Showing posts with label ludacris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ludacris. Show all posts

Saturday, October 12, 2019

the top ten worst hit songs of 2011

So something every music critic loves to do is craft a 'narrative' surrounding the sound of a specific year, especially with the benefit of hindsight allowing one to track trends or make predictions of what was to come, write a little history along the way.

2011 is not one of those years where that comes easily. On the surface you could make the argument this is where the club boom hit over-saturation and began collapsing in upon itself, with the success stories this year telling what was to come. But while this year would foretell the success of some individual acts and trends - you can argue the popular seeds of bro-country were planted this year, as was Adele's decade-long run and a fondness for retro tones that would eventually be co-opted by artists looking for identity outside their own - hi, Bruno Mars, who got his major push this year - it also feels weirdly ossified in time. For one, 2011 was a year of massive pop diva competition, where most would see their careers fly in wildly different directions by the decade's end or implode entirely. You could argue that 2011 was also the year of Young Money as Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj began notching consistent crossover success... and many could argue that was a mixed blessing at best. And that's not even counting the string of acts that would achieve chart success in 2011 and little else - and what's bizarre is that they weren't part of any one consistent trend or level of quality, which means even in hindsight you can't really draw clear predictions on where anyone was going to go. And here's the strangest thing: for the most part that diversity played to the year's strengths, and wound up just having less bad hits than many years ahead - years like 2013 and 2017 might have hit greater heights, but they also had far deeper lows. Like with 2012, most of the bad stuff in 2011 was more annoying and badly made than offensive, but unlike that year it was a struggle for me to even pin down the worst of what we got... but I did pull something together anyway. You all know the rules, the songs had to debut on this year-end Hot 100 chart, so let's untangle the worst of this messy year, starting with...

Monday, February 19, 2018

the top ten best hit songs of 2004 (VIDEO)

Well, this was long in coming... and overall, a pretty solid list. Not sure it's my wittiest list, but for those of you who remember the era, I think it works.

Next up, Black Panther and Wade Bowen, so stay tuned!

the top ten best hit songs of 2004

So this is the third big top ten outside of the current year that I've put together, and I think it's conducive to describe how this year differed in trends and sounds in comparison with those I discussed before. 2010 was at the height of club boom overexposure, and everything that charted, good or bad, was either informed by it and painfully dated, or ignoring it and sliding rapidly towards novelty. 1967... well, that was a year heralded by many as overstuffed with classic songs, but you could make a credible argument it was an 'off' year for many established greats, more transitional than anything else.

2004, meanwhile, has some elements of both. On the one hand, the charts were very much in the throes of the crunk explosion, but by proxy it was heralding hip-hop's utter dominance of the Hot 100. Yes, in 2004 indie rock was blowing up like you wouldn't see again for nearly a decade - most of which would hit the charts a year later - but 2004 hit the sweet spot where the kinks of southern hip-hop were getting ironed out and allowing for more diversity beyond New York and L.A.. And that was only a good thing, as 2004 was a huge breakthrough year for a number of acts that are now touted today with a ton of critical acclaim, either for landmark debuts or critical highpoints they'd seldom if ever reach again. And when you tack on the fact that pop rock was beginning its own rise, country hadn't started sliding to vapidity, and R&B was holding its own. The only genre that seriously suffered was mainstream pop, but that's more because hip-hop crossovers were doing it so much better, and when you consider that it really didn't have the stark lowpoints of, say, 2007, you can make a very credible argument that 2004 was one of the best years of the 2000s, at least for the Hot 100. And I can't even really say it was colored hugely by my nostalgia - yeah, I know and like a ton of this Hot 100, but it's hard to deny in a year flush with the debuts of Kanye West and Maroon 5, Usher's best album, Alicia Keys' best album, plus high points for Avril Lavigne and OutKast that we got something really special in 2004. And if you think that spoiled a lot of my list... well, maybe a bit, but you haven't seen nothing yet, so let's get this started!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 27, 2018 (VIDEO)

My god, this was a messy week... and honestly, I think the thumbnail kind of captures that, admittedly not one of my best. 

Next up... hmm, it could be interesting, let's see!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 27, 2018

It feels weird when, for once, my predictions are actually mostly right on the money. Granted, they were pretty obvious predictions in who was going to #1 or was going to fall out of the top 10 or even some gains and loses - and if I were to say this week that both Drake songs are going to chart next week, that's not going to blow any minds - but still, it's an odd feeling, especially when there are songs coming up that look pretty damn promising!

Friday, April 10, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 18, 2015 (VIDEO)

Man, it's nice when these videos come together easily for a change. Whew.

Okay, next up I think will be Jlin - or Halestorm, whichever I feel like. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 18, 2015

You know, it's odd, after several weeks with so much going on with the Hot 100, it's nice to get a bit of a breather. The biggest news this week isn't an avalanche of new or returning songs, but rather the longevity of the one at the top, and as such we have one of the smallest number of new tracks that I've ever seen on the twenty weeks I've covered the chart. And honestly, I'm not sure how that'll evolve over the next few weeks - the insanity of the album releases in the first quarter of this year seems to have given way to some relative calm, which means that unless we have more artists throwing curveballs - and I wouldn't discount that - we might have the chance to relax a little here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

video review: 'ludaversal' by ludacris

Finally, a record that didn't let me down in the slightest - man, it might be a quick listen, but it's a ton of fun!

Next up... you know, I think it's time I discuss Death Grips. I think I'm ready, so stay tuned!

album review: 'ludaversal' by ludacris

I didn't think this album would ever be released.

And can you blame me for thinking that? There have been a lot of rappers from the era of the early-to-mid 2000s that didn't last, and for a long time, I thought I'd have to include Ludacris in that list, one of the more iconic southern MCs to explode in that period. And if you go back through the Billboard Hot 100 charts of that time, it can be a little startling to remember how huge he was. Exploding out with an elastic flow, buckets of expressive charisma, solid enough beats and bombast, a great sense of humour, and a lightness of tone that gave his material a strong pop sensibility, it seemed like in the early 2000s he could do no wrong.

Then came Release Therapy in 2006, his shot at more mature subject matter, to prove he could step outside the box, but going back to it almost a decade later, it feels both like an overreach in terms of its concept and yet underweight in terms of insight. And while there are great moments on that record, it was wildly inconsistent in terms of tone and execution, and it wasn't helped by being overloaded with guest stars, which has always been a problem for Ludacris especially when they're nowhere near his level of talent or personality. And the problems continued onto his next two records, Theater of the Mind underperforming and Battle of the Sexes just being embarrassing. Not only did it seem like Ludacris wasn't trying as hard, but he was getting outshone in terms of personality by his guest stars - which should never happen on a Ludacris record! Granted, it didn't help matters that Ludacris frequently found himself as a guest rapper on songs he should never have touched - when you're collaborating with Justin Bieber and Enrique Iglesias, you need to take a step back.

Which takes us to Ludaversal. Recorded over four years, initially announced for 2012 and now pushed back to 2015, I had a lot of reason to believe this album would never get released. As much as I'm a fan of the guy - and I am - Ludacris has been out of the industry for a while, and any leftover buzz from that talent show he was on with Kesha, Brad Paisley, and Josh Groban is gone too. Yeah, he had an EP titled Burning Bridges that was released late in 2014, but was anyone going to care? I did not want to go through another mess like what happened with 50 Cent last year and Animal Ambition - Ludacris has always been one of my favourite southern MCs, I did not want to see him fall off. So with all of those concerns in mind, I checked out Ludaversal - is it good?