Billboard Singles As Indicator of Changing Economic Circumstances, Cultural Priorities

Or, a cultural anxiety reading of Billboard #1 singles, 2003 vs. 2013.

2003:

Watch out for the medallion, my diamonds are reckless
Feels like a midget is hangin from my necklace

(Ludacris, ‘Stand Up’)

2013:

Hey Macklemore! Can we go thrift shopping?

(Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, ‘Thrift Shop’)

2003:

Cristal poppin in the stretch Navigator
We got food everywhere, as if the party was catered

(R. Kelly, ‘Ignition (Remix)’)

2013:

I’m living on such sweet nothing

(Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch, ‘Sweet Nothing’)

2003:

If you don’t give a damn, we don’t give a fuck

(Youngbloodz, ‘DAMN!’)

2013:

Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, child
See, heaven’s got a plan for you

(Swedish House Mafia, ‘Don’t You Worry Child’)

2003:

My flow, my show brought me the dough
That bought me all my fancy things
My crib, my cars, my clothes, my jewels
Look nigga I done came up, and I ain’t changed

(50 Cent, ‘In Da Club’)

2013:

They say money make a nigga act nigger-ish
Well – at least a nigga nigga rich

(A$AP Rocky ft. Drake, Kendrick Lamar & 2 Chainz, ‘Fuckin’ Problems’)

2003:

Feel on each other and sip on some Hen
One thing leading to another, let the party begin

(Chingy, ‘Right Thurr’)

2013:

Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young

(Ke$ha, ‘Die Young’)

2003:

And everywhere we go, the sun will always shine
And tomorrow, we might wake on the other side

(Christina Aguilera, ‘Beautiful’)

2013:

This is it, the apocalypse

(Imagine Dragons, ‘Radioactive’)

 

 

Jia Tolentino lives in Ann Arbor, has a tumblr.

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8 Comments / Post A Comment

questingbeast (#2,409)

The best thing I’ve read since that Bills Bills Bills piece. NEVER STOP!

questingbeast (#2,409)

@questingbeast ( On reflection, I didn’t mean that to sound so Misery-ish. I mean, I just like your articles).

j-i-a (#746)

@questingbeast :) can’t stop won’t stop listening to music from 2003

bgprincipessa (#699)

This is downright poetic.

honey cowl (#1,510)

YES.

j-i-a (#746)

I felt weird about writing out the n-word but in my defense some of my best friends are Ludacris

jfruh (#161)

“We got food everywhere, as if the party was catered” is seriously the sweetest paean to innocent excess every committed to music

j-i-a (#746)

@jfruh AGREED

Comments are closed!