The Music Club, 2013

Entry 2: Was “Harlem Shake” by Baauer actually a hit song? Or just a fad? Macklemore performs during the Grammy Nominations Concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Dec. 6, 2013. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images Dear Geeta, Ann, and Carl: What a swell party this is—in my suit and tie, Imma leave […]

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Hit Parade: The Rogue DJ Edition

A new podcast about how that song you love—or hate—became a smash. Neil Diamond performs in 1976. Jessie Eastland/Wikipedia https://megaphone.link/PPY8123266549 In this debut episode, Chris Molanphy tells the story of “Red Red Wine,” a song written in the 1960s by a certain journeyman singer-songwriter who loves a Hot August Night. Improbably, it became a reggae song, […]

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The Music Club, 2013

Sky Ferreira. Photo by Abby Gillardi/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons Dear Accidental Poptimists: You know the phrase, “I don’t just love you, I like you”? I’m not just bringing up this bit of romantic-comedy doggerel now because we’re about to wrap up here, and I … well, very much like all of you. It’s also how […]

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The Music Club, 2013

Entry 6: Number of black acts that have topped the Billboard Hot 100 this year: 0. Rappers MC Ren, DJ Yella, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre of the rap group NWA pose for a portrait in 1991 in New York, New York. Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images My fellow Picasso Babies: We keep trying […]

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Why Is Eminem’s “The Monster” No. 1?

Eminem and Rihanna have been here before. YouTube “The Monster”—America’s newest No. 1 single, according Billboard’s flagship Hot 100 chart—is the umpteenth example of one of the most durable pop tropes of the last two decades: the rough-and-smooth pairing of a gruff rapper and a hook-belting singer. It’s flawlessly constructed—machine-tooled, really—for radio dominance, a stew […]

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