In 2019, liking Lizzo is about as much of a personality trait as loving dogs or claiming cheese is the glue that holds your life together—which is to say that it’s not at all a personality trait and just a widely accepted thing people like. Now, I am not suggesting that Lizzo isn’t amazing, because she is. Her music is wonderful and she deserves every bit of success coming to her right now. Lizzo has blown up in the past year and is pretty universally liked, as evidenced by the fact that her songs are in just about every commercial on air right now, she has 6.2 million followers on Instagram, and her shows sell out immediately. “Who could not like Lizzo?” I have often thought to myself. Apparently, over 9,000 people on Twitter as I am currently writing this, because #LizzoIsOverParty is currently trending. Uh oh, what has she done?
Now, as amazing as Lizzo is, she has not been a stranger to controversy since her ascent to fame. Azealia Banks called her a “millennial mammy” and accused her of making a fool of herself for a white audience. Then again, I give about as much credence to Azealia Banks’s criticisms of other artists as I do to the girls in my high school on Facebook claiming essential oils will cure cancer. That said, in October, Lizzo was accused of plagiarism for her opening line in “Truth Hurts”: “I just took a DNA test, turns out / I’m 100% that bitch”. According to Rolling Stone, “Justin and Jeremiah Raisen claimed that in April 2017 they took part in a writing session with Lizzo, Jesse Saint John and Yves Rothman, during which they all wrote a song called ‘Healthy’ that contained the memorable line”. While Lizzo denied those plagiarism claims, she did acknowledge that Mina Lioness gave the inspiration for the DNA test line, and Lizzo has since officially credited Lioness as a songwriter on “Truth Hurts”.
But the #LizzoIsOverParty drama has nothing to do with “Truth Hurts”. It actually is about another Lizzo song, “Good As Hell”. And let me tell you right off the bat before you get mad at me in the comments section: it is f*cking stupid.
It all started when Lizzo released a remix of “Good As Hell” featuring Ariana Grande. The remix is… fine, but it’s not exactly the female anthem many people thought it would be. (In other words, it’s no “Bang Bang”.) And this is where the drama comes in: “Good As Hell” was on the Billboard charts for 25 weeks, and is currently at #2. That’s good as hell, right? Well, not for Ariana Grande fans, who are salty that Ariana is not listed on the charts, and are calling for Lizzo’s cancelation.
— Mario (@MarioVz16) November 4, 2019
I guess the first thing I should point out is that there is no money to be made in the Billboard charts—the Hot 100 simply ranks songs based on sales (physical and digital), radio play, and online streaming. It would not “cost” anything for Lizzo to credit Ariana, because she is already credited on the remix… but also, there is no monetary gain to be made by simply being listed on the Billboard charts anyway. But, now, here’s the thing. The reason Ariana Grande isn’t listed on the charts is, you guessed it, because the version featuring her is not the version that is charting. The original version, the one without Ariana, is. It’s actually very simple. But it hasn’t stopped Ariana stans from going off on Twitter and saying some dumb things.
Wait so ppl mad that Ari isn’t credited on “Good as Hell”??
Isn’t Ari only on the remix? And isn’t the original the one on the charts?
Why would Ari be credited on the original?
And why get mad at Lizzo when it’s Billboard who published it?#LizzoIsOverParty
— Christian 🌉 (@_xtians) November 4, 2019
Why are you cancelling Lizzo for a version Ariana isn’t even on #LizzoIsOverParty
— Allison the Disney Diva (@Daviesallison1A) November 4, 2019
There is now a battle between Lizzo fans/people with an actual brain, and Ariana Grande stans. And somehow, Kpop fans have also gotten thrown into the mix, for no other reason that I can tell, other than the fact that a lot of KPop fans are hijacking this trending hashtag with Kpop gifs. Why? I have really no idea. The youth is exhausting.
After a thorough investigation, it is with great pleasure that I report to you that Lizzo is decidedly not canceled, and Ariana Grande’s fans need to take about 1,000 chill pills and leave Lizzo alone. This has nothing to do with Ariana Grande, and plus, Ariana has had her fair share of commercial success; one song on the Billboard Hot 100 that she was featured on is not hurting her bottom line. Truthfully, I feel slightly foolish that I, a grown-ass adult, have dedicated a good hour of my time investigating the stupidity and naivete of actual children. But I can’t take it back now, so neither can you!
