll just log this song away and go on with my life.

88- "Honest" - The Chainsmokers -- I listened to The Chainsmokers' full album when they released it back in April, hoping I'd find more songs like "Something Just Like This" and less songs like "Paris" and "Closer." Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed because most of the songs were like the latter two. It just felt lazy and phoned in. Like they worked hard as EDM artists until they gained this enormous mainstream success which caused them to think they didn't need to try. "Honest" has no life, no soul, no interesting beat, no drop. Nothing. And it's Alex Taggart just singing himself, which I thought he had learned to NOT sing anymore. Songs from The Chainsmokers are better when they feature real, trained singers. As far as the album goes, this song is better than "Break Up Every Night," "The One" and "Bloodstream." But it's a part of the huge clump of songs from the album that are just bland and boring. If The Chainsmokers were to pick another single from the album, I was hoping it would at least be "It Won't Kill Ya," "Wake Up Alone" or "Last Day Alive." At least those three are decent. But nope. Of course they go for one of their many bland ones.

89- "The Weekend" - SZA -- Well I've made it no secret that I'm not a fan of SZA's "Love Galore," which is doing really well right now. Thus I was not intrigued in the least bit to check out the album. But this song was me giving her a second chance because maybe having no Travis Scott or another untalented rapper would make her music decent? But no. This song is boring and stretched out like taffy. Like, I can tell that this girl does have talent in her, but thus far I've not seen that potential unleashed. Now perhaps this song being super slow is reflective of her mediocre, dull life that she's having in the song after realizing that her man is playing around with a bunch of other girls. But she doesn't seem to be as angry or upset as she should be. It almost like she's fine with sharing him, but would just like it if she had more than two days. So I'm not feeling it. Perhaps I should check out the album to see if there's anything worthwhile, but with two dull samples thus far, that's just not super high on my list of albums to listen to.

90- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa -- Unlike SZA, Dua Lipa is a rising female artist that I am excited about. She also has a debut solo album that has been released recently that I'm actually more excited to go listen to. I think Dua Lipa has a great voice, a good musical style and a lot of potential. Although it's not been all rainbows and butterflies. Her first crossover to the U.S. charts was "Blow My Mind (Mwah)," which I found super annoying. But then she teamed up with Martin Garrix for "Scared to Be Lonely," which I really enjoyed. "New Rules" is probably somewhere in between those two songs. There's still a level of potential that I feel she's capable of reaching that she doesn't hit. The song is pretty basic without much depth or passion. But it also has a decent groove to it that makes me prefer it over a lot of stuff that's been crowding the charts. So nothing too special, but a decent pop hit that makes me want more Dua Lipa.

93- "Wish I Knew You" - The Revivalists -- Here's a genre that deserves more love on the Billboard charts. Rock. Any sort of rock. But preferably rock that's more imaginative than Imagine Dragons right now. Occasionally one sneaks in, like this song here, and makes me happy. This is probably classified as a lighter, alternative rock as it topped the Adult Alternative and Alternative charts within the last year and has finally crossed over to the Hot 100 two years after the album was released. And it's possibly hear because it was featured in a beer commercial? Well, it's kinda sad that commercial songs are the only way we get semi-unique songs on the charts these days. But hey, whatever works. "Wish I Knew You" is nothing that will blow your mind. It's a softer, relaxing, groovy alternative song with a simple message. But it's a good song with a lot of good instrumentation and solid lead vocals from frontman David Shaw. A nice breath of fresh air. It makes me want to go listen to more of The Revivalists' music, of which they have three albums worth of content.

94- "Every Little Thing" - Carly Pearce -- We have a new country girl on the scene as Carly Pearce debuts her first ever single on the Billboard Hot 100. I think in general I have a little more of a soft spot for female country singers. They seem to fit the genre better. Not that there aren't any good male country singers. But I think there's a lot more female country singers that I enjoy and I might have to add Carly to my list. This is only based on one song, of course, but it's a great first impression as there's a lot of earnestness to this song. It's a soft song with restrained vocals, but I can feel the emotion as she's singing about, well, a subject that most country singers sing about. She's lost her lover. But unlike some country singers, I can feel the pain here. It's also possible that Carly is singing from the heart because she has yet to have a major hit on any charts. I hope she can stay honest because I'm curious to hear more.

97- "Learn to Let Go" - Kesha -- More Kesha to talk about this week as we now have her third song from her upcoming album "Rainbow" hit the charts. After being blown away by "Praying" and somewhat repulsed by "Woman," I was honestly curious as to where the rest of this album would be going. If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now that this ongoing issue with Dr. Luke is going to be the main inspiration behind this album. Which I appreciate. It's good to put some emotion and personal experience into your album and I think it worked great with "Praying." It's yet to be determined how the whole album will play out, but it was a breath of fresh air for me to discover that "Learn to Let Go" is more in line with "Praying" than "Woman." There's emotion and depth to the song rather than her just shouting about how awful and useless men are. I will say that "Learn to Let Go" doesn't quite hit the vocal heights or power of "Praying." I'd be surprised if any song from the album did, to be fair. But this is a good direction for Kesha that gives me confidence.

98- "All the Pretty Girls" - Kenny Chesney -- If you want to hear a good song called "All the Pretty Girls," go check out Fun.'s song with that title from their first album "Aim and Ignite." I absolutely love that song. This song by Kenny, though, doesn't really amount to anything and is thus pretty forgettable. He starts by talking about some stereotypical pretty girls and some stereotypical lost boys and for a moment you wonder what story he is going to tell. What arc both of these groups are going to go through. But instead it just amounts to them meeting together in a bar, getting drunk and making out. It's pretty anti-climatic and uninspiring. But a tad better than his previous hit.

99- "For Her" - Chris Lane -- This is our sixth new country song of the week and so far we've only had one good one. That being from Carly Pearce. Can we get a second? Unfortunately not. Although I will admit that this started off better than many of the others. Chris Lane seems more honest and earnest in describing this girl and what she makes him want to do for her rather than just spewing out another bland country song. The problem is that the song doesn't really have much of an arc or a story behind it. It's like in this instance, Chris Lane came up with a decent verse and a good chorus, but didn't know how to follow that up and form it into a full song, but he somehow managed to get to the three and a half minute mark by mostly repeating himself both in terms of exact lyrics or similar ideas. Eventually I just got bored.

Friday, August 4, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 12, 2017

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

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- One of Billboard's top-tier data providers experienced some technical issues this week, hence the delayed charts this week and my delayed thoughts. We're glad it was all sorted out and hopefully we can get back on schedule next week. But that made for an unusually long wait to learn what we all already knew was going to happen. "Despacito" becomes one of just 19 songs to reign at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for 12 weeks or longer. It also ties Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" for longest reign of the year. As far as margins go, sales and streaming dipped a bit more this week than the previous weeks while radio essentially stayed even. 102,000 sales (down 13 percent), 52.9 million streams (down 8 percent) and 142 million in radio audience (down 2 percent). According to Billboard's report, the gap in chart points this week for "Despacito" vs. "Wild Thoughts" is 1.59-to-1. Compare that to last week's 1.73-to-1 lead. If a similar marginal decrease continued at that rate each week, "Despacito" would make it to 15 weeks at No.1 while being stopped just short of Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's 16-week record. In other words, this is going to come down to the wire. Last week I mentioned "Unforgettable" as a potential spoiler. Well, that song fell this week, so scratch that off.

