Yeah, that's something I hadn't considered at all, actually.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Friday, 12 October 2012 22:04 (7 months ago) Permalink
of course i agree that rihanna has recorded many r&b songs (especially in the vein of "so sick") but "diamonds" does not strike me as one of them (and i don't say this because i don't like the song -- i appear to be one of the very few on here who does like it). i'm not hoping for the exclusion of strongly pop-influenced r&b and i'm, by my own estimations, hardly a purist for r&b or any other genre. i just don't think it's appropriate that a song that was hardly doing anything on the radio format that actually caters to the r&b-listening audience shoot suddenly to #1 after incorporating sales (and airplay, actually, which is even more ridiculous) from much larger and generally separate crossover audience.
― teledyldonix, Friday, 12 October 2012 22:21 (7 months ago) Permalink
yeah, without being too ageist, since they obviously have adult fans as well, i think the huge iTunes receipts for Katy Perry, Taylor Swift etc. singles has a strong whiff of 'mom's credit card.' also the part of the urban audience that's 'plugged in' to the internet is also already used to getting most of their new music on mixtape sites, blogs, etc. the idea of most fans of non-crossover superstar rappers and R&B acts going to iTunes to buy that act's new single en masse on the release date would probably seem absurd to them (although to that audience first week album sales are still kind of a big deal).
― some dude, Friday, 12 October 2012 22:40 (7 months ago) Permalink
Well I think that since So Sick, these white/black pop/r&b delineations (feel free to add mom's credit card/authentically consumed music to the pot) just aren't the best compass anymore. With Rihanna being who she is, and having held a certain position for some time now, it just seems obvious that she is also renegotiating what r&b is, reordering it from within as it were - in ways that cannot simply be written off as external or wholly negative or even the evil plot of corporate interests. R&B must have room for Diamonds too. It will sit just fine on her greatest hits vol. 1, whenever that will appear.
― Gelados n cream (longneck), Friday, 12 October 2012 22:57 (7 months ago) Permalink
here is Rihanna's whole pre-"Diamonds" single catalog, broken down by the Hot R&B Hip Hop Songs peak (the first number) and Pop Songs peak (the second number):
pon de replay: 24, 2if it's lovin' that you want: 99,15sos: -, 1unfaithful: -, 2we ride: -, 84break it off: -, 6umbrella: 4, 2shut up and drive: -, 11hate that i love you: 20, 7don't stop the music: 74, 2take a bow: 1, 1if i never see your face again: -, -disturbia: -, 1live your life: 2, 1rehab: 52, 19run this town: 3, 8russian roulette: 49, 21hard: 14, 9rude boy: 2, 1rockstar 101: -, -te amo: -, -love the way you lie: 7, 1only girl: -, 1what's my name: 2, 4who's that chick: -, 33raining men: -, 48all of the lights: 2, 38s&m: 48, 1california king bed: -, 18man down: 9, -cheers: -, 11fly: 35, -we found love: 54, 1you da one: 60, 19take care: 26, 8talk that talk: 12, 26birthday cake: 2, -princess of china: -, 24where have you been: 56, 3
only 8 times out of 39 has a song been as big or a bigger R&B hit than pop hit, and most of them involved a rapper (or a more overt R&B artist like Chris Brown).
― some dude, Friday, 12 October 2012 23:25 (7 months ago) Permalink
it's not like Michael or Janet or Prince or Mariah where their pop success was so huge that they kind of transcended R&B while R&B radio still faithfully played them. Rihanna came to urban radio kind of late in her career -- only one of her first 10 singles was a big hit on the R&B chart, and it was the one with Jay-Z.
― some dude, Friday, 12 October 2012 23:31 (7 months ago) Permalink
if being #1 on a genre chart isn't going to help tswift or rihanna sell any more records, then why has this change happened? afaict charts and radio are all about 1) breaking records and 2) selling more of the records that have already broken. if this change isn't accomplishing either of those two things, then why? what's the rationale?
― TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 12 October 2012 23:41 (7 months ago) Permalink
radio doesn't care about selling records, they care about selling ads
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Friday, 12 October 2012 23:54 (7 months ago) Permalink
right but labels put massive amounts of pressure on stations to make their records hits, mainly by playing them a million times a day, and it sounds like this move does nothing to further that.. or maybe it does? i dunno
― TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:12 (7 months ago) Permalink
i guess what i'm trying to ask is: who benefits?
yeah I was trying to figure out the economic aspects of this as well
― 乒乓, Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:20 (7 months ago) Permalink
Maybe the labels want to concentrate it to a few artists from across some genres to be megastars; selling their albums to a core audience plus the pop crossover instead of having some semi successful stars on genre charts as well as the "big" artists they hope to sell 10 million albums of. By combining it they hope to get 80s/90s style megastars selling shitloads? rather than having hundreds of ok selling acts.
