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When you think about the biggest pop music moments since 2010, what comes to mind? Whatever it may be, we have a feeling that Spotify’s The Decade Wrapped podcast features some of those viral music phenomenons of the past decade that you still remember today. Whether it was One Direction’s big break, or K-pop’s earliest crossover moment with PSY’s “Gangnam Style” music video, Spotify has a podcast episode on its way that will cover it.
As for who’s hosting the podcast, expect to listen to For Colored Nerd‘s very own Eric Eddings (a.k.a HousePlant Papi on Twitter—you’re welcome.) Eddings will be joined by a bevy of critics, comedians, influencers, and writers who consume and cover the music industry. Together, they’re debunking and analyzing how all of these viral moments came to be—along with their longstanding influence throughout the decade and beyond.
Three episodes are already available for streaming on Spotify, featuring the aforementioned artists along with the inimitable rapper, Nicki Minaj. Others that have yet to be released will feature the artists and cultural moments listed below. Read Spotify’s descriptions to find out what to expect next:
2010: Nicki Minaj Tells Us to “Check It Out”/Female-Driven Pop
“In the early 2010s, women like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Katy Perry took the stage . . . but no one matched the omnipresence of Nicki Minaj. Before even dropping a full album, she was featured on tracks by Lil Wayne, Kanye, will.i.am, and Gucci Mane. Her debut album, Pink Friday, didn’t disappoint—and over the years she became a force in hip-hop.”
2011: One Direction (Re)invents the Stan
“In 2011, British boy band One Direction recorded their first album, released “What Makes You Beautiful,” and finished up their first tour. One Direction’s teen audience was fully internet literate and ready to make the band their own. Fanfiction and fanart take flight. So of course we had no choice but to stan.”
2012: “Gangnam Style” Introduces K-Pop to the U.S.
“One of the most-watched videos in the history of YouTube, “Gangnam Style” set the stage for K-Pop hits like BTS to come. The song, which has been streamed over 208 million times on Spotify, is credited with bringing Korean culture into the American mainstream.”
2013: Harlem Shake[s the Internet]
“If there was any year that your grandma might be caught dancing to an EDM song, 2013 was it. The “Harlem Shake” showcased the immense viral power of crossover appeal and memes, and the song became a mainstream number-one hit, with more than 2.1 million streams on Spotify. The 2010s were the decade of user-created content—and this song embodied that ideal.”
2014: “Uptown Funk” and Taylor Swift Go Retro
“In 2014, the 1980s came back to the top of the charts as Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars, battled for number one. “Uptown Funk” propelled producers to the forefront; it became one of Ronson’s biggest hits and underscored the increasingly key role of producers in music then and today.”
2015: Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly Takes Flight, Drake Has the Biggest Year Ever, and Hamilton Shoots Its Shot
“There were three differing perspectives on what the biggest musical story of 2015 was. Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly cemented Lamar as a cultural icon as it examined race, discrimination, anger, and violence. Meanwhile, Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and his diss track feud with Meek Mill fueled a massive year for him. And Lin-Manuel Miranda turned Broadway upside down when his hip-hop musical Hamilton exploded as a hit inside and outside the theater.”
2016: Beyoncé Drops Lemonade
With her release of Lemonade, Beyoncé solidified her status as a powerful force in music. Lemonade appeared to divulge intimate details about her life while at the same time commenting on black life in America. It was universally praised for its personal and political content—and also for crossing genres. Its controversial snub at the Grammys also marked the beginning of a broader conversation around recognizing black musicians.
2017: “Despacito” Gets All the Views
In 2017, “Despacito,” a catchy song from Luis Fonzi and Daddy Yankee, crossed a huge milestone to become the most-watched video. Not music video. Video. Oh, and it surpassed 1.3 billion streams on Spotify, making it the first Spanish-language song to reach the billion-stream milestone.
2018: “thank u, next” and the Evolution of Ariana Grande
The year 2018 was all about Ariana Grande. She returned to music with the One Love Manchester concert and came out on top with “thank u, next,” proving that music has the power to help us process, heal, and face what’s next.
2019: The Yeehaw Agenda
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“Self-love isn’t being delusional.… Every day I have to remind myself to look in the physical mirror, the emotional mirror, the spiritual mirror. But I don’t go, ‘Do I look like this model or this actress?’ I have to hold myself to my own standards. So am I the Lizzo that I looked like last year when I was on my juice cleanse and working out six times a week with my trainer? No. But am I a bad bitch? Yes!” - story on @entertainmentweekly by Leah Greenblat
The end of the decade gave us giant breakthroughs for two artists. For Lizzo, it’s a story of years of hard work that culminated in the artist’s becoming a mainstay in the mainstream. And for LilNas X, it was the perfect storm of a catchy song on TikTok and a cowboy hat.