The Gist

Eight New Billboard Hits

Chris Molanphy explains the puzzling Canadian pop chart dominance, and other pop music trends of 2015.

Black artist top pop charts.
OMI, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, and the Weeknd.

Photo illustration by Sofya Levina. Images by Jason Merritt/Getty Images, Mike Windle/Getty Images, Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images, and Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

Listen to Episode 407 of Slate’s The Gist:

Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS feed ∙ DownloadPlay in another tab 


This year, many of us were consuming the same big songs at the same time. On The Gist, music writer Chris Molanphy explains how 2015 continues a modern trend toward a shared pop music monoculture. Chris writes Slate’s Why Is This Song No. 1 column, and for more 2015 analysis you can check out his contribution to The Music Club, 2015. For the Spiel, favorite ideas and sentences of the year.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Twitter: @slategist