Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:
1- "This is America" - Childish Gambino (new) -- With Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, debuting at No. 1, that gives us back-to-back-to-back No. 1 debuts. The last time we had a triple feature like that was back in 1995 with Mariah Carey's "Fantasy," Whitney Houston's "Exhale" and Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day." Believe it or not, this is only Glover's fifth appearance on the Hot 100 and his first three songs peaked at No. 64, No. 86 and No. 68 respectively before he broke out with "Redbone," which peaked at No. 12 last year. So "This is America" is both his first top 10 entry and his first No. 1 hit, getting there after 65.3 million U.S. streams, which is mostly due to the music video that has garnered a lot of attention, and 78,000 sales. With radio being nonexistent at this point and sales taking a normal second week hit, it'll be up to that streaming to determine if Gambino can hold off Drake again next week. Regardless of what happens next week, with this No. 1 debut combined with his upcoming role of Lando in the new "Solo" movie and his already strong presence on TV with the likes of "Community" and "Atlanta," it's safe to say that 2018 is the year we officially knighted Donald Glover as a multifaceted superstar.
2- "Nice for What" - Drake (-1) -- After a combined total of 15 weeks at No. 1, Drake has finally ceded the top spot to someone else. But I wouldn't rule out a return to the top spot if Glover's song ends up being more frontloaded as a social commentary track rather than a traditional single. If Glover does get consistent streaming and finds a radio audience with his song, then that could stay there for a while. But speaking of radio, "Nice for What" has now broken into the top 10 on radio with 72 million. Add that to already consistent streaming and this song is going to stick around in the top five for a while regardless of what Glover does.
3- "God's Plan" - Drake (=) -- Continuing with Drake, in my opinion it would now be appropriate for him to release "Nice for What." He could've celebrated 14 weeks at No. 1 with this song and after two weeks of being topped by other acts, he then could've taken that top spot back and had "Nice for What" lead for possibly longer than just four weeks. But it is what it is. The silver lining for Drake if he really doesn't care about records that he could've set is that both of these songs are remaining consistent in the top five. With "Nice for What" rising fast on the radio, it would make sense to me that "God's Plan" eventually starts falling down unless the radio decides to keep playing both tracks given that "God's Plan" is still No. 3 on radio while "Nice for What" claims No. 8.
4- "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign (-2) -- With Post Malone's album bomb officially in the rear view mirror, I can now rest comfortably knowing that "Psycho" will never go No. 1 as it falls back down to the bottom half of the top five. Unfortunately, though, this also just hit the top 10 on the radio, meaning that it's going to be here for a while. I'm hoping that it can at least drop out of the top five sooner rather than later.
5- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (-1) -- I was hoping that this song would've broken out a bit higher and claimed that No. 1 spot, even if only for a week or two, but ultimately the hill was too big to climb. But all is well because this still is looking like it could be one of the top songs of 2018 given that it's stayed in the top five for 10 weeks now. It did officially give up it's lead on radio this week to the song in the Hot 100 right below it, but its lead on the Hot Country Songs chart extends to 24 weeks.
6- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (-1) -- Despite a fall from No. 5 back down to No. 6, "The Middle" is now our leader on radio, which is the first time any of these artists have been No. 1 on radio. The radio numbers have peaked at this point, meaning it got here thanks to "Meant to Be" falling a lot harder this week, which also means the two songs could flip-flop in top 10, sending "The Middle" back to No. 5.
7- "Look Alive" - BlocBoy JB featuring Drake (+2) -- I'm really confused as to why this song is still around. I mean, I get it. Drake. But this is such a dumb song that I have no idea why it's remained in anyone's streaming playlist for this long. I'm also not surprised that it jumped two spots with J. Cole and Post Malone's album bombs officially out of the way. But I'm hoping that it can now fall out and stay out.
8- "Never Be the Same" - Camila Cabello (-2) -- Camila survived the drop in sales this week after her song was boosted last week with a new Kane Brown remix. Now I'm hoping that it can gain traction and make its way back up. Given that the four or five songs directly above it aren't that strong at the moment, I would really like it if this can take advantage of the moment and ride its radio momentum to a top five spot and camp out there like "Havana" did.
9- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+3) -- Ed Sheeran was kicked out by J. Cole and Post Malone the last two weeks, but now that those two are gone and no one else felt like stepping up to the plate, I'm not at all surprised to see this song back in the top 10. I'm not sure how long it's going to last, though, which makes me slightly nervous given our current selection of songs at No. 11 through 15 that you'll see in the rising songs section in a bit.
