Turn It Up

By Danielle Bettendorf, Living & Arts Editor 

As the semester wraps up, more and more of us are finding ourselves buried in work before we leave for break. For the second to last issue, I’ll be taking over from Liz this week to re- view the current top 10 songs in the Billboard Hot 100.

“rockstar” by Post Malone feat. 21 Savage is the current top hit in the country. Post Malone, who is well-known for his last big hit, “Congratulations,” revisits the themes of stardom in the first single from his next album, “Beerbongs and Bentleys.”

“rockstar” runs through the archetypal “sex, drugs and rock and roll” lifestyle of a star, as Post Malone lays his lyrics over a chill backing beat. The high life lyrics contrasted with the lowkey flow make for a endlessly catchy song, so it’s no surprise that this has been the number one song in the country since late October.

Next is “Havana” by Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug, which is a smooth tribute to Cabello’s Cuban background. While this is not her first song after leaving Fifth Harmony, Cabello takes on a mature sound in “Havana” that was not present in earlier works, such as “I Know What You Did Last Summer” or “Bad Things.” If Cabello’s style continues to strengthen, she’ll be able to prove that she can hold a solo career without the group that made her famous.

Number three is “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B, which has become iconic at this point. Cardi B goes hard and includes unapologetic bars that show that while this is her first big hit, she isn’t one to dismiss.

This is especially true with the lack of popular female rappers in the game right now – Cardi B has widely been compared to Nicki Minaj, although the two have dismissed allegations of a feud. If Cardi B continues to be as hard-hitting as she is in “Bodak Yellow,” then all eyes should be on the rapper for the future.

Next is “Too Good at Good- byes” by Sam Smith, which is the lead single from his second album, “The Thrill of It All.” Smith continues to include raw themes in his songs and here ad- dresses the feeling of being left by someone. As with previous songs, Smith opens his heart and taps into a feeling that many of us have experienced, but do not want to admit. Smith isn’t surprised that he has had his heart broken again and has to protect himself, but there’s something resigned and relatable about how Smith recognizes his situation.

Rounding out the top half of the top 10, we have “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons, which has a light, poppy feel that’s really reminiscent of their previous works. Imagine Dragons is recognizable for their multiple hits and that is no different with this new song which tackles the idea of overcoming obstacles with a bouncy backing beat.

At number six is “1-800-273- 8255” by Logic feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid, which has been on the charts since this past summer. The name of the song is the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, which saw an increased rate in calls after the song was released.

The song is raw and speaks deeply to those who have struggled with mental illness and feel- ing “good enough.” While the beginning of the song starts with a feeling of hopelessness, it transitions into support as the song goes on and encourages hope in the face of adversity.

Next is “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man, which is a bop top to bottom. With a strong beat, groovy instrumentals and airy vocals, this is a classic anywhere, be it in the middle of a party or driving in your car.

“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran is number eight, which is a ballad in the passionate style that Sheeran is known for. Fans of the singer will find familiar themes in the song, from the longevity of love in “Thinking Out Loud” to praising imperfections in One Direction’s “Little Things,” which Sheeran co-wrote.

Second to last is “What Lovers Do” by Maroon 5 feat. SZA, which combines styles from both Maroon 5, who is known for their perennial pop hits and SZA, who made headlines this year with her debut R&B album, “Ctrl.” Fans of both artists can appreciate this smooth collaboration that touches on romance.

Last on the list is “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William feat. Beyonce, which is sung in Spanish and features a captivating techno beat throughout. Even after you turn the song off, the beat sticks in your head – so there’s no guessing why the song is so popular.

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