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, the interminable showdown between Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" continued, and we also got a new Lorde song. In the weeks before, we discussed the meme potential of Bobby Shmurda's "Hot N—a" and OG Maco's "U Guessed It." All of those are back this week, along with a couple newcomers. So, let's find out: What is the biggest song in the country?
The Biggest Song in the Country Right Now is “Sippin’ on Fire” by Florida Georgia Line
Awwww hell yeah! I love Florida Georgia Line! And I am beyond thrilled to have a song, any song, pry loose Meghan Trainor’s and Taylor Swift’s vise-like grip on a chart. “Sippin’ on Fire” was the top iTunes single at the time of writing, which I assume is because it came out yesterday, Florida Georgia Line is very popular, and the iTunes chart is more responsive to sudden changes in activity than some of the other charts I use in this column. Because while I love these guys, this is clearly just an inferior version of “Round Here,” which is also about whiskey (Fireball, naturally) and getting away at night with a girl whose eyes are sparkling. On the other hand, those are the best things ever, so this song isn’t bad, per se. And, lyrically, it’s clearly a superior version of Cole Swindell’s “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” which is currently popular on the country charts but tackles the subject of seeing a girl in the most depressingly cynical way possible (as you might be able to guess from the title). Anyway, the chorus of “Sippin’ on Fire” probably isn’t going to get stuck in anyone’s head any time soon, but if you play it for that special someone you’re crushing on, they’re more likely to respond positively than if you play them “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight.” So that’s a plus.
The Biggest Song in the Country Right Now is “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
Yup. Not only is this the fourth week that Meghan Trainor has been number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (with Taylor Swift at number two), it’s the first week that Meghan Trainor has been number one on the British charts. Having a little more booty to hold at night is an international phenomenon! As a result, the news stories about who, exactly, Meghan Trainor is keep rolling in. This song is unkillable, its reign interminable. My opinions on it remain more or less unchanged.
This morning I was thinking, as I am wont to do and did last week, about this song’s legacy. And as I followed this train of thought it occurred to me that this song is, thematically, more or less the same as the Black Eyed Peas’ ubiquitous 2005 song “My Humps.” So: How do we remember that song? Well, one poll of festivalgoers in 2012 named it the dance song with the “most ridiculous” lyrics of all time. In 2005, Slate’s Hua Hsu called it “a song so awful it hurts the mind.” That same year, Kelefa Sanneh’s review of it in the New York Times prophetically called it “the track most likely to live in infamy.” How, then, might we remember this song, which, let me reiterate, is also about lovely lady lumps?
Here is the bulk of Matt Stopera’s text on Buzzfeed’s post from July, which declared the song “the most unexpected jam this summer”: “It’s called ‘All About That Bass”’and it’s different than anything ~ on the radio ~ right now. It’s a cool, fun, chill, and great bop.”
The Biggest Song in the Country Right Now is “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
What solace do we find in the balm of music? What nurture do those lofty notes and resplendent rhythms grant us? Whence do such noble melodies spring? Alas, my countrymen and countrywomen, we may never know what tempting elixirs lie within these strange songs, exerting their vicious pull on our souls. But may we forever ponder that distant and inscrutable horizon upon which these uncharted sounds carry out their impenetrable dance.
The Biggest Song in the Country Right Now is “U Guessed It” by OG Maco
The other night, Drake shared a few suggestions on Instagram for “#HoodGrammys,” highlighting some of the best and biggest rap songs of the year. And the winner for Best All Around Turn Up? U might be able to guess it.
But if Drake’s stamp of approval that this is the Best All Around Turn Up isn’t enough, I submit exhibit two, this viral Vine of a kid asking a girl to homecoming (doesn't get more American than that!), which confirms “U Guessed It” is still the memeable song to beat:
The Biggest Song in the Country Right Now is “Hot N—a” by Bobby Shmurda
Bobby Shmurda also took home a Hood Grammy from Drake, for Vocal Performance of the Year, and while OG Maco Vines may have a slight edge on Bobby Shmurda ones at the moment, Bobby Shmurda Vines have entered an even more rarified sphere in their ability to ruin the song and take other dope memes down with it:
The Biggest Song in the Country Right Now is “Tuesday” by iLoveMakonnen and Drake
Isn’t it always? At least every Tuesday? We’ve been clear about loving Makonnen, and Drake has as well: In addition to remixing the song and signing Makonnen to OVO Sound, Drake awarded it the Hood Grammy for “Best Latin Club Anthem.” But Drake has an even bigger reason to thank Makonnen, which is that this song entered the Billboard Hot 100 this week, giving Drake more charting singles than the Beatles. So, by extremely roundabout and illogical logic, we can conclude Makonnen is bigger than the Beatles.
The Biggest Song in the Country Right Now is “War on Drugs: Suck My Cock” by Sun Kil Moon
This week, the indie rock thinkpiecesphere has been having a collective meltdown over a so-called beef between a perfectly normal band and a guy who has spent the year being critically adored for writing an excruciatingly bad song about buying lampshades. One guy who loves Mark Kozelek (the name of the singer who wrote the bad lampshade song) is sad and doesn’t know how to feel anymore. The singer of the band Perfect Pussy thinks Mark Kozelek’s behavior is abusive and unfairly lauded by the media and doesn’t consider Noisey to be a major music journalism outlet (per her statement that all such outlets have been covering this story). As suggested, a bunch of other people have lauded the song, whether one believes that said lauding is fair or unfair. By the standards of what large parts of the music press cares about this week, this is the biggest song in the country.
My take? Well, my take is: Why the fuck would I ever listen to this song? Are you kidding? As I see it, Mark Kozelek makes boring music, and, in this case, he is being an asshole whom we would all be perfectly OK ignoring. Sure, I think it can be funny to baselessly troll a band, and, yes, I thought it was funny the first time I heard about the dude ragging on the War on Drugs because I have similarly ragged on the War on Drugs. No, I don’t think that a guy in a band making fun of a guy in a more successful band quite amounts to abuse, although it almost certainly has reached the point of harassing behavior and is generally uncool. But also: Why should any of us be compelled to care about one boring and not particularly prominent guy’s dumb opinions? There are tons of slightly more famous people with slightly less dumb opinions we could pay attention to instead! To reiterate: Why the fuck would I ever listen to this song?
Kyle Kramer is gunning to have Sun Kil Moon write a diss song about him, too. Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.