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 explored Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," and Bobby Shmurda's "Hot N—a," among other entries. 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 “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
It continues to be all about that “All About That Bass,” which this week, like last week, is the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 and which passed Taylor Swift to be the number one song on the iTunes Store. It’s really just settling into the comfort zone though: This week a mom-themed parody video dropped, and Meghan Trainor had her obligatory “I don’t consider myself a feminist” pop star moment and accompanying reactions from commenting publications of note. Settle in for the long late summer of Meghan Trainor because it’s probably about to be all about that bass—no treble—for the foreseeable future.
The Biggest Song in the Country is “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
Taylor takes the number one spot from Meghan on Spotify but loses it on iTunes. The battle royale of who has more colorful sweaters and who is less invested in her haters’ feelings re: shaking it continues apace.
The Biggest Song in the Country is “Fireball” by Pitbull
According to YouTube’s “Popular on YouTube” channel, “Pitbull and Tiesto lead the pack of the latest, hottest music videos,” which is a sentence that is arguably always true but is especially true this week, the week of the “Fireball” video release. Anyway, the video is Casablanca meets Animaniacs, and it is pretty good. If you happen to find yourself in a film noir cabaret or a place where cinnamon-flavored whiskey is served in the near future, you have pretty much one music listening option at your disposal (this song).
The Biggest Song in the Country is “i” by Kendrick Lamar
Yesterday, Kendrick Lamar released the long-awaited first follow-up to his widely lauded 2012 album good kid m.A.A.d. city, or, perhaps more accurately, to his widely lauded 2013 guest verse on Big Sean’s “Control.” No matter how you look at—by calling Kendrick Lamar the best rapper in the world, by wondering if Kendrick Lamar is the King of New York, by discussing how much of a classic album gkmc is, by saying that Kendrick Lamar is keeping real hip-hop alive, by contemplating the possibility that Kendrick Lamar stands a very high chance of letting a lot of people down—a new Kendrick Lamar song is a big fucking deal. Which is why, of course, everyone who likes talking about rap on Twitter was thrown into reflexive spasms of either dismissing Kendrick’s song as total sellout Macklemorecore (Macklecore) inspirational horse shit or quickly proclaiming that the Greatest Rapper Alive was back—but in awesome inspirational mode rapping over an Isley Brothers sample! Honestly, this song is probably going to be huge because it’s the type of song that your friend who doesn’t listen to rap will play for you to demonstrate how up on new rap he or she is, and you’ll nod along and say something like “yeah, Kendrick is pretty cool.” Also, as previously established, two of the other biggest songs in the country right now (one by avowed Kendrick fan Taylor Swift) are all about self-love; that message is hot right now. On the other hand, this song is kind of boring. But no matter how you look at it, “i” has been played 2.5 million times in the last day, and, like, even if it’s hard to imagine listening to it for fun, it’s important to love yourself and each other.
The Biggest Song in the Country is “U Guessed It” by OG Maco
Yesterday my friend Greg texted me about this song, which is usually a pretty good indicator that a song taking off. That is definitely the case here—it’s been all over Twitter, it’s racked up over 2 million views on YouTube, and, most importantly, it’s making inroads as the hot new Vine meme. Once people start making Vines to your song with jokes about bae in the caption and mashing your song up with Dora the Explorer, you’ve pretty much made it. It’s a short step from that to, uh, performing on TV? I really don’t know what comes after Vine fame because Vine fame is the purest fame. Just look at these Vines:
The biggest song in the country? U guessed it:
Kyle Kramer is all about that bass. He's on Twitter - @KyleKramer