Tag Archives: French Montana

RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (June 11, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a Sunday evening report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: all the highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. Yes, it’s the night of the Tony Awards, but a quick glance of the pop chart shows no soloists named Tony! Oh, well. I guess it’s time for me to play the leading role of chart geek in another charming production of the Radio Active report, so take your seats and let the show begin:

ZEDD OF THE CLASS: It’s another week at the top of the pop survey for DJ/producer Zedd and singer Alessia Cara, who stay in place (despite a small loss in spins) for the third week with “Stay”. Collaborations have occupied the top spot for nine weeks so far this year, and that number will continue to grow in the coming weeks! Additionally, “Stay” advances 11-10 on the Hot AC radio chart. At a very impressive 322 million streams on Spotify, this is now the most streamed song for both artists. (Cara’s previous hit, “Scars To Your Beautiful”, is just behind it at an equally massive 308 million streams.) Due to a continued lack of challengers, this will get a fourth week at #1 next Sunday, though it will get more difficult beyond that chart.

Newcomer James Arthur has the only entry in this week’s top five with “Say You Won’t Let Go”, up 6-5. It recently topped the Hot AC chart, though it looks like it’ll fall short of the top spot on the CHR/Top 40 list. No new tracks enter the top ten or top 20, as that logjam rears its ugly head once again. It’s okay, kids, we’ll get through it. I hope…

IT TAKES “2”: Just two songs debut in the top 40 on this week’s pop chart. The hot summer of Justin Bieber features continues on with “2U”, the latest release from DJ and producer David Guetta. It begins at #32, and its notable entry is due to hourly airplay on iHeartMedia stations during its release day on Friday. It hit #1 on iTunes, and currently sits at #2, sandwiched between… yes, the other two hits featuring Bieber: the remix of “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (#8 this week) and “I’m The One” by DJ Khaled and friends (#7). Just a handful of top 40 titles have replaced the words “to” and “you” with a shorter “2” and “u”, including top ten tunes by The Jets (“Rocket 2 U” – #7, 4/1-8/88 R&R) and Sinéad O’Connor (“Nothing Compares 2 U” – #1, 4/20-5/4/90 R&R).

They might be down one member, but they’re up one top 40 entry this week. Now charting with their eighth top 40 song since 2013, pop quartet Fifth Harmony is in at #40 with “Down”, featuring rapper Gucci Mane. The group’s reached the top only once, with the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Work From Home” (5/29-6/5/16 MB). The last girl group to make the top ten with the original lineup, lose a member and then return to the top ten (without a replacement) was The Pussycat Dolls, who charted with “Don’t Cha” (#3, 9/2/05 R&R), “Stickwitu” (#1, 1/20-27/06 R&R) and “Buttons” (#1, 8/27-9/3/06 MB) as a sextet, then charted with “When I Grow Up” (#8, 8/10-17/08 MB) as a quintet.

MEET ME IN MONTANA: On a published chart that’s a bit forgettable, we have a debuting song called “Unforgettable”. Hey, the timing isn’t always perfect. 32-year-old French Montana scores his first main-credited entry with the single, which features Swae Lee of the duo Rae Sremmurd. The Moroccan-born rapper was featured on the remixes of two minor top 40 records from earlier this decade: Jonn Hart‘s “Who Booty” (#30, 1/20 + 2/3-17/13 MB) and Chris Brown‘s “Loyal” (#40, 6/8-15 + 6/29/14 MB). It’ll likely reach the top ten on the Rhythmic chart next week, where it ranks at #11 (up from #14) currently. (The track is also up 17-13 on the Urban radio list.) Well, Montana is The Treasure State, and several formats (and global lists) have certainly found a new one.

As far as other French feats from the chart archives, we find that one other French artist made the top 40 on the CHR chart. Dancing her way up to #3 during the first week of July in 1995, Nicki French scored her one U.S. hit with a cover of Bonnie Tyler‘s chart-topper “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” (9/23-10/7/83 R&R). Of course, I have to wonder: what would a French and French duet sound like? Je ne sais pas…

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Things That Need To Stop: Twerking 9 To 5

Open up and say blah.

Open up and say blah.

When Miley Cyrus “freaked out” in her 2008 hit, “See You Again”, she brushed it off with a response from her “best friend Leslie”: Oh, she’s just being Miley. Nothing to worry about. Five years later, you know Leslie is scarred from what’s she seeing out of her B.F.F. today. I could go on about how this latest era from Cyrus is a mess, but probably the most annoying thing to come out of Cyrus’s promiscuous pageant is the need to expose twerking to a larger audience. There was a video posted a few months ago of her strutting her stuff in a unicorn onesie, but she’s also performed the dance in concert.

Twerking consists of bobbing your hips up and down in rapid motion with a lot of energy and sexual flare. Yet, these moves are not new. It originated in the South in the mid-1990’s and I first heard of it when a song called “Whistle While You Twurk” came out by the Ying Yang Twins. That was in 2000. “Twurk” became “twerk” over the years, and in the last few, it’s been included in the lyrics of several rap singles, including “Round Of Applause” by Waka Flocka Flame (#86, 2011), “Bandz A Make Her Dance” by Juicy J (#27, 2012) and “Pop That” by French Montana (#36, 2012). Even a song on Jay Z‘s latest album includes a line directed at Cyrus, “twerk Miley twerk”, and regardless of whether you see it as him encouraging her or making fun of her, it’s still become a part of pop culture. Now, a song by the group FiNaTTicZ, “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun”, is soaring up the Hot 100 and iTunes for its use in short online videos. You never know who’s going to do it next, and that’s why it needs to stop.

