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New Billboard Top Ten Singles Milestone

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Boplicity, Oct 10, 2003.


  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    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?
     
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    For myself, I don't like hip hop. I enjoy the first thirty seconds of a rap song, but then it seems too repetitious to me. But more importantly, I don't care at all for the content of many of the lyrics in the songs and find many of the hip hop videos disturbingly graphic.

    I'm not talking about the race of the performers. I would find those videos equally disturbing if Chinese or Hindus or any cultural or ethnic group were in them.

    But I know that a certain amount of the hip hop scene is about rebellion. When I was only fourteen when Elvis Presley made his first appearance and he was universally maligned by religious groups and adults in general for his "indecent" and "suggestive" behavior.

    He seems tame compared to what we see today on MTV, but I do believe each generation seems to discover a style of music totally alien and maligned by their elders. Teens don't want to listen to their parents' music.

    And, yes, I wouldn't want to spend money for Beyonce or 50 Cent either, but I'm 60 years old. Maybe teens hear something in that music I just don't "get", but it does scare me...just like Presley scared my parents in 1955.
     
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'm a big Hip-hop fan, but the problem is a lot of what you hear in the mainstream really isn't that good lyrically at least.

    Many "rappers" these days in the pop rap scene really can't rap, their rhymes are disjunct and pointless, they just are there for the image I think.

    It's not like they make the beats, what raps they do write on their own could just as easily have been penned by a 12 year old.

    For me, good hip hop is like good poetry, it doesn't necessarily have to have deep meaning, but it demonstrates an understanding of spoken language.

    A lot of people find hip-hop to be boring and repetitive, and while this is totally fair, I see no problem with repetition, for me repetition is one of the things that defines music.

    Rap, for me, is less about the musical qualities it's about the feeling, just as a lot of different styles of music aren't generally very complex or interesting, they are still fun to play, or fun to listen to. But ultimately while it could be said a lot of jazz music is about soloing, Rap music is about language, and a good understanding of it, so that you can actually create a rhyme that makes sense and isn't just rhyming words together for the sake of it.

    I am not a fan of rap and hip hop that is just for the image, to me that undermines a lot of what the founders of hip hop wanted, it also makes the whole style look bad to the general populous.

    hrm...but if the general populous is buying it..I guess maybe that's not true...it makes it look bad for people who are true fans of the genre.
     
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Why do you suppose they are buying today's pop rap in such large quantities? What is it about rap that appeals to so many youngsters, especially interesting in that 70 percent of the buyers are white and rap performers for the most part represent a very different culture. Is it image over substance? Is it because the lyrics appeal to rap's buyers or is it that the videos present a rebellious, defiant and sexy image that is appealing to youth? Or is it that the beat is compelling? Or what?

    I do have to confess here that I really liked Eminem's "Lose Yourself." I thought the lyrics were inspiring and I like Eminem's intensity in that song. That said, I am not much of a fan of his other work.

    I also find it interesting that several top rap stars have crossed over fairly sucessfully to movies, male and female alike from Queen Latifa to Ice T, Snoop Dog, to what's his name, DMZ? That they can act rather well tells me that if they rap well, they do have a command of language and the emotion of language that does serve them well in movies.

    One other point. The last big fad in music--the Seattle grunge music--lasted about five years or less. Oh, maybe the LAST fad was boy bands such as N'Sync and Backstreet Boys and pop sex queens such as Britney, Christina and Mariah. Those fads lasted about five years.

    I wonder if the current rap style will continue to dominate that long or even longer or will it, too, be passe in a few years like the other styles as a new crop of teenagers want to find their own particular music, whatever it will be?
     
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    That's a good question, I honestly don't see the appeal in most of the pop-rap these days.

    I don't understand why the demographic is mostly white, but I also didn't understand the boy-band fad at all.

    I guess that's just the nature of trends, I don't know though, I'm young I've only seen a few big trends in the music biz. And I don't really understand them myself.

    I would assume that it's X people telling Y people what to like then flooding them with that for whatever reasons.

    It's just the reasons that I don't understand.

    I honestly see no appeal in pop-rap, I suppose you can shake your ass to it, if that's your thing, but it lacks substance.

    Maybe that's it, because it lacks substance, creativity, originality, and (for the most part) talent, it is easier for the people to get in to, without having to think about it too much.

    I'm fairly indifferent to the VIDEO aspect of the scene, you've seen one you've pretty much seen them all, I do turn on MTV2 or MTV jams from time to time to check out the latest stuff, not really expecting to be amazed or to even like it, but because I don't like to NOT give things a fair chance based on previous disappointment, that's just me though.

    It's not just Rap starts that cross over to movies, it seems movie stars try and cross over to the music business and music stars try and cross over to the movie business it happens all the time.

    maybe rap starts do it more, but as you mentioned, this pop-rap IS the current big thing, so that's to be expected.

    Will it blow over? that's hard to say, because while it is seeing an unprecedented popularity currently, it was still pretty popular 4 years ago, whereas the backstreet boys and n'sync who were popular 3-4 years ago, are no where to be seen, that whole scene died out.

    I'd imagine it will pass eventually, though, that seems like the nature of all these things.



    (btw, it's DMX not DMZ ;)
     
  6. I agree and if Beyonce is our future, I won't be purchasing this CRAP either.

    :eek: Treena
     
  7. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    Canada.

    They are bombarded constantly by it from every angle. You're right that the fads turn quickly, and there is no more sure sign of the end of a fad than when it wins "respectable" awards like Grammys - how rebellious is doing a duet on TV with Elton John :D ? - and supersaturates the charts.

    The next generation will want their own thing. Years ago I (now we see correctly) predicted a revival of raw guitar rock. It's the natural antithesis of pop/rap and that's why I went with STOKE. Since then there has been Vines, Hives, Strokes, McKlusky (sp?), White Stripes, QOTSA, etc. etc. in the charts. That sound was non-existent in pop when I predicted it and radio people - who now feature those bands in rotation - laughed at me but luckily I saved the emails and can now rub their noses in it ... which fortunately most take in good humour.

    In case you're wondering, the next trend will be technical rock. The mess of Vines/WhiteStripes/etc. of hacking through simple tunes will be replaced by more technical work. Maybe "The Mars Volta" and the many hard/metalcore bands are the start of it. It has all happaned before. Remember trends tuirning from Motown to acid rock to prog to punk? Nothing new under the sun.

    Where I live, the one rap station is dying fast, having been established far too late in the shelf life of the genre in commercial pop form (I agree with WR about good rap true to it's underground politcal and poetic roots vs pop hop) and the other dance/hop station is turning to good ol' rock'n'roll to survive.

    In fact, in my city the most profitable and long-dominant radio staion is classic rock. Why? Because the millionaires of today, who can actually afford new SUVs and other big ticket items the advertisers wish to sell, grew up on blues, Zeppelin, Sabbath, AC/DC, etc. and they still want to hear it. The economic class that listens to rap and faux soul (kids, wannabe ganstas, etc.) can hardly afford to buy the jeans they're wearing. As a business entity, which group would you rather cater to?

    More simply - pendulums swing.