Tuesday, August 7, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - august 11, 2018

You know, sometimes you just want to take the cooldown weeks when you can - given the streaming numbers I know Travis Scott has an album bomb coming for Astroworld, and while I haven't reviewed the record proper just yet, I can only imagine how big the impact will be on the rest of the Hot 100... joy.

But of course, we need to start with the top 10, where 'In My Feelings' by Drake is still at #1 and folks... look, I don't want to admit it, but it might just be the song of the summer at this point, as the momentum hasn't stopped across the board and I don't see what's slowing it in any category, especially with Drake dropping a video for it out of nowhere! Sure, I might prefer 'I Like It' by Cardi B, J Balvin and Bad Bunny, but without stronger margins in streaming and radio, it's not rising past #2. And it's got competition coming from 'FEFE' by 6ix9ine, Nicki Minaj and Murda Beatz, which actually rose up a slot to #3 thanks to even stronger sales and streaming... lovely. Hell, it actually pushed past 'Girls Like You' by Maroon 5 and Cardi B, down to #4 despite radio dominance thanks to weaker streaming margins overall. Then we've got our big top ten breakthrough at #5: 'No Brainer' by DJ Khaled, bringing back Justin Bieber, Chance The Rapper, and Quavo for another hit. I'll be talking about this much more later, but I can see this sticking around, with good sales and streaming and even some radio traction in pushing familiar territory. This muscles back 'Better Now' by Post Malone to #6, but some of that might have been inevitable, as sales weakened despite still having traction on radio and streaming. Then we have 'Lucid Dreams' by Juice WRLD forcing up to #7 - again, all it really has are streams, and yet it's proving to be enough to at least beat 'Boo'd Up' by Ella Mai down to #8... although again, with its radio losses, that might have been inevitable. Then we have 'Taste' by Tyga ft. Offset up to #9, with weaker streaming supplemented by boosts in sales, but it likely got its position because Drake's 'Nice For What' is bleeding in all categories down to #10.

And on that topic, let's go through losers and dropouts... and really, the only one that matters at this point is 'X' by Nicky Jam and J Balvin - yes, Clique, I know you're not happy 'Jumpsuit' is gone, but we'll see where things go in coming weeks. But it was a slower week as a whole - Drake had his expected losses for 'Mob Ties' down to 64 and 'Don't Matter to Me' with Michael Jackson down to 66, and Childish Gambino also saw 'Summertime Magic' continue to flop at 79, but then we had 'Freaky Friday' by Lil Dicky and Chris Brown hit 83, likely gone by next week. Then there's 'Ocean' by Martin Garrix and Khalid losing all momentum at 97, but the bigger surprise was 'I Was Jack (You Were Diane)' by Jake Owen fading hard to 62, but given how much radio is falling, it's not that surprising.

No, where things get a bit more interesting come in our gains and returning entries, and the first modest surprise comes for Queen Naija, as 'Karma' returns to 98 and 'Medicine' continues to rise to 54. But the rest of our gains don't feel that surprising: 'Get Along' by Kenny Chesney gets an album boost to 22, 'I'm A Mess' by Bebe Rexha continues up to 53 mostly on YouTube, 'Level Up' by Ciara gets a nice boost off the debut last week to 59 thanks to sales, 'Praise The Lord (Da Shine)' by A$AP Rocky and Skepta goes to 84 thanks to on-demand streaming, and Weezer's godawful cover of 'Africa' went to 68 because of sales and because American radio hates me!

Thankfully, we've got a pretty manageable list of new arrivals this week, starting with...

100. 'Drunk Me' by Mitchell Tenpenny - it's a bad sign when the first time I see the name of a relative unknown coming from mainstream country it's in a Saving Country Music piece lambasting him for a godawful new song... and for Mitchell Tenpenny, that very much was the case for 'Bitches', a slut-shaming piece of trash that was trying be reclaimed by their mainstream marketing department before it even got traction. And when you consider this guy is a direct product of Nashville songwriting machine nepotism - his grandmother was the former CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which probably helped him snag a deal at Sony Nashville, I was not coming in with a lot of sympathy for his newest cut. Turns out that was the right attitude to take, because from the lumpy drum machines, super-compressed vocal lead with really flimsy backing vocals, guitars shoved right to the back, it looks like we've got our newest Sam Hunt imitator! Yes, the guy has a decent voice behind the ugly overproduction, but then you have to get to the half-formed lyrics that rhyme words with themselves and an incredibly clunky flow in post-breakup angst with no actual darkness.. yeah, no way in hell I can endorse this, next! 

