Tuesday, November 21, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - December 2, 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- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (=) -- The Billboard year for 2017 has finished as Billboard counts their year from December through November so that they can get their best of lists out in early December. This has always been a weird thing to me. I guess they think they'll get more views before Christmas as opposed to right after Christmas. But whatever. That's not how I roll. In my books, 2017 still has a month left, meaning we have to suffer through this "rockstar" crap for a few more weeks this year, whereas I thought we were going to end the year with "Havana" being No. 1. Both songs started their 69 cent iTunes discount, which makes sense as to why sales for both jumped up. But where I'm confused is in the streaming. "rockstar" had been declining in streaming the last few weeks, but jumped up 13 percent this week to 49.2 million U.S. streams and I have no idea why. "Havana," while being ahead on sales and radio yet again, with margins increasing there, is only at 33.4 million U.S. streams, which is only a 1 percent increase from last week. Thus I have no idea how long "rockstar" will be ahead of "Havana" as the streaming of "rockstar" will need to plummet for "Havana" to go No. 1 and apparently it's going to be really stubborn on that front, which is frustrating to me because this song belongs nowhere near this spot.

2- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (=) -- If "Havana" ends up being another song that gets stuck at the runner-up spot for its peak, I'm going to be really upset. Not necessarily because I'm madly in love with the song, but it is miles better that the song ahead of it and light years better than the song that's now right behind it. I just want a decent song at the top instead of this crap that some people in this country consider good music. "Havana" is a decent song from a decent pop singer. "rockstar" and "Gucci Gang" are both complete crap. I don't understand.

3- "Gucci Gang" - Lil Pump (+9) -- Just when I thought the Billboard charts in 2017 couldn't get any worse with "rockstar" leading for six weeks now, I feel like I just got another punch in the face delivered when I wasn't expecting it. You saw my rant two weeks ago when this snuck into the top 10 and you probably noticed that I was excited last week when it fell back out. I was given a bit of hope there that it would be a one-week wonder in the top 10 and leave me alone. But No. 3? With a whole fetching truck-load of streaming? "Gucci Gang" jumped up 35 percent in streaming this week to 45 million U.S. streams, boosted by continual moment from the music video as well as a bunch of user-generated viral videos that Billboard really needs to ax from their streaming formula. Count the official video and let that be the end of it when it comes to YouTube. As is, it now appears that "Gucci Gang," not "Havana" is more likely to dethrone "rockstar" and that just makes me want to puke.

4- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (+1) -- Topping things off, "Thunder" jumped another spot and is now the top song on radio. This comes as no surprise, but Dan Reynolds and company must be super excited that this lazily put-together piece of crap has gained them so much success. This makes me upset because it probably teaches them that the key to success is to put as little effort into your songs as possible while the people who actually care about their music aren't give the time of day. This is not how this thing called music should work. We should reward people for effort and punish the lazy, not the other way around.

5- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (-2) -- The only positive note in this top five is that "Bodak Yellow" continues to lose steam. But heck, as dumb as this song is, I would actually prefer this over "rockstar," "Gucci Gang" and "Thunder." 

6- "Too Good at Goodbyes" - Sam Smith (-2) -- It's also nice to see that Sam Smith didn't fall too far. He got a huge boost last week thanks to his album release, which made me think that the song would tumble this week, but it only falls two spots as radio holds it up. I hope that it can gain enough radio traction to at least stay in the top 10 for a while.

7- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+1) -- While all seems dark and dreary, at least I have the hope that Ed Sheeran is here for me. If this song, which I still contend is a very sweet and romantic love ballad, continues to rise on the charts, at least that will give me something to hold onto.

8- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid (-2) -- It's been a strong run for Logic in the top 10 and I really appreciate him for making a difference in the world with this song. And due to the fact that I follow the normal calendar year and not Billboard's strange December through November thing, if this song hangs onto a spot in the top 10 for just one more week, it will officially crack the top 10 most popular songs of 2017 according my system, passing Zayn and Taylor Swift's "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," from "Fifty Shades Darker," a song that I'm willing to bet all of you have forgotten by now, from a movie I'll also bet you forgot came out this year.

9- "Feel It Still" - Portugal. The Man (-2) -- After five weeks on top of the radio charts, "Feel It Still" has given the title over to "Thunder." With all the crap happening in 2017, I'm really glad that the radio accepted this song. And a random note from Billboard's weekly article, with Portugal. The Man passing the radio torch to Imagine Dragons, it's the first time in five years that two rock songs have led consecutively on the radio. The previous two were fun.'s "We Are Young" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" in 2012. Because apparently those two count as rock songs? 

10- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William featuring Beyonce (=) -- Leading the caboose for the to 10 this week is yet again "Mi Gente." Probably because nothing else from the below the top 10 was rising fast enough to kick this out. "Gucci Gang" soaring back into the top 10 kicked out Maroon 5's "What Lovers Do" instead of "Mi Gente." Even though I shed no tears at yet another Maroon 5 song leaving the region, which I imagine will be back anyways, I would be totally willing to trade those two songs again. 

Rising on the Hot 100:

15- "MotorSport" - Migos, Nicki Minaj & Cardi B (+8) -- Migos and their two lady rapper friends complete the successful yo-yo this week as this is around where they debuted two weeks ago before dropping into the 20's following the debut and going right back up this week. Now I would personally prefer of that yo-yo pattern continued next week because I don't want this song in the top 10. That fast we get rid of anything Migos related, the better. If we could just leave them and their horrifically awful style of rap in 2017, that would be greatly appreciated. Write it off as a musical mistake that led to an annoying trend of echoes and sound effects poisoning horribly written rap songs. 

17- "Bad at Love" - Halsey (+3) -- I'm not convinced that Halsey is going to get much higher with this song. It seems like the type of thing that gets stuck in the teens. But if it does go higher, well, I suppose there's worse things that could happen. But there's two ladies right behind her that I would prefer to find success over Halsey.

18- "...Ready for It?" - Taylor Swift (+12) -- The album drop helped Taylor a bit this week as that's what I'm crediting the rise of her two singles. The big question moving forward will surround Taylor's ability to find any actual real traction with this album. Can "...Ready for It?" actually become a major hit? Or will it too start to fall down next week after the album boost fades away?

19- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (+2) -- I just recently did an in depth look into Dua Lipa's self-titled album from earlier this year and if you haven't listened to it, I'd give it a solid recommendation. It's nothing special, but Dua Lipa is a talented female vocalist with some fun pop songs on the album. I'd give it a solid B grade. The best songs are "No Goodbyes," "Homesick," "Be the One" and "Garden." I don't know what Dua's plans are following "New Rules," but promoting either of those songs would be my personal vote.  In the meantime, I hope that this can somehow sneak its way into the top 10, but I wouldn't be surprised if it also gets stuck in the teens.

31- "Look What You Made Me Do" - Taylor Swift (+6) -- After taking a huge tumble in all metrics following its massive debut, Taylor's album release helps this song recover a little bit. But I don't expect this to last at all. This just might be off the charts completely in a month or so. And speaking of that album, due to Taylor's decision to not put it up on any streaming platform for the time being, none of the songs from the album debuted this week, whereas in the past she's had almost all of her songs debut following her album release. That means I don't have to worry about me not having listened to the album yet. I'll check it out when Taylor decides to soften her heart and release it on streaming platforms. In the meantime I hope she's at peace with the fact that this decision of her's has resulted in a massive disappointment when it comes to the album's success. Waging a war on streaming in today's world, regardless of how valiant the cause is, will result in a loss on the part of the artist.

38- "The Weekend" - SZA (+5) -- I almost forgot this song existed. I'm sure that some are happy that this song is rising. But I've decided that SZA is an artist that I don't really care to have success. I'm open to her changing my mind in the future, though.

44- "Silence" - Marshmello featuring Khalid (+10) -- I wonder if this song is actually going to find success or if it will continue to just yo-yo around the middle of the charts. I'd like it to have success. It would be nice to have a bit more Marshmello in our lives.

45- "Greatest Love Story" - LANCO (+7) -- I also almost forgot this song existed. I had to go give it another listen. Oh yeah. This random country band singing a typical love ballad where the lead singer is talking about him and his girl having the potential to be the greatest love story the world has ever seen, wherein he leaves us on a cliffhanger as to whether or not she says yes to his marriage proposal. I suppose the fact that I forgot about this after two months tells the story here, but this isn't bad. I'm fine with this rising on the country charts.

70- "Dusk Till Dawn" - Zayn featuring Sia (+10) -- Did you know Sia released a Christmas album recently? It's full of original Christmas songs, too! That's cool. Do you know what I don't care about? This strange Sia/Zayn collaboration that should've never happened.

