Wednesday, July 26, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 5, 2017

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

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rising on the Hot 100:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Arrivals:

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

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

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

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

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