Week eight: It has spread throughout America, and top experts are baffled by its continued proliferation. People across the nation continue to become affected. Nobody quite understands why or how we’ve gotten to this point, or when it will end – if it ever ends at all.
I’m obviously referring to “The Box.” Boosted by an official music video, Ricch continues to pull us through these uncertain times with his meditations on wiping noses and Vince Carter. In fact, the top three of the Hot 100 have been so reliable over the past few weeks that part of me feels like writing next week’s article in advance just to try and jinx it. Until then, Future and Drake’s “Life is Good” still hangs at number two and Post Malone’s “Circles,” which was featured in his recent concert at Capital One Arena, sits at number three.
The real story at the Hot 100 is the debut of BTS’s “ON” at number four this week. The second single off the Korean boy band’s new album Map of the Soul: 7, “ON” is the group’s highest-charting song so far and is in a great position to catch fire. Only about half of the lyrics in “ON” are in English, but that hasn’t stopped it from connecting with American listeners. With three top 10 hits, BTS has now bested Psy as K-pop’s most successful Hot 100 act. Psy, tragically, never got “Gangnam Style” or “Gentleman” to reach number one, but he also never had to suffer the professional embarrassment of having to sing with James Corden in a segment of Carpool Karaoke, so I guess we’ll call it even.
The rest of the top 10 are all holdovers from last week. I’ve still got my fingers crossed for “Don’t Start Now” to catapult Dua Lipa to her first number one, but for now she’s still stuck at number five. The “female alpha” might get a boost up the chart next week just from me listening to “Don’t Start Now” on a constant loop, so we’ll see.
This Week in Number One’s: “Right Round” by Flo Rida (Hit the charts for weeks, February-March 2009)
There’s nothing quite like middle school. Those three years exist in a weird vacuum full of confusion and uncertainty. And the one thing about my middle school experience that still confuses me to this day is: Why did “Right Round” by Flo Rida become a gym class staple?
It’s about stripping! It’s so obviously about stripping. And yet, adults tasked with not exposing kids to inappropriate content decided it was OK to blast lyrics such as “From the top of the pole I watch her go down/ She got me throwing my money around” as we ran laps around the gym.
“Right Round” has credits that read as a who’s who of late 2000s pop music, with everyone from Bruno Mars to DJ Frank E (from B.o.B.’s “Airplanes” and The Lonely Island’s “I Just Had Sex”) involved in the song’s production. The song also introduced the world to one Kesha Rose Sebert, whose involvement as the hook singer marked her first break into the mainstream (weirdly enough, Kesha doesn’t get a feature credit on the official Billboard chart). The one outlier in the credits is Dead or Alive, the British pop band whose 1984 banger “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” formed the basis of the song’s chorus.
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“Right Round” didn’t reinvent the wheel. In fact, many of its sonic features, such as the sweeping synths and light gloss of Auto-Tune, were hallmarks of will.i.am’s production style with the Black Eyed Peas. Still, “Right Round” is completely infectious, with Flo and Ke$ha trading chorus lines with fantastically juvenile aplomb. The blip-bloop synths and gigantic drum machines all serve that mammoth chorus. It may not be smart, but damn is it catchy.
Though “Right Round” is Flo Rida’s biggest selling release, Kesha (at the time still rocking the dollar sign) was the real breakout star of “Right Round.” Almost exactly a year later, she released her debut album Animal.
Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, March 7, 2020
1. “The Box,” Roddy Ricch
2. “Life is Good,” Future ft. Drake
3. “Circles,” Post Malone
4. “ON,” BTS
5. “Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa
6. “Roxanne,” Arizona Zervas
7. “Dance Monkey,” Tones + I
8. “Blinding Lights,” The Weeknd
9. “Memories,” Maroon 5
10. “Someone You Loved,” Lewis Capaldi
Billboard Hot 100 Top 10, March 7, 2009
1. “Right Round,” Flo Rida
2. “Dead and Gone,” T.I. ft. Justin Timberlake
3. “Heartless,” Kanye West
4. “Gives You Hell,” The All-American Rejects
5. “Crack a Bottle,” Eminem, Dr. Dre, & 50 Cent
6. “Poker Face,” Lady Gaga
7. “Just Dance,” Lady Gaga ft. Colby O’Donis
8. “Love Story,” Taylor Swift
9. “Kiss Me Thru The Phone,” Soulja Boy Tell ‘em ft. Sammie
10. “My Life Would Suck Without You,” Kelly Clarkson