Last week's Billboard Top Ten Singles Chart hit a new milestone never before achieved, though it has been gradually inching closer week-by-week for many months. Last week marked the first time ever, every song in the top ten singles was a hip hop song or an R&B song with some hip hop elements ( Number one--Beyonce and Sean Paul's "Baby Boy.") All the top ten singles were recorded by African-Americans. The Palm Beach Post today has some interesting comments about this achievement and how it reflects a massive change in taste for American music at the singles level--mainly the music that gets radio play and is downloaded from the Internet. One factoid the PB Post revealed is that 70 percent of hip hop music is purchased by Caucasians! The Post says that it reflects an enormous change in music taste showing how influential hip hop and closely related R&B music has become in American society. It states that pop, metal and alternative music has become so fragmented that none of these styles represents a major group of buyers anymore. Thus pop stars such as Justin Timberlake are recording songs with hip hop elements or style similar to older Michael Jackson music. And Caucasian stars such as Eminem are recording hip hop, with no pop elements. This week, a non-hip hop group did break into the top ten again--3 Doors Down with "Here Without You", but it does seem very likely for a long time to come hip hop and Beyonce-style R&B will dominate the top ten singles. In fact, even this week's top fifty chart is mainly such artists plus a handful of country stars. The Post says hip hop has not yet been able to dominate the Top Ten albums chart, surmising that the youth market is more likely to buy or download singles, while older listeners are more likely to buy an entire album. I found this article fascinating because it does show how dramatically music taste does change every few years. I think it certainly indicates hip hop and R&B will be with us for a long while to come. I posted this under "Recordings" because we don't discuss a lot of hip hop here, but it certainly is one of the most profitable forms of music now. Artists such as Master P and P. Diddy have become very wealthy men with this style of music. Do we have any big hip hop fans here or R&B fans? Do any of you here play bass in hip hop groups or R&B groups?