Photo via Taylor Swift on Tumblr
No matter what is going on in the world, there is music playing somewhere. But in our fine country, The Great Melting Pot and The Home of the Internet, it’s hard to say what exactly that music is. We’re pretty much all in our own bubbles, listening to weird trap remixes and unearthed YouTube rarities, and we’re not necessarily aware of the other music that transcends bubbles and works as pop. Identifying the biggest song in the country can be a complex issue—not least because there a million sources of potentially relevant data, and most of them didn’t exist a couple years ago.
Since it would take away from all the time you spend looking up dope music on Noisey.com to spend too much time figuring out what is actually popular, this is a new series dedicated to answering that pressing question: What is the biggest song in the country right now? We’ll use a variety of highly scientific methods and plenty of unscientific ones to get you the answer you deserve and make sure that you know exactly what it is that everyone else is paying attention to so you can pay attention, too.
Last week, we discussed the ongoing showdown between Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" while also exploring the phenomenon of OG Maco's "U Guessed It" and dissecting Kendrick Lamar's "i." Some of those are back, while a few new contenders have entered the conversation. So, let's find out: What is the biggest song in the country?
The Biggest Song in the Country is “Just Gettin’ Started” by Jason Aldean
We have a new entry! The top song on the iTunes download charts (at least at the exact moment I wrote this) is this dirt road horndog anthem. Jason Aldean has a new album coming next week called Old Boots, New Dirt, but another thing that’s about to be coming—sooner than next week, by the sound of it—is the two people in the car in this song. Beyond the sex stuff, “burn a little rubber at the red light / got a little warning from the blue lights” is a great lyric, so I am on board. Which in this case I guess means I am in the backseat on the cusp of a very intense third wheel situation.
The Biggest Song in the Country is “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
As we enter week four of the cold war between Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor, Taylor sits atop the Spotify tracks chart and at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. But Taylor scored big points this week by wearing a “no its becky” shirt and bringing a Tumblr meme about herself to life. Taylor is all about the long game, and the long game is only partially about having the best song that appeals to people’s desire to prove they are not boring no matter how boring they might be. It’s also about having some of the best memes that people can share to reiterate how not boring they are. And I am 100 percent serious that “no its becky” is a good fucking meme.
The Biggest Song in the Country is “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
In the future, will we remember this song? And if we do, will we remember it as very good or very bad?
The Biggest Song in the Country is “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora
Last night, Kansas City became America’s city when the scrappy Kansas City Royals won the American League Wild Card play-in game and became legit Major League Baseball playoff contenders for the first time in 29 years. And since Kansas City is now America’s City, it’s worth asking what people in Kansas City are listening to. According to the “Top Songs” widget on the website of Kansas City top 40 radio station Mix 93.3, America’s song is “Black Widow,” a song by two non-Americans. You know what? I’m just going to scrap my methodology here because a) do we really want to all spend the next month trying to learn who is on the Kansas City Royals roster? and b) because despite our British pals’ enthusiasm for Rita Ora and the relentless half-decade push to make Rita Ora a thing in America, no one is asking for Rita Ora to be a thing in America, let alone the thing in America. I’m all for musicians having interesting style and expressing themselves through that, but I think we all have a duty to refuse artists who are marketed to us primarily as style icons. Let’s just go with the other top song on this widget, the show “Rocket and Teresa in the Morning.”
The Biggest Song in the Country is “Yellow Flicker Beat” by Lorde
The new Lorde song is also the theme song for the upcoming Hunger Games movie, which is guaranteed to make a ridiculous amount of money (the last two installments each pulled in over $400 million). On top of that, Taylor Swift Instagrammed this picture of the lyrics, and Taylor Swift, as previously established, is one of the most famous people in the world. With the power of Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift, and Lorde combined behind it, along with the music itself being pretty badass, this song could inspire our nation much as Katniss inspired the people of Panem. The Hunger Games movie is going to be so dope. My other proof that this song is huge? I did a Twitter search for "is the best song," and I found this guy, who tweeted at Lorde 50 times that her new song is the best song in the world:
If that's not conclusive proof then I guess I don't understand statistics.
The Biggest Song in the Country is “Don’t Tell ‘Em” by Jeremih
Yeah, this song has been everywhere for months, but, by the ‘what can I hear from my bedroom window’ test, it’s still huge. And it’s only gaining new legs because Jeremih’s album comes out in two weeks, and, at the current rate, there’s basically a new remix every week (for those of you paying close attention, this means there’s easily room for two more remixes before the album arrives). G-Unit and T.I. each made their own unofficial versions earlier this summer, and an official remix with Ty Dolla $ign and French Montana came out two weeks ago. Then Migos made a remix. Most recently, Pitbull joined the track for a Spanish language version that is awesome because the phrase “no le diga” sounds way better than “don’t tell ‘em.” With each remix, this song’s power grows, like a hydra made up of DJ Mustard piano plinks, and there’s no telling what sort of a behemoth it could become.
Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.