New Arrivals:

14- "Walk on Water" - Eminem featuring Beyonce -- First thing's first. Have you heard the Thirty Seconds to Mars song from this year also called "Walk on Water"? If you've watched ESPN at any point this year, chances are you have as that's their current song they use to advertise the college football game of the week. "Do you believe that you can walk on water? Do you believe that you can win this fight tonight?" Yeah? Familiar? A pretty good song, I'd say. Check it out if you haven't.

OK, onto Eminem's "Walk on Water." If this signals the upcoming arrival of Eminem's ninth studio album "Revival," which I believe this is the lead-off single, then I'm totally game for that. Eminem is a rapper that I can totally get behind as I believe he is one of the world's best lyricists. He always puts a lot of passion, fire and emotion into his rap. It means something to him. And the way he constructs his rap is poetic and beautiful when you dive into the lyrics. His last studio album, "The Marshall Mathers LP 2," was released all the way back in November 2013. He's shown up occasionally since then, but it's about time the world is graced with another album from the rap god.

So how is the song? I really like it. It reminds me a lot of "The Monster" from "The Marshall Mathers LP 2," which had Rihanna taking on the simple chorus that was spliced in between Eminem's verses. This time it's Beyonce balancing Eminem out. With Eminem often referred to as the rap god, it's interesting that the song starts out with Beyonce's chorus saying "I can walk on water," but then adding only when the water is frozen as "I ain't no Jesus." With that in mind, Eminem then chronicles his struggles with writing music over the course of his last few albums. He thinks he has something good on paper when he releases it, but then listens to it on the radio later and is able to pick it apart, which is a frustrating, exhaustive process for him. Add to that the fact that he's falling out if favor with critics and he talks about him losing confidence. People, especially kids, look to him as a god. But he's just a human who's having a rough time living up to the expectations he sets for himself. Is this next set going to be a revival of his career or is it another misstep? I think it's a fascinating look into the mind of a musician who's trying to maintain a successful career. 

58- "Gummo" - 6ix9ine -- Well, there's a name that's annoying enough for to put me off  right off the bat. But I suppose that's better than Teka$hi69, which is apparently the previous name that this 21-year-old rapper went by. He has 69 tattooed on his body over 200 times, which is says represents a lifestyle. A lifestyle that apparently involves him being a very angry, violent human being. At least according to this song. He's style of rap is yelling and in this song he's yelling about killing people as easily as popping a wheelie, robbing them, stealing their girls, sleeping with said girls then sending them away and lots of stuff like that. The song doesn't mention the word "Gummo" in it, but that's a movie about a bunch of kids living crazy, misbehaving, thrill-seeking lives. So, in other words, someone needs to get this guy in control before he ends up in prison. And I'm certainly against him having a successful career. But, you know, that's what we do in 2017. Give horrible thugs successful rapping careers.

65- "Wanted You" - NAV featuring Lil Uzi Vert -- Well at least we are onto a normal rap song this time. After being yelled at by 6ix9ine, who is bragging about committing all these horrible crimes, NAV and Lil Uzi are actually rapping like calm, normal humans. That was a slight breath of fresh air. But that didn't last too long as these two just bored me with this song. Nothing extremely offensive or horrible, but NAV was excited to be with and sleep with this girl only to find out that she's been sleeping around with someone else. So he spends the whole song moping and complaining about how disappointed he was in that and he has Lil Uzi complaining with him. Yawn. 

69- "Female" - Keith Urban -- I won't lie, I saw this song title and was really nervous that this would be another generic country song from a generic country singer. But that's why we don't judge a book by its cover because this is a really good song with a really good message. This song was written three weeks prior to its release by Shane McAnally, Ross Cooperman and Nicolle Galyon as a response to Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations that have sparked a great movement, inspiring all sorts of people to speak out against sexual assault. This movement has been one of the great things about 2017 as we stand together to condemn these perpetrators. The three aforementioned people were sitting in a room thinking of what they could do to help. The decision was to write a song condemning sexism and pointing out how amazing females are in our life. Even though Keith Urban wasn't involved in the writing process, he was the man chosen to sing the song and he does a good job at it. It's a simple song, yet a beautiful one with a positive message.

93- "Betrayed" - Lil Xan -- It's hard to go from that song to another debut song from a SoundCloud rapper. And by debut song, I mean this is Lil Xan's first song on the Hot 100 after a music video for his "Betrayed" was posted on YouTube and went viral. On the positive note, Lil Xan claims this is a song that's anti-drugs, specifically saying how the drug Xanax ruined his life and now he's off of it. That's good in principle and the chorus is decent. But we have to get through all the mumbling and unintelligent lyrics in the verses first. Part of me really hates SoundCloud for providing a means for all of these horrible rappers to gain popularity. But I suppose I should instead blame America for eating their music up and making them popular. If you reading this are a part of this movement by helping all of these untalented rappers go viral, then shame on you.

96- "The Plan" - G-Eazy -- At least with Lil Xan's unintelligent lyrics, his motivations were to write an anti-drug song. We follow that up with a pro-drug song from G-Eazy. Well, not just a pro-drug song. His plan is to get all the drugs, money and girls he can. The money isn't going to make itself, right? Yeah, I don't want to deal with this. I'm just happy G-Eazy's song "No Limit" got stuck this week at No. 13 and didn't make the top 10. I wish his plan were to leave the music scene and leave us all alone. That would make the world a better place.

97- "Pick It Up" - Famous Dex featuring A$AP Rocky -- 6ix9ine. Lil Xan. Famous Dex. Three new horrible rappers debuting this week that I hope the world rejects. Famous Dex and A$AP Rocky are just rapping on this track about how rich and famous they are as well as how they love sleeping with all the girls. No creativity. No talent. No class. Just another worthless rap song worth throwing in the trash.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - November 25, 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- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (=) -- I didn't think "Havana" would be No. 1 this week with how strong "rockstar" still is on streaming, but it's getting awfully close. "rockstar" scored 43.6 million U.S. streams (down 5 percent), 47,000 downloads sold (up 2 percent) and 74 million in radio audience (up 17 percent). The continual rise in radio is unsettling, but "Havana" has the song beat in both radio and sales with 57,000 downloads sold (up 22 percent) and 75 million in radio audience (up 23 percent) while only getting 32.9 million US streams (up 2 percent). "Havana" is up 10 percent in overall points while "rockstar" is down 1 percent in overall points. So it's only a matter of time before "Havana" is our new leader, which I will be grateful for.

2- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (=) -- If Post Malone's song will just drop a bit more in streaming, "Havana" going No. 1 will be a done deal. If the continual radio surge for "Havana" isn't enough to compensate for the lack of streaming, we might have to wait this out another week or two. But perhaps Camila's new remix of the song with Daddy Yankee that dropped this week can boost the song enough to put it over the top next week. Speaking of that remix, replacing Young Thug with Daddy Yankee is a genius move. Young Thug definitely holds the song back, but Daddy Yankee actually improves the song and is a more natural fit for Camila whereas Young Thug is only there as the obligatory rap feature needed for success in our current society.

3- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (=) -- Cardi B stays at No. 3 again this week. With nothing there to challenge her, it seems like this will stay for a bit more, despite continually dropping in all metrics as the world is slowly moving on from this song. 

4- "Too Good at Goodbyes" - Sam Smith (+6) -- Sam Smith's album drop is what gave this song a huge surge. The album itself is pretty decent, but Sam definitely released the best two songs from that album as singles as this and "Pray" are easily the standouts. I just wish this song was here in the top five to stay, but I feel like it's going to fall back down to earth next week, and possibly out of the top 10 altogether, which will be sad for me. But I hope I'm wrong because I want this to gain more traction.

5- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (=) -- Why "Thunder" is remaining consistent in the top five completely baffles me. Last week it leapfrogged "Feel It Still" and this week it leapfrogs "1-800-273-8255." But like last week, it is also leapfrogged by another song that surges into the top five, this week being Sam Smith's song, thus it remains at No. 5 yet again. This means I could see this going up to No. 4 next week or even No. 3 if "Bodak Yellow" falls enough. Not that I want that to happen, though. I would prefer it if this song went away for good.

6- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara (-2) -- It was a great run in the top five for Logic. A run that I'm really happy the song was able to enjoy. Now it seems as if this song will now slowly start to fade away.

7- "Feel It Still" - Portugal. The Man (-1) -- It also feels like "Feel It Still" is now slowly fading away. Considering this is not the type of song that even makes the charts, I'm really happy that 2017 did something right by making this song go viral and I hope it has staying power on the radio for months and years to come.

8- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+3) -- After taking a brief absence from the top 10 last week, Ed is back this week. With the five songs above it all slowly on their way down, I think it's only a matter of time before Ed joins Camila up there in the top three. It will certainly be nice to have two goods songs in the top three because we've had a bit of a rough time of late with the songs at the very top of the charts.

