Thirteen Beats: Music That’s Hot Right Now

“Boy’s a liar Pt. 2,” PinkPantheress, Ice Spice (2023)

British singer PinkPantheress and Ice Spice collaborated to make this hit sequel to Pink Pantheress’ already-hit single “Boy’s a liar,” released three months ago, in November. PinkPantheress and Ice Spice form a dynamic duo singing about feeling insufficient in a relationship with a boy who is a liar; PinkPantheres sings the R&B chorus along to a slower Jersey club-type beat while Ice Spice lays down the heat with her signature drill-style rap verse. This song is a significant achievement in both artists’ careers as it is the first song of either artist to make it into the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number three. 

“Last Night,” Morgan Wallen (2023)

“Last Night” peaked at rank three on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at rank one on Billboard Hot Country Songs. Morgan Wallen’s style is not the typical pop country typically heard on the radio or in Frank Dining Hall. Despite being one of the most successful country musicians of recent years, instead, it is more of a minor-keyed, calmer melodic form, and Wallen does not use as heavy of a twang as much country music incorporates. Undoubtedly, “Last Night” retains country, but it carries a classical-rock vibe that comes with Morgan Wallen’s unique style.

“Flowers,” Miley Cyrus (2023)

An instant hit from release, “Flowers” made a new world record for most Spotify plays in a week. “Flowers” also became a major personal achievement as it became Cyrus’ first song to attain rank 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in a decade and also achieved rank 1 Billboard Global 200.  A circle of fifths song, meaning that the melody prompts the progression and vice versa—the song wrote itself after the initial melody was formed by Miley Cyrus singing along with a piano. The song draws heavy influence from Gloria Gaynor’s hit single “I Will Survive,” borrowing her raspy vocals and disco-style anthem.

“Split,” Yeat (2023)

“Split” is a popular song from Yeat’s new album. Yeat rose to fame with a unique style of mumble rap that has captivated many of America’s youth, lauded as a successor to renowned talents such as Lil Pump or Lil Xan. His songs are aggressive, often synthesized and incorporate Yeat’s signature inventions, words such as “twizzy,” “krank,” “tonka” and “luh geeky.” Reinventing mumble into creative and versatile words, Yeat will go down in history as one of the rappers of all time.

“Love Again,” The Kid Laroi (2023)

A hit single released only last month is one of the fan favorites. Singing over an acoustic guitar, The Kid Laroi asks his former partner rhetorical questions about whether it would be possible to make up for his mistakes. Unfortunately, the song does not provide an answer.

“Kill Bill,” SZA (2022)

Inspired by Kill Bill: Volume 1, about an assassin, sent on a mission to kill her ex-boyfriend. SZA sings about how she might kill her ex out of jealousy because “if I can’t have you, no one will.” Despite the lyrics, the song takes a surprisingly relaxing, euphoric tone, utilizing instruments like flute and keyboard to create that effect. “Kill Bill” is SZA’s most successful song to date, reaching rank two, only below Miley Cyrus’ flowers, and remaining at around that spot for eleven weeks.

“Creepin’,” Metro Boomin, The Weeknd and 21 Savage (2022)

Released December, Metro Boomin, The Weeknd and 21 Savage’s 2022 hit song “Creepin’” — heavily influenced by Mario Winans’ “I Don’t Wanna Know” — tells a story of heartache brought about by dishonesty and disloyalty but a willingness to move on as if nothing happened. Melodically, it certainly leaves you with a distinctive melancholy chorus to ache for. This week, “Creepin’” is No. 2 on Billboard’s hot R&B songs list after previously holding the No. 1 spot.

“Toxic,” RealestK (2022)

An up-and-coming R&B Canadian singer and songwriter who became famous through social media like TikTok and Youtube. Alex Nino Ghecio of Complex, an influential media and entertainment company, described, “RealestK’s songs are full of raw candor and vulnerability—he yearns for something real amid an increasingly soulless and nihilistic age.”

“Poland,” Lil Yachty (2022)

“Poland” was intended as a non-rap psychedelic side project by Lil Yachty but has become his biggest hit in years. With calm R&B-like beats and melody, the song gravitates around its catchy chorus, where Lil Yachty sings, “I take the wock to Poland,” referring to the Wockhardt cough syrup. Recognized by many prominent artists such as Drake, Whiz Khalifa and Steve Lacy, it is worth a listen.

“Calm Down,” Rema, Selena Gomez (2022)

A simple feel-good song with a catchy melody that was an instant hit but further popularized through everyday use in social media reels by Nigerian rapper and singer Rema remixed with pop idol Selena Gomez. Rema told “Pitchfork” how the song’s moral once helped him find the courage to speak with someone he liked and led him to find love. 

“Glimpse of Us,” Joji (2022)

Joji completely reinvented himself some years ago to become a sincere and mellow musician. Continuing the success he had in his former careers, his most popular and recent song: “Glimpse of Us,” landed him in the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, an accomplishment making him only the second Japanese artist ever to achieve. Critics far and wide heaped acclaim on the song, appreciating the tactful sonic piano and mature lyrics.

“Superhero,” Metro Boomin, Future and Chris Brown (2022)

Superhero is made in Future’s rap style of escalating rap chant, harmonized with horns and a drum machine. Future raps about how much money and clout he has. Toward the end, Chris Brown sings about people who try to make him fail, saying the famous line about living “long enough to see yourself become a villain” from The Dark Knight Batman film.

“Changes,” Jeremih (2022)

Star pop R&B artist from the 2000s, Jeremih, continues that legacy today. “Changes” captures a relaxing throwback R&B song with all the synthesizing, snapping, light drum beat, and other soft noises you might expect from a modern R&B song but retains the autotuned vocals of the 2000s to sound like T-Pain or Ne Yo.