While pop music is increasingly one-dimensional and unoriginal, 2014 did bring some new flavors to the radio waves. Beyoncé went in a more experimental direction with her fifth album and Iggy Azalea came on the scene with her take on southern hip-hop. Some of the best contributions of pop music this year though were the great catchphrases coined by radio hits. Meghan Trainor brought us “all about that bass” and I LOVE MAKKONEN introduced “going up on a Tuesday.” Here are the top five catchphrases that pop music created in 2014.
5. “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
This bubble gum pop song — accompanied by an equally saccharine, pastel-infused music video — is supposedly meant to encourage women to love their bodies. Although various music critics have argued that the song is actually faux-feminist, popular culture seems to have embraced the titular phrase “All About That Bass” as a proclamation of enthusiasm for one’s curves —and particularly one’s behind. I find the best uses of the newly coined phrase take advantage of the homograph “bass.” My personal favorite is an instagram of a beautiful looking meal of fish captioned “All about that bass.”
4. “Drunk in Love (feat. Jay-Z)” by Beyoncé
This overtly sexual single from Beyoncé’s newest album was actually released in December 2013, but its rise to widespread popularity and number two on the “Billboard Hot 100” didn’t come until 2014. The dramatic, black-and-white music video complements the edgier, more experimental direction Beyoncé went in her new album. The lusty song is littered with double entendres, but the winning phrase was “surfbort,” Beyoncé’s new way to pronounce “surfboard.” Given the clothing and Twitter hashtags that have popped up in 2014, it seems that pop culture has embraced it. Although it’s harder to work into a conversation than other 2014 catchphrases, “surfbort” is nonetheless a great way to pronounce surfboard any time it comes up.
3. “Tuesday (feat. Drake)” by I LOVE MAKONNEN
I LOVE MAKONNEN came out of nowhere with this hip-hop hit, which slowly and deliberately climbed the “Billboard Hot 100” to number two after Drake remixed the song. With I LOVE MAKONNEN’s odd sounding vocals layered over hypnotic synth and a simple beat, this song coined the endlessly entertaining phrase “going up on a Tuesday.” From The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love” to The Mamas & The Papas “Monday, Monday,” songs about weekdays aren’t new, but “Tuesday” definitely became the most satisfyingly entertaining song to play on a Tuesday in 2014. Probably due to the fact that Tuesdays are usually uneventful and unremarkable, “going up on a Tuesday” has entered the social lexicon as the best way to make fun of a tedious day. The most classic way to use the phrase involved an Instagram or Snapchat of one doing something very boring on a Tuesday captioned “going up on a Tuesday.”
2. “Loyal (feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga)” by Chris Brown
Another December 2013 release, “Loyal” made it big in 2014. This single features Chris Brown accusing women of being both gold diggers and disloyal, which is sadly an unsurprising premise for a pop song. Sometimes, though, the best way to get over blatant misogyny in pop music is to make a joke out of it. This song coined the term “these hoes ain’t loyal,” but unlike Chris Brown who refers to women this way, the best way to use this phrase is to refine what constitutes a “ho.” My favorite uses of this relatively useful catchphrase usually accuse inanimate objects of being disloyal. For example, if one’s phone battery runs out, this is the perfect time to say “this ho ain’t loyal.”
1. “Fancy (feat. Charli XCX)” by Iggy Azalea
Officially released in February 2014, Iggy Azalea’s single “Fancy” quickly became a pop phenomenon. The music video that features Iggy Azalea and collaborator Charli XCX recreating iconic scenes from the ’90s defining movie “Clueless” definitely had a part in catapulting this song to number one on the “Billboard Hot 100.” Not only did this song permeate the airwaves in 2014, it also coined the catchphrase “so fancy” with its anthemic chorus “I’m so fancy / You already know / I’m in the fast lane / From L.A. to Tokyo.” Whereas before 2014, the word “fancy” was outdated and decidedly not fancy, Iggy and Charli XCX really brought it back in a saucy way. Just like the other catchphrases of 2014, the best way to use “so fancy” is definitely sarcastically. If you’re on your way to a class or final looking particularly disheveled and unrested, mentioning to your friend how you are “so fancy right now” is the most 2014 way to make light of the situation.
Contact Gabriela Groth at gngroth ‘at’ stanford.edu