9- "What Lovers Do" - Maroon 5 featuring SZA (+3) -- Did anyone know that Maroon 5's album also dropped and gave this song a bit of a boost this week? If you didn't, don't worry. Neither did anyone else. Because no one gives a crap about Maroon 5 and their bland nothingness that's only propelled by the radio and their continual love affair with the band. But hey, at least this is just an inoffensively boring song as opposed to last week's new top 10 entry "Gucci Gang," which was a complete abomination. I'm certainly glad the latter song is out this week (it fell to No. 12) and I hope we can keep it out. And hey, with songs 13 through 15 also being abominations ("No Limit," "I Get the Bag" and "Bank Account"), I'll take a bland Maroon 5 song. For now.

10- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William featuring Beyonce (-1) -- Beyonce is a popular lady right now. Not only did J Balvin and Willy William invite her onto their song, but Eminem also brought her on. We'll talk about the Eminem song next week, but for now we have "Mi Gente" in what appears to be its last week in the top 10. With the Beyonce remix ruining the song, it'll be a situation where I will tell these three people to not let the door hit them on the way out.

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "No Limit" - G-Eazy featuring A$AP Rocky & Cardi B (+11) -- I really don't like how this song continues to rise. But at least I can see why this is popular among people who enjoy rap and hip-hop when you focus only on the beat, whereas "Gucci Gang" is a complete mystery as to why that song is even a thing. But if "Gucci Gang" is the bar for everything, that's a pretty low bar. I don't know exactly what this will be replacing in the top 10 next week, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's going to be there.

17- "What About Us" - P!nk (+5) -- I genuinely love how this P!nk song has been fairly consistent on the charts as it's remained between 15 and 30 for most of its run, even if it's been stuck in the range. I would really love it, though, if this can somehow manage to get over the hump and crack the top 10. The world, and especially the top 10, could use a little more P!nk.

20- "Bad at Love" - Halsey (+7) -- On the other hand, I wouldn't mind it at all if Halsey got stuck in the mud and got stuck in the teens instead of getting one of her solo songs into the top 10. I want more female representation on the charts, but I also want good female representation.

21- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (+5) -- Dua Lipa is another example of the good female pop singers who I am hoping has success. In fact, if Dua and leapfrog Halsey and ride the wave into the top 10, that would be really nice. It's been a good breakout year for her and I hope that continues into 2018.

31- "The Way Life Goes" - Lil Uzi Vert featuring Oh Wonder (+24) -- I remember the week where I went on a marathon of listening to a bunch of Lil Uzi and XXXTENTACION songs, but I don't remember this song including the British indie-pop duo Oh Wonder on it. I guess I missed that when I covered the song back in September. Sorry. I had 17 songs from those two that week, so can you blame me? Or perhaps Lil Uzi decided to actually give them credit after that initial week. Either way, it's Oh Wonder's 2015 song "Landslide" that is being sampled here. And perhaps "sampled" isn't a strong enough word because Lil Uzi essentially takes the whole song and sings on top of it, which is the only reason "The Way Life Goes" is somewhat tolerable on a re-listen because "Landslide" is a really good song. So thanks to Lil Uzi, I will now be going and checking out Oh Wonder's 2015 self-titled album and their recent follow-up from earlier this year. And this is probably the only time I will ever be giving Lil Uzi positive credit for anything, so take notes Lil Uzi fans.

35- "Ghostface Killers" - 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin featuring Travis Scott (+22) -- The story of the week on the bottom half of this rising songs section is that the four new songs from 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin's new album "Without Warning" all had huge gains this week. We also have a few leftovers from album in the new arrivals section this week. How and why did this happen? Well, they dropped the album in the middle of the tracking week, so this week was its first full week on the charts. And I really hope that's the only reason, because I would hate it if all of these songs stuck around. Seeing this one at No. 35 is especially worrying.

50- "Ric Flair Drop" - Offset & Metro Boomin (+21) -- Offset rambling on in boring fashion all by himself is not something that deserves top 50.

64- "Rap Saved Me" - 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin featuring Quavo (+10) -- On a positive note, this song, which is the worst of the four, only jumped 10 spots.

73- "My Choppa Hate N-----" - 21 Savage & Metro Boomin (+21) -- This song is only at No. 73, so no reason to complain just yet.

New Arrivals:

27- "Call It What You Want" - Taylor Swift -- Taylor's new album "Reputation" has finally debuted and it is M.I.A. from all streaming services, only available to listen to at the moment if you buy the digital copy from iTunes or the physical copy from wherever you buy physical copies of CD's these days (for the few who actually still do that). I've been nicer to these promotional singles than most people have, but I'm not desperate enough to buy the album to listen to it, so I have not heard it and I will not until it shows up on Apple Music. But if I were to fill in the blanks, the bitter, more angsty songs are towards the first half of the album and then you have this towards the end, which is a much softer, more mellow song with Taylor calmly settling into her current situation, which I believe is with actor Joe Alwyn. Thus I imagine the album will take you on a journey that starts with her being angry at the world and needing to get that all out before quietly settling down and essentially brushing everything off. I won't be able to confirm that until I hear the album, but I do think this is a softer, nicer Taylor song that more people will gravitate to. So if you hated bitter, angry Taylor, then give this one a listen. The album may not be streaming, but the four promotional singles are.

65- "Lemon" - N.E.R.D & Rihanna -- I learned all sorts of things when I researched this song. This showed up a few weeks ago and I had no idea who N.E.R.D was, so when the song finally debuted this week, I did some digging. N.E.R.D is the band Pharrell Williams created with his childhood friend Chad Hugo and high school friend Shay Haley. Pharrell and Chad initially formed the production duo The Neptunes in the 90's, working with quite a few big names of the years, putting together their own album in 2003. Before that album, though, the two of them, along with Shay, created the band N.E.R.D and released their debut album in 2002. They also released albums in 2004, 2008 and 2010. Pharrell himself has done two solo albums in 2006 and 2014 while continuing to work in all sorts of fronts with writing, producing, singing and even doing a little work with movie soundtracks. Yeah, Pharrell is quite the talented individual.

Even though I had never heard of N.E.R.D until now, I definitely know Pharrell. I have loads of respect for him in terms of his talent level while having a bit of a love/hate relationship with his actual music. Apparently he's now back with N.E.R.D for the time being as their fifth album "No_One Ever Really Dies," which is what N.E.R.D stands for, is set for a January 2018 release date. "Lemon" is the lead-off single. While Pharrell himself has showed up many times on the Hot 100 in various formats, this is the first time N.E.R.D has charted. Honestly I can see this being a huge 2018 hit as this has a lot of funk and groove. I'm not even sure what genre to classify this as it's kind of a combination of several genres, thus I can see it having crossover appeal with several audiences, including rap, R&B, funk and pop. The best part of the song is the high level of energy that Pharrell brings to the lyrics with the groovy beat that his friends shape around him. If this ends up being a major hit, I can see some of the repetitive lyrics getting on people's nerves. The worst part of the song is when Rihanna shows up. Rihanna is the type of person that thinks she's super hip and cool, but really is more annoying. But she's been worse. Overall, I would classify this as fun and energetic and has the potential to be 2018's "Uptown Funk" if it catches on.

79- "Rubbin off the Paint" - YBN Nahmir -- We go from soft and mellow with Taylor, to upbeat and fun with N.E.R.D, to whatever the heck this is from a 17-year-old viral rapper. Just a reminder that we still live in 2017 and that untalented punk kids can go viral on YouTube with a horrible rap song and be considered the next big thing in music. While slightly less offensive and less annoying that some of the things that have happened in the music world in 2017, this is nevertheless one big rap verse with YBN going off on a whole bunch of random tangents about drugs, girls and whatnot, making me think this punk needs to go back to school and get an education rather than doing more of this stuff that he's singing about in this song.  

93- "Wait" - Maroon 5 -- Maroon 5's album "Red Pill Blues" only managed to get one additional song to chart this week following its release, which is actually one more song than I expected considering this isn't a streaming monster. "Wait" is another pop song from Adam Levine and co. where Adam has done something wrong to this girl. She's upset at him, but he's begging her to give him another chance because he wants to be with her. You know, typical boring Maroon 5 stuff. There's no context into this specific situation and no real diving into any detail about anything. Just empty words on a paper that probably mean nothing to anyone in the group. There's also nothing interesting going on musically as Adam doesn't challenge himself vocally and doesn't give his band anything to do. Based on this, "What Lovers Do" and "Cold," I have a feeling I know exactly what this album is like and thus I have zero desire to listen to any of it.