10- "No Tears Left to Cry" - Ariana Grande (=) -- Well, I can at least be happy that Ariana managed to stay in the top 10, but I would really prefer if it started to get some positive momentum, meaning mostly that it would be nice if the radio woke up and started playing it more because it's still down at No. 19 on radio and not climbing super fast, which could result in it tumbling out of the top 10, making me really sad.
Rising on the Hot 100:
11- "Freaky Friday" - Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown (+2) -- It was great to see this song get pushed out of the top 10 and it's also great to see that it failed to go back to the top 10 this week after the Hot 100 resets itself following the two album bombs in the last two weeks. Speaking of which, we have nearly a third of the Hot 100 landing in this section this week, so let's go through all of it fairly quickly.
12- "Whatever It Takes" - Imagine Dragons (+9) -- Unfortunately Imagine Dragons had a lot of momentum even during the album bomb weeks, meaning that I knew this would soar pretty high as its currently the No. 5 song on the radio, because apparently boring Imagine Dragons songs are now radio magnets, making me glad that the speakers in my car still don't work because I would hate the work of constantly dodging this song.
14- "Walk It Talk It" - Migos featuring Drake (+4) -- I was upset that this song was in the top 10 for a week and was glad that it immediately left. Given that it's Drake teaming up with Migos and everything that Drake has been touching has turned to gold, it's surprising that it only last a week in the top 10. But I'm not complaining.
15- "Mine" - Bazzi (+4) -- I think we've dodged a huge bullet here. This song has been looming in the teens for quite a while and I've been nervous that it would sneak into the top 10, but so far it hasn't. I'm crossing my fingers that said losing streak continues as we don't need this useless, partial song doing anymore damage. Bazzi also released a full album during this success and I'm glad that, for the moment, none of his other songs have crossed over. I suppose we'll deal with them if they do come, but for now I'm content with making this guy a one-hit wonder.
17- "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai (+20) -- This was another song that shot up pretty higher during the album bombs, so I'm not surprised to see it crack the top 20 with another huge gain this week. If this moment continues to build, I won't be surprised if this is in the top 10 sooner rather than later.
18- "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+4) -- This was supposed to be Cardi B's big single, yet she has only managed to get two weeks in the top 10 and now it's struggling to get back. This wasn't the worst song from the album, but I'm still happy that it's struggling to find success for the long term because it's still not that great of a song.
19- "Chun-Li" - Nicki Minaj (+31) -- And speaking of pleasurable experiences with songs' failures, Nicki having little luck with her two singles also makes me happy. It only got a huge jump this week because Nicki timed the music video release rather well so that the song could get an extra boost at the same time that Post Malone's song fell out. But this won't be sticking around. At least I hope not.
20- "Heaven" - Kane Brown (+8) -- The top country gainer of the week goes to Kane Brown. I suppose I'm not upset at this, but I also have no excitement either. This is around where normal country songs peak at their absolute best, so I don't envision this getting much higher. And it still has a lot of work to do if it's going to catch "Meant to Be" on the Hot Country Songs as "Meant to Be" has now gone 24 weeks at No. 1 on that list, which is second longest in the history of that chart.
22- "Pray for Me" - The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar (+8) -- In a world where streaming is taking over the Billboard charts, why can't a collaboration between The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar have had more success? I know it was in the top 10 for six weeks, but it couldn't even crack top five and at the moment it's the radio keeping it alive, not streaming, as this is No. 6 on the radio charts this week. I also wonder if the DVD release of "Black Panther" had anything to do with this song's bump this week.
26- "Plug Walk" - Rich the Kid (+5) -- Get this guy out of here. I'm glad that this song hasn't hit top 10 and I would prefer that we keep it that way.
27- "In My Blood" - Shawn Mendes (+9) -- The year 2018 has not seen Shawn Mendes crack the top 10 yet, which is kind of an ironic twist of events given that his recent releases are a significant improvement over his previous crap that the radio drooled all over. I would still prefer it if "Lost in Japan" were his song to perform well instead of this one, but we'll see if this has any power to do anything in the weeks to come.