I don’t personally find the dance appealing because in viewing it, it’s generally performed by females to a rap song and it gets far too raunchy very quickly. It’s also meant for a different demo than the age or ethnicity than I am. Here lies a big problem. For a dance that was originated by the black community, it sure doesn’t help that Miley Cyrus, a white singer, is the poster child for the dance. She, in turn, is providing something for a mixed audience who I’m sure doesn’t the beginnings of where it came from in the first place. I’ll let another blogger explore this in depth, but I can see where there’s a certain audience who are likely annoyed that something that was regional two decades ago is now becoming mainstream. This also may be a case where history is repeating itself.

The breakout of twerking nowadays reminds me a lot of how the twist exploded in the early 60’s. It, too, was referenced in a few songs in the decades prior to it officially being named. It was provocative at the time given that it wasn’t a traditional dance step, originating in African dance. Now, granted, you couldn’t make a viral video then, but musically, it was the go-to subject to get a hit for several years. In 1960, a cover of the song “The Twist”, originally performed by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, was a huge #1 on the Hot 100 for Chubby Checker. Four other titles with “twist” in them made the Hot 100 that year, including songs by Danny & The Juniors and Fabian, and another three charted in 1961, two of which were performed by Checker, including “Let’s Twist Again” (#8).

Then, in 1962, Parkway Records decided to rerelease the original recording of Checker’s “The Twist”, becoming the only song in the Hot 100 history to go to #1 twice. The dance itself also became even bigger in its second go-around. That year alone, seven “twist” records made the top ten, 15 made the top 40, and 28 made the Hot 100. It was inescapable, all over the radio and television. Many of those big singles were by repeat artists as well: Checker had two, Gary U.S. Bonds had two, as well as Joey Dee & the Starliters, who took their version of “The Peppermint Twist” into the top spot. Things slowed down from there as more dance routines came along, specifically the limbo, which Checker’s songs also popularized. Yet, it’s not totally gone away. It’s just reduced to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Wedding circuit, which is a-OK.

The charts are much different now then they were in 1962. Then, they were based on estimations (no bar code system/computer software) of jukebox spins, radio airplay and sales. Today, the statistics are much more accurate and instant. I don’t expect there to be dozens of songs with the word “twerk” in them, but there may be one that could launch us into a similar situation and it’ll eventually get to that point whn we’ll recall when twerking was all the rage at one point. It’s bad enough that “Drop” is growing, and chances are there’s something else waiting in the wings either from this group or another similar underground act. Now, just because Billboard determined that 30-second YouTube clips of people jiggling about to Baauer‘s “Harlem Shake” were able to count towards the Hot 100’s formula, please don’t get any ideas and try to convince the powers that be that a 6-second video of “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun” on Vine constitutes a “full song”. That makes even less sense. Then again, Cyrus trying to take it on in the first place doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.

So, guys, gals, aspiring twerkers, please save your time and your medical bills and do other stuff. Don’t twerk hard, play hard. Don’t be twerkin’ for a livin’. You can be hip without gyrating and breaking your hips. I’m sure you’ll agree.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (May 21)

Play that Punky music.

Play that Punky music.

You ready to get lucky with some cool albums this week? Here’s what’s going down in Record Town for the week of May 21:

  • Huge release this week for the electronic duo Daft Punk as their first album since 2005, entitled Random Access Memories, hits stores today. First single “Get Lucky” with Pharrell Williams is an international smash and is by far their biggest hit yet in the United States. It will certainly translate into their highest debut sales week, but just how high will it go? We’ll just have to wait and see. (iTunes)
  • Rockers Thirty Seconds To Mars take flight with their fourth studio effort, Love Lust Faith + Dreams. Lead single “Up In The Air” is sitting comfortably in the top 5 on Alternative radio. (iTunes)
  • Originally due last year, the debut album by rapper French Montana is out this week, titled Excuse My French. New single “Freaks”, featuring Nicki Minaj, is currently at Urban radio and doing decently so far. (iTunes)
  • Indie rockers The National are out with their first album in three years, Trouble Will Find Me. Their last album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200. (iTunes)
  • Riding high on their Alternative hit called “Harlem”, Denmark-based trio New Politics are in stores this week with their second album, A Bad Girl In Harlem. (iTunes)
  • Hootie’s gone Country again. The third album from Darius Rucker, True Believers, is out this week, featuring the #1 Country song “Wagon Wheel”. (iTunes)
  • Singer-songwriter Beth Hart, best known for her 1999 single “L.A. Song”, and guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa put out their second record together, SeeSaw. (iTunes)
  • From “Surfin’ U.S.A.” to surfing the web for their latest album, The Beach Boys are out with a 40+ song compilation from their recent concerts, Live – The 50th Anniversary Tour . (iTunes)
  • The jazzy and snazzy Jamie Cullum is back with his new album, Momentum. (iTunes)
  • Lastly, the soundtrack to the motion picture Fast And The Furious 6 is out this week, featuring 2 Chainz, T.I., and more. (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Aw Naw”, a new single from Country singer Chris Young. (iTunes)
  • “Diaper Money”, a comical concoction from The Lonely Island. (iTunes)
  • “Somebody Else”, new from R&B singer Mario and rapper Nicki Minaj. It samples “Remember The Rain” by 21st Century, which hit #100 on the Hot 100 in 1975. (iTunes)

Next week will likely see a holdover at #1, but count on new releases from Alice Chains, John Fogerty and Little Mix to shake things up. A preview is coming in seven!

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