94- "Pull up N Wreck" - Big Sean & Metro Boomin featuring 21 Savage -- I saw the players on this song and assumed it was a leftover song from "Without Warning." Nope. This is separate from that. But it might as well be on that because it's just as bad. Big Sean sounds drunk as crazy as he lazily raps about him doing all sorts of awful things to these girls with his Migos impressions thrown in. Then 21 Savage coming in with his usual mumble rap and uninteresting lyrics that he also probably wrote when he was drunk, high or both. This song is a huge wreck (pun intended). I don't know how anyone can play this song and consider it music.

99- "Mad Stalkers" - 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin -- Now we actually have our leftovers from "Without Warning" after the album's first full week of tracking. In addition to the four songs from last week getting huge boosts, two additional songs sneak onto the charts this week at the final two spots. And yes, no surprise. These final two songs are as bad as the other four songs. 21 Savage is mumbling about how he's a mad baller, how he's super rich and how he's turning these girls he's sleeping with into stalkers? Offset is rapping about something in between 21's mumbling, although he's pulled out his usual random word generator, so I don't have any idea what he's actually saying and I don't care to listen to it for very long with all his sound effects and echoes. I don't get how this is music and I hope this culture of rap music will go away.

100- "Nightmare" - Offset & Metro Boomin -- The final song I'll ever have to cover from this album, right? No more leftovers in future weeks? Please? If so, this final song is just Offset. Although this time he has two verses and a chorus. While I still don't understand what he's getting at during his verses, he's telling them that Freddy Kruegar is going to give them a nightmare and when they wake up, they'll be right there. Whatever that means. I'm not sure I want to think too hard about what he's trying to get at here

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - November 18, 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- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (=) -- Four weeks for "rockstar" at No. 1. That's the most weeks a RAP song (because this is NOT a rock song and you are NOT a rock star, Post Malone...) has spent at No. 1 this year, pulling ahead of "Bodak Yellow" and "Bad and Boujee," who both spent three weeks at No. 1. This is also the fifth rap song to be No. 1 this year, a record that's tied with 2003, 2004 and 2006. In other words, we're turning into the mid-2000's, an era that I thought we left behind us. The good thing here is that "rockstar" took a big hit on streaming this week, which is the only thing keeping it at this spot. Sales also took another hit, but those aren't super high, and radio rose, but I don't think the ceiling for the radio is that high for a song like this. And we have new competition for "rockstar" that is surging really fast.

2- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (+5) -- This floored me this week. I thought last week was when Camila got a huge boost from her new video, thus I thought this song was going to peak and camp out around the bottom half of the top 10. Turns out that this week is the first full week of tracking for her music video, which is why it surged again this week. But I'm beginning to think that this surge is not only because of the music video as "Havana" is surging in all categories, with radio and sales get big boosts as well. I'm not 100 percent convinced that this is going No. 1 next week with the lead that "rockstar" still has on streaming, but it appears that within a few weeks, "Havana" will be our next No. 1 and that makes me really happy. This is also the highest Camila has been on the charts looking at both her solo career as well as her work with Fifth Harmony as the highest she got either way is No. 4.

3- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (-1) -- The surge of "Havana" has pushed "Bodak Yellow" down to No. 3 after spending eight weeks in the top two. I'm certainly not complaining. Cardi has been slowly losing points on the charts, so I've been waiting for it to just tank and let some of these other songs ahead of it.

4- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid (-1) -- Radio is still super strong for Logic, keeping this song around for a while. I want it to switch spots with "Bodak Yellow," but that'll be determined by which song has more staying power.

5- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (=) -- This makes me angry. "Thunder" leap frogs over "Feel it Still" while get leap-frogged itself by "Havana," thus it stays put. But come on. Can't we keep the GOOD rock song in the top five and not this one?

6- "Feel it Still" - Portugal. The Man (-2) -- BRING BACK "FEEL IT STILL" TO THE TOP FIVE!!!! I'm really upset that this got passed by the useless, boring Imagine Dragons group.

7- "Gucci Gang" - Lil Pump (+7) -- But speaking of mad, nothing makes me more furious this week than seeing this song surge into the top 10. This is one of those moments this week that just made me want to completely give up on the Billboard charts because it's all going to crap. Instead of doing that, though, I will channel all my anger towards all the teenage boys in the world because I fully believe it's all of them that are pushing this song so high. Because, you know, they are feeling so cool and hip while they listen to that rap music. Listening to the disgusting, awful trash makes them feel all grown up and rebellious. If you have a teenage boy who listens to this, ground him right now. If you're an ADULT and you consider this music? Then I don't know. That utterly baffles me as to how any grown human being living on the planet earth can put on THIS song and deem it music worth playing in their ears. This is SO disgusting. I hate it so much.

8- "Sorry Not Sorry" - Demi Lovato (-2) -- After hitting a career high peak at No. 6, Demi tumbles two spots thanks to "Havana" and "Gucci Gang." I was hoping she'd get her first ever top five entry, but sadly she fails this week. I'm not too upset, though.

9- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William featuring Beyonce (-1) -- Hanging on for dear life is "Mi Gente," which I expect to be gone next week. We'll see if it can stubbornly hang onto this spot, though.

10- "Too Good at Goodbyes" - Sam Smith (-1) -- I'm really sad to see that this is failing to gain traction right now. Sam Smith's album just dropped, so I do expect a bit of a positive bump because of that and I can only hope that sparks more traction, otherwise it looks like this will prematurely exit. It's a shame when you see good music like this failing to catch on while horrendous music such as "Gucci Gang" is the new hip thing.

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+6) -- Three weeks in the top 10 for this song was three weeks too many. I was happy to see it falling down the charts, so let's please not bring it back up.

15- "I Get the Bag" - Gucci Mane featuring Migos (+3) -- And while we're at it, let's do everything in our power to STOP this from getting any higher. If this fell just short of a top 10 entry, I would be a really happy person.

19- "...Ready for It?" - Taylor Swift (+27) -- Taylor is having a really rough time on the charts right now. "Look What You Made Me Do" took another major tumble while "Gorgeous" took a super harsh nosedive of it's debut last week. "...Ready for It?" was impacted this week by its official video, which I still think is super strange. But as far as the song goes, I'm happy to see it back in the top 20. Yet given Taylor's recent track record, I'm not super confident that this will stick around. With the album coming soon, we'll see what effect that has on this.

24- "No Limit" - G-Eazy featuring A$AP Rocky & Cardi B (+6) -- I'm getting increasingly nervous over this the higher it gets. No one needs these three around. But this hasn't hit top 20 just yet and if/when it does, I hope that it gets stuck in the teens.

26- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (+8) -- With all the awful rap song plaguing our charts, I could really use another pop song in the mix, so I'm rooting for Dua Lipa to keep going higher.

35- "Wolves" - Selena Gomez & Marshmello (+53) -- I'm guessing this jumps super high after its first full week of traction? I was kind of surprised to see this jump so high, but it's definitely a happy surprise as I love this song from Selena. I think her and Marshmello fit very well together, so if this were to completely dominate pop radio, I would be a very happy man.

46- "How Long" - Charlie Puth (+6) -- I would not be a happy man of Charlie Puth gets another major hit. I mean, come on. What do people see in this boring, generic punk?

47- "Love So Soft" - Kelly Clarkson (+10) -- I'm guessing this song got a boost because of Kelly's album? Which, by the way, if you didn't hear my opinions on that, I was very unimpressed. Granted, most of the songs are better than whatever the heck this is, but Kelly put so much time and effort into making the soul thing work for her, that she forgot to write lyrics, so the whole album feels generic and boring as heck, despite her great vocals. There's a few good songs on the album, but as a whole I take a pass. Come back next time with better music, Kelly.

61- "Let You Down" - NF (+14) -- Let's keep this going! With so much horrendous rap music, it's nice to see a rap song that actually has a lot of heart and passion behind it, with someone who is actually a talented rapper propelling it. If this also opens the gate for more Christian rap, then I am all for that. It's a fun combination of genres that I think works much better than most rap.

66- "Sky Walker" - Miguel featuring Travis Scott (+14) -- I think it's funny that this song is rising around the time that the new Star Wars movie is about to come out. But not that funny. Because it's a terrible song that certainly doesn't do any justice to Star Wars. So this can go away and take Miguel and Travis Scott with it.

79- "Questions" - Chris Brown (+14) -- I think it's hilarious that Chris Brown released a 40 track album just recently and he couldn't get a single song from that album to chart. The only thing he accomplishes is getting this song a boost and getting another song to re-enter. Take that Chris Brown! Next time come back with a normal-length album that leaves room for potential quality. Actually, I have a better idea. Just don't come back at all. Go get a job flipping burgers at McDonald's and leave the rest of us alone.

