A rapper is nothing without his/her voice. They could have the most mind-blowing, life-altering rhymes, but to make listeners to not just hear but to listen, a captivating voice is needed. For rappers, being a gifted orator is more important than being a poet.
With J. Cole, it’ been interesting...
And what were you doing during your first week on earth? Billboard just announced that Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s newborn daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, has become the youngest person to chart on Billboard. “Glory” by Jay-Z featuring B.I.C. debuted on the Hip-Hop R&B charts at #74 this week. Here’s a bit of trivia. This song is Jay-Z’s 107th entry onto the charts. Baby Blue was born on January 7th, or 1/07. And the numerology doesn’t stop there. The number #74 is a combination of both baby and parents’ birthdates, seeing as Jay’s birthday is December 4th and Bey’s is September 4th.
Basically, Baby Blue is a reminder to all of us to hustle harder. If she’s already accomplished charting at four days old, who knows what’s to come in the future! Congrats to the Carters.
Less than a week after its release, Beyoncé’s newest concert DVD, I Am… World Tour, has been certified double platinum. The DVD certification system is different from CDs, meaning that the platinum certification is 100,000 copies rather than 1,000,000. This feat is truly impressive considering the circumstances of the DVD. The standard edition was initially released on Black Friday exclusively at Wal-Mart. However, Wal-Mart is notorious for stocking new releases early, so the exact number of units sold before the official release is uncertain. The deluxe edition was made available everywhere nationwide this past Tuesday, Nov. 30, and even then, there were still problems with stocking. Many Best Buys didn’t receive shipments of the DVD and weren’t anticipating any until Dec. 7 (the Blu-Ray release date). The stores that did have the DVD sold out incredibly fast. I had the foresight to order mine on Amazon and I received mine on the release date. Others weren’t as lucky and received theirs late, or are still waiting. Either way, it is clear that the demand is high.
Beyoncé’s success with this DVD can definitely be attributed to her promotion this time around. Her Thanksgiving week takeover on ABC was a true success, and with screenings of the DVD held across the country, the word spread quickly about her self-directed and edited DVD. This DVD, which tops the charts, beating out Michael Jackson, is her most successful yet. Her previous arena concert DVD, The Beyoncé Experience, is expected to be certified 4X platinum after 3 years on the charts, making the I Am…World Tour‘s success all that more impressive.
If you haven’t already picked up your copy, I strongly advise you do so. With this DVD, Beyoncé allows us to see her sensitive side that prevails once she’s left the stage, her work ethic and business sense, and of course her signature vocals and dance moves. This is not something that should be looked over.
Kanye West pulls in 518K first week with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday does 371K. As a big Kanye West fan, I’m disappointed—especially considering that this is probably the most acclaimed hip-hop album since Stankonia, and before that, Illmatic. But in an age of rampant internet piracy and premature leaks, one of the best hip-hop albums of all-time can only manage 518K first week, I guess. With G.O.O.D Friday’s and the human promotional blitzkrieg that is Kanye, I want to say 518K is genuinely disappointing, but it’s really not. I just have to wonder if we’ll ever see a hip-hop artist sell a million first week ever again. Tha Carter IV? Maybe. Anyway, hats off of ‘Ye and Nicki. Both killed it on the charts.
I just wanted to acknowledge that Eminem is still doing nearly 50K/week. Recovery is about six months old now. Yup.
UPDATE: The official numbers came in today (12/1). Kanye sold 496K and Nicki sold 371K. Ok. I thought G.O.O.D Friday’s, a media onslaught and a real buzz around the internets would AT LEAST push My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Gold first week, but no. I guess you need a radio hit these days to smell 500K. It’s still very impressive nonetheless. He’ll be platinum by Christmas.
Lil’ Wayne’s I Am Not A Human Being rocketed up the charts to #1 this week. It debuted at #2 based on only digital sales. The physical release of the album earlier this week is probably responsible for the dramatic 410% increase in sales. Weezy hasn’t recorded any new material in over eight months and he’s still at the forefront of hip-hop. That’s expert management right there.
Yup, Eminem’s done it again. #1 for a seventh week, and multi-platinum status. He did take a decent hit in units sold, selling 14% less. But, as I’ve said over the past couple weeks, what Shady is doing on the charts is simply incredible. He should drop to #2 next week, as Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream will be hitting shelves next Tuesday.
Interestingly enough, as J.D pointed out this morning, this past week’s album sales were the lowest since 1991. Which is why Eminem is good for music. Somebody in the hip-hop industry has to move records. But there was wasn’t a real major release this past week, probably causing that little factoid to pop up. Unless of course you count Mike Posner’s 31 Minutes To Takeoff, which got blasted by a Camp Rock CD.
