The Class of 2017 Music Era


Sean Oates

Reviewing the hottest songs and albums from each year of the graduating seniors’ high school career.

In honor of this year’s graduating class, let’s take a look back at the songs our seniors have been listening to throughout high school—the one hit wonders, the future classics, the ones that made the pregame playlist, and the overplayed Bieber songs they hope nobody finds out they like.

Going back to their freshman year in 2014, the #1 song on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 chart was “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Everyone remembers this feel-good song of the summer, whether you heard it on the radio or in Despicable Me 2. It was one of those songs that either put you in a good mood or gave you another reason to hate Minions. Either way, most people won’t forget hearing Pharrell’s voice telling them to “clap along.”

Notable albums that dropped in 2014 were Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour, Ed Sheeran’s X, G-Eazy’s These Things Happen, Ariana Grande’s My Everything, Taylor Swift’s 1989, and J.Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

Moving on to 2015, our graduating seniors are now just sophomores, and whatever high school drama they’re experiencing is no match to the back and forth feud between Drake and Meek Mill, who both released new albums and were coming out with singles taking shots at the other. Nobody forgets Drake’s “Back to Back” diss track, which found its way onto many team’s pregame playlists. This was one of six songs Drake was on in the Billboard Top 100, besting Meek Mill’s one.

2015 also saw the emergence of certain dance trends influenced by songs like “Hit the Quan,” “Nasty Freestyle,” and “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” To the enjoyment of some and the cringing of many, we witnessed everyone’s attempt to show off their dance moves while the trends were still in full swing.

Notable albums dropped were Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll + Hyde, Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface, Bryson Tiller’s TRAPSOUL, Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness, and Justin Bieber’s Purpose. Fetty Wap also got his name onto the music scene this year, with songs like “Trap Queen” and “679.”

2016 marked the junior year for our seniors, as well as a huge year for Justin Bieber, who had five songs in the top 100. Bieber even held the top two spots on the list with “Love Yourself” and “Sorry.” While most will deny enjoying some of these songs, Bieber found a soft spot for many this year. Drake also had a huge year, recording eight songs in the top 100, his highest being “One Dance.”

A few artists who are popular today made their breakthrough in this years list, especially Twenty One Pilots and The Chainsmokers. In their first appearances on the list each of these artists held three songs in the top 100. However, one song in particular stands out on the 2016 list, especially to Malvern students. Flo Rida’s “My House” was listed at 14, and, as we know, this song was the inspiration for the “This is Malvern Prep” SAVI video, an instant classic in the Malvern community.

2016 saw new albums released like Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, Beyonce’s Lemonade, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, Drake’s Views, and J Cole’s For Your Eyez Only.

Finally, as the seniors finished their final days at Malvern, DJ Khaled released what is currently the #1 song in the country, “I’m The One.” With several stars featured on it like Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne, many are already calling this the song of the summer.

Along with Khaled’s new music, 2017 was a breakout year for Migos, who dropped their album, Culture. Migos also regularly featured on other hits this year, one of which perfectly describes the mood most seniors had in the second semester: “Slide,” by Calvin Harris.

Bruno Mars and the Chainsmokers are also having a good year, combining for five songs in the current top 35, the highest being Mars’ “That’s What I Like” at #2. This spring, the Chainsmokers released a new album Memories… Do Not Open, as did Drake, and Kendrick Lamar.

With lots of new music coming out at the end of the year, the seniors will have plenty of songs to get them through the summer before starting a new chapter in their lives.