New Arrivals:

14- "MotorSport" - Migos, Nicki Minaj & Cardi B -- I read the lyrics before listening to this song, saw how many echoes and sound effects Migos had, and skipped directly to Cardi B and Nicki's parts. If these two awful ladies (in terms of singing abilities) are friends now, who's going to outdo the other on this song? The answer is Cardi B. She puts more fire and energy into her verse while Nicki is just bored as she tries to sound like Migos on Migos' song. But don't get nervous because I'm not giving Cardi too much credit. Her lyrics are disgusting and awful. And speaking of lyrics, do Migos have a random word generator that they all use when determining lyrics for their songs? There's no rhyme or reason to anything they say here. The cover art for the single is kinda cool, though. That's the best compliment I have for this song.

57- "Ghostface Killers" - 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin featuring Travis Scott -- I warned you about this album last week. 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin released a collaboration album titled "Without Warning" that has what I think is a picture of an angry Doberman Pinscher as the cover art. Given how much I don't like these guys, I'm glad that they only charted four of these songs and that the highest one was No. 57. Next week I don't know what's coming. There's not any major new albums that are dominating streaming. Sam Smith is the biggest we got, but none of his songs are individually dominating streaming, so I don't think any of them are charting. Back to this song, though, with a scary cover art and a song titled "Ghostface Killers," you would think that there's a chance that this could be a dark and ominous song, but no. I'd say around 70 percent of it is Offset rambling on nonsensically about something. 21 Savage comes in and mumbles his way through a verse while Travis Scott gets shoehorned in at the end while doing his best Migos impression. I liked the instrumental stuff in the first 20 seconds, before Offset started rapping. Perhaps that's Metro Boomin's work? If so, he's the only one on this track that did anything.

71- "Ric Flair Drip" - Offset & Metro Boomin -- Just Offset on this one. Because Metro Boomin doesn't do any of the vocals on this album. But if he's doing the production or the instrumental parts like I'm guessing, then he again does a decent job here. But the problem is that I have zero interest in in a song with only Offset. Granted, I usually have zero interest in any song that Offset is on, but it's even worse when he has no talented friends to help him out, so this song is exactly what you'd expect. If you like Offset, then be my guest. And if you're curious, Ric Flair is a Hall of Fame WWE wrestler. Although reading the lyrics, I'm actually not sure if that means much because, again, it seems like any lyrics that any of these Migos guys write comes from a random word generator.

74- "Rap Saved Me" - 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin featuring Quavo -- You would think that a song called "Rap Saved Me" just might have some emotion in it about how a rap career gave these guys hope and purpose. But we just have 21 Savage mumbling about something unrelated while Offset and Quavo wander off into their random word generated verses. I think one of them says the phrase "rap saved me" at one point, but I found no connection to the actual song as pertaining to any sort of appreciation about how this genre of music saved their lives.

94- "My Choppa Hate N------" - 21 Savage & Metro Boomin -- The benefit of this final song is that there are no sound effects from Offset or Quavo. The disadvantage is that we are then left with 21 Savage's mumbling for the whole song. And I really don't understand why black rappers are allowed to be racist in their songs. As the title suggests, 21 Savage drops the N-word constantly throughout the song and I don't like that. He also has a lot of KKK references in this song that are used in a way that I don't think is very appropriate. But since he's a black rapper, no one bats an eye. If this was a white guy rapping these lyrics, I can guarantee you the reaction would be different. I don't like the double standard.

98- "All on Me" - Devin Dawson -- After five songs with some sort of Migos, Nicki, 21 Savage and Travis Scott mix, I get to catch a break, right? One good song from our debuts? And, well, yes. Maybe it's because I suffered through five awful songs from artists that I really hate, but listening to this song felt like a breath of fresh air. But first, who the heck is Devin Dawson? To answer that, we have to go back to a viral YouTube video published by Louisa Wendorff in December 2014. That's when she posted a collaboration with her friend Devin Dawson that's a mash-up of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" and "Style." And yeah, it's a dang good mash-up that has 34 million views for a reason. I don't know why we aren't giving Louisa a successful music career following that, but after one thing led to another, the song got Devin Dawson a recording contract, a Billboard Hot 100 hit and an upcoming debut album next year. According to an article on Billboard, Devin was initially planning on pursuing songwriting when he moved to Nashville, but that YouTube collaboration changed everything.

Back to "All on Me," this is a simple love song where Devin is informing this girl that she can lean on him, talk to him, cry on his shoulder or whatever she needs if she is struggling. I feel that Devin has a lot of charm and charisma to make this feel like a genuine offer that would make girls going through a tough time feel a lot better. Speaking of Taylor Swift, which Devin covered in the aforementioned collaboration, he does a great job of finding that country-pop balance that made Taylor so likable in her early days. I'm intrigued by this guy's forthcoming album "Dark Horse."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - November 11, 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- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (=) -- A third week at No. 1 for Post Malone and 21 Savage. How much more torture are we all going to have to endure? The good news is that it fell in streaming this week, which is pretty much the only thing holding it up here. The bad news is it didn't fall by much as it still has over 50 million U.S. streams. It never had much in sales outside that first week and I'm not too concerned about its jump in radio because I don't think this is going to be a huge crossover to pop radio. The biggest problem is that there's nothing really in contention to dethrone it, so this might unfortunately be here for a while.

2- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (=) -- "Bodak Yellow" is falling faster as it's now below 40 million streams while also losing on radio a bit and collapsing the most on the sales that it never really had in the first place. I would really love it if Logic or Portugal. The Man could jump Cardi, but they're not really strong enough.

3- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid (=) -- I am continually happy that this song is sticking around. Radio continues to rise, which gives me hope that it could sneak up to No. 2, but it took a streaming hit as well, so overall it's just coasting, which is what I'm expecting to continue to happen in the next few weeks.

4- "Feel it Still" - Portugal. The Man (=) -- "Feel it Still" rules the radio for a third straight week and those numbers are continually increasing, making me think that if something were to break up the order for the top five, it could be this song. With not much to brag about on sales and streaming, I'm not super confident in its potential to get too much higher, but I am simply hoping it remains consistent enough to sneak up another spot or two as the songs above it start to slowly collapse.

5- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (=) -- Yup. The top five is the exact same from last week. "Thunder" is once again stuck at this spot because of inconsistent metrics. The radio got a huge boost this week, but the sales that it held onto the last few weeks due to that commercial it was in have started to plummet. We have some new competition below the top five this week, so I really hope that this song is the first to get kicked out.

6- "Sorry Not Sorry" - Demi Lovato (+1) -- Another week, another career high for Demi as "Sorry Not Sorry" jumps from No. 7 to No. 6. Now it's time for Demi to get her very first top five because I am really not content with "Thunder" remaining in the region. I hate "rockstar" and "Bodak Yellow" being in there, too, but they aren't anywhere close to falling down, which is why I'm hoping we can get a small victory.

7- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (+13) -- Oh hello there, Camila! I knew this song was coming because it's consistently risen on the charts the past month or so, but Camila had quite the well times music video release that surprisingly shot it all the way up to No. 7. I'm happy for Camila. This is not the greatest pop song ever to be created and I certainly hate the fact that we've let Young Thug in the top 10 now, but this is a decent pop song that brings yet another female artist into the top 10. And it is Camila's first entry as a lead solo artist following her work in Fifth Harmony as well as her featured take on Machine Gun Kelly's song that debuted towards the end of last year, so that's a notable milestone. It looks like Camila just might have a good career ahead of her as a solo artist, which is definitely where I prefer her to be as opposed to that Fifth Harmony trash. Glad that those girls have failed without her.

8- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William featuring Beyonce (-2) -- After being at No. 6 for two weeks, "Mi Gente" falls two spots, which means that probably won't be gaining anymore traction after the Beyonce mix surged it into this region. I'm not upset. The Beyonce mix ruined the song, so this doesn't deserve huge success.

9- "Too Good at Goodbyes" - Sam Smith (-1) -- I'm just going to pretend that Sam Smith only fell a spot this week because of the surgence of "Havana" and not because we are starting to let this song slip. With so much trash in the top 10, let's keep the good stuff around, please! I at least want to see this go top five.

10- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+8) -- The second surprise of the week. Again, I knew this was coming to the top 10, but I didn't know it would be here so soon. That means we booted out "Unforgettable" and "Look What You Made Me Do." I'm a little sad about the former, but won't lose tears about the latter. And I love the fact that we have another good song in the top 10. One that appears to be here naturally, whereas "Havana" got a boost because of the release of the music video. I don't see any major indication as to why "Perfect" is here outside it gaining good traction in all areas, which is a very positive thing for Ed Sheeran. I predict that this will be around here for a while and I'm happy about it. It's a really pretty love song from Ed.

