We’ve spent the past few months shouting out the best of the decade:
But I didn’t forget you one-hit wonders! And thanks to the prevalence of viral fame, it seems like we’ve seen more artists come and go than ever before.
Here’s where things get tricky – how does one define “one hit wonder?”
**Disclaimer: You salt-throwers might wanna read this part before running to the comments to throw tantrums:
For the purposes of this list, a one-hit wonder is defined as an artist who ONLY had ONE charting hit. Allow me to explain.
You might not know the name Luis Fonsi, but you definitely know his record-breaking hit “Despacito.” He’s a one-hit wonder, right? NOPE, he’s actually a multi-platinum megastar.
Remember Psy, the “Gangnam Style” guy? A one-hit wonder, right? NOPE, his follow-up, “Gentleman” did well in the U.S., so he’s technically a two-hit wonder stateside. Same goes for the Chief Keefs and the Desiigners and the Tekashi 6ix9ines and the OT Genasiseseses of the world – they may have had one really memorable, but they all had at least one or two successful follow-ups that aren’t discussed at much. So they don’t count.
And then you’ve got weirdos like Slim Jesus, the goofy kid from the “Drill Time” video who was flashing guns all over the place (I’m not linking to that video because we’re better off as a society forgetting about it). The video went viral but that didn’t really translate into charting success, so I didn’t count and his trolling friends. They’re not hits – at least not to me.
So yeah, defining a “one-hit wonder” isn’t an exact science. But I bet you remember these 16 tracks:
Cali Swag District, “Teach me How to Dougie” (2010)
Get ready to see a LOT of dance songs on this list. They tend to come and go. This one might be my favorite though, thanks to the knock of that beat.
Trinidad James, “All Gold Everything” (2012)
This song was EVERYWHERE in 2012, pegging Trinidad as rap’s next big star. Despite the platinum success of this track, none of his follow ups were a blip on the Billboard radar. Homie’s probably pawning all his gold by now.
Willow Smith, “Whip My Hair” (2010)
Before she was talking at red tables, Willow was all over the charts with a song that whipped (heh) 10-year-old girls into a frenzy. She’s dropped several albums since and of course has become a social media mainstay but nothing has reached the popularity of this one.
Jaden Smith, “Icon” (2017)
Like sister, like brother! There’s no questioning Jaden’s celebrity status but besides this platinum-selling single and a couple of features, this is all he’s got.
Silento, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” (2015)
Most dance songs have a distinct lifespan – cute hood thing to annoying hood thing to unbearable thing once white folks start doing them on daytime TV shows. Silento’s one hit went platinum six times over, so I guess he’s good.
Ylvis, “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)” (2013)
No, I have no idea how to pronounce these Norwegian folks’ name, nor do I know what the fox says. And I hope to never find out.
DRAM, “Broccoli” (2016)
This one is a cheat, but it’s my list so I’m counting it. We all know DRAM’s No. 1 charting weed anthem but, according to the always-accurate Wikipedia, apparently his follow up “Cash Machine” went gold – despite a) me not remembering at all and b) it not actually charting at all. Billboard’s rules are very weird. I probably have a gold single and don’t even know it.
Kirko Bangz, “Drank in My Cup” (2011)
Hey, remember Great Value Drake? “Drank in my Cup” was a No. 1 rap hit but that cup has been empty ever sense.
Blueface, “Thotiana” (2018)
It depresses me to no end that this hideous song became a platinum top 10 hit. By the way he just dropped his debut album earlier this month and ironically, it’s called Find the Beat. Trust me, he still hasn’t found it.
Omi, “Cheerleader” (2014)
“Cheerleader” was one of those songs that everyone talked about in 2014 but I never actually heard, sort of like “Despacito.” One caveat: Omi’s follow-up “Hula Hoop” did OK outside of the U.S., but since “Cheerleader” is the only thing that landed stateside, he makes the list.
Young M.A., “OOOUUU” (2016)
I kinda love M.A. and was a bit surprised when researching to learn that this is her only charting song as of date. It was a huge hit in 2016 but she hasn’t yet capitalized on that momentum. There’s still time, the talent is there.
GoldLink, “Crew” (2016)
This one is an even bigger surprise than M.A. “Crew” was one of the biggest songs of its year, and I just shouted out GoldLink for dropping one of the better albums of 2019. But so far, “Crew” is his one and only hit.
Jidenna, “Classic Man” (2015)
We’re three for three for shockers, and proof than just because you’re a “one hit wonder” doesn’t mean you lack talent. “Classic Man” was quite the piece of business in 2015, but besides teaming up with Janelle Monae for some “Yoga,” his cupboard has been bare.
Rob Stone, “Chill Bill” (2015)
Y’all help me out – does anyone remember this song? Because I’ve NEVER heard it before now. Clearly I’m in the minority – it was a top 10 hit in 2015 and went double platinum.
But, I hope I don’t sound ridiculous but I don’t know who this man is. I mean, he could be walking down the street, I wouldn’t know a thing.
Bobby Shmurda, “Hot N****” (2014)
I think it’s pretty fair to say that if Bobby didn’t catch a case right before breaking out he was due to have more hits this decade. But as of now, this is all he’s got. He’s not the best rapper but he definitely has a presence – something 90 percent of his mumbling peers lack.
Baauer, “Harlem Shake” (2012)
I don’t care what those viral videos taught y’all, that ain’t the Harlem Shake. THIS is the Harlem Shake:
What are you favorite one-hit wonders of the decade? Share ’em below. And check out our playlist, too.