Showing posts with label jay-z. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jay-z. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - august 3, 2019 (VIDEO)

Honestly, it was a tumultuous last evening, but I'm happy to be highlighting it all the same.

Next up... still not sure what I'm covering, but we'll have to see. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - august 3, 2019 I the only one feeling a bit of anticlimax this week? Yeah, we'll be getting to the biggest story in a second - and make no mistake, it's huge, and the sort of story that only serves to make my predictions look questionable - but it wasn't a desperate race to the end or something where the record was broken by the skin of someone's teeth. At least to me it became clear that nothing was going to seriously defeat the margin our contender racked up, and once that happened... well, it was just a matter of momentum.

Monday, June 10, 2019

the top ten worst hit songs of 2010 (VIDEO)

Well, this was a long time coming, but I'm happy this came out as loose and funny as it is. 

Next up... well, I put up a vote on Twitter and folks apparently wanted me to cover something else instead of AURORA and Silversun Pickups... so I've got a surprise in store. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

the top ten worst hit songs of 2010

...what, you thought these retrospective lists would only cover the best of the year? 

Yeah, eventually we were going to have to get here, and we might as well start with the first year in the 2010s left uncovered. But first, a quick recap of the chart trends of 2010, a year knee-deep in the club boom, somewhat evenly between the songs that believed the party would never end and those who were desperately pretending it wasn't happening at all. And what was telling was how both sides of that binary wound up on the best and worst lists, which you'd think would balance everything out. And yet that's where you'd be wrong, because the bad songs seemed to grossly outweigh the good in 2010 in hitting the lucrative balance between offensive, obnoxious, or just plain asinine. More to the point, it was also a year where flimsy production that's aged rather badly was everywhere on the Hot 100, and sometimes a song sounding like ass is all you need here.

Now granted, 2010 is one of those years where the factor of, 'Oh, this sucked, but nobody cares anymore so why revisit it', and that tends to be a hidden truth about the Hot 100 - bad trends age badly, but the songs are so disposable that nobody really cares all that much, which tends to paint the years as better than they might be. And while this is true for some forgotten crap, there'll also be hits on this list that somehow remain massive to this day, either because the artists are still celebrities - and probably shouldn't be - or the radio has entrenched them as staples because nobody with brain cells came in the day they decided on syndication. And again, the songs had to debut on the Hot 100 in 2010 - it's widely considered a pretty rough year for the charts, all the more tainted by the fact I personally spent way too much time in the club in 2010, so let's go back to the gungy afterparty rightly forgotten, and the morning hangover that somehow has not gone away, starting with...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 15, 2018 (VIDEO)

And here we go - man, I look exhausted filming this, but thank god I got some sleep coming through.

Next up... ugh, this'll be frustrating to handle, so just stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 15, 2018 know, I'd call it funny if I was anyone else. See, I predicted last week that Meek Mill would have have something of an album bomb - he's had two already just in the course of me covering the charts, and I expected given the hype there'd be another one here, especially given some of his critical acclaim... but the Spotify numbers didn't seem that huge and it's not like he'd get sales or much radio. So imagine my extreme exasperation when not only did we get fourteen new Meek Mill songs, we also got a mini album bomb from Lil Baby - an artist I thought we could leave behind, preferably by the side of an abandoned road - and a sizable set of new arrivals, bringing our round total up to twenty-seven new songs for this week. All right before the holidays while I still work fulltime in the middle of trying to wrap up multiple year-end lists with a tighter schedule than any other year prior because of real life constraints. So yeah, screw it, album bomb rules are in effect, albeit revised from their original outing from Tha Carter V given that I'm not reviewing Meek Mill's new album formally - as if there'll be much to say - but with the suggestion taken from you all that the only songs I cover are his breakthroughs in the top 40 and any that would wind up as the Best/Worst of the week. That still comfortably gives me over a dozen new entries, and if anyone wants to complain about that, especially given Meek Mill is under Atlantic which is under Warner and that means this video will likely wind up copyright claimed and I won't get a dime from it, you go produce 200+ episodes of a twenty minute weekly series with a day's turnaround time on your own for over four years, and then get back to me. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 14, 2018 (VIDEO)

Not gonna lie, I've had more fun engaging with folks in the comments and my random chicanery around this whole endeavor than I did making the episode. Heh, maybe I should keep that in mind going forward.

