Posts Tagged ‘Lil Wayne’

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Top 25 Pop Songs of 2011

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

2011 didn’t turn out like it was supposed to.

It was supposed to be the year that the electro-Europop ushered in by Lady Gaga completed its rise to total airwave domination. It was supposed to be the year hip-hop gave up trying to be as relevant as it was in the ’00s. It was supposed to be the year rock staged a comeback. But none of those things happened.

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How Apple Changed Music and Steve Jobs Made Rihanna (and the Cast of Glee and Lil Wayne and Taylor Swift, etc.) a Record-Breaking Star

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Apple marked the passing of its co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs Wednesday, calling him “a visionary and creative genius.” In the coming weeks, much will be said of Jobs and how he revolutionized the  way we live. Evidence of his impact can be found in pockets carrying app-filled iPhones, DVD collections sprinkled with Pixar films and of course, the Billboard Hot 100.

Before the launch of the iTunes digital store in 2003, the record industry was facing the unprecedented threat of online piracy. Consumers were freed from forking over $15 for an album with one hit song and a tracklist full of filler by file sharing services such as Napster. Suddenly, an industry that had made record profits in the late ’90s with this model (think Chumbawamba, Eiffel 65, Natalie Imbruglia, etc.) scrambled to restore revenue by resorting to lawsuits.

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Do hit singles sell records? Conflicting messages from a recently released rapper on fire and a British soul singer on a roll

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Adele scores her second No. 1 this week as the heartfelt “Someone Like You” bounds 19-1, but her triumph has been nearly drowned out by news that Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV sold an impressive 964,000 copies in its opening week. The record industry has been used to bad news and declining record sales for a decade now, but this week represents a major bright spot.

Weezy’s sales figures are astonishing. Sure, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way might have outsold Tha Carter IV when it topped a million in its first week earlier this year, but Lil Wayne didn’t have the benefit of Amazon hawking digital copies of his album for 99 cents. He also didn’t have the benefit of a blockbuster hit single piquing public interest which raises some interesting questions. Just how important is a monster single to spurring album sales?

In 2008, Weezy sold over a million copies of Tha Carter III in its first week, a feat aided by his first No. 1 single, “Lollipop” feat. Static Major. This time around, Lil Wayne might have plenty of hits on his hands, just not one as big.

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Who needs the VMAs anyways? Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera go No. 1

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Cultural commentators frequently discuss the death of the monoculture in the digital age – the loss of shared cultural artifacts that span regions and generations. When Americans only had a few black and white channels to chose from, it was easier for them to experience the same cultural phenomena at the same time.

No matter how many YouTube views Justin Bieber gets, it’s not the same as a nation transfixed by Elvis’ swivelling hips on the Steve Allen Show in 1956 or overwhelmed by Beatlemania when the band performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963. Today, there are precious few events (the Superbowl, a high profile presidential debate, maybe the finale of American Idol during its heyday) that can bring us together that way.

While the fragmentation of culture makes it impossible to have another Elvis or Beatles or Michael Jackson, MTV proved the monoculture isn’t as dead as we thought Sunday when they attracted a record 12.4 million viewers for the annual Video Music Awards. And America didn’t just watch – they talked about it too. VMA commentary dominated Twitter trending topics. Beyonce and Jay-Z’s baby announcement broke a Twitter record with 8,868 tweets a second being sent out about Beyonce’s baby bump.