Rising on the Hot 100:

12- "What Lovers Do" - Maroon 5 featuring SZA (+7) -- I won't be happy if this is a top 10 entry soon. But if it is, let's cross our fingers that it will be replacing "Mi Gente" and not "Too Good at Goodbyes." I think it's been a while since Maroon 5 has had a huge top 10 hit. Quite frankly I was enjoying their absence, so they can go away.

14- "Gucci Gang" - Lil Pump (+13) -- NO!!!!!!!!! I hate that this song exists and that we're making Lil Pump a thing. But I was mildly happy that it seemed like it was plateauing in the 20's. But a huge jump up to No. 14? What is this world coming to? I'm guessing all the punk kids in middle school are responsible for this one because I don't have any other explanation as to how this can be considered music.

30- "No Limit" - G-Eazy featuring A$AP Rocky & Cardi B (+12) -- Well, fine, when compared to "Gucci Gang," I'm less offended that this also got a big jump. And this one is only at No. 30, so it's not quite time to complain too much as it still has a possibility of stalling out. If it does become a huge hit, G-Eazy and A$AP Rocky better bow down and thank Cardi B, because I think that's the only reason why this is here.

46- "...Ready for It?" - Taylor Swift (+6) -- With a music video release impacting this song this week, I expected a little more than a mild six spot jump this week. I guess people just weren't ready for it. Or maybe it's because Taylor Swift's weird "Ghost in the Shell" parody in the music video creeped too many out. But the most likely scenario is that Taylor Swift is just not getting traction and "Look What You Made Me Do" took an even harder tumble this week, falling from No. 10 to No. 25. She's tried again by releasing "Gorgeous," which I'll talk about in a second. But all things considered, it's not looking good for the success of that album based on her current track record with this album.

63- "Losing Sleep" - Chris Young (+17) -- I might start loosing sleep if this is the country song that gains traction instead of the other country songs that are actually worthy of rising on the charts.

67- "Like I Loved You" - Brett Young (+11) -- Well this one is certainly worthy. I hope Brett Young has similar success with this as he did with his last single. But I'm not crossing my fingers since country radio can't seem to get too many things right these days.

75- "Let You Down" - NF (+12) -- Here's another pleasant surprise. Christian rappers never debut on the charts, so part of me was thinking this would be a simple one week trip to the charts. A win enough for me since this type of rap music is stuff that I actually appreciate and enjoy. But is this actually going to gain traction and have a really good run on the charts? That would be fantastic!

New Arrivals:

13- "Gorgeous" - Taylor Swift -- I've been a lot nicer to Taylor Swift than many others have. I don't know if I liked the idea of Taylor having the whole album be a bitter hate-fest, but if she had to get it out of her system, I thought "Look What You Made Me Do" was an intelligent, well-written diss track. And I actually felt it was very self-aware and not her falling off the deep end like some people thought. The music video seemed to confirm that. I think what we can gather from "...Ready for It?" and "Gorgeous" is that the album is going to be much more like typical Taylor Swift stuff as opposed to bitter, hateful Taylor Swift. Because "Gorgeous" is another romance song about boys, specifically her new boyfriend Joe Alwyn. The exact song you would expect from Taylor Swift. Honestly, though, I think this is the lesser of the three songs so far. I think I liked "...Ready for It?" because of the strong bass and heavy EDM vibes. It fits Taylor really well. "Gorgeous" still has that EDM influence, but it's a lot softer. And I don't think the lyrics are as interesting. It's just her talking about how gorgeous her boyfriend is and how she has to stay with him, despite the fact that she is quite frustrated with him. Ironically, though, I think this song is going to connect a lot more with die-hard Taylor Swift fans. So if you liked Taylor Swift, but you frustrated at her newer stuff because you thought she was falling off the deep end, then perhaps check this one out? 

50- "Patek Water" - Future & Young Thug featuring Offset -- The album of the week for this week's charts is "SUPER SLIMEY" by Future and Young Thug. Because the world definitely needed that album collaboration. I suppose it could be worse. Next week we'll have "Without Warning" by 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin. I could be covering up to 10 songs from that. But let's hope not. This week week we get six songs from Future and Young Thug. I'm just grateful at this point that I didn't get all 13 and that the highest charting song of the bunch was this one at No. 50. Because, you know, it could be a lot worse. I hope this means these songs will be gone next week because this certainly doesn't belong here. When it comes to Future, I have two simple qualifications that I want him to meet: 1- Can I understand him? 2- Is he saying anything interesting? Most of the time he fails at that, considering the fact that he was the one who popularized mumble rap. This one he certainly fails. Now I always get nervous when a rapper posts lyrics about something I don't know because I usually assume it is a dirty reference. In this case, Patek Water is referring to a super fancy Swiss watch. So, you know, it was necessary to have three of them on to brag about how rich and famous they are. And yeah, they are both mumbling and doing Migos rap here.

61- "Meant to Be" - Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line -- Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line? So are they going to mesh genres in the song or is one of them going to compromise and match the other? I was kinda hoping that Bebe Rexha would try to experiment a bit with Florida Georgia Line's brand of twangy country pop because I was thinking that the genre might fit her well. To my pleasure, the latter is exactly what Bebe does. This song starts with Florida Georgia line with a 30 second verse and a 30 second chorus politely asking the girl to relax and enjoy their time together. Then Bebe comes in at the minute mark and she matches her tone by going with a twangy country pop and I really like it. And in her verse she responds to the notion of why she seems so tense, so they play off each other lyrically quite well. Then with the final minute and a half, they just sing the chorus together and it gets a bit repetitive. I could've used another verse by one of them in the middle of that final section. But as is, I was still pleased. It's upbeat, relaxed and just good old fashioned simply country pop that does well of pleasing the pop group and the country group.

62- "No Cap" - Future & Young Thug -- This is the song that opens their album. They apparently wanted their audience to know right away that the only thing they will be singing about is how rich and famous they are. Because that's all this is. Without Offset featuring on this track, there's less Migos rap on this song. Instead their just doing Future's typical mumble rap. Although in this case is more like slurred rap. Because I understand what they are saying. They're just saying it in a really sloppy, meshed up way. Young Thug makes sure to do his best Future impression when he follows him because he apparently wants to be just as awful as Future is. In this song, I might even say he's worse for the fact that he referred to himself as Myer Michaels in this song. Because, you know, he can't even get the name right of one of horror's most iconic villains. It's Michael Myers, Young Thug! If you did that on accident, that's hilariously awful. If you did it on purpose, that's just plain stupid and not as cool as you think. Are we going to say Krueggy Fredder, Voorhee Jasons or Bate Normans, too?

68- "Feed Me Dope" - Future -- No Young Thug on this one. That's a plus. Kinda. Instead of Future and wannabe Future, we are left with just Future. And he takes full advantage of no Young Thug to mumble his whole way through the song that's not subtle at all. It's in the title. Future wants all the dope he can get and he says you might as well just give your girl up to him. Funny thing is he starts it off by saying "Clever as it get" in his intro. No, Future, nothing about this is clever.

77- "All Da Smoke" - Future & Young Thug -- Robin is back together with Batman in this song and all they're doing is smoking. And I can't understand a single thing. Reading the lyrics makes me assured that I missed nothing. Young Thug is relegated to Migos echoes for most of the song before getting his turn to mumble through a verse later on.

84- "Candy Paint" - Post Malone -- One of the more annoying side effects of Post Malone undeservedly reigning at the top of the Billboard charts is that a lot of his other songs keep showing up from random places, making me super nervous that when he releases his next album, I'll be talking about the whole thing. "Candy Paint" is a song hidden on the soundtrack of "The Fate of the Furious" from earlier this year. A movie I really enjoyed. But can we all just agree that the only song from the soundtrack worth anything is the remix of "Speakerbox" by Bassnectar featuring Ohana Bam and Lafa Taylor? Blast that song on the speakers of your car and you'll be suddenly instilled with the desire to go street racing like in "The Fast and the Furious" movies. Or maybe you'll be confident enough to go toe to toe with The Rock in a fight. But I digress. I'm not supposed to be talking about that song. I'm supposed to be talking about "Candy Paint," which comes right after "Speakerbox" on the album. Here we have Post Malone bragging about how awesome his custom 1992 Ford Explorer with blue candy paint, white on top and Lambo-style doors. It probably fits somewhere in the movie without being super noticeable or offensive. But on its own, it's worth logging away, especially when Post Malone starts bragging about being rich and stealing your girl. Kudos for originality there, Post Malone. Not.