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- I mentioned the margin in chart points this week is 1.59-to-1. The specific numbers for "Wild Thoughts" this week are 36,000 sales (down 9 percent), 35.3 million streams (down 1 percent) and 117 million in radio audience (up 10 percent). In other words, while sales aren't helping at all, "Wild Thoughts" held well enough on streaming and got a good enough radio boost to gain on "Despacito." But there's no margin for error here. It's going to need to continue to hold steady on streaming and continue to rise on radio while hoping "Despacito" continues to collapse on sales and streaming. If "Wild Thoughts" trips and falls, even for a week or two, "Despacito" may just steal that record away. Unless a new song manages to come in and debut at the top. But is there anyone poised and capable of doing that right now? I don't think so. But I'd be fine if there was.

3- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (=) -- Bruno Mars certainly isn't going to rise up back to No. 1. The fact that this song is still at No. 3 shows the weakness of the songs below.

4- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (=) -- And I'm really surprised that "I'm the One" can't jump ahead of Bruno Mars again. I hope that this is a sign that it's on the way out of the top five. Thanks heavens!

5- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (+2) -- Well here's a surprise. I expected "Unforgettable" to jump as high as No. 3 this week. Instead that song falls a spot and it's Imagine Dragons jumping into the top five instead. This is a sign to me that it's all up to "Wild Thoughts" or a new debut to stop "Despacito" from breaking the record. Because a rock song certainly ain't going to do it. I mean, tell me. When is the last time a rock band was actually No. 1 on the Hot 100? And don't respond with Maroon 5. They went away from rock a long time ago and barely count as a band.

6- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (-1) -- As I said a few times now, this honestly surprises me to see this fall this week. I thought this had enough momentum to at least jump ahead of Bruno and DJ Khaled. But not only was it not able to do that, but Imagine Dragons also passed it. Now there was a Latin remix of this song that dropped recently where J Balvin was added to the mix. We also had a Major Lazer remix drop as well. So French Montana is doing his best to try to push this song over the hump. Can these remixes help reverse this song's fortunes? Sales and streaming charts on give me doubt, but it would be an interesting turn of events if J Balvin was the key ingredient to stopping Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee.

7- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (-1) -- Baby steps. This fell from No. 5 to No. 6 last week and from No. 6 to No. 7 this week. How many more weeks until this finally drops out of the top 10?

8- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (=) -- This song has only been here for three weeks and I'm already sick of it. At least it's camping out at No. 8 and not going any higher. Although I expect it to jump ahead of Ed next week. But let's hope No. 7 is where it peaks.

9- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+1) -- It's been two weeks and I'm also already sick of this song in the top 10. Why are we giving so much attention to bland pop singers with little talent? Get Mr. Mendes and Mr. Puth far away from my Billboard charts and my radio.

10- "Body Like a Back Road" - Sam Hunt (-1) -- Do you want to know an awful horror story? Not only is this song STILL in the top 10, but it broke the record for most weeks on top of the Hot Country charts. So congratulations screwed up American. You have crowned this as the top country song of all time. And it's actually still rising on pop radio, which I can only explain by Sam Hunt's gang breaking into all the radio stations and holding the DJ's at gun point, forcing them to play his song. Because why else would this piece of trash country song be played at all on pop radio?

Rising on the Hot 100:

16- "Strip that Down" - Liam Payne featuring Quavo (+9) -- Really bad news on the rising songs chart. Liam Payne has jumped into the top 20 with his awful turn with Quavo. I'm about ready to crown this man as the worst former 1D member. And sad thing is we're encouraging him to continue to go down the awful route he has chosen? While rejecting Harry Style's brilliant music?

21- "Bank Account" - 21 Savage (+13) -- NO!!!!!! How dare we boost 21 Savage so high!!!! Someone stop this awful mutiny!!!!

28- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+21) -- And we're also encouraging the Nicki Minaj wannabe to keep making music. I mean, just look at the title of this song.

30- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William (+14) -- Another huge jump for J Balvin this week. Is this song heading for the top 10? If it does, I will be super impressed that it managed to do so without an English-speaking pop star joining the song. Luis Fonsi needed Justin Bieber to make his song a hit in the states. Can J Balvin do it on his own?

32- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+9) -- Oh goodness. Not only do we have the Nicki Minaj wannabe rising on the charts, but we also have the Wicked Witch of the West herself rising on the charts. This song is literally one of the worst songs of the year. Why are we making it a thing and why won't the untalented Nicki Minaj just get out of my life?

46- "Love Galore" - SZA featuring Travis Scott (+7) -- We're making SZA a thing, too? Oh well. At least she's not quite as bad as Cardi B and Nicki. So it's whatever. But why does she have to bring Travis Scott along with her? That man has no ounce of talent.

51- "Whatever You Need" - Meek Mill featuring Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign (+38) -- It's a Meek Mill week. He gets six new songs debuting on the charts. Along with that, this song from June gets a huge boost. And I already forgot that this song existed, so let's hope it falls back down next week when these songs go away. Word on the street is that it was the Meek Mill songs that were the cause of this delay this week with some people trying to give him fake streaming numbers.

85- "Glorious" - Macklemore featuring Skylar Grey (+14) -- Yes! With all this mostly bad news this week, we finally have some good fortunes. This song almost dropped out after its debut, as it fell to No. 99. I thought it was done, which was going to make me sad that one of the few good rappers got rejected in favor of all these fakers. But thankfully it has survived. Now a jump to the 80's is nothing to lose my mind over, but at least it's a positive early sign. I want this song to be a hit. And we've had so much bad or mediocre luck on the charts this year that I would really be nice if we had a good song do good on the charts for a change. We all deserve it!

New Arrivals:

40- "Back to You" - Louis Tomlinson featuring Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals -- I actually really liked Louis Tomlinson's first song, "Just Hold On" with Steve Aoki. I thought the EDM mix from Aoki worked really well with Tomlinson's voice. It was a good direction for him and I'm sad it failed to become a hit. Well, now that all the 1D have had a lot of success with their own songs, Tomlinson is back with his second song, this time collaborating with Bebe Rexha. And again, I really enjoy this. Minus the unnecessary cursing. But hey, usually there's clean versions released, so I'll wait for that. But this is a decent duet with Tomlinson and Rexha. A lot more than your typical pop collaboration where the featured act is there for a verse just to boost the song's sales. Tomlinson and Rexha's voices mesh really well and they both get equal time in this song to sing about how they are trying to move on from each other, but they keep coming back to each other. So just like with "Just Hold On,"  the lyrics aren't super original or deep, but the two of them make it work. And the instrumentation by Digital Farm Animals in the background rounds things out rather nice. Well done, Louis! This makes me look forward to your album if you have that on the way.

