I know, you know, she knows, we know, they know (and no, we’re not conjugating the verb) that not all music is phenomenal music. The following list puts on blast the most average songs of 2020 that have made it to the absolute top spots on Billboard Hot 100 in big part due to their visuals. But hey, this is the curse and the blessing of the Social Media era. When seeing is hearing.
7. POPSTAR by Dj Khaled and Drake
Justin Bieber has single-handedly proven he can save, push, and keep a record in top 10 IF he’s in the music video. POPSTAR has peaked at number 3 on Billboard Hot 100 in August 2020 and it is genuinely acoustically-monotonous. The music video is on fire though with Bieber showing off his lifestyle and back-to-classic hairstyle. We’ve watched it, rewatched it, and ended up liking the song on the 3rd replay. Good business move on Drake and DJ Khaled’s side.
6. My Future by Billie Eilish
Albeit being consistently one of our favorite artists when it comes to innovation and reinvention, My Future is a song that is too hard to get into without the accompanying music video. Sure, it will please and it has pleased many of her fans but the larger audience would only find good use of the record when studying at home or watching out through rainy windows in late October. Anyone that dares to say the animation wasn’t a huge factor in promoting the song, is delusional. The 3-minute cartoon version of Billie Eilish feels authentic and close-to-heart. The anime style that replicates the likes of My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, will evoke childhood memories and warm feelings for all that have grown fond of this specific 2D portrayal. My Future has peaked at number 6 in August 2020.
5. The Bigger Picture by Lil Baby
How do we put this? Beautiful intention, terrible audio execution. The song is bland, incomprehensible in many places, and very boring. We’ve actually encountered BLM-themed songs from independent artists that are veritably better and catchier (check this one HERE). The music video saved the record BIG TIME. With real footage from the protests, young people coming together for the right cause, the proudly-black Lil Baby leading the crowd from his bike, it visually speaks to you on another level. You find yourself transfixed by what the artist is sharing with you. Lil Baby deserves an award for this music video and equally a Razzie for the song that came with it. The record peaked at number 3 on Billboard Hot 100 in June 2020.
4. Life Is Good by Future and Drake
It is rather impressive how Drake manages to disappoint us over and over again and still stay on top. Ever since the Hotline Bling era, Drake can not seem for the life of him to reinvent or at least improve his craft. And Future… he’s Drake’s twin evolution-wise: nothing changes, nothing levels up, no new themes in his top songs. Standing at over ONE BILLION 100 MILLION VIEWS as of October 2020, Life Is Good would have probably only entered for a week or two the Top 40 but would have surely never gotten to the 2nd spot on Billboard Hot 100 had it not been for the relatable-yet-expensive looking music video.
3. Trollz by 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj
Oof! This was a majestic flop after his much more entertaining first release post-prison. The visuals felt like an overused copy-pasted version of Gooba and FEFE. Does Tekashi 6ix9ine actually realize the hundreds of millions of views are real people that have gotten used to his antics, rainbows, and tongue out? We strongly believe despite it being repetitive, the music video for Trollz has helped push the very average song to the number one spot in June 2020. Gooba would have been a worthier song.
2. Cardigan by Taylor Swift
Good song for sure but nothing exceptional here. The music video, however, an absolute fairy tale! You may not even favor Taylor’s music but you WILL give her credit for a fantastic visual. The warm color palette, the glitter, the magic realm, the green piano, the water running out of it, the huge waters, just wow ⭐ Cardigan became the phenomenon it is and reached number one in August 2020 thanks to what we see and not what we hear. Everyone would have looked it over had it not been for the whimsical video material.
1. WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion
Uhm… The song is blah, the music video will have you doing double and triple takes. They’re sexy, they own it, they get explicit, they use their feminine power, they’re outrageous, they’re simply A-grade entertainers. We can all unanimously agree that WAP would have been an OKAY song if Cardi had left it as an audio version only. But she added the colors, the skin, the women and got the entire world talking mad about it 😆 WAP got to the top in September 2020 and is still up there breaking necks and records.