Images: Getty Images, Daviesallison1A, _xtians, MarioVz16 / Twitter
It’s been two weeks since we found out about Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner’s breakup, but I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. Okay, I stopped thinking about it for a few days, but now I’m back, and I have a major theory about what’s going on here. I won’t pretend to have any insider info here (call me, Kris Jenner!), but I have to get this off my chest. You can choose to believe me or not, but I really think that Travis and Kylie’s breakup might be a publicity stunt. Shocking, I know!
I have a lot of random interests, and one of them happens to be keeping up with the Billboard music charts. The Hot 100 is the main chart for songs in the US, and the new chart comes out every Monday afternoon. So on Monday, I was enjoying my day off of work, when I got a notification that Travis Scott’s song “Highest In The Room” secured a #1 debut on the chart. Hitting #1 at all is a big deal, but debuting at the top of the Hot 100 is pretty rare, so good for Travis.
But seeing Travis Scott do such big chart number got me thinking. Travis is undoubtedly one of the biggest rappers in the world right now, but he hasn’t been releasing new music lately. This year, he’s been featured on a handful of songs, but he’s still mainly been riding high on the massive success of his last album Astroworld. With that in mind, it seems really, um, interesting that Travis would decide to drop his first solo single in over a year just THREE DAYS after news of his very high-profile breakup went public.
Of course, any single Travis Scott releases in 2019 is inevitably going to do well, but this isn’t just any single. There are lines in the song that refer specifically to the circumstances of his relationship issues with Kylie. He had to know that this type of content would be of great interest to the masses, but this is where the timeline gets even more interesting. We have no idea how far in advance the song was written, but Travis announced on September 30th that the song would be dropping on October 4th. That was a full day before TMZ broke the news of the breakup, in the evening of October 1st. DUN DUN DUN.
We also don’t know exactly when Kylie and Travis broke up for real, but Travis announcing the song really makes it seem like he knew when the breakup would be hitting the news. Listening to lyrics like “I’m doin’ a show, I’ll back soon, that ain’t what she wanna hear,” it’s hard to imagine the song making sense if we still thought Travis and Kylie were the happy couple from their Playboy cover just a month ago.
All of this timing would be suspect on its own, but my final straw in buying this whole thing was over the weekend, when a source told E! News that Travis and Kylie are “recovering from their break and are happy to spend time together again.” The source added that a reconciliation is “inevitable,” and that they “just needed some breathing room to work out a few of their issues.” Previously, another source also told ET that Travis and Kylie are “open to getting back together in the future.” Excuse me, Kris Jenner, I’d like a word.
If there’s even an ounce of truth to what these sources are saying, then I’m sorry, but we’ve all been punk’d. We’re supposed to believe that Travis and Kylie had some big breakup barely two weeks ago, and now they’re all good, and ready to be lovey-dovey again? That’s not how relationships work. Add the fact that Travis Scott just magically had a breakup song ready to go, and I’m really not buying it anymore. I’m glad he has another #1 record, and honestly I do really like the song, but it’s all a little too perfect. This has Kris Jenner written all over it, and she’s fooled us too many times before.
Basically, I give Travis and Kylie a few more weeks of doing their own thing, while anonymous sources spew stories of how they’re thinking really hard about whether being together is the right thing for their daughter. Maybe there will be a big public reunion, where Kylie posts a photo of Travis in her Lamborghini or something, or maybe they’ll do things more quietly. Either way, I don’t trust this family as far as I can throw them.
UPDATE: Y’all, it happened. On Monday afternoon, Billboard updated the Hot 100 chart, and “Old Town Road” is at the top for a record-breaking 17th week. Sorry Mariah, but it had to happen eventually. I have a feeling it’ll be a long time before another song spends this many weeks at the top, but either way, Lil Nas X has officially cemented his place in history. What a time to be alive. I’m happy about this, but I’m still thinking about how we’re going to explain this song to our kids in 20 years.
Well, look at that. It’s been literal months, and I still can’t stop listening to “Old Town Road.” Clearly I’m not the only one, because it’s still at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. If you’re thinking that this seems like a really long time for one song to stay at number one, that’s because it is. This week, “Old Town Road” is spending a record-tying 16th week at the top of the chart. Six months ago, none of us had even heard of Lil Nas X, and now he’s about to break a record that’s been going strong for 23 years.
If you don’t usually pay attention to the music charts, try spending a little more time on Reddit. Just kidding, don’t do it. Let’s go over a little background of what all of this actually means. The Hot 100, which is the main chart for singles in the US, dates all the way back to 1958. The formula for ranking the songs has changed a lot over the years, but now it’s a mix of three categories: airplay, sales, and streaming. Obviously Spotify didn’t exist in the ’50s, and the chart has evolved to reflect that. The current record of 16 weeks was first set in 1996 by “One Sweet Day,” a classic Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men collab. If you’re unfamiliar, go listen, that sh*t still slaps.