Also, by some miracle this avoided copyright bullshit, so next up... I feel like something languid and weird, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 14, 2018, I'm not happy about this. Really, if you consider the long term, nobody should be happy about this week, where every single song from Drake's Scorpion impacted the charts. That meant twenty-two new arrivals from that album alone, which broke all kinds of records for Drake and surely cements his dominance in popular culture... but does it really? I've seen more critics pan the record than praise it - and not receive backlash for doing so - and when you hear that Spotify is having to issue refunds to paying customers for the Scorpion spam - I'm sorry, custom graphics package that of course Spotify made out of the goodness of their hearts and premium playlist placement that surely wasn't paid for by the label directly or otherwise we'd have the modern version of payola, right? But the ugly truth is that Drake might be the one who suffers the worst out of this in the long run - cultural overexposure is very much a thing, and considering the goodwill he still had with 'Nice For What', you'd have to wonder if he'd have been better off holding back, especially when the product is overwhelmingly mediocre at best. Hell, even becoming the quintessential silent majority act doesn't look good overexposed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 30, 2018 (VIDEO)

So I don't think people were expecting how harsh I was in this video.

Oh well, I'm not going to mince words, and I've already made my lengthy pieces surrounding XXXTENTACION. It's your choice to not reckon with the consequences of your listening choices, not mine.

Anyway, might as well talk Death Grips next, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 30, 2018 know, it's funny, people were reaching out to me for my reaction when XXXTENTACION posthumously went to #1 this week and all I tweeted was '...'. That was it, and people assumed or projected so many emotions upon that tweet... when reality I just did not care. And I still don't - I've said my piece on XXXTENTACION a number of times, my review of ? was over fifteen minutes long, and to see this response... well, it's very telling to say the least, that in the dumpster fire of the Hot 100 in 2018, instead of any of his other songs American audiences chose to send the one where he's guilt-tripping a significant other by threatening suicide to the #1. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

video review: 'EVERYTHING IS LOVE' by the carters (jay-z & beyonce)

You know, I kind of expect this review to face a backlash... but I'm not sure how big it'll be, we'll have to wait and see with this one.

Regardless, next up is either 5SOS or Christina Aguilera, so stay tuned!

album review: 'EVERYTHING IS LOVE' by the carters (jay-z & beyonce)

You'd think this would feel bigger.

That's been the thought that's lingered in my mind for the past few days in the wake of the surprise album from Jay-Z and Beyonce,  their first as a couple and already hailed by some as the triumphant conclusion to a multi-year arc where hip-hop's most notable power couple lay their grievances to rest and celebrate their love amidst overflowing stacks of money and fine art...

Huh, maybe that's what's it, the larger culture and especially the younger generation unable to relate to the dizzying heights of Jay's business ventures and wealth that they've given up and stopped paying attention altogether. I'll freely admit that was a major niggling issue that ran through my coverage of 4:44, but it has run deeper, with numerous black publications and essays being circulated on how in the larger American class war Jay and Beyonce wound up on the wrong side. And that's not to take away from their success or even their cult of personality - both are great artists and I really do love both Lemonade and 4:44 - but it's been increasingly difficult to overlook how said cult of personality has been assembled through black artistic associations that aren't their own, or that for as much as Jay has sought to pass along aspirational advice or for those to bask in Beyonce's mere presence, it's always come with a hefty price tag. And yet for me it's always been the more grounded and human moments of their relationship that's pulled me back, when the pinnacle has fractures or outright collapses that we have actual stakes in the drama. So yeah, I wasn't exactly lining up for the victory lap that some have said EVERYTHING IS LOVE represents - they rented out the goddamn Louvre for their video, for god's sake - but again, they're both great artists, I had the hopes this would be at least good. So what did we get?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 17, 2018 (VIDEO)

And here we go - took a lot of processing power to get it out the door, but it turned out pretty well as I still keep tweaking my camera.

