The “Old Town Road” Controversy Reveals Problems Beyond Just Race

  Music The debate about Lil Nas X’s No. 1 hit is only the latest sign that Billboard’s methodology is broken. By Chris Molanphy April 12, 20194:23 PM <img src="https://compote.slate.com/images/6f8b3507-72bb-4d74-928b-46a983211fe4.jpeg?width=780&amp;height=520&amp;rect=1560x1040&amp;offset=0x0" alt="Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus" /> Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Columbia Records; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty [...] Read more

Hit Parade: The Everybody Say YEAH! Edition

Stevie Wonder’s legendary songbook started when he was a young man. How a semi-improvised live recording became his first, and least likely, No. 1 hit. By Chris Molanphy Listen to Hit Parade: <iframe src="https://player.megaphone.fm/SLT7217539530?light=true" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> Get More Hit Parade Slate Plus members get extended, ad-free versions of our podcasts—and much more. Sign [...] Read more

The Bridge: Cover Queens and the Boy Wonder

Slate’s music history podcast is here to quiz you on cover songs, and Stevie Wonder. By Chris Molanphy and T.J. Raphael <iframe src="https://player.megaphone.fm/SLT4519163661?light=true" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"></iframe> Get More Hit Parade Slate Plus members get extended, ad-free versions of our podcasts—and much more. Sign up today and try it free for two weeks. Join Slate [...] Read more

Hit Parade: The Bad Moon on the Rise Edition

Creedence Clearwater Revival was an eternal chart bridesmaid—with a record number of No. 2s—and the No. 1s holding them back weren’t all classics. Listen to Episode 21 of Slate’s Hit Parade: &lt;iframe src="https://player.megaphone.fm/SLT7769267473?light=true" frameborder="no" height="200" scrolling="no" width="100%"&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt; Get More Hit Parade Slate Plus members get extended, ad-free versions of our podcasts—and much more. Sign up today [...] Read more

Why Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” Is the Ultimate “Bop,” for Better or for Worse

Writing about popular music is lousy with obnoxious words. Indeed, there are so many—jangly, crunchy, seminal—that there is a whole book of them (and shamefully, I have used my share). Making things more complicated, much of this language is also subject to a generational divide—words coined by the young are understood to be off-limits to [...] Read more