― Algerian Goalkeeper, Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:21 (7 months ago) Permalink
I don't know if that's the case, but it's plausible. Major labels already carry a lot less mid-level acts than they did pre-collapse.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:37 (7 months ago) Permalink
what are the economics of being a #1 download on iTunes vs. say, having an album going gold in the old days?
― 乒乓, Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:39 (7 months ago) Permalink
but yeah algerian's point was what I thought of - the size of the pie is getting smaller, so they're trying to give megastars a larger slice.
― 乒乓, Saturday, 13 October 2012 00:40 (7 months ago) Permalink
It will sit just fine on her greatest hits vol. 1, whenever that will appear.
it will for sure!
but still. it seems like billboard's decision when it comes to whether a song counts as part of a certain genre is based on whether the artist has recorded songs of that genre before. i'm not so naïve that i'll pretend that who the performer is never has anything to do with how music is classified, but it seems to me that "genre" really has to do with a certain set of slowly evolving aesthetic qualities, lyrical themes and so forth that are collectively valued by distinct audiences. and yes, while many of the people in these audiences are "purists," i don't think these charts should just ignore them. "we are never ever getting back together" and "i knew you were trouble" were both somewhat jarring and alienating to the people who listen exclusively to country music -- the songs' performance on country stations will certainly reflect that, but this week "we are never..." is the #1 and "i knew you were trouble" certainly will be next week after the absolutely monstrous sales it's getting right now.
man i don't know, it's just so boring that the r&b songs chart is going to be "list of songs on the hot 100 that are recorded by artists generally maybe considered part of the r&b genre in the exact order that they appear on the hot 100"
― teledyldonix, Saturday, 13 October 2012 04:51 (7 months ago) Permalink
the megastars idea is interesting -- the bill werde tumblr post says that the genre charts never before showed the level of dominance that the pop charts occasionally did (w/ the beatles and bee gees and so on). but that's not really true -- the r&b charts reasonably often would have several of its top slots commanded by certain huge artists (recently drake in particular)
― teledyldonix, Saturday, 13 October 2012 06:09 (7 months ago) Permalink
anyway i am not holding my breath but it's not completely unprecedented that billboard cancels certain chart experiments; they shut down the "pop 100" after only 4 years (and what a shady chart that was, seriously -- like, by all appearances the formula may have been "take hot 100 data for the week then subtract several chart points from everyone who isn't white")
― teledyldonix, Saturday, 13 October 2012 06:11 (7 months ago) Permalink
The R&B chart was shut down in 1963 back when artists like Elvis and the Beach Boys were scoring R&B hits, and then it was reinstated in 1965 at which point black music seemed to get funkier. It also seems rock music got whiter from that moment on, never again to converge with R&B as it seemed to be doing around 1963. Of course, in the mid-1960s you still had a lot of black-oriented record shops and radio stations, so it wasn't so easy to kill the concept of R&B; the framework of it was too strong - as opposed to the more perilous situation today. But I suspect that this older episode and the one we're talking about now just have to do with Billboard attempting to make the music-selling business more streamlined and efficient, damn the consequences.
― Josefa, Saturday, 13 October 2012 07:21 (7 months ago) Permalink
unless "Diamonds" tops the Hot 100 (which i doubt it will) there probably won't be any room for it on her greatest hits!
― some dude, Saturday, 13 October 2012 22:58 (7 months ago) Permalink
Great thread. This may have already been noted upthread, but one of the things that makes me uneasy about the new methodology for the genre charts is that, instead of determining a song's genre by which radio formats play it, Billboard itself is now making judgment calls. Chart director Silvio Pietroluongo has said, "Determinations on genre are decided based on the sonic make-up of the song." Which just seems like a can of worms.
― Sandy Denny Real Estate (jaymc), Sunday, 14 October 2012 14:48 (7 months ago) Permalink
plus they're very clearly often making these decisions on something other than the sonic make-up of the song (like who the artist is, what their previous songs have sounded like, their skin color, etc.)
― some dude, Sunday, 14 October 2012 15:03 (7 months ago) Permalink
yeah the general impression that the majors' strategy here is to consolidate their promotion into an even smaller number of artists is otm, in part because the staffs at majors have all gotten smaller, and in part because the long tail of pop music matters less when that audience is so much more likely to pirate. my guess is that this will mean not only a different (prob less interesting) range of artists being played on hip hop stations, but also a smaller one, as though that were fucking possible.
― een, Sunday, 14 October 2012 16:01 (7 months ago) Permalink
i think the emerging importance of asian markets also has something to do with this. prob needless to say that labels think hot 100 topping artists have a much better chance of selling in asia than r&b and hip hop specifics, so it's another reason for majors to care less about development and promotion of artists relatively on the fringe. this in turn puts pressure on billboard to adopt a methodology aims for the same level of consolidation.