61- "What's My Name" - China Anne McClain -- Step 1 for this song was to determine who the heck is China Anne McClain. Turns out she's a 19-year-old Disney Channel star. OK. The next Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato? Step 2 is to figure out where the heck this song came from. "Descendants 2"? What the heck is that? And what is "Descendants"? Well, apparently "Descendants," not to be confused with Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" is in original Disney Channel movie from 2015 following the teenage sons and daughters of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella De Vil and they are out to steal Fairy Godmother's wand. OK. And now we have a sequel to this movie that just premiered recently and was popular enough to chart two songs this week? Interesting. Well, in this movie, that I don't care to watch, China Anne McClain plays Uma, the daughter of Ursala. If you didn't know any of that, now you do. As far as the song, this sounds like Rihanna. A good version of Rihanna before she went completely down the drain. This girl has a great voice and good potential if she wants to pursue a music career. The lyrics sound like a villain song, so I'm guessing Uma is the villain of the movie and this is her main song. But I don't care enough to know the exact context. But after listening to this song, I can guess that people who like these "Descendants" movies really dig this song. It's not bad for a Disney Channel movie song.

77- "Issues" - Meek Mill -- If you couldn't tell by the six Meek Mill songs in this section, Meek Mill dropped his album "Wins & Losses." And I'm going to go through this quickly because I've never cared about Meek Mill. In this song, Meek Mill is singing about how he has issues. He's one of the many rappers that has copied Migos with an overdose of sound effects and echoes, which I find annoying. Luckily he manages not to be as annoying as Migos, which is a slight plus. And he's also actually rapping about something instead of girls, drugs or fame, which is another slight plus. But I mostly just got bored of this song. I don't think there's anything interesting here.

79- "Wins & Losses" - Meek Mill -- Here's the title track of Meek Mill's album, which is also the debut track. I do have to say this starts off the album in quite the epic way with an intro that grabs your attention followed by a sample from a speech from motivational speaker Eric Thomas. I can see fans of Meek Mill loving how this grabs your attention for what they probably think is a sick album. For me, though, the problem comes when Meek Mill starts rapping. In this instance, it's just one big, long verse after the intro and while the groove and flow is better than many rap songs, I still got bored 30 seconds into this actual verse and there's nothing unique or special with the lyrics that he sings. In this instance, I would've rather had a break for a chorus or two in between the verses and maybe then I could've given the song a pass, but that's not how the song went down.

81- "It's Goin' Down" - Descendants 2 Cast -- Read above for my brief description of "Descendants 2." This is the other song from the movie that charted and this one has the whole cast, which I'm glad Billboard simplified that for me so I don't have to type all their names. This is a bit harder to try to predict the context, but I'm guessing this is where the heroes of the movie go up and fight the villains on what sounds like a pirate ship where the king is captured. I'm sure it's an epic moment in the movie for those who watched the movie because this is a pretty fun song. Much of the song is dialogue between China Anne McClain and Dove Cameron intermixed with chanting from the two sides. Mitchell Hope has a nice little bridge towards the end that I liked, but the standout is when China Anne McClain gets the opportunity to belt it out and man does that girl have a voice. It's hard to believe the voice is coming from a 19-year-old girl as opposed to a seasoned, trained singer who has been doing this for 20+ years. I think this girl has a good future if she wants it.

83- "1942 Flows" - Meek Mill -- Unlike the previous Meek Mill song I covered, "1942 Flows" actually has some breaks with a chorus and refrain instead of just being one long verse. But in this song, Meek Mill is rapping about one of the most common things to rap about as he talks about how he went from having nothing to having everything. I don't know who the first person was to rap about becoming famous, but I probably wouldn't have been interested in that and I'm certainly not interested in the other 1,502,471 times it's happened since. When rappers don't have the ability to be unique or creative and instead do the same thing that everyone else does, my interest level immediately goes out the window. Also, this song at 4:42 is way too long. I stopped when I got to like 1:30 because I was already bored and I didn't want to listen to the other three minutes. Reading through the rest of the lyrics didn't convince me it was necessary, so I don't feel about at all.

91- "Imitadora" - Romeo Santos -- Romeo previously showed up in March with his song "Heroe Favorito," a song that I don't really remember to well, but upon a re-listen I am reminded that it is a decent Latin song. It's more toned down as opposed to being a big, bombastic Latin dance song, which is probably why it failed to stick around. Now Romeo gets to chart again with "Imitadora," which translates to "Imitator." I don't look to deeply into these Spanish lyrics, but my quick look is that he's trying to get this girl to come back to him as opposed to sticking with this "imitator." Romeo has a very high-pitched, smooth voice, which sells the romantic, sexual tension rather well. I don't need to translate any lyrics to pick up on the tone of the song and where he's going with it. And I think the song works well for what it's trying to do. Although, again, this is a softer song as opposed to an upbeat dance song like "Despacito" or "Mi Gente," so I'm predicting that this song won't have a very long chart life on the U.S. charts. It'll probably stick solely with its intended Latin audience.

96- "We Ball" - Meek Mill featuring Young Thug -- Every time I hear a rap song that talks about them balling, I'm convinced it was written with the sole purpose of making it onto the next NBA 2K game or to be played on ESPN, because for some reason ESPN and NBA 2K are suckers for those types of lyrics, even if they have nothing to do with basketball, just like this song doesn't. And for some reason Meek Mill felt the need to bring Young Thug onto the song with him, despite the two sounding almost exactly the same. If I wasn't looking for the exact moment where the two switched singing, I would've missed it, especially since Meek Mill sings the first half and Young Thug sings the second half and the song doesn't miss a beat. It's kinda like when you have those Glee covers where they unnecessarily have multiple singers singing one song when musically it doesn't make any sense for a new voice to come in. Yeah, not interested.

97- "F--- that Check Up" - Meek Mill featuring Lil Uzi Vert -- Remember when I said it was boring to me when rappers sang about them being famous and rich? Now can you guess how I feel when a rapper sings about it twice in one album? Yeah, I'll let you connect the dots. At least in this song I could tell the difference between the two rappers, unlike the last one. Although I hate Lil Uzi Vert, so I actually stopped the song when he came on. Especially since this boring trash went on for almost four minutes. Not quite as long as "1942 Flows," but still way too long.

