The 2017 Billboard Year-End Hot 100, Ranked in 100% Subjective Order

Lamar

The Billboard Hot 100 in 2017 was filled with mainstream and underground hip-hop, emergent Latin pop that straddles language, and sadness. I’ve been listening.

Just like last year, I took valuable time out of my life to rank every song on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 in order of my preference. There is nothing definitive or objective on this list, and I often felt no need to explain my choices. Some things speak for themselves.

I disqualified the following songs because I hadn’t heard them enough to make a “fair” “judgment”: Ayo & Teo’s “Rolex”; YFN Lucci’s “Everyday We Lit”; Blackbear’s “Do Re Mi”; and XXXTentacion’s “Look At Me!”

I disqualified the following songs because I associated them more with 2016, or because they appeared on my ranking last year: The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” feat. Halsey; The Weeknd’s “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming,” both feat. Daft Punk; Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” feat. Nicki Minaj; DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber’s “Let Me Love You”; D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” feat. Lil Yachty; Hailee Steinfeld & Zedd’s “Starving” feat. Grey; Shawn Mendes’s “Treat You Better”; Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”; Twenty One Pilots’ “Heathens”; and Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” feat. Gucci Mane.

Without further ado…

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Things I Loved This Year: Bruno Mars Gets In and Gets Out

Each day this month (assuming I don’t get busy or bored!), I’ll reflect on a tiny sliver of pop culture that I enjoyed or appreciated this year — scenes, shots, gestures, verses, sights, sounds, moments. Today: complimenting Bruno Mars in a way that sounds like an insult.

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Something unexpected happens at the 32-minute mark on Bruno Mars’ album 24K Magic. I sat back in my chair.

The album ends.

It’s over. That’s it! Nine songs, each less than five minutes long. No skits, no tangents, no filler. Four years between albums, and here’s what Bruno Mars has to show for it: nine songs, all stellar.

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Coldplay-ing the Super Bowl

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A Wall Street Journal reporter just broke the news that Coldplay will be the musical act for the halftime show at Super Bowl 50. Twitter has already erupted in “outrage.”

 

Taken in isolation, those are all valid responses to this news. You have every right to think that you will not enjoy a Coldplay set during the halftime show. But there’s a point at which this frustration becomes futile and draining.

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The M&M Report, Episode 20: #Sports

Super Bowl

Listen to Episode 20 here.

Welcome to the M&M Report! This week, Devin Mitchell and I welcomed special guest Eric Saltzman to talk about the Super Bowl and the Olympics. We assessed the legacy of Peyton Manning, picked our favorite commercials, criticized NBC’s coverage of the games and previewed the most interesting Sochi events.

Next week, we’ll be back with a discussion of the year’s best TV so far. Thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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2013 in Review: The Best and Worst of Top 40

Lorde

It’s easy to look back at the year in music and only see images of Miley Cyrus twerking, Robin Thicke skeeving and Pharrell dominating. With this list, I’m shining a spotlight on the best that pop music had to offer this year, whether it involved blurred lines or diamonds in the rough. I combed over every Billboard Hot 100 chart from this year and picked my favorite songs that cracked the Top 40.

You’ll notice there are 12 songs on this list. Why not? Ten is just as arbitrary. These are 12 songs I really like. I hope you’ll find something worth celebrating here. No use cutting corners. (To make my life easier, I did my best to exclude songs that made bigger splashes in 2012 than they did in 2013, including Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools (Drank).”)

You’ll also notice that these songs are in alphabetical order by the artist’s first name. Why? Because it’s too difficult for me to decide which of these songs is better than the others. They’re good for different reasons, and I don’t see any value in fussing with which reasons matter more.

(The playlist isn’t in alphabetical order – in fact, it’s not in any order at all, except my vague attempt to create a pleasurable listening experience.)

Without further ado, my favorite Top 40 songs of 2013.


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Three Reasons to Be Excited for Bruno Mars at Halftime

Bruno Mars

Super Bowl XLVIII is still five months away, but the hype has already started: pop sensation Bruno Mars will headline the annual Halftime Show concert. Mars has big shoes to fill: Beyoncé brought the house down last year, and previous performers include Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, the Black Eyed Peas and The Who. Here are three reasons to get excited for the end of the first two quarters of gameplay.

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