99. 'Handgun' by YG ft. A$AP Rocky - so I've been hearing bad things about this new YG project, not only that it's a return to the minimalist DJ Mustard-produced material that broke him instead of the promising, politically charged g-funk he pushed on Still Brazy, but that it's lazier than ever. So yeah, when I review the record I'll probably have more to say, but in the mean time we have this... and wow, this isn't good at all. Muddy keyboards and bass, lumpy flow from YG where he compares a girl's curves to that of Mr. Klumps from The Nutty Professor, uses a 'duck duck goose' nursery rhyme cadence that both Dessa and cupcakKe have handled eons better, and then A$AP Rocky delivers one of the worst verses in his entire career. Seriously, why did you follow the brand name porn with the out-of-nowhere Dragonball Z reference, along with some of the sloppiest flows he's ever brought to the table? Yeah, this is bad and gives me a horrible feeling about the album to come... well, we'll have to see.

92. 'That's On Me' by Yella Beezy - another day, another unknown trap MC, this one apparently from Dallas with this cut from a project he put out in October of last year... and honestly, I'm just not all that impressed here. The rhymes on the first verse are incredibly basic even as the flow stops and starts complete with the shrill squealing effects that I didn't like when Future used them on 'Commas', the entire song feels kind of lumpy and unfocused... and then we get a second verse with actual flow and some good interweaving rhymes and I'm wondering where the hell this was in the first place! Yeah, midway through this track actually gets better, and that actually makes me more exasperated, because if he had come out strong, this song would probably have had more of a chance to win people over. As it is... eh, not terrible, but like with most of these guys, I'm probably going to forget this exists - sorry.

87. 'Side Effects' by The Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren - I've seen The Chainsmokers write enough songs with their female costars to immediately get an uneasy feeling when it came to this, especially considering the fifteen minutes The Chainsmokers had pretty much ran out about six months ago. And it's hard to avoid some of their characteristic traits with this track - how it once again it places Emily Warren in a quasi-submissive conflicted place to get drunk, go back and fuck The Chainsmokers, with a bridge and outro that is so nondescript that it doesn't offer a credible alternate perspective at all. That said, the fat bassline and pulsating beat does give the duo a pretty credible retro-disco groove that has a considerable kick to it, which I can definitely respect, but I keep getting the feeling that there should be some sense of danger or slighter darker tone to the track to give it any sort of edge, but The Chainsmokers' sanitized production doesn't get there in any way. So yeah, not really bad, but not great either.

80. 'One Day' by Logic ft. Ryan Tedder - okay, I'll admit it, this is the sort of collaboration that almost felt too damn obvious, especially given where Logic has taken his production in the past and given Ryan Tedder's spacier tendencies. And in this case, we get a bouncy low-end beat and some prettier pianos to support Tedder crooning in his upper register that for some reason has no real bite or flavour, and Logic delivering a set of utterly uninteresting aspirational bars on an oddly awkward rhyme pattern. And look, I've given Logic passes probably too many times as a good rapper, but without any consistent hunger or flair he's a good rapper but lacks anything interesting to say, something that Tedder doesn't exactly help or elevate here. So yeah, not bad, but not exactly good here either.

5. 'No Brainer' by DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Chance The Rapper & Quavo - I'll freely admit the buzz I heard about this song immediately put me in cautious territory, not only with DJ Khaled recruiting the same folks minus Lil Wayne he did for last year's hit, but with the sort of song title that makes the comeback from me way too easy, especially when it places its foundational melody in a chipmunk vocal fragment! So yeah, just on that basis it can't help but feel like a bargain barrel imitation of 'I'm The One', and when you discover that not only is the subject matter very similar in its fumbling attempts at seduction - not helped by relying more heavily on Justin Bieber's non-charisma - and that Quavo and Chance are delivering less interesting verses, it just comes across as a really shallow retread with little to recommend. Seriously, Quavo sounds even less interested than usual and Chance is stuttering syllables and self-censoring the word 'booty'! So yeah, if you wanted 'I'm The One' but with a nice frontal lobotomy, you might enjoy this... although from the reaction of most, I don't think it'll stick around.

But yeah, this week was lousy. Best... I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm giving it to The Chainsmokers and Emily Warren for 'Side Effects', at least it has some groove to it. But the worst... yeah, it's got to be 'Handgun' here for just being flat embarrassing for everyone involved, and not a good sign for YG or A$AP Rocky going forward. Next week... it's all Travis Scott folks, so stay tuned for that!

1 comment:

  1. Travis Scott has a album? Honestly, I forgot that guy even existed. Maybe if we are lucky, we'll get some Jason Mraz next week too. Also,instead of friggin Jonas Blue or Zedd, we got DJ Khaled, and he ALMOST got Dishonorable mention if it weren't for the fact that Drunk Me deserved Honorable Mention more (yep, I have a messed up point system.sue me.)

    Best Of The Week:Side Effects
    Honorable Mention(tie):One Day
    Honorable Mention(tie):Drunk Me
    Dishonorable Mention:That's On Me
    Worst Of The Week:Handgun