99- "Heavy Heart" - Meek Mill -- I'm really glad I only had to cover six of these songs this week instead of all 17 songs on this way too long album that I'm just going to go out on a limb and say has absolutely nothing interesting on it. Just looking at the song titles, this was the one song that I thought could perhaps have more depth and emotion to it. Nope. He's just upset that all this fame, riches and girls left him unfulfilled. There could've been depth. But instead he just comes across as a self-entitled, stuck-up prick. If you like Meek Mill, I'm sorry. I just don't understand the appeal.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 5, 2017

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

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- "Despacito" now celebrates its 11th week at No. 1, a mark that only 22 other songs have hit. It's three weeks away from tying "Macarena" for the longest a Spanish language song has reigned at the top of the U.S. Billboard charts and five weeks away from the all-time record set by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men with "One Sweet Day" in 1996. In an effort to objectively read the tea leaves here, "Despacito" has a very good shot at the all-time record because I don't think "Wild Thoughts" at No. 2 is going to catch it in time. Our songs at No. 3 and No. 4 certainly aren't going to catch it, thus it might be up to French Montana and Swae Lee with "Unforgettable," which rocketed up to No. 5 this week, but that song still has a lot of ground to cover. Here are the numbers for this week: "Despacito" had 118,000 sales (down 6 percent), 57.5 million streams (down 4 percent) and 145 million radio airplay audience (down 1 percent). Compare that to the other two songs' numbers that I'll include below.

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- Rihanna's numbers this week are as follows: 40,000 sales (down 4 percent), 35.5 million streams (down 5 percent) and 107 million radio airplay audience (up 11 percent). That means that, while its quite possible that "Wild Thoughts" passes "Despacito" in radio within five weeks, both songs are declining in sales and streaming at an equal rate, with "Despacito" having nearly triple the sales and over 1.5 times the streaming. These margins have been about similar the past two weeks and with how steady "Despacito" still is on radio, it might take the entire five weeks for "Wild Thoughts" to even catch up on radio. Moral of the story is that, unless something drastic happens with either song, "Wild Thoughts" isn't going to be the song to dethrone "Despacito."

3- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (+1) -- Bruno Mars certainly isn't going to rise to No. 1 again. I am even baffled that it shot up to No. 3 again. It's been doing nothing but decline in all categories. It's just here again because of the weakness of the songs below it, specifically with "I'm the One" having declined faster this week.

4- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (-1) -- We should all shout praises to the music gods that this piece of trash is finally starting to waver. I really don't get why it was ever here outside the fact that Bieber and Quavo were included in the song. At least "Wild Thoughts" has a super catchy beat that was borrowed from Santana that makes me understand why people enjoy it, even if I don't enjoy it myself.

5- "Unforgettable" - French Montanta featuring Swae Lee (+4) -- With those middle songs out of the way, let's look at the numbers for "Unforgettable" this week: 37,000 sales (up 68 percent), 29.7 million streams (up 14 percent), 29.7 million streams (up 14 percent) and 67 million radio airplay audience (up 8 percent). So yes, this has the momentum, but it still has quite a bit of ground to cover and the radio hasn't fully embraced it yet. I can see this being the top streaming song within five weeks if it continues to climb because rap songs get a ton of streaming, but I'm not sure if the sales will continue to increase that much each week and I'm even more uncertain that the radio will do much. I can see this song jumping up to No. 3 as early as next week, but I really don't know if this will catch "Despacito" in time, either. But we'll check on these numbers each week to see how this changes. Maybe one song will see a sudden surge or maybe "Despacito" will finally collapse. In theory, a new song could soar in and debut at No. 1, but that's proven to be really difficult lately, so I wouldn't count on that. I think the record may be in jeopardy.

6- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (-1) -- Oh my goodness this song finally fell out of the top five, thus remaining tied with "Closer" for most weeks in the top five in Billboard history. I mean, this song essentially spent six whole months in the top five starting back at its debut in late January. And we're now coming up on August next week. I don't hate the song, but this has been rather ridiculous and I hope a swift exit from the top 10 is in its near future. It was time for this song to go a long time ago.

7- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (=) -- OK, Imagine Dragons, if you're going to camp here in the bottom half of the top 10, can you at least jump up and knock Ed down?

8- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (=) -- Well, I'm glad that this song stayed put this week. As expected, pop radio is eating the song alive because they think boring, bland pop songs from untalented musicians is what America wants to hear all day. The other two categories are struggling to do anything, so I don't see this getting too much higher, although I also don't see this going away anytime soon.

9- "Body Like a Back Road" - Sam Hunt (+1) -- WHAT IN THE LIVING FRACK?!?!?!?! WHY IS THIS DIRTY PILE OF TRASH WRITTEN BY THE DEVIL HIMSELF STILL RISING ON THE CHARTS??? GET IT OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+3) -- I say that I want new blood in the top 10, so we kick out Kendrick Lamar and bring in Charlie Puth?!?!? NO!!!! That's NOT what I meant. If this song HAD to be here, why couldn't we kick out Sam Hunt instead? Now the last time Charlie Puth entered the top 10, he peaked at No. 9. And that song even had Selena Gomez attached to it. Let's hope history repeats itself because, again, I don't know why bland, boring pop songs have to be here.

Rising on the Hot 100:

23- "Sorry Not Sorry" - Demi Lovato (+29) -- As I expected given that we has 16 debuts last week, nine of which were from JAY-Z's album, we have a long list of risers this week as the charts reset themselves back to normal. Although the songs between 11 and 20 remain fairly stuck, which isn't a good sign for us getting a makeover in the top 10. Leading the way this week is Demi as "Sorry Not Sorry" has its first full week of sales. I'm not madly in love with this, but I'm fine with it. Although females have had a rough time on the charts this year, especially when they are by themselves, so I'm really curious as to how this song does next week after its initial big sales boost.

27- "Fetish" - Selena Gomez featuring Gucci Mane (+65) -- Selena Gomez is our second huge riser on her first full week of sales as well. This song I would have a problem with if it had success. Unfortunately Selena has Gucci Mane attached for some horrendous reason, so that means this song probably has a better chance of sticking around.

39- "My Girl" - Dylan Scott (+5) -- It would be really nice if an actual country song rose to the top of the country charts, especially since this song is actually really good and genuinely romantic, unlike that awful Sam Hunt song that would make me want to punch someone in the mouth if they ever spoke those words to me.

41- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+27) -- Oh dear. This had a good rise last week, too. Let's just hope its rise this week was inflated a bit by all the JAY-Z songs collapsing because I would absolutely hate life if this became a hit.

42- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William (+9) -- "Mi Gente" is already flirting with the top 40 in its third week on the charts. This is a remarkably high rise for a Latino song that you can definitely attribute to what I will call the "Despacito" effect. And hey, I'm down with this. Unlike most of our current popular English songs, this Spanish/French crossover is actually a fun song worth playing and dancing to. Can it continue to have success without adding an English-speaking pop star?

47- "Versace on the Floor" - Bruno Mars (+10) -- If it means getting "That's What I Like" out of that top 10, I would totally be in favor of "Versace on the Floor" finding continued success. Even though I'm not a fan of the lyrical content of the song, I can at least appreciate that Bruno brings a lot more passion to this song than "That's What I Like."

49- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+29) -- I'm not panicking this week because of the aforementioned JAY-Z fallout, but this becoming popular would be cause for concern.

59- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (+11) -- I hope this doesn't become a hit, either. Imagine Dragons should learn that I don't approve of tossing lyrics out the door in favor of a catchy beat because this song is catchy, but completely empty. Almost literally.

60- "Butterfly Effect" - Travis Scott (+37) -- Again, I'm not panicking, but come on America. You can do better. Let's not make Travis Scott a thing even though he's done worse this year.

62- "Loyalty." - Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna (+12) -- Is this the song being pushed as the next Kendrick single? Or did this song rise just because of JAY-Z? I certainly wouldn't be surprised that the Rihanna feature would be chosen as a single. It makes sense. And even though this is one of the sub-par songs on Kendrick's album compared to the others, I don't mind it. It's certainly better than our current Rihanna song sitting towards the top.

63- "Feel it Still" - Portugal. The Man (+17) -- Yes, please! I so want this to be a hit!!! All the other good songs this year have died out too fast. Let's bring a good one up and make it popular!

65- "What Ifs" - Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina (+20) -- A few country songs taking a rise this week. This one can stay in the bottom half of the Hot 100, though.

67- "You Look Good" - Lady Antebellum (+20) -- But on the country note, let's do bring this higher. I'd say Lady Antebellum are ready for a top 50 hit! This is an enjoyable country song.

68- "No Promises" - Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato (+20) -- I want to be happy that an EDM song had a good rise this week, but I'm not really that happy that its Cheat Codes doing the honors. Although I'm certain this is all because of Demi and I really don't think this song is going to stick around, although it's had decent traction on radio.

71- "Yours if You Want It" - Rascal Flatts (+10) -- Nope. Not a country song I care to be doing well. It's only at No. 71 and it only rose nine spots after the JAY-Z fallout, compared to the other two previously mentioned country songs both jumping 20 spots, so there's good signs that country radio won't make this a thing. But maybe they will because it is Rascal Flatts.

81- "Heartache on the Dance Floor" - Jon Pardi (+15) -- This is the worst country riser of them all. This one I definitely want to see burn and die and thankfully 81 isn't a very high spot.

82- "Crew" - GoldLink featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy (+16) -- I'm just going to call this a high riser in its second week thanks to JAY-Z and move on...

New Arrivals:

75- "A Lie" - French Montana featuring The Weeknd & Max B -- Well, it would be "a lie" if I told you that I was completely dreading this song when I saw it show up. I groaned at French Montana, but then saw The Weeknd and thought maybe there's a little hope. And, well, I had no idea who Max B was, so that effected nothing. But do you know what is also "a lie"? If anyone tells you this song is worth anything. French Montana smartly throws The Weeknd front and center in the song as he did with Swae Lee in "Unforgettable," because, you know, French Montana doesn't actually know how to do this thing called music very well. It even admits that in the album description of his new album on Apple Music: "French Montana doesn't have much of a singing voice, but what he hasn't got in pipes, he makes up for in knowing his audience (along with plenty of Auto-Tune)." In other words, French Montana is not talented, but he knows that millions of people don't care about talent and will accept garbage, poorly rap songs if he plays his cards right. Unfortunately for him, this is The Weeknd going back to his lazy days by spending the song in a boring trance telling people that he's the greatest and that if they say otherwise, it's a lie. Then French Montana and Max B come in and stumble their way through a couple of verses while doing their best Migos impression. Because, you know, that's the cool thing these days. Yeah, this song sucks.

86- "Jerika" - Jake Paul & Erika Costell featuring Uncle Kade -- But do you know who sucks more than French Montana? Jake Paul. You might remember him from that trashy, "It's Everyday Bro" featuring Team 10. If you don't know that song, then good. But I really don't know why we gave this punk a second hit this year. Let's just hope it goes away as fast as the other one. I mean, check out this first verse that opens the song: "Used to call you mom but now I call you wifey; There's no death row but I'm doing it for a lifey; Now we're on a honeymoon chillin' in Hawaii; And whenever we kissed, man she so spicey." Yeah. And what follows is an absolutely cringeworthy romance song between Jake and this Erika girl that's somehow made worse by whoever Uncle Kade is, singing with the prospective of a sibling of one of these two, wanting them to get married and have babies so that he can be the best uncle on the planet. The worst part of it all is that I honestly think all three of these people think they are so cool and that this is going to be the next huge hit. For the sake of America and the world as a whole, let's sure hope not.

91- "Young Dumb & Broke" - Khalid -- Easy candidate for best new artist is this kid, Khalid. As a 19-year-old fresh off from graduating high school last year, he had a rather impressive debut hit with "Location," which broke top 20 this year on the Hot 100. That sudden fame caught on and he suddenly found himself featured on songs by Logic and Calvin Harris. Now his second single from his debut album "American Teen" is here and has him referring to himself as a young, dumb and broke high school kid. Well, he's not quite in high school anymore, but close enough. This is a song that a lot of high school kids can probably relate to, even if they probably don't want to admit it. About this song, Khalid simply said he wanted to be honest and there's nothing more honest than referring to yourself as young, dumb and broke. Although I highly doubt he's broke anymore, but hey. And he also forgot his lesson from high school that you're supposed to use comas. But hey, I'll forgive that. Now, in a short and unimpressive week, this does happen to be the best song, but when I'm comparing this to Khalid's own "Location," I find this to be significantly more boring and less groovy. Not an awful song, but not one that makes me super excited to check out this new album of his.

96- "Woman" - Kesha featuring The Dap-Kings Horns -- After a phenomenal return to the Billboard charts last week with "Praying," Kesha is here again with her other song that she released in anticipation of her upcoming album "Rainbow." If I'm being honest, it was more abnormal of me to love a Kesha song, which made "Praying" even more impressive. Normally she's super annoying with a little too much attitude and controversy that makes me hate her music ("Die Young" anyone?). But despite that attitude, she has frequently come up with a lot of songs that are also super catchy that I end up enjoying in spite of her still doing what I usually hate. Songs like "Tik Tok," "Your Love is My Drug" and "We R Who We R" are examples of good Kesha songs where she finds the right balance. But for every one of those songs, she has at least two or three more where she crosses the line to unlikable and "Woman" is a great example of that. I don't care to listen to Kesha sing about how she's a motherf---ing woman (which is literally what you hear when you listen to the clean version of the song) who doesn't need one of these awful men in her life. Not the type of lyrical content I care about and the song isn't catchy enough for me to call it a guilty pleasure. Yet I know there will be a lot of women who love this song, so it's whatever. If you like it, then great. I'll just wait for the album to see if there's any other songs worth caring about.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - July 29, 2017

