Chart for Charts’ Sake: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

I turned 45 today, and between an early morning dental cleaning and an early evening birthday party, I listened to the R&B/Hip-Hop Top Ten. As routine check-ups go, my listening session caused a lot less spitting. But if we’re talking parties, mine wins: There were more women, nobody gratuitously trashed Naya Rivera (at least not that I heard), and Chris Brown wasn’t invited.

Breezy continues to misunderstand the phrase “charm offensive” with the week’s biggest new hit, “Ayo,” a hot track from “Loyal” producer Nic Nac that allows the singer to vent a snide “Don’t be actin’ like I need you” — in case you ever doubted that “These hoes ain’t loyal” was self-referential. At a different point along the “ugh, men” spectrum, Usher thoughtfully informs a stripper that she is not necessarily a hoe on “I Don’t Mind,” though he doesn’t tell us what dancing shirtless for women for two decades makes Usher. (Besides, you know, o-l-d.). (These hits feature raps by Tyga and Juicy J, respectively, though passing along that info increasingly feels like ID’ing which session man played the generic guitar solo on some bro-country hit or other.)

I’m a belated semi-convert to the woozy mid-week party vibe of ILoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday” — rare is the track that Drake can drag down by bringing too much energy. On the other hand, if O.T. Genasis’s why-they-call-it-dope drug-entendre “CoCo” ever finally goes away, I expect the follow-up will just be him shouting “Crack! Crack! Crack!” for three minutes over an 808 preset.

I still hear Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Boy” (as the charts list it officially) as a dance craze in search of a track and Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell ‘Em” as a great track in search of a non-Jeremih. As for “No Type,” since I don’t want to turn this blog into Rae Sremmurd Daily, I’ll just say this: Yes you do have a type, it’s “bad bitches,” you just told us, stop sending mixed signals.

The offhand “7/11” nicely counterbalances the increased air of significance Beyonce’s hits have come to exhale. She vamps as though improv’ing instructions, appropriating rap’s Simon Says strip club drill sergeantry for a girl’s dorm impromptu dance party before drifting away on a boastful cloud of celestial freshness. (And for sure she knows what “my hands up” means in 2015.) In contrast to Bey, Nicki Minaj has to hold her own with the men. All (occasionally amazing) content aside, “Only” is a vehicle for three pros to revel in the nuances of their flow and flaunt their vocal control and range. Also, all songs really should contain disclaimers clarifying all past sexual relations between the performers.

Speaking of fucking, Big Sean speaks “fuck” a lot on “I Don’t Fuck With You,” which, all “stupid little bitch” spittle aside, is recommended to wronged humans of all genders stuck in the “spiteful and unfair ranting” phase of a break-up. You’d expect the far superior rhymer E-40 to upstage Sean here, in the same way Nicki did on “Dance (A$$)” and Kendrick did on “Control” (that would be an actual “trilogy,” Sean), but for once the kid’s petulant blurt wins out. Sean repeats “I don’t give a fuck” so often it’s like he’s hoarding fucks, like he dreams of becoming Scrooge McFuck and cornering the fuck market. But at nearly five minutes, maybe the lad doth not give a fuck too much. He ain’t missin’ you at all, Naya — though you’re probably still making more money than him and shit.

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