28- "Powerglide" - Rae Sremmurd & Juicy J (+11) -- If you want to know a really funny story, Rae Sremmurd had a triple album released titled "SR3MM," which consisted of an album from the two of them together as well as solo albums from both Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi. That release date was on May 4, meaning it was supposed to impact the charts this week. Out of a potential of 27 songs, they got exactly ZERO to chart this week. In fact, this was the only song that managed to even rise on the charts from the songs they previously released to promote the album. That's an epic failure on their part that means I don't even have to talk about any of it. Except for this song, which I actually find quite catchy. At least when Rae Sremmurd is at the mic.
30- "Wait" - Maroon 5 (+8) -- It's been a while since Maroon 5 has been in the top 10. They once had a string of eight straight top 10 entries, ranging from "Moves Like Jagger" to "Sugar," but the album "Red Pill Blues" hasn't been very friendly to them comparatively, which is good. Let's keep it that way. Maroon 5 has been crap for a long time and it would be nice to see that bland mediocrity finally catch up to them.
33- "You Make It Easy" - Jason Aldean (+8) -- This is the other big country gainer this week, following Kane Brown's "Heaven." And I don't really care much for either of them.
34- "SAD!" - XXXTENTACION (+26) -- What is this song doing rising 26 spots. I can see a bit of a boost after the after effects of Post Malone, but I was happy seeing this song fade away after it annoyingly spent two weeks in the top 10. Let's send it back away.
35- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar & SZA (+14) -- I guess the "Black Panther" DVD release did boost both its major singles as "Pray for Me" and "All the Stars" saw success. I'm happy with that. But it also probably means this won't last, which is a shame because I think both are good songs.
36- "Dame Tu Cosita" - El Chombo (+7) -- Why is this song still rising? Make it go away! At least it only jumped seven spots this week compared to its 38-spot jump last week.
37- "Ric Flair Drip" - Offset & Metro Boomin (+8) -- For a while I was nervous that this song would do something. I'm glad that it's mostly fizzled out now.
41- "Te Bote" - Casper Magico, Nio Garcia, Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna & Bad Bunny (+23) -- There's a lot of Latino songs that are worth something. Why are "Dame Tu Cosita" and this still rising? Make them both go away!
42- "X" - Nicky Jam & J Balvin (+10) -- That's a third useless Latino song rising on the charts. At least this one seems like it doesn't have a ton of momentum.
43- "Dura" - Daddy Yankee (+11) -- Let's make this song a hit and kick out those previous three Latino songs. This is the only one of the bunch that's worth something.
44- "One Number Away" - Luke Combs (+21) -- I'd take this song over Kane Brown and Jason Aldean, but I'm still not madly in love with this.
46- "Delicate" - Taylor Swift (+10) -- I honestly thought "Delicate" got lost in the madness the past two weeks and was going to drop out, so I'm pleasantly surprised to see it jump back into the top 50 this week. Now if it could start gaining real traction that would be great, because it's the Taylor Swift song from "reputation" that everyone seems to agree on being good, so let's reward Taylor for that.
47- "Overdose" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again (+30) -- Seeing YoungBoy get a huge boost is really frustrating. We're STILL trying to make this guy a thing? Although the positive things about this is that this boost comes from his album release, meaning it will hopefully fall back down next week. The good thing about said album release is that it only got him one new song to debut and that was at No. 98.
48- "Japan" - Famous Dex (+7) -- Shawn Mendes couldn't get his Japan song to do anything, but this much more atrocious Japan song is still finding success. At least this isn't higher. It got beat around quite a bit these past few weeks after seeing a huge surge prior to that. Now if it can officially go away that would be great.
49- "One Kiss" - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa (+12) -- A lot of madness this week, but here's a song that I would like to see do well. I feel like it would do really well as a summer jam on the radio, so let's make it happen!
55- "Tequila" - Dan + Shay (+20) -- Another country song not worth caring about. I hear comments about people actually liking this duo, but so far I haven't caught the vibe.
70- "Get Along" - Kenny Chesney (+14) -- File this along with the Luke Combs song. It's not an awful country song. In fact, it's better than most others this week. But I'm still not impressed enough to care that much.
71- "Up Down" - Morgan Wallen featuring Florida Georgia Line (+12) -- A lot of country recovering this week if you couldn't tell. This is an annoying country song that I would actually love to see burn and die, so let's not make this a thing.
76- "For the First Time" - Darius Rucker (+14) -- This is honestly probably the best country song that rose high this week. It's the only one worth listening to, so if I had to pick one, I'd pick this one to do well. But I will admit that Darius Rucker has done better.
87- "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" - David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney (+10) -- I want to like this song because it has a good title and good intentions. But all I can do is sing the Bob Marley sing whenever I see that title as opposed to remembering how this one goes. I don't think that's a very good sign.
