THE BILLBOARD TOP 20 RANKED: December 17, 2016

The first three weeks of 2017 have been...weird.

Where to begin. Rae Sremmurd gets a #1 hit and I actually like it, Bruno Mars does a thing, Machine Gun Kelly gets a hit, John Mayer and Train make comebacks, A Tribe Called Quest blows everybody's mind, the late Leonard Cohen gets his first charting single, Childish Gambino goes for R&B, Eminem remasters a classic, and The Weeknd absolutely sets the world on fire yet again.

Mostly a net positive, I'd say. We might have a great year ahead of us. Does the top 20 reflect it?

The DIE Tier (-1/5)

20. Closer
While I am glad to see this bland, lazy, shrill, overproduced, hedonistic toolbag-fantasy trash is finally off the #1 spot, I will never forgive the public for letting it go there. That's all I'll say for now, because I need words for the year-end lists.

19. Juju On That Beat
Well. Here's where we've come to. A lazy, malformed "song" that shows exactly why Vine died, that plagiarizes from an already only decent song and never gives credit while not doing anything with said beat, containing four rhymes in the whole song, two of the most annoying vocalists to ever hit a mic, that takes Me Too's insulting lyrics and pairs it with reptition and stealing a bunch of dances, that actually makes me miss Silentó who in turn made me miss Soulja Boy...made it top 5. I don't like to call a kind of music dead, but...mainstream hip-hop kind of is.

The SCRUB Tier (0/5)

18. Fake Love
We did it guys. We let Drake have yet another top 20 hit within the proximity of Views. And it's worse than Child's Play. I can't even believe it. Sure, you could argue that the banal lyrics and boring desaturated trap beat give it a more mediocre feel than outright bad...listen to Drake here! He sounds terrible! His overdone nasal yelp sounds just as dull as his lower range, but now he blends that blandness with a less inspired Young Thug impression. And it's only #18.

17. Treat You Better
You all already know why this song absolutely blows, but I'll give you a short summary at least. It's a drudging, turgid, sluggish bog of a song that plays to the nice guy stereotype of trying to steal another guy's girlfriend (while also telling her not to cry, not to help her feel better, but because he wants to nail her quicker), and BAD A DADDY CAN.

16. Don't Wanna Know
This is where I lose all my respect for Maroon 5. V might have been a disaster of huge proportions that gets worse by the day, but at least that album had groove and know...Maroon 5-ish. This is all Adam Levine's bitter whining, with none of the story or details that made me kinda like songs like One More Night. He isn't even putting enough passion into his falsetto to be annoying, he just kinda sits there. Kinda like this production, which takes hazy tropical synths and pairs it with...nothing. Except a vocal melody on the chorus that rips off both Let Me Love You by DJ Snake and Fight Song by Rachel Platten.. It's a stiff, colorless shlock that also represents the lyrics, and on that note, I guess we should mention Kendrick...dude, learn how to say no already! What do you have to lose here? I'll say it, if you like this song in any way, you are a fanboy like I once was. There's nothing to redeem this, and the fact that it's actually becoming a successful comeback single is infuriating. Break up, Adam Levine Experience, before it's too late.

15. Caroline

14. Bad Things
So...this is Machine Gun Kelly's first hit. Shame. Remember that one G-Eazy song Me Myself and I? You know, the one with the ego so huge that it distracted from the main point of the lyrics, along with an atrocious chorus thanks to Bebe Rexha, and was only saved from being a 0/10 by the production being pretty good? Imagine if all of those things became worse. This beat is boring as tar. The icy pianos are too boring to be enticing but too gross to be gentle when you combine it with the slow, chunky beat. And MGK...well. Camila Cabello also does the hook. Honestly I could have just left this in the BAD TIER without her. Camila says she only wants to do bad things to me, and only bad things she is doing. This song's only a month old and I never want to hear it again.