My two cents on Posner without going into a formal review: Your voice annoys me. I loved your mixtapes, but you actually sang and demonstrated vocal range on them. On 31 Minutes To Takeoff, it sounded like you had a Nasonex bottle shoved up your nose for 31 minutes. A verse from any rapper, really any rapper at all, even Big Sean, was dearly needed on an album devoid of features. The 23 seconds Boyz II Men harmonized on “Deja Vu” was the highlight of the album. Also, what girl would ever want to sleep with him again, much less hang out with him? Vindictively calling out the real name of an ex is just a big no-no Mr. Immature Mike. Don’t waste your 31 minutes on Posner’s new work–just pop in One Foot Out the Door or A Matter of Time get your Posner fix.
I guess emocore isn’t a large enough genre to carry an album for two consecutive weeks, because Eminem’s Recovery is #1 AGAIN this week. He’s been #1 for six out of seven weeks, and only took a 3% sales dip from last week’s numbers. I don’t want to sound like I’m beating a dead horse, but the fact that he’s STILL selling 150,000 units per week is something that the industry needed. Forget that it’s personally impressive for Em, but hip-hop needed someone to dominate the charts. I can name better rap albums in 2010 than Recovery, but few artists have pulled 150K their first week, let alone seven consecutive weeks. Again, I don’t particularly care for the record, but Eminem is good for music.
Canadian Indie rock band Arcade Fire debuts at #2, so props to them.
Mr. Five Mics himself debuts at #4 with just under 40,000 albums sold. Lots of people are questioning The Source for giving Bun B’s Trill OG a “five mic” rating, which is reserved for classics. I listened to Trill OG. It’s a fine record, no doubt. Bun B is a hip-hop icon, and a straight up G, and Trill OG is a solid album (as far as Southern hip-hop goes, which is mostly garbage these days). But to put it in the company of Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, and Low End Theory (among others)? Sorry, no. Five mic ratings should be reserved for true classics, and not be used as a lifetime achievement award.
Missed last week’s “Checking Out the Charts?” Check it.
So, someone finally knocked Eminem off of his perch at the top. I thought he’d stay at #1 for a sixth consecutive week, but apparently it’s difficult for people to torrent metalcore. Thus, Avenge Sevenfold’s Nightmare, squeaks in at #1, just barely outselling Eminem. I wish there was an “illegal download” counter, because Mr. Mathers probably would still be #1.
Personally, I didn’t really care for Recovery. Before you write that nasty comment, let me explain myself first. Without a doubt, the man can still rap. Technically, and lyrically, he hasn’t lost much. But I wasn’t all that impressed with the production, and I hated Em’s delivery. Screaming into the microphone with that accent while doing your best Twista impression isn’t my taste. I thought the record was over produced, but Eminem knows how to sell albums. He still has the #1 single in the country in the domestic abuse hit, “Love the Way You Lie” featuring the dying goat AKA Rhianna. The fact that he turned domestic abuse against women into a crossover pop hit is just impressive #EminemEthos. The man could making queefing noises into the mic for 70 minutes and still sell 700K the first week. Yet six weeks after first dropping, and about 7-9 weeks after initially leaking, Recovery still moving at 150,000 units a week, which is just damned mind blowing–especially in this economy and fledging state of the industry. Love him or hate him, what Eminem is doing on the charts is something special.
I did enjoy this cover of “Love the Way You Lie.” The girl is real cute and she goes in on the 2nd verse.
And how is freaking Justin Bieber going to leapfrog Drake?
The 21,190 people that bought NOW this week need to learn to make their own mixtapes for the car. Or just listen to z100 or 92.3 (the NYC area pop stations). It’s the same shit.
Good to see Ricky Rozay go #1 his first week. Before Teflon Don, I was hardly a Rick Ross fan. After, I want to see the guy in concert. The only problem I have with it is the fact that “MC Hammer” and “B.M.F” are basically the SAME but with different guests (Gucci Mane vs. Styles P…. whatever). BUY his album please.
I can’t believe Recovery is still selling 100K+/week #EminemEthos. Good to see Drake still selling well too.
I didn’t know NOW was still kicking around…..
Other albums to BUY (if you haven’t already for some reason) that haven’t necessarily killed the charts:
Curren$y– Pilot Talk
Big Boi– Sir Lucious Left Foot
The Roots– How I Got Over
Also, buy “Power” on iTunes. Yeah, you probably copped it when it leaked May 28th, but drop a buck-thirty and buy it. Support the Ye comeback movement. #teamkanye
UPDATE:Recovery is officially #1 for the fifth straight week. Now those numbers reported yesterday were unofficial, but are usually pretty on target. There is some margin for error, and when there’s only a 900 unit difference between Teflon Don and Recovery, there’s wiggle room for error. Who will ever knock off Recovery?