Welcome back to another Top 40 Review where I review the latest entries to the Hot 100’s Top 40. You know? Even with a stagnant Top 10 (thanks, summer) I’m actually starting to feel a bit more confident about the charts overall. There’s more songs that I either like or don’t mind that much. That can easily change, but if the future is like this, I’m cool with it. Let’s get started.
#40. Drowning-A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie ft Kodak Black: Here’s a song that’s been in and out of the Top 40 for a bit, Drowning by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. My God, that name is stupid. Hey. You want a lasting career as a rapper? Then have your rap name be a short sentence. It works out pretty well, right, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em? All joking aside, this song is basic and generic as rap can be. It has a decent beat, unnecessary Auto-Tune, a meh flow, and basic bragging lyrics. Good luck on trying to win that Grammy with songs like this. It’s not the worst thing I ever heard and I’m willing to let it slide. That is until Kodak Black showed up. Fuck. This dude. With his awful voice and rapping, he made a somewhat passable song worse. Screw it: Lil Uzi Vert is no longer the worst rapper from last year’s XXL Freshman class, Kodak Black is and he’s not just a bad artist, but he’s also a bad person as well. This dude is unable to stay out of trouble with the law, going to jail for various crimes including sexual assault. And then there’s his comments on dark-skinned women.
Fuck this guy. He is officially on the same level as Chris Brown. Back to Drowning. I was originally going to give it a D, but Kodak Black alone knocks it down to an F.
#39. Issues-Julia Michaels: D
#38. You Da Baddest-Future ft Nicki Minaj: Here’s two names that I’m not tired of seeing, Future and Nicki Minaj. Oh, joy. You all know how I feel about these two at this point, so let’s look at their collaboration You Da Baddest. It’s a “love” song that goes through the checklist of all the cliches of a Future song, plus an annoying Nicki Minaj appearance. The only thing different is the more upbeat production, but even the production is generic. Aside from that, it’s nothing we haven’t heard from Future before. I give it an F.
#37. Love Galore-SZA ft Travis Scott: We could use more female R&B artists who aren’t just Rihanna and Beyonce. Enter SZA, an R&B singer signed to TDE, the same label as Kendrick Lamar. She just released her debut album this year called CTRL. It’s really good and worth checking out. Her big hit from the album is Love Galore with Travis Scott. This is far from the best song on the album, but I enjoy it a lot. The beat is laid-back and sets an atmosphere while SZA laments on regrets about an ex-lover who has moved on to someone else. Travis Scott was cool here. I hope to see more from SZA as the months go by and this song sticks around. I give it a B.
#36. Everyday We Lit-YFN Lucci ft PnB Rock: F
#35. Magnolia-Playboi Carti: F
#34. Feel it Still-Portugal The Man: Finally, a rock song in the Top 40. “WHAT ABOUT IMAGINE DRAGONS?” What about Imagine Dragons? Anyways, Feel It Still. This is another one of those songs that was in a lot of commercials, which explains its popularity. The only flaw of the song is the vocals, which can get a bit annoying. But I really dig the instrumentation. It reminds me of a lot of bluesy, 60s psychedelia with that groovy baselines and those horn riffs. In spite of the vocals, I do like this song and it’s getting a B from me.
#33. Slippery-Migos ft Gucci Mane: F
#32. Praying-Kesha: It’s interesting to see the public opinion of Kesha change through the years. When she first started in 2010, she was seen by music fans as one of the worst artists to come out. Shit, she made the Top 2 spots on my Worst of 2010 list for songs she did with 3OH!3. Then came the Warrior album, which showed an artistic growth that drew people to her (plus, a certain music reviewer might’ve had a hand in influencing people’s tastes). And then there was her legal battle with Sony and Dr. Luke which garner sympathy from everyone except for those who like to victim-blame. Now, she’s a beloved artist with people looking forward to her music and her comeback was in the form of Praying. I’m one of the few people in the world who isn’t a Kesha fan, but I have to give credit where credit is due: this is a good song, though it’s not the masterpiece it’s been hyped up to be. It has some nice instrumentation for a piano ballad and there is some good vocals from Kesha, plus, there’s some emotional weight as she’s leaving the whole Dr. Luke bullshit behind. Still, that doesn’t mean that I’m joining the Kesha love train and it’s not a song that I’ll be listening to again and again. She’s now one of those artists who I respect more than I like. I give Praying a B.
#31. LOYALTY-Kendrick Lamar ft Rihanna: Kung-Fu Kenny coming to save the day. Yeah, I’ve been waiting on this for a while. LOYALTY is one of the more mainstream-friendly tracks off of DAMN and it makes sense for it to be the next single because it’s great. You have a beat that samples the intro to 24K Magic and flips it into this R&B/rap fusion. Rihanna is showing more chemistry with Kendrick than she ever did with Drake as they show their LOYALTY LOYALTY LOYALTY to their significant other. Speaking of Rihanna, she murders this song. Kendrick did good, too, but Rihanna’s deadpan rapping was just dope as hell. If she ever decides to rap and she uses this style, I would be behind it, depending on the song. I give it an A.