THANK U TO EVERYBODY WHO STREAMED OLD TOWN ROAD THIS WEEK!! IN A FEW DAYS WE FIND OUT IF WE BROKE THE RECORD!! ITS BEEN A LONG JOURNEY & WHETHER WE HIT IT OR NOT I APPRECIATE & LOVE ALL OF YOU!! ?⚡️⚡️⚡️
— nope (@LilNasX) July 26, 2019
While Mariah has kept the crown since I was literally in diapers, this isn’t the first time that someone has come close to snatching her record. In 2017, “Despacito” also spent 16 weeks at the top, before finally being dethroned by Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” (we’ll get back to Taylor Swift in a minute). Even if Mariah Carey’s 16-week record is toppled next week, she still has some other records that aren’t in danger. She’s the only artist to have her first five singles hit number one, and she’s also tied with Elvis Presley for the most number-one singles by a solo artist. She’ll be fine, and she hilariously told a paparazzi the other day that she doesn’t care about the record being broken.
Let’s get back to “Old Town Road.” One of my favorite things about Lil Nas X’s reign at the top of the charts is how many other artists he’s blocked from getting a number one. Stars who would normally expect a number-one debut have been stalled at number two for months on end, and it’s hilarious. Taylor Swift may have been the one to dethrone “Despacito,” but she’s tried and failed twice to beat “Old Town Road.” Shawn Mendes has also been blocked twice, once with Camila Cabello. Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber tried with “I Don’t Care,” but it didn’t work for them either. Most recently, Billie Eilish’s song “Bad Guy” has been stuck at number two for several weeks, and even a Justin Bieber remix wasn’t enough to push it to the top. “Old Town Road” started as a meme, but now it’s a giant killer of historic proportions.
When you ask Taylor Swift how she really feels about “Old Town Road”:
In the last few weeks, Lil Nas X’s lead over his nearest competition has been narrowing, and all good things must come to an end eventually. He’ll likely have enough Hot 100 chart points to notch a rec0rd-breaking 17th week, especially because his nearest competition—Billie Eilish—has also been losing steam on the chart. The only really big artist to drop a single last week was Taylor Swift, but by releasing “The Archer” on a Tuesday, it only had three days of tracking for the Hot 100 that will be released next Monday. Barring something unexpected (I was about to say tragedy, but that feels dramatic), the record is Lil Nas X’s to lose.
And even if Lil Nas X isn’t at the top of next week’s Hot 100, he’s already made plenty of history. He has the longest-running chart-topper for a debut single, and the longest for an openly gay artist. I was so excited when Lil Nas X came out last month, because he really does have the chance to make a positive change in both the hip hop community and the music industry in general. It doesn’t seem like this should be a big deal in 2019, but it still is.
Even if you don’t love “Old Town Road” (what are you doing with your life?), you’ve got to admit that it’s inspired some truly amazing memes. I’ve been going strong on Lil Nas X memes for months now, and honestly, I have no desire to stop any time soon.
I could literally post seven of my own memes here, but I will selflessly spread the love.
While we’ve talked a lot about the chart power of “Old Town Road,” maybe we haven’t even begun to explore its political potential? Honestly, I’m willing to explore this route. Nancy Pelosi, u up?
Maybe Lil Nas X can trick Nancy Pelosi into doing some sort of Old Town Road Impeachment remix. I'm open to try anything and he seems very powerful.
— Vinegar Mike ?️? (@VinegarMike) July 25, 2019
We all love the memes, and so does Lil Nas X. This week, he’s been having a great time getting his fans to stream the song as much as possible, retweeting sh*t like this:
Listening to Lil Nas remixes of Old Town Road so he can have the longest running song on the charts pic.twitter.com/3fOeLiFVLs
— Berry (@PinkMiruku) July 23, 2019
Honestly, where did they find this photo of me, because I feel very seen.
However you feel about “Old Town Road,” we all should applaud Lil Nas X. He’s already a queer icon, his debut single is one of the biggest songs of all time, and he’s also hilarious and humble on social media. Who knows where his career will go from here, but I have a feeling it’s going to be fun to watch, whatever happens.
Images: Getty Images; LilNasX, vinegarmike, pinkmiruku / Twitter; dylanhafer / Instagram; Giphy