1- "This is America" - Childish Gambino -- I glanced over the lyrics to this about a week ago when it was released, but didn't listen to it. I will say I was slightly nervous when I noticed that Young Thug, BlocBoy JB, Slim Jxmmi, 21 Savage and Quavo were attached to this song. I was ready to be annoyed especially since I've appreciated Donald Glover as his Childish Gambino musical alter ego more than I've loved him, but I didn't immediately listen to the song until I saw it debuted at No. 1 earlier this week. Then I went straight to the video that had a ton of buzz and I found myself enjoying it. There was a dude sitting on a chair, playing a guitar with a gospel choir in the background. Then we see Glover dancing fairly relaxingly when he comes in with his intro while the lyrics are talking about partying and dancing. This was a fairly chill song that was surprising me. Then out of the blue...
Glover took out a gun and shot the guy sitting on the chair in the head. The guy had a white bag over his head when he was shot and Glover shot him while in the Jim Crow pose. He then carefully hands the gun over to a younger teen, who makes sure not to touch the gun itself, but takes it with a red cloth. You've got my attention, Mr. Glover! For the rest of the song, we bounced back and forth from this relaxing party music to the dark verses. In the meantime, Glover his often dancing in the forefront with a group of people while a whole ton of stuff is happening in the background. The more you watch the video, the more that you notice that you didn't see the first time, making for one of the most fascinating music videos I've seen in a long time with so much political, social commentary about the state of America or specifically the role of black people.
The challenge with this is that if I isolate the song from the video and try to pretend that I had no clue of the context of the video, which some might go in without, the song doesn't have quite the same effect as it takes a bit more thinking to figure out what's going on while the video itself definitely makes things abundantly clear. The biggest example is that there's no gunshot sound in the audio only version if you download it on Apple Music or other streaming services. Without the gunshots and the context, it's not quite the same. So do I judge this based on song only or do I judge the video plus the song? I normally try not to let a music video effect my opinion of a song, but in this case I say you HAVE to keep them together because that's how you're going to get the full experience here in what Glover is trying to say and show. It's like listening to a movie soundtrack before watching the movie. Yeah, you can enjoy it. But it's often enhanced by knowing the context of what it was written for. Given that Glover is an actor in addition to being a musician, what he's doing with his dancing and acting in the video is just as important, if not more so, than the lyrics that he's singing. So judging the whole package, Glover has put together something poignant and thought-provoking in regards to today's America and for that I'm giving him a resounding applause.
16- "Watch" - Travis Scott featuring Lil Uzi Vert & Kanye West -- I spent so much time on "This is America" this week that I almost forgot, or didn't care, that we have seven other songs to get to. And that's apparent here given how much I just wrote about "This is America" versus how much time I plan on spending on these other songs. I certainly don't care about a Travis Scott collaboration with Lil Uzi Vert and Kanye West. The intro to this song is interesting as it's a news clip covering the last day that a theme park called AstroWorld was opened. Travis is apparently upset that said theme park got torn down in favor of more apartment spaces, so that's the motivation behind this upcoming album, which he's titled "Astroworld." Despite that interesting opening clip and somewhat fascinating explanation, this song has absolutely nothing to do with that theme park. The three of these guys are just comparing their Rolexes while sharing stories of how rich they are, how they have so much money that they get bored counting it all day and the different girls they are sleeping with, sometimes just an hour after meeting them. This sounds like an album I want nothing to do with.
58- "Beautiful Crazy" - Luke Combs -- The first of two new country songs, that come in addition to all of the rising country songs, sees Luke Combs nearly getting two top 50 songs this week. While I don't think either song is awful, I'd put this as the lesser of the two uninteresting Luke Combs songs. This track comes in towards the end of his deluxe album "This One's for You Too" released this year that I don't care to listen to and has him singing a generic song about a girl. She's crazy and unpredictable, but it's the type of crazy that he finds beautiful. He makes sure that he's extra twangy in the song while stretching out his lyrics to probably attempt to sound romantic, but ends up just boring me. If country girls are swooned by this, then that's fantastic. But listening to it made me personally just want to fall asleep.