― een, Sunday, 14 October 2012 16:15 (7 months ago) Permalink
― The rain in Spin circles mainly on the mansplain (D-40), Sunday, 14 October 2012 20:06 (7 months ago) Permalink
I can't really give you any actual *reasons* or *facts* to back up my opinion but I really feel that Drake destroyed hip hop musically & culturally, and it just feels true to me
― rap game klaus nomi (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 14 October 2012 20:29 (7 months ago) Permalink
― fanute da croupier (D-40), Sunday, 14 October 2012 20:30 (7 months ago) Permalink
if you think drake destroyed hip hop musically & culturally that actually means you think that lil wayne destroyed hip hop musically & culturally (and i won't argue w/ you)
― lil dirk (J0rdan S.), Sunday, 14 October 2012 20:32 (7 months ago) Permalink
― fanute da croupier (D-40), Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:18 (7 months ago) Permalink
eh, even as much as Lil Wayne has jumped the shark and I dislike Drake, I don't really agree with either of those things
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:43 (7 months ago) Permalink
Not sure what yr rationale is for saying Drake destroyed hip hop musically and culturally, but what about Black Eyed Peas? Or Flo Rida?
― this is the dream of avril and chad (jer.fairall), Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:48 (7 months ago) Permalink
Or perhaps nothing is destroyed? Nothing is ruined? The world won't end? We just get slightly suckier hit lists?
― Gelados n cream (longneck), Monday, 15 October 2012 10:31 (7 months ago) Permalink
@theilliterate I didn't say that though- "increasingly". I'm of the opinion that itunes inadvertently destroyed Black American pop music tho
@theilliterate And the start of that dates back to around 2005
@GracieLoPan @theilliterate lol. the problem was that the audience for black music was less likely to purchase itunes & the market adjusted
Itunes destroyed Black American pop music.
i hate to get all reactionary/reductionist, but i've always wondered what the hell happened the so completely freakin awesome rap/r&b scene of the early thousands, seemingly overnight, and this makes a certain amount of sense.
― messiahwannabe, Monday, 15 October 2012 12:18 (7 months ago) Permalink
I wonder how this petition drive by country fans opposed to the changes is going?
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 October 2012 19:27 (7 months ago) Permalink
i dunno but it wouldn't surprise me if it gets more momentum than any other response to this, country fans/industry definitely seem to care more about the singles charts than rock/urban/latin/etc.
― some dude, Tuesday, 16 October 2012 19:30 (7 months ago) Permalink
Have not seen followup alt-weekly, magazine, or blogposts re the r'n'b change (just ones froma few days ago announcing the change)
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 October 2012 14:35 (7 months ago) Permalink
you realize alt weeklies and magazines generally need more than 6 days to react to news right?
― some dude, Wednesday, 17 October 2012 14:44 (7 months ago) Permalink
Yes, I mean that some post stuff on their own blogs sooner. Chicago Reader just had something about Mumford & Sons itunes and Billboard success.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 October 2012 14:48 (7 months ago) Permalink
Due to its pure pop, even dubstep-leaning, sound, "Trouble" does not appear on the newly-revamped Country Songs chart, which, as of last week, now blends airplay, sales and streaming data; it's also not being promoted to country radio. "Never" spends a second week atop the tally
so their main criterion seems to be whether it's promoted to that radio format?? at least that is what i'm figuring because i don't see how "we are never" is any less 'pure pop'
― teledyldonix, Thursday, 18 October 2012 05:24 (7 months ago) Permalink
well there's a country mix are "We Are Never" that was sent to country radio -- it was a moderate country radio hit before the chart changes. i wonder if this means not all Rihanna singles will be on the R&B chart, because the overtly dancey stuff like "We Found Love" generally isn't promoted to urban radio -- although to me "Diamonds" doesn't seem to have significantly more appeal there, aside from being midtempo.
the Mumford & Sons album has been out for 3 weeks btw
― some dude, Thursday, 18 October 2012 10:45 (7 months ago) Permalink
published my first rant on the topic: http://www.splicetoday.com/music/meet-the-new-charts-worse-than-the-old-charts
― some dude, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:00 (7 months ago) Permalink
that was great al, good work
― i dox in yellow gox dox socks (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:43 (7 months ago) Permalink
Seriously. Great piece, cuts right to the heart of the problems.
― EZ Snappin, Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:43 (7 months ago) Permalink
great article! i think there's a story yet to be told about who benefits, and what those ppl did in order to get thid change in place
― TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:21 (7 months ago) Permalink
Agreed, and you wagged a finger at Billboard editor without losing your cool.
― the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:23 (7 months ago) Permalink
wagging a finger without losing his cool is really the essence of al ship
― lil dirk (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:29 (7 months ago) Permalink
Well done btw.
― Gelados n cream (longneck), Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:37 (7 months ago) Permalink
billboard should just get rid of every chart except the hot 100
― 乒乓, Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:25 (7 months ago) Permalink
is billboard 'too big to fail'? should billboard be nationalized for the benefit of the public?