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September 7, 2015 / bloggenstatt

Dope or Nope for the week of Sept. 6

After a cross-country move from South Carolina to Illinois, I’m back to aggressively opining about music. While my scenery has changed, my awful compulsion to write about pop in binary terms persists.

Spotify’s U.S. Top 50 features a new top song, but otherwise familiar faces comprise the list, so after my take on the No. 1 song, I’ll be checking in on the mercurial Top 50 Viral Chart.

1. “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber

He’s been tabloid fodder,  roasted and his likeness has been in a truly bizarre animated short, but the Biebs is back at the top of the charts, and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s totally possible Bieber is the mean-spirited drug-addled vortex of misdemeanors gossip rags make him out to be, but we gave a teenager more money than God and tasked an adult named Scooter to look after him.

I hope we’re proud of this one, Society.

Is the song any good? Not really, but adult Bieber’s gently baritone is way more tolerable than his earlier output, and this breezy tune is basically reheated “Where Are U Know”, right down to the moronic question title and vague Eastern influence.

This truly exists outside of the realm of Dope or Nope. Of course it’s an awful song, but its popularity is a triumph of moral decay and proof good things happen to seemingly awful people, so I’m on board.

Anyway on to Spotify’s United States Top 50 Viral chart.

  1. “Easy Love” by Sigala

Some piano progressions and xylophone sounds accompany a shameless Michael Jackson sample. I simultaneously hate this song and have a deeply entrenched wish to here it while inebriated in an outdoor setting, so all my self-righteous defenses are out of the way. I mean it’s bouncy percussion and the Prince of Pop set to a dance beat. Obnoxiously obvious, but pretty infectious. It’s basically cocaine cut with Pixie stix.

A very lukewarm Dope.

3. “Nobody to Love” by Alex Newell

It’s like if the Boggles felt like covering the Charlie Wilson portion of “Bound 2” Why does this exist? Who heard the Kanye West girl-group sampling original and said, “Very cool. Well, not the rapping, just the guy from the Gap Band part. I bet I could play THAT on key-tar,”? This is the worst.


4. “Downtown” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Gradnmaster Caz, Melle Mel, Cool Moe Dee

Macklemore is well aware he is percieved as more of a novelty than a great M.C. That’s why he’s co-opted a slew of hugely influential early rap icons for his new song. Unfortunately, the song inexplicably opens with the opening melody of “The Safety Dance” before descending into knockoff “Uptown Funk” territory. When you are the “Transmorphers” to “Uptown Funk” things are dire.


5. “Makeba” by Jain

This song definitely has a world music flair. Vague horns and panting kick things off before ceding to rubbery synth. Some super light research, and an almost non-sequitor human rights reference, would lead me to believe this song is an homage to Miriam “Mama Africa” Makeba. I have no idea if it’s a fitting tribute, but it’s a fun song, which I suspect obscures some pointed sentiments, “I want to feel oppressed without any arrests” isn’t exactly a t-shitrt slogan, but I won’t know for sure until the next Cracked listicle about happy songs with dark meanings.


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