Weekly review of the Hip-Hop and R&B sales/charts.
Karl Marx taught that capitalism despite increasing the productivity of the world’s economy would nevertheless create a social chasm. On one hand there’s the bourgeoisie who own and control the labor, and on the other is the proletariat who sell their labor. In the music industry this problem is evident. The Big Four music labels (Sony/BMG, Universal Music Group, EMI, and Warner Music Group) own/control 75% of the market and its artists. For example Universal manages GOOD Music, YMCMB, Shady Records, and all of Island Def Jam. Meaning Pusha T’s line, “you signed to one nigga who signed to another nigga,” applies to him and nearly everyone else. That said there are exceptions to this rule. Rostrum Records is an independent label with big name artists like Mac Miller and Juicy J. With only the assistance of a distributer they don’t have to answer to any overarching powers. Until others follow suit Marx’s words ring true: “Capitol is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking the living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” Now onto the numbers:
1) Lecrae – Gravity: The holy-roller stays on top for one more week. That said he does so with only 25,255 records sold. Not bad considering the minimal promotion the album was given, but still not enough to compete with next week’s monster.
2) 2 Chainz – Based On A T.R.U Story: Tity Boi moved 20,709 more units, leaving him inches away from the 300k mark. These numbers should be applauded as a year ago no one thought he would make such a substantial statistical mark.
3) Trey Songz – Chapter V: Chalk up another 16,029 to Trigga’s total. Unwilling to relent the crooner is still making an impact with his fifth studio album. And with “Dive In” doing well on the Billboards he’s set to sell some more records in the coming weeks.
4) DMX – Undisputed: Debuting this week with 16,026 it’s no question that the man who had two platinum albums in one year will not see the same success again. For everyone dying for that 90’s sound, it seems dying is all its doing.
5) Frank Ocean – Channel Orange: 13,973 additional albums sold. Perhaps this is thanks to the release of “Pyramids” incredibly artistic video; perhaps it’s just because it’s an album worth its weight in dollars and sense.
For the first time since its release God Forgives, I Don’t is not in the top five, and Slaughterhouse is still out of the same. With the Cruel Summer numbers on the way at least someone will see six figures next week, but soon several others will as well considering the fall release schedule. Speaking of GOOD Music, their single “Clique” went to number 2 on the digital music charts, (just short of Kanye’s imaginary number one). Be that as it may it’s a tough market and rap fans are tough crowd to get dollars out of. For more pennies pinched stay tuned to next week’s edition.