88- "Wolves" - Selena Gomez & Marshmello -- Here's another interesting collaboration. For the second time this year, Selena is working with an EDM artist for a single. Now, Selena has always seemed a bit desperate to me. Desperate to help people forget her child star, baby face from her Disney Channel days by proving she's a sexy, grown woman. Desperate to fit in with the current music trends to make sure she's not left in the dust. I'm not sure if she's found a solid identity with her music, but I think I found one for her. EDM. "It Ain't Me" with Kygo was one of my favorite Selena songs. Mainly because of Kygo. But I think her voice fit perfectly to his electronic beats. Similarly, Selena also fits in perfectly with Marshmello's style. At first the song seems toned down and mellow, thus I was wondering if this was going to be a restrained Marshmello song. But then we get to the chorus and the song speeds up, starts climbing and gives a good drop while maintaining mellow tones as she describes her journey through the jungle and the wolves to find this boy. Selena even gets to show off her vocal talent at the appropriate moments of the song. Honestly this is one of the best songs Selena has come up with and I hope she continues this direction.

92- "4 Da Gang" - Future -- It's sad that after something so good that we have to go back to useless Future. He's by himself again. Bragging about his private jet and how he spent $80,000 last night. Seriously, who listens to this crap? Luckily there's only one more. But first we have to deal with a useless Liam Payne song.

98- "Bedroom Floor" - Liam Payne -- Because the world needed more Liam Payne, right? Why not bring one of the talented 1D members back to the charts instead promoted the lesser ones? I don't get it. I suppose Harry Styles' excellent work is not the right fit for 2017 because 2017 is the year we invite and promote the crap. Which is why Liam Payne is getting put in the spotlight. And guess what? Charlie Puth is on as a co-writer of this song. Joy! Because, yeah, this song sucks. Liam is acting very arrogant and controlling over this girl, almost in a condescendingly abusive way. She's obviously trying to get away from him, presumably because he's a punk who doesn't treat her well, but when she can't get away and ends up coming back to him, he's essentially bragging to her that he was right about her unable to leave. She claims they are over, but he claims her clothes on his bedroom floor prove otherwise. I just imagine an abusive, controlling boyfriend singing a song like this, then the song starts to make me sick. Such high levels of arrogance.

100- "Three" - Future & Young Thug -- The final song from this stupid album! And this actually comes in as track No. 2. So, after they spend the whole first song bragging about how rich they are, they decide to spend the whole second song bragging about how rich they are. Except they are going to switch it up by letting Young Thug start the bragging while Future comes in second. That's about as creative as we get. Because the content is all the same. The same exact crap that all of these awful rappers sing about. Because we haven't heard enough about how rich they all are, so they have to keep telling us. Well, do know what, Future and Young Thug? I hope you're poor, bankrupt and homeless by the time both of you are 50 because no one on planet earth is going to remember this horrendous crap 10 years from now. Especially since every song is the same crap. I'm just glad I didn't have to cover the other seven songs from the album. But without even listening to them, I can make a bet as to what they are all about! I'd be happy about being done, but 21 Savage is up next week. I'm not excited for that.

Friday, October 27, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - November 4, 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- "rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage (=) -- These are dark times on the Billboard Hot 100 with Post Malone and 21 Savage leading the charts. I'm really hoping this will just go away because just about every song on this chart is more deserving of this spot than this one is. I honestly don't know how long this will last. There's eight weeks left of Billboard's weird calendar year before the 2018 charts start showing up and I highly doubt that this will ride us through to 2018 because sales and radio, although rising, really aren't that impressive. But by dangit streaming won't let this song go as it got 52 million U.S. streams this week. I just hope another streaming monster comes around soon so we can get rid of this.

2- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (=) -- Again, I would gladly let "Bodak Yellow" back to the top of the charts instead of "rockstar." But "Bodak Yellow" is falling in all categories and it's only a matter of time before something else jumps up to No. 2.

3- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid (=) -- With Cardi B falling, can Logic sneak up to No. 2? I'd be down for that. This song has stuck around a lot longer than I thought it would, but I'm happy about that. Streaming is stagnant and sales have never been great, but this continues to rise on radio, so it might stick around for a while. Although I'm not confident that it will actually pass Cardi. Not in the next few weeks, anyways. Cardi is still way too high on streaming at the moment.

4- "Feel it Still" - Portugal. The Man (+1) -- Guess what? There are two separate rock bands in the top five this week. That hasn't happened in 10 years. That's exciting. And I'd be more happy about that if Imagine Dragons weren't the other band in the equation, but I'm certainly ecstatic that Portugal. The Man seems like they're here to stay. I don't know when the last time of rock song was No. 1 on the Hot 100. When they get this high, they usually get stuck right around this spot. Give or take a spot. So I'm expecting history to repeat itself here, especially since streaming and sales just aren't happening. But this is the top song on the radio for the second straight week, so I'm super happy that the radio is eating this up. At least one chart knows what's going on.

5- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (+3) -- Last week I was celebrating the fact that this song lost a spot and I was hoping that it would at least fail to make the top five. Well, turns out that Dan Reynolds and company get the last laugh. For what it's worth, though, this is still miles better than "rockstar" and "Bodak Yellow," so it would certainly be the lesser of the evils if it broke up those two. But again. Rock songs in the top 10 usually get stuck in the bottom half of the top five. So don't get too happy.

6- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William featuring Beyonce (=) -- I was wondering what this song was going to do this week. Nothing is the answer. In other words, it stayed put. Which means it could gain traction and hang around, but don't cross your fingers on this being the next "Despacito."

7- "Sorry Not Sorry" - Demi Lovato (+2) -- After a drop last week, Demi is back up with yet another career high. The big question will be can she get her very first top five hit? Considering most of the stuff ahead of Demi, I'd be down.

8- "Too Good at Goodbyes" - Sam Smith (-1) -- Oh sad. This isn't supposed to drop a spot. It's supposed to carry all of its momentum into the top five. Let's hope it recovers next week.

9- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (+1) -- Another week, another steady performance from "Unforgettable." If this can hang on in the top 10 for a few more weeks, it has the chance of sneaking into my list of the top 10 most popular songs of 2017. It's only a few points away from the No. 10 spot on that list.

10- "Look What You Made Me Do" - Taylor Swift (-6) -- Whoa! This was a huge shock this week. I wouldn't have been surprised to see this drop a spot or two, but to completely bottom out like this is something I did not see coming. You still can't call this a flop since it did spend three weeks at No. 1. But at the same time, this is probably not the traction Taylor was hoping for with her lead single. But she has a backup plan. "...Ready for It?" has officially been released as the second single and "Gorgeous" has also been released as the third promotional single. The latter is set to debut with 61,000 first week sales, which should be good enough to land it somewhere in the top 20. We'll see if either one of these songs can gain more traction than "Look What You Made Me Do."

Rising on the Hot 100:

11- "I  Get the Bag" - Gucci Mane featuring Migos (+13) -- Excuse me while I throw up. I hated seeing this song rise. It makes me miserable thinking of this as a top 10 hit. What is our world coming to when THIS piece of awful trash is threatening to enter the top 10 during the same week that "rockstar" repeats at the top?

13- "What About Us" - P!nk (+10) -- On a happier note, it's great seeing Gucci being counterbalanced by P!nk's song that I actually consider as music. I think this got a huge boost because of the album release, but I would love it if it stuck around.

18- "Perfect" - Ed Sheeran (+4) -- I also think it's essentially predetermined that "Perfect" is heading to the top 10 sooner rather than later. I would be shocked if this stalled out in the teens. And I would be saddened, too, because this is an excellent romance song from the king of love ballads.

20- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug (+6) -- I'm less confident about what this is going to do heading forward, but I'd be fine if this gets Camila a top 10 hit. I'm just not too stoked about her taking Young Thug with her.

27- "Gucci Gang" - Lil Pump (+5) -- Well... at least this didn't jump as high this week as it did the last few weeks. I'm still extremely nervous about what the future holds for this. I want it to go away because this is one of the few songs on the charts that's actually WORSE than our top song.

32- "Bad at Love" - Halsey (+8) -- It's a good week for the ladies in this rising songs section. P!nk, Camila and now Halsey getting good rises. Although I'm not too excited about this song. Let's bring some of our other ladies on who actually know how to do this thing called pop music.

33- "When it Rains it Pours" - Luke Combs (+6) -- This is heading for the top country spot? Well, it could be worse. But let's bring some better country songs to the top.

38- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (+6) -- Dua Lipa adding her name to the list of female pop singers having good weeks. This is actually Dua Lipa's first ever trip to the top 40. For her, this is a milestone I can be happy about. I hope her future holds many more milestones! The world could use more good female pop singers.

40- "do re mi" - blackbear (+5) -- I'm also fine with blackbear getting his first top 40 hit. If it's mandatory to always have rap songs killing it on the streaming services, I'd be ecstatic if this was a placeholder there. But someone really needs to go help him with his shift key on his keyboard because all lower case is really not that cool.

42- "No Limit" - G-Eazy featuring A$AP Rocky & Cardi B (+9) -- On the flip side, does anyone want these three enjoying continued success? If you answered yes, go slap yourself in the face real quick.

