The Five Most Infuriating Moments Of The Hottest 100
Sorry, but Lorde was robbed.
Before this kicks off, let’s all acknowledge that the beauty of triple j’s Hottest 100 lies in its democratic principles.
The fact that anyone, from anywhere, can vote for their favourite songs — regardless of whether triple j ever played it or not — is something to be grateful for.
With that being said, sometimes the majority and their opinions are just fucking wrong, and they don’t know a good thing when they hear it.
So, because we’re ready to embrace our inner baby boomers and be angry at things that literally do not affect us in any way, here’s a rundown of some of the greatest snubs in Hottest 100 history.
Lorde’s ‘Royals’ Coming In Second
Arguably one of the biggest shocks in Hottest 100 history, Lorde was, by all accounts, the defining artist of 2013. Her absolute eruption on to the scene catapulted her from unknown 16-year-old from New Zealand to Grammy-winning bonafide superstar. And ‘Royals’ was the song that started it all.
Needless to say, when those instantly recognisable clicks began playing at #2 on that fateful day in 2014, most of us were left in shock. The song’s impact on pop culture and on the music industry has been well documented, David Bowie said listening to Lorde was like listening ‘to the future’ and Rolling Stone placed ‘Royals’ at #9 on their 100 best songs of the 21st century list.
But Australia just really loves a man with a ukulele, don’t they?
Kendrick Lamar’s ‘King Kunta’ Losing To ‘Hoops’
In 2015 it was a race between two songs: The Rubens’ ‘Hoops’, and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘King Kunta.’
While ‘Hoops’ ended up clinching the win, looking back it is clear that the top spot belonged to Kendrick. This song was a pivotal moment in his career, in hip-hop, and for pop culture in general.
The album it was plucked from, To Pimp A Butterfly, helped perpetuate and spark really important conversations about race and oppression that still runs rampant just in America, but in Australia too.
Kendrick would eventually take the top spot in 2017 with ‘HUMBLE.’ but it should’ve happened two years earlier.
Macklemore Winning With ‘Thrift Shop’
It wasn’t the first time that a ‘gag’ song has taken the top spot in the Hottest 100, but for fucks sake let’s pray it’s the last.
With all fairness, this probably was the biggest song of the year but christ, at what cost? You only have a look at the song’s below it– like Of Monsters & Men’s ‘Little Talks’, alt-J’s ‘Breezeblocks’ and, most importantly, Flume’s ‘Holdin’ On’ — to realise what a truly awful decision this was. It’s hard not to look back with an eye roll.
On top of that, ‘Thrift Shop’ was the first ever hip-hop song to top the countdown. You read that right: The first ever hip-hop song to win the Hottest 100 was by Macklemore. Deeply concerning.
The Offspring’s ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ Winning
It’s often regarded as the worst song to ever top the countdown, and we’re certainly not saying that we haven’t headbanged with the best of them to the iconic track that is ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ but…really?
Not for nothing, but ‘pretty fly for a white guy’ basically is Macklemore’s entire essence, is it not?
Triple J Banning Taylor Swift From The Poll
Face facts: ‘Shake It Off’ deserved its spot at #12 in the 2014 Hottest 100.
If I ignore the pain that it would cause to have sweet angel Tkay Maidza bumped from her #100 spot that year, Taylor Swift’s entry into the countdown marks a true democracy, and her removal goes far against it.
Triple j outlined a number of reasons as to why they banned Swift — with the only reasonable one being that corporate intervention qualified for instant disqualification (stay out of it, KFC). They referred to the #Tay4Hottest100 campaign as doing it for the “hipster lulz” — but c’mon, ‘Shake It Off’ was the biggest song of 2014, by anyone’s measure.
Plus, more than anything else, the campaign was simply a large group of people banding together to get behind their favourite song. Isn’t that what the Hottest 100 is all about, anyway?
Jackson Langford is a freelance music and culture writer from Newcastle. He tweets at @jacksonlangford
The Hottest 100 takes place this Sunday, January 27.