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

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- "Despacito" is now the 35th song in the nearly 60 year history of the Hot 100 to make it No. 1 for 10 weeks or longer, 33 of which came in 1992 or later following the formation of the Nielsen SoundScan, which made tracking easier, more efficient and more accurate. That's an average of 1.32 per year since 1992. Narrowing it down even more, this is the 10th song to hit the mark this decade so far and 8th since 2014, with exactly two songs a year thus far since 2014. "Shape of You" was the other song in 2017 to hit at least 10 weeks. Now out of the previous 34 songs that were No. 1 for at least 10 weeks, 33 of them stalled out before they could make it past 14 weeks, with "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men being the lone song that made it to 16 weeks and that was back in 1995 when "One Sweet Day" began its reign at top. So if we play the percentages, "Despacito" only has four more weeks at most on top. But now the question is what's going to stop it? Or will it be the song to finally tie or break Mariah's record? If we look at the numbers, this week "Despacito" had 124,000 sales, 60.3 million U.S. streams and 145 million in all-format airplay audience, which is No. 1 for each category while only declining slightly from the previous week. Compare that to our second place's numbers...

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (+2) -- Rihanna is rising fast on radio with 96 million in all-format airplay audience, up 23 percent from last week, but only had 42,000 sales and 37.5 million U.S. streams, both of which were down from the previous week. So unless "Despacito" suddenly tanks and/or "Wild Thoughts" surges, the math here isn't screaming a dethroning anytime soon. You've gotta think that something else has to step to the plate if "Despicato" is to be stopped. But that's the problem. We have no takers as again our top five is mostly the same from last week and that's not due to these songs performing super well in the major metrics. There's just nothing rising. Now we have 16 new arrivals this week, thanks in part to JAY-Z's new album. You've gotta hope that SOMETHING from this bunch steps it up.

3- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (-1) -- Thankfully it now looks certain that this pile of horse crap won't ever make it back to No. 1, or perhaps even No. 2, now that the Rihanna song above it has legit radio momentum for some strange reason. But with 11 weeks in this top three, this song has definitely overstayed its welcome... by like 11 weeks. But with the rate it's taking for our current top five to leave the region, we probably have like 10-15 more weeks of suffering through this jumbled, boring nonsense.

4- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (-1) -- Falling back to No. 4 this week, Bruno Mars has now celebrated 21 weeks in the top five for this song, with only one of those weeks being at the top spot. Can we send it away now? Please?

5- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- Since I'm keeping track this week, Ed Sheeran has now spent 27 weeks in the top five with this monster hit. And guess what? That ties the record for most weeks in the top five. The record set by The Chainsmokers with "Closer" earlier this year. When "Closer" FINALLY left the top five, it was only in the top 10 for three more weeks. Please let that be the case here! And for the love of everything that is right, let's kick this out sooner rather than later. I don't hate this song, but it's been in the top five since its debut back in late January. Ridiculous. Surprisingly, there are great songs that have been written and released this year, but it's "Shape of You" and "Closer" that is going to define this generation of music. That's so sad.

6- "Humble." - Kendrick Lamar (=) -- On the other hand, "Humble." has been in the top 10 for 15 weeks now and I'm really happy that it has managed to hold on so well. It's now looking like it just may make my end of year list of the most popular songs of 2017, something I didn't think it was going to do a month ago. So there's one silver lining for you.

7- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (=) -- You know what, if it means kicking out ANYTHING from our current top five, I'll take a sub-par Imagine Dragons song. After jumping up to No. 6, it's now stayed at No. 7 for two weeks, so maybe it can hold on long enough to see the songs below it collapse. But I'll only take that as a temporary band-aid. I'd rather this song leave asap as well.

8- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (+6) -- No. So much no. I want new blood in this top 10, but I'd honestly rather see everything stay the same than see this song as the replacement. It's not a good Shawn Mendes song. The only thing that this punk kid has proven is that he is only capable of writing boring, bland, forgettable pop music. But for some reason it seems that his team must've paid a huge sum of money to every radio station in this country, because no station can stop playing his music even though none of us like it. Sure, you may claim that this isn't quite as bad as "Stitches" or "Treat You Better," but that's like claiming being hit by a car is less painful than getting hit by a bus. It might be true, but in the long run it doesn't mean much as it's still extremely painful and doesn't give me any consolation. At least Shawn's buddy Charlie isn't here this week as well. But please excuse me while I go knock on some wood real quick.

9- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (+1) -- I'm not going to necessarily actively cheer on this song, but if it slowly sneaks ahead of all of the songs ahead of it, I'm not going to be complaining. If it's now required to have a rap song in the top 10 at all times, I'll take this. And speaking of rap songs, "XO Tour Llif3," "Mask Off" and "Congratulations" are now all gone.

10- "Body Like a Back Road" - Sam Hunt (-2) -- Top priority. Get this abomination out of here and throw it in the depths of Hell where it can burn and rot forever. I'm absolutely ashamed for America that this has even shown up in the Hot 100 at all, let alone in the top 10 for four weeks.

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+2) -- With 16 new arrivals this week flooding the charts, there wasn't a whole lot of room for a ton of risers. That'll happen next week when the nine JAY-Z songs slide down following the debut. But for now we have a decent handful that snuck up anyways, unfortunately led by this one. Mr. Mendes jumped right into the top 10 this week, leaving Mr. Puth behind. I have to be objective here and think that this won't be too far behind, though. I'm not super happy about it, though. If it gets stuck right here, I will be ecstatic.

14- "Redbone" - Childish Gambino (+2) -- I wish that this song would go to the top 10. It's stalled out here in the mid-teens, but I'm happy to see it recover a bit this week as it goes back to it's No. 14 peak. Maybe Donald Glover's role in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" recently can somehow help his song go higher. Because, yes, that's who this is. How many people have had a hit movie and a hit song out at the same time that were completely coincidental of one another?

19- "Slow Hands" - Niall Horan (+3) -- At least it's "Slow Hands" by Niall hitting the top 20 this week and not "Strip That Down" by Liam. Although I'd still really like it if it were "Sign of the Times" at this spot. But for some reason we threw that one in the trash. I don't get it.

49- "Felices Los 4" - Maluma (+12) -- Maluma has now hit top 50! Now if he does a remix with Justin Bieber, he might jump to No. 1 for 10 plus weeks. I kid, of course. I don't REALLY want that to happen. But this is around where the original "Despacito" was before the Bieber remix sent it skyrocketing. Now I would think it would be cool if a Latino song hit "Despacito" heights WITHOUT adding an English-speaking pop star to the song (I was about to say a U.S. pop star, but I reminded myself that Bieber is Canadian). But I don't think that'll happen.

53- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William (+17) -- However, we are certainly trying. The success of "Despacito" has opened the door for a lot of Latino singers to find success in the U.S. Now we have "Mi Gente" knocking on the door of the top 50 after debuting last week. I am totally down with that, especially since it sends a bit of French up the charts with it.