The BAD Tier (1/5)

13. Starving
This song is fundamentally broken. It's kinda major, kinda minor, and when you combine that with the thin, bigger-than-it-can-muster acoustic foundation yeah it's pretty awkward. As is the nonexistent vocal melody. And the "rhyme scheme". And the drop...yeah what's redeeming to this?

12. The Greatest
I'll be the first to admit that the Sean Paul version of Cheap Thrills was awesome. That song was fun, bouncy, it was a way to switch from Sia's typically very heavy and monolithic style so that it wouldn't become a drag, and above all it was just loose. This song is dedicated to the Orlando nightclub victims, but it's just restrained in the worst ways possible. It's trying to be dark yet uplifting, but the lyrics are so generic and the trap beat mixed into the marimba is so thin and lifeless that it doesn't work for either. It's like Fight Song by Rachel Platten, but even worse this time because these are two artists I genuinely love. And speaking of which...Kendrick Lamar, learn how to say no before it starts hurting you badly.

The MEH Tier (2/5)

11. Cold Water
Justin Bieber, the ambient version.

10. Let Me Love You
Justin Bieber, the angsty version.

The DECENT Tier (3/5)

9. Broccoli
You already know what's good and bad in this song, but I'll tell you anyway. With just D.R.A.M. and the beat, this could have been #1. It's fun, it's bouncy, it's well-made, it's crafty, it's elastic, it brings a smile to my face everytime. But if Lil Yachty isn't just the worst thing ever...

The GOOD Tier (4/5)

8. I Hate U, I Love U
The public seems to have taken a turn on this song, however that may be possible. But as someone who can stay interested in anything so long as it not be Trilogy-era Green Day, Boards of Canada, or The Head And The Heart, I can dig this. It has a really cool atmosphere that's minimalist, but also kinda beautiful. The somber piano is really not matched up with much else other than the echoing explosions of percussion, and it sets the very retrospective but still kinda desperate mood of the song. And yeah, I like both performers here. Gnash sounds like Drake, but somehow he still has a unique twist to him. He's less buzzy and more fluttery, and I like that. Olivia O Brien is just perfection either way. They both tell about their sides of a story where they both want each other back, but can't come together again due to circumstances outside of their control. And ultimately that's where my problem with this comes in: if you both miss each other, why not come back together? It works way better here than on We Don't Talk Anymore, mainly because that song played to an entirely different context and was even more worthless, but stull. I feel like this is the second coming of Say Something: this would work way better if it was just one of them.

I'd also like to point out the fact that this is the only good song of this guy's: seriously, Gnash is absolutely awful.

7. Black Beatles
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. Be quiet, it grew on me. This was absolutely loathsome at first, but I gotta say, listening to this with headphones makes it a huge grower. I place this entirely on the bass and chimes, and they really bump in the whip, and even give the higher elements more impact. But yeah, the lyrics are worthless, Swae Lee sounds like a slightly more interesting Lil Yachty, Slim Jxmmi doesn't even have a fraction of the power he thinks he does, and Gucci Mane's verse is drug-overloaded. But all the matters is the production, right? Yeah...the glossy synths and gleamy keys don't resolve...ever. The synths just keep flattening out and restarting, and the keys don't really do much other than float around all over the place...why do I like this song again? I should just stop.

The GREAT Tier (5/5)

6. Party Monster
The Weeknd released four singles for the incredible Starboy before its release, and two of them are in this top 20. If the three other pieces represented style, grit, and happiness (you all know the one's I'm talking about), this one is straight-up darkness. The slick steel guitar, the bleak synths, The Weeknd's lower pitch, it's all a very up-front and brooding song that works way better than The Hills ever could. But this isn't even the shiniest treasure in the chest.

5. Side To Side
Quality-wise, Ariana Grande is pop artist of 2016. All of the singles she's released from the album I've liked at least a little (except Let Me Love You), and this might just be the best one. The bouncy reggae guitars, the glitchy synths, the beat that knows that it's support rather than the focus, it has a ton of groove and energy, how can you not love it? And the lyrics...well...I'll let you see for yourself!

