62. I'm the I vi IV V

62. DJ Khaled – I’m The One… six… four… five

DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo from Migos and Lil Wayne have allied for a new smash hit: “I’m The One.” Despite the star power present, the resulting track is less than the sum of its parts—repetitive, derivative, uninventive. And yet, the lackluster “I’m The One” sits comfortably at the top of the charts, which raises the question: why?? Our answer: because Khaled and company understand the bewitching power of tonal harmony, and they’ve utilized the most surefire chord progression in pop history to ensure their success, a simple sequence of chords that has captivated listeners for almost a century: I – vi – IV – V.

Check out our playlist of songs using this progression — and please send us any others that you identify!

Featuring:

• DJ Khaled – I’m The One
• Dean Martin – Blue Moon
• Ben E. King – Stand By Me
• Hoagy Carmichael – Heart & Soul
• The Police – Every Breath You Take
• Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
• fun. – We Are Young
• Justin Bieber – Baby
• Jean-Philippe Rameau – Les Sauvages