65- "Youth" - Shawn Mendes featuring Khalid -- I've been really hard on Shawn Mendes over the years and thus part of me going into this week, knowing that we had a new Shawn Mendes song, wanted to try to be nice to him for a change. Then I did the rising songs section and was reminded that I was nice to him with his recent two singles "In My Blood" and "Lost in Japan" from just over a month ago. That means I'm feeling extra charitable towards this kid. After listening, I initially thought it was just another love song about a girl that broke Shawn's heart, yet he was determined that she wasn't going to take his youth away by breaking his soul. Because of this, I was confused as to why Khalid was on this song with both of them singing to this same girl. But there's one line that suggests that this is about something more, when Shawn says he reads the headlines and is heartbroken because of the devastation in the world. Turns out that he wrote this shortly after the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London as he was touring in Europe at the time. Suddenly that adds a whole new meaning to the song in talking about terrorist attacks that broke his heart. Thus the more somber feel to it adds a bit of weight to the song and Khalid joining in makes perfect sense. My biggest issue, though, is that the lyrics are a bit thin. This was an opportunity for Shawn to go into more depth with what he was feeling after these attacks that could've hit this one home, but he decides to keep it ultra simple, thus is a slight missed opportunity, but is still decent for Shawn Mendes standards.
74- "Done for Me" - Charlie Puth featuring Kehlani -- Why is it that Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth always seem to go together. You can't get a song from one without the other being close behind or on the same week. Unlike Mendes, though, I was feeling less charitable towards Puth even though I've been just as mean in the past. I don't know, maybe mindset going into a song can be a key influence, but this song does nothing for me. While Mendes is somberly singing about how terrorist attacks broke his heart, Puth actually does have another empty love song on his docket here. This time he's mad at this girl because he's given it his all in this relationship, but yet claims that she's done nothing for him. But then Kehlani comes in, playing the voice of the girl, claiming that she's confused about these accusations because she has done a lot for him and suddenly I feel I'm caught in the middle of an argument between a bitter couple that I don't want to be a part of, so I solved the matter and quit the song. There's no direction or point to. He's just yelling at this girl and quite frankly he sounds like the arrogant one that needs to shut his face and grow up.
80- "Gucci Flip Flops" - Bhad Babie featuring Lil Yachty -- I thought we were done with this girl? Literally the only reason she got famous is because she threw a tantrum on Dr. Phil and some moron remixed it into a song that went viral and crossed over onto the Billboard charts. That apparently inspired her to start a rap career and because we don't care about quality in today's age, we're going to accept her into the community? Listen, let the girl rap if she wants. That's her choice. But since she is an arrogant young girl with zero talent, let's have us as a public ignore her and she'll disappear into obscurity where she belongs. But no, now Lil Yachty is collaborating with her and she has another hit on her hands. Because this is 2018's America. Where a 20-year-old male rapper is joining forces with a girl who just turned turned 15 to sing about super expensive flip flops and other riches that they accumulated. Then Lil Yachty throws in a line where he can't sleep with the girl because she has her virginity because then she'll be into him, which I hope is Yachty talking about a different random girl because it would be a BIG problem if that was directed at Danielle. Again, she just barely turned 15. I can only cross my fingers that this goes away after a week or two at most.
97- "Mercy" - Brett Young -- The second of two new country songs this week. This is the one I was looking forward to because I liked both of Brett Young's songs from last year, "Like I Loved You" and "In Case You Didn't Know." The latter song especially had a lot of emotion to it because Brett sounded honest and genuine, despite being fairly simple. It made for a good love song. But I suppose not every song can be a home run because I was a lot less into "Mercy." It's another simple love song. But there's a lot less energy and passion behind it. "In Case You Didn't Know" has Brett nervously expressing his love to this girl for the first time while "Mercy" has him begging her to either break his heart or accept as he begs for mercy from her. I suppose there's an arc to that. But I don't know. I just didn't feel it this time around.
98- "Preach" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again -- I could be angry at seeing yet another YoungBoy song debut on the charts, but instead I'm choosing to be happy. Why? Not because this song is worth anything. But because YoungBoy also released a new album, but could only manage to get one song to debut and that itself barely even made it at No. 98. The only other thing it did was skyrocket "Overdose" up 30 spots. About "Preach," yeah I don't know. "Overdose" wasn't as bad as some of his other songs, like "Diamond Samurai," even though that's not saying much. "Preach" is. I don't even know why it's titled "Preach" outside the fact that he starts out by saying he thinks he turned the preacher's daughter bad. But then he rambles on without much groove or flow about a whole bunch of nonsense that doesn't have any focus or theme to it. Not that I could pick out anyways. So I'm certainly glad I dodged a bullet by not having to cover any other new songs from the album.