44- "Silence" - Marshmello featuring Khalid (+10) -- I had thought this song had gone stagnant. After a great 2016, EDM has been MIA for most of the year. Thus I didn't think this was going to have any staying power, but I'm happy it has now broken top 50.

50- "Every Little Thing" - Carly Pearce (+15) -- This is definitely a country song I can get behind. Move over Luke Combs. Be a gentleman and let Carly Pearce have her way!

59- "Love So Soft" - Kelly Clarkson (+11) -- I was pleasantly surprised to this song sputter out. Nothing against Kelly, but she's lost her mojo for me. I'd be down for her getting it back, but this is not the song that does it for me. Her new album just now got released and I haven't listened to it. But I do hope that it has something on it that I like because I want to root for Kelly.

61- "Plain Jane" - A$AP Ferg (+25) -- Meh. Get this song out of here. There's worse rap songs here, I suppose. But I don't like 25 spot jumps from bad rap songs. Let's hope it slows down after this.

66- "More Girls Like You" - Kip Moore (+11) -- A second straight home run for country risers this week! One of my coworkers was playing country radio in the truck for a few moments this week. This came on and it made me really happy. I hope for continued success for Kip and Carly.

70- "I'll Name the Dogs" - Blake Shelton (+12) -- And we now average things out. Can't win them all on country radio. They'll probably blast anything and everything Blake Shelton does, which is a shame because he doesn't deserve it this time around.

74- "Let Me Go" - Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso featuring Florida Georgia Line & Watt (+11) -- I used to be a Hailee fan when it came to her music. Now I just want her to leave and go back to acting where she belongs. And take this song with her because all of these acts are capable of so much more.

76- "Go Flex" - Post Malone (+12) -- Go jump off a cliff, Post Malone. A short cliff, mind you. I don't wish harm on people. I just want Post Malone out of my life right now. Perhaps he should get a job flipping burgers at McDonald's so the rest of us don't have to be punished by his awful music.

80- "Losing Sleep" - Chris Young (+12) --Sad day. I guess we're below average this week with our country songs as a third bland country song finds success. But hey, at least Kip and Carly did well.

New Arrivals:

82- "High End" - Chris Brown featuring Future & Young Thug -- Another song released from Chris Brown's upcoming 45 track, 158 minute long album that will be released on Halloween. In other words, he didn't even try this time around. Just quickly threw together a whole crap ton of songs and put it on an album, so I'm not going to put much effort talking about this. It sucks. Future is mumbling through some nonsense and Chris Brown comes in talking about nonsense. And both of them are doing the Migos thing. Lovely. And the fact that this is called "High End" tells you everything you need to know about these bland, awful lyrics. I really hope I don't have to cover much of this punk's new album. The fact that this only debuted at No. 82 gives me hope.

84- "Yours" - Russell Dickerson -- This week had a few surprises as to songs that actually debuted on the charts and this is one of them. I saw that Russell Dickerson debuted a song on the charts and I was like... who? Apparently Russell is a country pop singer who has released two EP's in 2011 and 2016 that had no impact on the mainstream Billboard charts. But this song, initially released in 2015, became a sleeper hit in country and wedding crowds, so he finally released it to country radio back in April of this year and included it on his debut studio album earlier this month. And it's given him his first hit on the Hot 100. And do you know what? I'm happy about it. I have a bit of a soft spot for heartfelt, sincere wedding ballads. This song is simple, but it works. Russell sings about being lost in a crowd before he met this girl and was upset that everyone seemed to be shining except for him. But then he met this girl and everything changed. Now he's his best self and is happy that this girl is his. It's a genuinely romantic song. The perfect song to play at a wedding.

87- "Let You Down" - NF -- Again, NF debuted on the charts and I had no idea who this guy was. So I looked him up. NF is his initials. Stands for Nate Feuerstein. And he's a... Christian rapper? WHOA!!! Slam on the brakes! A Christian rapper has crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100? Am I living in 2017? We actually let a rap song on the charts that's NOT about sex, drugs, fame or money? Wow! I'm shocked. Extremely pleasantly shocked, that is. I don't know how Christian this specific song is, even though it did hit No. 1 on the U.S. Christian Songs chart. But I am so pleased that this is here. NF is rapping about his relationship with his biological father, which, based on this song, hasn't been a super happy relationship. Thus we have a lot of depth and emotion to this song. It actually feels like it means something to NF. As much as I hate on rap, it's mostly because of how awful the lyrical content is or how untalented and unlistenable many rappers are. But rap done right is phenomenal. You can add a lot of power to the music, which is exactly what this guy does. His talent-level is through the roof, too. I can understand everything he's saying, but he's also rapping super fast in a way that makes me appreciate his abilities. We could really use more rap like this.

95- "Stunting Ain't Nuthin" - Gucci Mane featuring Slim Jxmmi & Young Dolph -- OK, now we've come back down to earth with the type of rap music I expect in 2017. You know, the awful crap from untalented rappers singing about garbage in a way that makes me want to punch them in the face. Even though this is Gucci's song, most of it is Slim Jxmmi with a quick verse from both Gucci and Young Dolph. Because we totally needed more of Slim Jxmmi, the horrendous half of the brother rapping duo Rae Sremmurd, who for some reason thinks it's cool to put an "x" in place of an "i." No, Slim Jxmmi. It's not cool. It just makes you look like a complete fool who should go back to first grade and re-learn the alphabet. And this song is crap, too. I mean, what did you expect from these three? Do I really need to elaborate beyond this?

96- "You Broke Up With Me" - Walker Hayes -- We're on a roll here with the unknown artists. As a recap, Russell Dickerson, NF and now Walker Hayes get their very first charted songs of the Billboard Hot 100. The internet won't tell me much about Walker Hayes outside the fact that he is a 37-year-old country singer who lives in Nashville with his wife and six children. No relation to Hunter Hayes, apparently. Though after listening to whatever this is, I would prefer Hunter. And remember how I said this guy has a wife and six kids? Yeah. So what is he doing writing a song about a breakup with a former girlfriend who wants him back now that she sees him having success? Does the song mean anything to him? Oh but apparently the girl in the song is representative of the fair weather friends of his who wanted nothing to do with him when his record deal was dropped, but suddenly want back on board when he finds success. The latter I can respect, but I totally wouldn't have picked up on it if I hadn't read his commentary on the song. He could've done a much better job of making that connection clear. Even with that context, I'm still not impressed. Perhaps Walker Hayes is a dude that should go back into obscurity.

97- "Mayores" - Becky G featuring Bad Bunny -- Another surprise entry. This time I know who Becky G is. She's the girl who gained popularity with her song "Shower" back in 2014. She hasn't done much since, though, and I almost forgot she existed. Although she was in the new "Power Rangers" movie as the yellow ranger Trini, so there's that. Music-wise, though, she's been absent and I wasn't expecting a new song from her. But she's back! And she's gone back to her Mexican heritage with this song. Even though she was born in the United States, all of her grandparents are from Mexico, so "Mayores" is a song completely in Spanish, which I'm totally fine with. As a Latino dance song, this works quite well. Her and Bad Bunny play off each other fairly effectively. I believe she is talking about how she likes dating older guys, which isn't saying much since she's only 20 years old. Bad Bunny, who is a Puerto Rican rapper, comes in and plays the voice of the older male. By older male, I imagine mid- to late-20's is what she is going for. Nothing creepy. Just someone who knows how to treat her well due to him being a little more experienced with romance. This song went No. 1 in several Spanish and Latino countries. I'm not sure what it's crossover potential is like since Becky G isn't the biggest household name here, but we shall see.

98- "Ask Me How I Know" - Garth Brooks -- And finally on the charts this week... we have the return of Garth Brooks? Now don't hurt me, but I don't know much about Garth's music. The man is a country legend who dominated the country charts throughout the 90's and early 2000's, even though he didn't have much mainstream crossover. Thus I feel unworthy of covering a Garth song because I've never dove into his music. I do know that I want to because early this year Lauren Duski covered "The Dance" by Garth Brooks on The Voice. So when I covered that song, I listened to the original and was floored by how perfect and emotional it was. That certainly made me want to listen to more of his music. The problem is that it's a chore to figure out HOW to listen to his music. I was almost forced to skip this song because I couldn't find it. By a stroke of pure luck, I discovered he's on Amazon Prime Music. Good thing I have an account there. If you do too, head over there and listen to this song because it's fantastic. Garth is sitting there as a wise man giving me some powerful dating advice. He's telling me that one day I'll find the girl that I never thought I'd find. Then he tells me to make sure I don't push her away because that's all I know how to do. And he's saying this due to his experience of having been there and done that. Powerful. If all country were like this, I would be a proud country boy. But unfortunately it's not.