4. 24K Magic
Who would have known that Bruno would come back like this?...well, everyone with a functioning brain. While this probably isn't better than Treasure, it's definitely on that level. The gleamy key flutters, the punchy bassy synths, the gang vocals, Bruno's very chill earnesty, the incredible vocoders, it's very Uptown Funky in the best ways. I don't even hate the bridge, honestly. What can I say? It's a fun new jack swing song in 2016, what more can I ask for?

3. Scars To Your Beautiful
Artists like Alessia Cara are often the internet's punching bag. And while that mostly makes sense, what separates Alessia from Halsey is that she has nuance, she has a great voice, she has likable personality, and...she has this. My lord is this incredible. The smooth warble of the piano against the massive percussion, it's almost what would happen if Sober by Pink was done while Pink was in her teens. And speaking of Sober...these lyrics really do hit hard, as someone approaching his teenage years. The chorus is a pretty standard empowerment singalong, but the verses detail two intense scenarios of both self-harm and self-inflicted anorexia. Showing how teens struggle with their identity and their own lives, it's incredibly dark yet somehow really empowering. And this isn't even the best song on Know-It-All. Alessia, keep it up. You've really done something special.

2. Heathens
Admit it ProPanda, you hate it because Ethan likes it. This is a psychologically crushing wonder of a song. The desaturated pianos, croaking guitars, razor-sharp drums, and ghastly wooping synths give off a very isolated, lonely vibe, and the multitracking accentuated by the double-pitched vocal layering that somehow isn't annoying definitely suits. But what is the song about? Well, it's a jab at older fans of twenty-øne piløts, but it's more of a warning towards newer fans to steer clear. The fact that it has to exist is just plain amazing. But the reason that this song is the second best in the top 20 is that synth blowout. A perfectly timed buildup of bass and multilayered synths that explodes so satisfyingly complete with the Blurryface " WATCH IT", it's incredibly well-executed. I wonder if this is what their next album will be like...

The WOAH Tier (6/5)

1. Starboy
The king of kings. This song shows Abel taking his fame and using it as more ammunition against his critics. While it's mostly bragging, the main point is that The Weeknd knows that the people who bring him down are the people that made him famous for his brooding hedonism, thus get what they asked for. But man, if Daft Punk's instrumental isn't perfect. The plucky beat that has a ton of swing to it with repeated listens, the gargantuan liquid bass, the washed-out grand piano, the vocoders, and above, that piccolo is incredible. And this isn't even the best song on the album. Process that.

TOTAL: 51/100. Relatively average, we're definitely improving. Maybe 2017 could be good...this is WonkeyDude98, and reviews are not coming out for a WHILE.


"anyone with a functioning brain"

Ok, I guess I'm stupid but that hurt...

And no I hate Heathens because of Tyler's voice, the cringey lyrics, and the boring beat

And where's sweater by jacoo saggytit thagreki is rfedklike the wrost song of 2016 sdhould b liek #1 or something yous tupif troll - ProPanda

That's not what I meant by


It's up uranus - WonkeyDude98

By the way none of that bothered you until Ethan said in video that he liked it. - WonkeyDude98

Well, actually I hated it since like a month after the Summer 16 thing - ProPanda

No WonkeyDude98 it's up Neptune - AlphaQ

No AlphaQ, it's up Pluto - Hotheart123

Sweater by Jacob saggytitsaurus is #-infinity. BRUH. - AlphaQ

Sad that this year didn't pull a 2015 on us by making the last months great musically. - Martinglez

I like 24K Magic. Its addictive. I kept humming it all day today. Why is Starboy so so high? - Zizz

1. Same.
2. Because it's pop perfection. - WonkeyDude98

Caroline isn't so good though.

Closer? More like So baby pull me closer to the #1 spot on the worst list. I'm ok with Closer but I prefer Don't Let me Downn - AlphaQ

"Maybe 2017 could be good..." - Ah, brother Wonkey. So naive. If only you knew what was coming...if only you knew... - DCfnaf