#30. Sorry Not Sorry-Demi Lovato: What is Demi Lovato trying to do? That’s a serious question I have. I have no idea what direction she’s going with this song. This is Sorry Not Sorry, an awful, awful song. This is Confident if it was written and produced by an incompetent boob. The production has a gospel sound along with a bass backbeat that hasn’t been mixed well. Vocally, Demi does way too much screeching and it sounds really sloppy thanks to the mixing. The writing lacks detail to make the song work and undermines the “bad bitch” thing. This is an overall disappointment and it’s getting an F.
#29. Castle On The Hill-Ed Sheeran: A
#28. Mi Gente-J Balvin & Willy William: Ever since Despacito became a smash hit, there’s been an increase in Latin pop songs charting. These songs have always existed, but you can tell the industry is looking for the next Despacito. Looks like the next Latin hit is going to be Mi Gente. Out of all of the songs the public could’ve chose, why this one? This is easily the worst one and it’s all thanks to the production. Now I normally don’t mind vocal samples as long as they’re mixed correctly, but this is crossing the line. The melody is just this same high-pitched vocal sample looped again and again along with some cluttered percussion that makes the song unlistenable. J Balvin is dull as a rock and Willy William is doing his worst Pitbull impersonation. This is a sad joke of a song that makes more appreciative of Despacito. At least it wasn’t THIS. I give it an F.
#27. Location-Khalid: C
#26. Rake It Up-Yo Gotta ft Nicki Minaj: Because Down In The DM was such a hit, Yo Gotti thought it would be a great idea to capture lightning in a bottle twice with another Nicki Minaj collaboration, Rake It Up. This is off of his mixtape with Mike Will Made-It that no one cares about and I care so little about it. For some reason, Mike Will gave Yo Gotti a beat devoid of any melody, just bass and percussion. Yo Gotti isn’t a bad rapper, just an uninteresting one overall and he was pretty dull. Nicki rhymes words with themselves and spits a bunch of cliches. As bad as Down In The DM was, at least it had a somewhat interesting concept. This is an empty barebones strip club song that will have no place on my playlist. I give it an F.
#25. Say You Won’t Let Go-James Arthur: D
#24. It Ain’t Me-Kygo & Selena Gomez: A
#23. Mask Off-Future: D
#22. Now Or Never-Halsey: F
#21. Feels-Calvin Harris ft Pharrell, Katy Perry, & Big Sean: D
#20. XO Tour Life-Lil Uzi Vert: F
#19. Stay-Zedd & Alessia Cara: C
#18. Bank Account-21 Savage: In small quantities, 21 Savage can be alright. I still think he’s boring, but there is an appeal to his cold, sinister menace that can work with the right song. Hell, No Heart isn’t that bad of a song. But keeping it honest, I don’t want to hear an entire project like this because it’s bound to be redundant. Now let’s look at 21 Savage’s big hit Bank Account. It’s a meh song. The production isn’t that bad, the guitar blends well with the bass-heavy beat. But then you have 21 Savage using Auto-Tune for no reason, especially when he’s still rapping with the enthusiasm as being in summer school, and bars about being a hardcore killer with lots of money. And some stupid lines.
I been smoking gas and I got no asthma
I don’t hate this song, but I don’t need to listen to it again. It’s getting a D from me.
#17. Something Just Like This-The Chainsmokers & Coldplay: B
#16. Strip That Down-Liam Payne ft Quavo of Migos: F
#15. Slow Hands-Niall Horan: D
#14. Bodak Yellow-Cardi B: I’ve been trying to avoid mentioning this person for a long time and for good reason. This is Cardi B, a reality TV star on Love & Hip-Hop who’s also a rapper. I never take reality TV stars seriously and Cardi B isn’t changing that anytime soon with Bodak Yellow, which was inspired by Kodak Black, the last person ANYONE should be inspired by. I will say this: she has a better flow than Kodak. Still doesn’t mean she doesn’t have an annoying voice nor does it make this song any good or interesting. This is basically what Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, and Trina would make today, a typical “I’m a bad bitch” song, complete with flexing material items, rhyming words with themselves, dissing haters, etc., all over a bargain-bin trap beat. I can easily do without this song existing. It’s an F.
#13. HUMBLE-Kendrick Lamar: A
#12. Redbone-Childish Gambino: A
#11. Congratulations-Post Malone ft Quavo of Migos: F
#10. Body Like A Backroad-Sam Hunt: F
#9. Shape Of You-Ed Sheeran: C
#8. There’s Nothing Holding Me Back-Shawn Mendes: D
#7. Attention-Charlie Puth: F
#6. I’m The One-DJ Khaled & company: F
#5. Believer-Imagine Dragons: F
#4. That’s What I Like-Bruno Mars: A
#3. Unforgettable-French Montana: D
#2. Wild Thoughts-DJ Khaled ft Rihanna & Bryson Tiller: C
#1. Despacito-Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee: D
Feel It Still
Sorry Not Sorry
So those were the Top 40 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 as of August 8, 2017. Stay tuned next month when I do another Top 40 Review. This week, look forward to the Worst Songs of 1986 list.