A year into this whole "Who Charted" thing and I'm finally getting to the most exciting stuff. Although I've already delved deep into Billboard's genre charts, I've been saving a special one for a rainy day: Billboard's "Heatseekers"! This wondrous thing catalogues ascendant tracks from newcomers who still haven't hit big on the Hot 100 — a spot on "Heatseekers" may be the prelude to a smashing career or the peak of a minor one, but either way, I'm gonna pretend to be excited about this shit! Don't stop reading! Wait!
1. B.o.B, "NOTHING' ON YOU" FEAT. BRUNO MARS | This one's been burbling for a few months — I'd call it genuine "Heatseeker," since dude's going to be famous as hell. How do I know that? Well, the track is kinda like all the R&B/rap hits on the charts right now — Drake, Trey Songz, etc. — but about 50 percent better. To quote the first YouTube comment, "lOVE thiS SONq dAWq'(;"
2. EASTON CORBIN, "A LITTLE MORE COUNTRY THAN THAT" | You know what's mildly terrifying? George Strait's baritone coming out of a little baby-faced dudelet in a trucker hat. And though this is a face/voice mismatch of Astley-esque uncanniness, it doesn't quite ruin the song. "A Little More Country Than That" is a cheesy, goofball novelty track, but name a country hit in the last 20 years that wasn't. It's also — and I hate to admit it — not entirely witless. We're two for two.
3. LMFAO FEAT. LIL JON, "SHOTS" | It's truly amazing that the crunk thing came and went without anyone's realizing the commercial potential of a track whose chorus is just "shots, shots, shots, shots, shots [etc]." This thing is like Biff's sports almanac: if someone were to steal it from now and take it back to 2002, he'd make a killing.
4. NICK JONAS & THE ADMINISTRATION, "WHO I AM" | This dude was born in 1992, and that makes him (quick mental calculation here) eight years old. The song's an impressive feat for a kid who was born after Super Mario World came out (hey, look how old I just made you feel), especially since we're told he wrote it himself — but why the hell is a teenager making adult contemporary? It sounds like exactly what it is — a Jonas Brother walking up to Zoltar and saying, "I wish I were big."
5. ROSCOE DASH FEAT. SOULJA BOY TELL 'EM, "ALL THE WAY TURNT UP" | I'm sincerely loving "turnt." Not the song — it's shit — but the boss verb form. I just turnt on a rule in Microsoft to autocorrect "turnt" to "turnt." See? Working already.
6. PHOENIX, "1901" | This thing's been on the radio for ages, now, and it's oft passed through my ears unhated. Glad to see it's seeking some heat, however, because it's getting pretty lukewarm.
7. SHINY TOY GUNS, "MAJOR TOM" | I've been in a pretty good mood tonight, so I might as well pay this track the highest compliment it could possibly earn: it's a cover of that Peter Schilling song from the '80s.