YES, 2018 had some good music for the pop genre. I’m more into the good part than popular, though.
Here’s one: Apeshit! By Beyoncé and Jay-Z . “Tell the Grammy’s fuck that 0 for 8 shit Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?” Wow! The lady is telling it straight, with her man beside her. Pay me and I will do.
“Stack my money fast and go (fast, fast, go)/ Fast like a Lambo (skrrt, skrrt, skrrt)/ I be jumpin’ off the stage, ho (jumpin’, jumpin’, hey, hey)/ Crowd better savor (crowd goin’ ape, hey)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfn8H2P8fMc
Is that a protest song or not? I like protest songs, and I don’t get enough in 2018. But guess who’s getting a revival that calls to me: Turkey’s pyschedelic Baba Zula with Efkarli Yaprak (‘Worried Leaf’). It’s about a journalist who fought with his pen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQmM3jBGPH8
Then there’s Grimes’ We Appreciate Power. Woohoo, the synth, distorted metal guitar twangs, and loop that screams. She is calling for the end of the human race and asks you to “submit” to the simulation.
Aya Nakamura has a poppy, Latin sound with Copines. Ah my girlfriends, she sings, and asks, who’s the hottest? It’s just an upbeat song to dance to. But check out Christine and the Queens with “Doesn’t Matter”. Another synth-pop tune about how a man checks you out, and then comes suicide. All that wrapped in a bouncy beat. And it’s dance you want, then New Delhi’s Ska Vengers might have that mix of bounce and protest to make us think we are actually doing meaningful work on the dance floor!
In (Why don’t you) do right, the band sings with “Indian man love white skin girl with foreign accent/ So I used to go abroad buy women in Tashkent/And I had about ten apartment pan rent/And New Delhi clientele always ready to spend/ But now it’s gone – New Delhi pimp’s life again/ Badang badang badang badang.”