Next up, looks like Young Fathers - stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 17, 2018 I said last week that most of my general predictions surrounding the week came true about the expected activity, and while I also did say that I expected Meghan Trainor to break through this week, I also made the statement that I didn't expect much else to happen. And boy, was I wrong in the worst possible way, as despite a few very select gems, XXXTENTACION and Chris Brown of all people showed up to remind me that the charts might just be at their most intolerable since 2016, and there's far from enough good songs to save them!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 29, 2017 (VIDEO)

And this episode took WAY too long to finish... but overall pretty good, I think.

Okay, next review on the way, stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 29, 2017

Okay, I'll be very honest: I was not expecting this week to be as chaotic as it was. I expected that Kesha would cross over and we'd maybe get a few tracks from 21 Savage and maybe one or two from Jay-Z - after all, it's not really a radio-friendly record, I didn't see a lot of crossover potential. And boy, was I wrong, because nine out of the ten songs from 4:44 hit the Hot 100 - along with the expected Kesha and 21 Savage, along with singles from Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato and the point is that this week turned out way busier than I expected. I clearly underestimated the still-remaining star power from Jay, because it took out a swathe of the charts - and in the middle of the summer, it'll be fascinating to see what even has a chance of recovering.

Monday, July 10, 2017

video review: '4:44' by jay-z

Okay, LOTS of updates to keep everyone in the loop, so let's start with a surprisingly great record. Yeah, short, effective, and it does exactly what Jay needed to do. Check it out!

But that's not all...

Thursday, July 6, 2017

album review: '4:44' by jay-z

My first review on YouTube was originally going to be for Jay-Z's Magna Carta, Holy Grail.

Now granted, if you go back into my history my first review was actually Don't Look Down by Skylar Grey - not exactly an improvement - but that was a conscious choice on my part, because Jay-Z is not the sort of artist I tackle lightly. I've gone on the record as not being much of a Jay-Z fan - he's made his classics but he's also made a lot of lazy, overly commercial hits that coast more on presence and bravado than actual wordplay or insight, especially in recent years, and it has led to a lot of records I wish I liked a lot more than I do. And let's be very honest: Jay-Z the man has been eclipsed by Jay-Z the multi-millionaire icon entirely too often, both in his public persona and his art, and while his success would have made some of that inevitable, it's not like he's one to showcase something deeper or draw attention to details that would allow an audience to connect with more of his material.

Then Lemonade happened - and look, there's no way to even approach the conversation of this album without mentioning the moment where Beyonce cut loose and delivered the best record of her career - and again, I'm far from a Beyonce fan! It was the sort of accusation that rocked one of the most established institutions in mainstream music, you almost couldn't escape it. But just like with Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, I was intensely curious to how Jay-Z would respond, or if he even could, given who he is and his place in hip-hop. Miranda Lambert owned the fact that she cheated, and it led to a drifting, intensely complicated picture over an experimental double album... whereas Jay seemed to be aiming smaller, maybe even more personal. A record not even reaching forty minutes, ten tracks, one producer with No I.D., a few intensely talented guest stars including his wife. There wasn't anything indulgent or meandering about this, which flew in the face of the majority of his grandiose material over the past decade, both on his own records and in guest verses - and yeah, there was no way I wasn't going to check this out. So what did I find on 4:44?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 4, 2017 (VIDEO)

Well, this week was all over the place - and seemingly like every meme-associated review I do will probably wind up with a ton of hits, go figure.

Next up, though... actually, I have no idea how many hits this next review will accrue, we'll see. Stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 4, 2017

Okay, so as you can all probably see, this episode of Billboard BREAKDOWN is a day late. This is because of President's Day in the United States, another holiday that extends the chart week... and considering the Grammys happened, it also seems to have the peculiar impact of blunting their overall impact on the Hot 100, at least in the way I expected. Now that didn't mean it didn't cascade through - we'll get to that - but it also meant that we got another overloaded week full of changes...