66- "Most Girls" - Hailee Steinfeld (+26) -- Is it weird that I forgot this song existed after it debuted and kinda fizzled out last month. But now it gets a sudden surge and I'm not the happiest. Did Hailee release a video or something? Because this nearly 30 spot jump has seemingly come out of nowhere and I don't care to figure out why. I just hope it dies again next week.

68- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+10) -- Of course this song rises this week. But only 10 spots. One can only hope that it doesn't go higher.

72- "Escapate Conmigo" - Wisin featuring Ozuna (+12) -- That's three fun Latino songs making this rising songs section this week. Certainly no coincidence and I'm happy with it.

New Arrivals:

23- "The Story of O.J." - JAY-Z -- The 13th studio album from JAY-Z has dropped and in addition to the album earning the top spot on the Billboard 200, nine of the ten songs have shown up this week on the Hot 100. This is the second track from the album. I feel this song has a lot of depth and meaning to it, especially for JAY-Z personally and the black culture in general. JAY-Z samples the 1966 song "Four Women" by Nina Simone, which tells the stories of four black women from the days of Slavery to the present day. JAY-Z integrates that throughout his song as he gives themes very much similar to Simone's song while comparing the story of O.J. Simpson to him and his culture. I don't necessarily understand that comparison fully because O.J. was a man who had all the fame and riches in the world as one of the best RB's in NFL history, but then threw that all away by killing his wife, a charge he was found innocent of even though everyone knows he did. Well, sometimes karma comes back to bite you as O.J. now finds himself in prison for armed robbery and other such charges while having a parole hearing coming soon. I don't know how all of this fits in with JAY-Z's song. Maybe he's speaking in general terms of the rise and fall of power that many celebrities experience as JAY-Z talks a lot about money and how to wisely and possibly unwisely use it. But I don't know. I feel the emotion here, so I'll give this a good pass while letting it marinate in my mind for a while.

25- "Praying" - Kesha -- I was hoping this song would chart high and I'm glad to see it has, even though I was a bit worried because female singers for whatever reason have been rejected on the Billboard charts this year. But here we have the triumphant return of Kesha to the Billboard charts, without that annoying dollar in her name. There's so much to say about this song, so I'm going to do my best to be brief. I listen to this song and I obviously see it as a personal response to her legal troubles she's been having with Dr. Luke. For the most part, I actually side with Dr. Luke in the legal case as I think Kesha was being an attention-seeking drama queen, spewing out false facts about everything and successfully getting an emotional reaction out of millions of people who refused to look into the facts of the case. For that I am super annoyed with her. But despite that, I absolutely love this song, because I do my best to separate the actual music from the personal life. And this is a powerful anthem with a lot of emotion and pain embedded in. Even though you can tell what she's referring to, the lyrics are vague enough for it to not matter that much. What we get is the story of a girl that's been put through Hell and is finally released from the pain and is choosing to focus on how strong it has made her while wishing the best for the person who caused her this pain. Regardless of my feelings about the legal battle, I can feel the genuine emotion in this song and it's backed up by perhaps the most powerful vocals I've heard yet from Kesha. Musically speaking, I've always been hit and miss with Kesha and you'll notice that if "Woman" hits next week (spoiler: I think it's an awful song). But I give credit where credit is due and "Praying" is phenomenal.

33- "Bank Account" - 21 Savage -- New 21 Savage album is out. And does anyone care? Well, apparently they do because he debuted at No. 33. But luckily he only has two songs for me to cover and I'm going through them quickly because I don't give a crap about 21 Savage and I want to focus on our other songs from him. So I listened to the first minute of this song and checked for a few things. First, does he mumble? Yes, he does. Like always, I can barely understand him. Second, is copying Migos? Yes, he is. Mumbling sound effect rap. Oh joy. And third, when I read the lyrics for the song, are they any good. But of course not. So I pass. I have better things to do than spend any more time with this garbage of a musician.

35- "4:44" - JAY-Z -- This is the fifth track from JAY-Z's album. It's also the title track of the album and is an open apology letter to his wife, Beyonce. There's a lot of honest, raw emotion in this song as he apologizes to Beyonce for not being the man he should be. I like it. The song is titled "4:44" because that's the time JAY-Z woke up in the morning to write and/or record this song. The length of the song is also 4:44, so that's cool. And it works very well as the title track of the album. An apology letter to your wife is a good thing to center your new album on. We also have a sample from the song "Late Nights & Heartbreak" by Hannah Williams & The Affirmations, which does a great job of fitting in with the flow of the song and setting the stage. And he stuck it right in the center of the album with his Beyonce collaboration, "Family Feud" coming directly after it.

47- "Bam" - JAY-Z featuring Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley -- This is the seventh track from JAY-Z's album. It's also the second time a Marley has shown up on the Hot 100 this year, with the first being Skip Marley as featuring on Katy Perry's "Chained to the Rhythm." Damian is the youngest son of the legendary Bob Marley and I really loved it when he opened and closed the song and showed up occasionally throughout. I simply enjoy the Jamaican reggae that the Marleys bring to the table. The JAY-Z stuff in the song isn't that interesting, though. It's kinda the exact opposite of his opening song, "Kill Jay Z." While that song is about him trying to kill his ego and become a different man, this is a song where he's kinda pompous and rude, saying he needs a bit of an ego to feel famous. So I don't think it fit well with the rest of the album. And I also got bored of his rap halfway through.

51- "Family Feud" - JAY-Z featuring Beyonce -- This is the sixth track from JAY-Z's album. After the beautiful apology that JAY-Z wrote for his wife in the song "4:44," which comes right before this one as the two songs are the dead center of the album, I was hoping for a good collaboration between him and Beyonce where they discuss their challenges and their relationship. But I was disappointed because that's not what I got. Instead this is a call to the black community to come together, which is good, I suppose. But the song isn't about him and Beyonce. In fact, she is relegated to back-up vocals in this song. She gives a few "Amen's" and lots of "Ha-ya's," but that's it. Now if I were to forget my expectations and instead focus on what the song is, I still don't think it has a ton of emotion in what he is saying and thus it feels very average compared to his other songs on the album.

52- "Sorry Not Sorry" - Demi Lovato -- We got Kesha earlier, Demi now and Selena later. The ladies are making an attempt to let their voice be heard. We'll see if the public accepts them. While I do love Kesha's new anthem, I'm not super madly in love with Demi's anthem here. She brings a lot of fire and attitude to the table as she's rubbing it hard in the face of whoever it is that hurt her because she's come out on top and she says it must hurt for this guy (I assume) to see her in this great of a position. The vocals are there. The attitude is there. But in Demi's case I think there's a little too much attitude and not enough emotion behind it. But compared to all of the trash that has shown up on the charts, I would be willing to get behind this if America accepts and embraces it. Demi's done better, but she's also done a lot worse.

