trying to finish an essay thats due tomorrow more like
Craig’s new Tumblr is fucking incredible. Follow it
Been a lot of talk about Yung Avenue this week so I figured… why not let him do some of the talking for a change?
Billboard unveiled a series of Twitter based charts last week in the interest of presenting up-to-the-moment information about social media’s most discussed songs and artists as they’re being talked about. The Billboard Twitter Trending 140 presents the hundred most tweeted about songs at any given hour of the day, while the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart culls similar info, but for artists with less than 50k followers and no history of appearances in the Hot 100 chart’s top 50. The best of both will be presented in two more weekly charts. Billboard’s real-time charts provide unprecedented access to the listening habits of a Twitter audience we’d previously relied on trending topics, the site’s search engine and word of mouth to gauge.
But early findings appeared to reveal more about social media music sharing habits than what music is actually being shared. The Trending 140 was topped early on by “Shadow”, a bonus cut from Young Money Bieber double Austin Mahone’s just-released Secret EP, but by the afternoon of the first day that spot was claimed by Lady Gaga’s “Sexxx Dreams” after Gaga’s Little Monsters got wind of the new chart’s mechanics and organized to power a sizable selection of Artpop cuts into the top ten. Over at the Emerging Artists chart, rising Atlanta rap sensation K. Camp’s soon-to-be-ubiquitous “Cut Her Off” remix struggled to best a new video for New York indie rapper (and self-proclaimed Nicki Minaj ghostwriter) Ransom’s “Dying Breed” for the top spot.
How does a working class independent MC’s rooftop performance clip of a Fred the Godson collaboration beat out an Interscope trap upstart’s million-plus viewed 2 Chainz collaboration in Twitter shares? Blog chatter. An overwhelming majority of “Dying Breed”’s Twitter mentions came courtesy of a multitude of rap blogs’ spammy linkback tweets and SEO terrorism. Couple that with Ransom’s own furious retweeting of fan appreciation, and you get a gust of social media blather big enough to briefly boost a track from a relative unknown on the national circuit to the forefront of Billboard’s minor league chart.
What’s the value in a chart that can be so quickly and thoroughly gamed, that breaks the fourth wall in its encouragement of viewers to click through on song titles to boost their standings with a tweet? What’s the use in tracking what songs are tweeted about if many of the tweets are automated or else generated in excess by superfans with the express purpose of upping a favorite artist’s profile on social media? Will the success of these stunts encourage further distending of artist visibility? Will the weekly charts weed out these gate-storming outliers to present a more reliable vision of what music’s being discussed on Twitter?
It’s too early to tell exactly how Billboard plans to address these kinks or whether there’s even the desire or need to, but the day one Little Monsters and Ransom stunts drive home just now unreliable of a gauge of real media influence Twitter mentions can be. Twitter chatter isn’t some populist cry of the salt of the earth. It’s more like a carnival’s house of mirrors: it can be duplicated, bent, refracted and expanded into a semblance of largesse that the real entity might not possess. Any chart that uses it for building blocks is bound to be just as pliable. As for now, rejoice, Directioners, Beliebers, Smilers, Mahomies, Katycats, Monsters, Beyhive, Barbz, Navy, struggle rappers, bots and SEO starved blogs! You’ve got your own Billboard chart.
I keep hearing rap fans bemoan the death of lyricism in modern hip-hop and pine for the death of trap, and I keep telling them there’s guys out there fighting the good fight, but no one listens. Kevin Gates is one of the best songwriters working in the genre right now, but cats who aren’t familiar play him off like he’s Just Another Drug Dealer Airhead. On Twitter today I said you could probably cobble together a mix of songs off the last 3 Gates tapes that would blow half the last 2 years of mainstream rap albums outta the water. Here it is.
If you’re one of those types who can’t figure out why the rest of us have been gassing Gates’ music for the last year, I want you to listen to this shit. And I don’t mean scan for flows without considering what the words mean or skim through trying to Locate The Single like we’re schmaltzing over business cards and open bars at somebody’s “listening event” (although if you were to do the latter, you’d probably hear four or five). Dude is a monster, and I need rap fans committed to championing talented lyricists to wake the fuck up. Gates is on that XXL Freshmen cover for a reason. Thanks.
We gotta come up with a name for the weekday after Record Store Day when all the artificially #RARE, fake #SECRETE, instant vintage reissues commence to trickling onto Ebay for double and triple the list price of just 24-48 hours prior.
Every Record Store Day’s got an Ebay Monday. Happy scalping.
Muhsinah. Song’s called “Re:Outsourced”. Album’s called ‘The Oscillations: Square’. I guess the story is that ‘Square’ was a one-off digital album that was supplanted by something called ‘The Oscillations: Triangle’ which contained most of the same tracks but got whittled down by half by the time it hit the iTunes store? So anyone who copped after a certain point never heard the ‘Oscillations’ series’ best song? I don’t know. Digital releases can be very transient
Muhsinah is dope. Even the iTunes EP version of ‘Triangle’ is worth a shot. In 2008-09 she kinda blueprinted that electro-soul sound the cool boho R&B ladies of 2014 are mining, but without the thick blog attention the new class is getting now that Poptimism Won and what not. FlyLo and Exile beats, Antibalas samples. A lotta artists still haven’t caught up with her yet. R&B game Degrassi High: the young bucks don’t even know they’re being sold dated product.
A whole 4/20 passed with zero mention of Styles P’s “Good Times” entering my social media periphery. For shame. [Insert heady examination of how amazing the production on this is that it’s too close to 3am for me to piece together]
This song has essentially disappeared from Earth since I heard it first, which sucks because it is GODLIKKEEEEEEEEE