55- "Kill Jay Z" - JAY-Z -- This is the opening track from JAY-Z's album. Going into this album, it's worth mentioning that I've never really been a JAY-Z fan, but I don't remember being as annoyed with him as I have been with other rappers. So I went into this album with an open mind, hoping that I would get something close to Kendrick Lamar's recent album that I enjoyed. At the very least I was hoping that it wouldn't be as boring as Drake or as annoying as Migos. This opening track certainly gave me hope. Now I always am confused as to how I'm supposed to stylize JAY-Z, so I went to the official track listing on my Apple Music to make sure I had it right. And at the moment, JAY-Z is the correct to stylize it, but the title of the song does indeed stylize it at Jay Z. It wasn't a Billboard mistake. And with that being correct, I was hoping that was intentionally a reference of JAY-Z wanting to forget about his old self and move forward as a new man. Put his past behind him. Hakuna Matata. Turns out that's exactly what this is. It's not someone wanting to kill JAY-Z or JAY-Z wanting to commit suicide. He's wanting to become a new man and I respect that!

56- "Smile" - JAY-Z featuring Gloria Carter -- This is the third track from JAY-Z's album. After having to try to decode a whole lot of meaning in "The Story of O.J.," it was nice for the third song to be more straightforward. Long story short, life can be really tough, but it really helps if you smile. Pretty basic, right? But when I say long story, I do mean long story. This song is nearly five minutes long, which isn't an awful length. But I did feel like it could've been a minute or two shorter and had the same effect. Gloria Carter here is JAY-Z's mother, who is revealed to be a lesbian in the song, which is affirmed by a nearly minute long outro to end the song where she talks about living in the shadows of a double life and how it's easier to smile and be yourself. That was an interesting choice to have a monologue from his mother to end the song. It did feel like we paused the album to hear from his mother as opposed to it feeling like the end of a song. But I appreciated the message she had to share. Throw in there a Stevie Wonder sample and we have quite the unique song here with a lot going on. But as I said, perhaps a bit more concise would've been better.

63- "Caught Their Eyes" - JAY-Z featuring Frank Ocean -- This is the fourth track from JAY-Z's album. And it's one that I found slightly boring. I think Frank Ocean brought a nice, smooth groove to the song, but overall the song just felt like a song to be played in the background and not one that was really necessary to pay too much attention to. But then in the second half it turns into a diss track towards Prince's people. Apparently Prince, who was always super picky with how his music was streamed, gave JAY-Z permission to stream his music on JAY-Z streaming service. Following his death, Prince's people are now suing JAY-Z over this and he is bitter. Or something like that. I'm not a fan of diss tracks, generally speaking, so this didn't help the song for me.

86- "Moonlight" - JAY-Z -- This is the eighth track from JAY-Z's album. And it seems like JAY-Z ran of out gas on the second half of this album after a very promising start. This particular song is called "Moonlight," after the best picture winning movie of the same name. Although it appears that instead of referencing events that happen in the movie, he does more referencing of how La La Land was announced as the best picture winner before it was realized that Moonlight actually won. He starts the chorus by saying he's stuck in La La Land and even when he wins, he loses. It's not an interesting song and it's also fairly short. So it makes sense that it only landed at No. 86.

89- "Glorious" - Macklemore featuring Skylar Grey -- Oh man, I haven't jammed out this hard to a rap song since... probably Macklemore's previous singles. Whenever those happened. I don't make it a secret that I'm not a fan of rap, but if all rappers were as vibrant, upbeat and awesome as Macklemore, I would love the genre. What he's rapping about is simple here. He's just saying he's back and feels glorious. But the beat is so catchy and fun that it reminds me of "Can't Hold Us." Yet if you look at the lines he gives, there's a lot of subtle genius in them that make me smile as he talks about faith, peace and what's most important in life. And his fast-paced rap is so fun to listen to that he doesn't even need Skylar Grey, but she's there anyway, and like Ray Dalton in the aforementioned "Can't Hold Us," she provides a nice, pop balance to the song. And she even completely takes over for the final 90 seconds of the song. I like Skylar Grey and I want more of her in the music world, so it's nice to see her on this track and I hope both of them find success with this.

90- "Marcy Me" - JAY-Z -- This is the ninth track from JAY-Z's album. There's one more on song on the album called "Legacy," which is actually a decent closer for the album, but it didn't chart here, so this is the final song we'll talk about. The song finds JAY-Z rambling on a bit, doing a lot of reminiscing and seeing how many random references to a whole lot of things that he can shove in the song. But it's also a fairly short song and even shorter for JAY-Z's part. He raps for a mere two minutes before letting the singer, rapper and producer named The-Dream finish off the final 54 seconds. In an ironic turn of events, those final 54 seconds are the only part of the song I found interesting as JAY-Z's bit I found a bit boring.

91- "Get Low" - Zedd & Liam Payne -- So moral of the story is that Liam Payne is desperate? First he does a bland, awful pop song with Quavo thrown in and now he tries for an EDM hit with Zedd? Sounds like someone who is just trying to be popular and famous instead of going the route of Harry Styles, who obviously wrote the music he cared about. Or is it the other way around with Zedd crying to Liam Payne, hoping he'll be another boost for him? But eh. Oh well. At least this is better than Liam's "Strip that Down" as well as Zedd's "Stay." Lyrically Liam is trying to hard to write a sexy song that doesn't come off as super sexy. It's not bad, but it's not great. However, if you search "Get Low" and Dillon Francis and DJ Snake's song with that title comes up instead, you should just listen to that. It's not a very clean song, but it has one of the absolute best drops and is super fun. Better than Liam's attempt to be sexy with an average Zedd beat in the background.

92- "Fetish" - Selena Gomez featuring Gucci Mane -- It's interesting that out of our three major female-led releases this week, they ordered themselves rather nicely from best to worst. Kesha's new single is phenomenal. Demi's new single is alright. Selena's new single is straight up bad. And I actually grew to really like "Bad Liar" and I loved "It Ain't Me" from day one, so I was intrigued by the direction she was going. But this is just a sloppy mess. She goes back to desperately trying to be super sexy, something she does way too much of, and in this instance it comes off as super foul with absolutely zero emotion or vocal range. Then we have our cliche third-verse rapper attached to the song. And in this case, Gucci successfully does what he does mess. Jump onto a messy song and make it smell worse. The man is a disgrace when it comes to musical talent and I'm embarrassed that our tone-deaf country continues to make him a thing.

94- "Famous" - 21 Savage -- Oh a second song from 21 Savage? At least he's not doing a Migos impression this time. But I can still only barely understand him and his lyrics aren't interesting. So I'm done here. Meanwhile, I'll just laugh at 21 Savage that he had horrible timing with releasing his album at the same time as JAY-Z and thus got completely shafted when it came to charting songs on the charts. Try again next time, 21. On second thought, how about you just don't. Get a job somewhere else and never sing another song in your life. No one wants to hear it.