Tag Archives: Jay-Z

RADIO ACTIVE — A Weekly Chart CHRonicle (March 12, 2017)

Welcome to Radio Active, a new weekly report from POP! Goes The Charts that gets to the chart of the matter: highlights from the CHR/Top 40 chart, as published by Mediabase 24/7 and Mediabase Research. When we hear the forecast calls for twelve inches of snow, we usually reach for “Girl, I’ve Been Hurt” and “Informer”. So, let’s shovel some song stats into a blizzard of bops that we call our pop radio review:

SHEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS: Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran is at #1 for the fourth week in a row with “Shape Of You”. This much isn’t strange, right? However, this week is a slightly different one for the chart hit. It ends this particular frame with the largest weekly spin total on a published update in CHR history, accumulating a massive 19,603 spins. That beats the previous record, 19,518 spins on the 7/12/15 chart for “Bad Blood”, performed by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar. Gee, does that mean he’s no longer a member of Swift’s squad? I guess we’ll see. Of course, the cuts from Sheeran’s Divide are taking over the charts globally, so it won’t be a surprise to see “Shape” back at the top for a fifth week next Sunday.

To put this momentous musical moment in perspective, it was 20 years ago this week that “Lovefool” by The Cardigans was in the top spot on the pop radio chart for its fourth of six weeks. It totaled 6,527 spins from the panel in that seven-day period. Needless to say, I could rant about the major radio companies and PPM, among other things, but I’ll save that for another post. In the meantime, we’ll see if Sheeran eclipses the 20,000 spin mark in the coming weeks. The task is quite difficult at this point, but not impossible.

A PERRY GOOD WEEK: 32-year-old hitmaker Katy Perry pops into the top ten for the 16th time since her 2008 debut with her politically-charged “Chained To The Rhythm”, up a single notch to #10. The hit features newcomer Skip Marley, who has a song at the Alternative and Triple A formats called “Lions”. Perry has eleven #1 songs to her credit on the CHR chart, with an amazing set of seven between 2009 and 2012. Will her latest make it to the top? If it doesn’t, it will take the PPW era record for the song with the most adds in one week (174) that didn’t reach #1. That’s a pretty unfortunate title, so let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

The Perry and Marley collaboration is the first top ten single with a rhythmically-themed title since 1995, when Brazilian singer Olga Souza made her debut as Corona with “The Rhythm Of The Night”. The dance anthem peaked at #8 (1/27/95) on Radio & Records. Overall, there have been twelve such top 40 titles on both R&R and Mediabase 24/7 since 1973.

LONG TRAIN CHARTIN’: Two of the debuts in this week’s top 40 are sung by lead or featured performers that began their CHR chart career in the late 90’s. Chart conductor Pat Monahan and his band Train are headed up the tracks with their tenth top 40 song since 1999. “Play That Song” advances 42-37, marking the group’s first top 40 hit at the format since “50 Ways To Say Goodbye” got to #17 (10/14 and 10/28-11/4/12) just over four years ago. Of course, the group’s made the Hot AC chart several times since that hit, but nothing’s come close to charting here. I think this deserves an upgrade to first class chart trivia, don’t you? Let me know.

At ten top 40 songs, Train becomes the latest San Francisco band to surpass the double-digit threshold, a list that includes bands like Huey Lewis And The News, Journey and more. Don’t stop believin’ in these kids, kids, because they come back with a hit when you least expect it!

MAJOR BEY ALERT: Record producer and professional screamer DJ Khaled claims his fourth top 40 entry on this week’s CHR chart with “Shining”, up 44-39. Though the 41-year-old has been releasing music since 2006, it wasn’t until 2011 that he grabbed his first charting song at the format with “I’m On One” (#32, 9/18/11), which featured Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne. His latest release features married couple Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Jay Z (Sean Carter), giving Knowles her 24th top 40 entry as a solo artist since 2002, and Carter his 26th top 40 hit since 1999. I’m sure the Beyhive will be happy to know about their girl’s latest feat.

As far as a new album, the DJ has anotha one coming later this year, titled Grateful. I’m hopeful that this set will have nothing to do with the Grateful Dead. After all, what would you call a Jerry Garcia song with DJ Khaled yelling all over it? “Touch Of K”? (Don’t make this a reality, please.)

AARON’S CHARTER (COME GET IT): Yes, it’s still 2017, so don’t go breaking out your HitClips and Wonder Balls quite yet. In one of the more bizarre chart events of the year so far, 29-year-old Aaron Carter has his first top 50 entry in just under 15 (!) years with “Sooner Or Later”, debuting at #49 this week. It’s taken from the EP titled LØVË, which was released last month. The tune has a total of 25 million streams and counting on Spotify, which means that Carter himself isn’t the only one hitting the replay button. (I’m looking at you, Nick.)

Despite Carter’s popularity with a young fan base in the late 90’s and early 00’s, CHR radio programmers largely ignored the singer. His only previous chart history at the format was the one week “I’m All About You” spent at #49 (4/5/02) on Radio & Records. You probably shouldn’t hold out for Dream Street or Myra or Play to come back and conquer the pop airwaves anytime soon. (Sorry to burst your bubbles, kids. Hoku, if you’re out there, we need some new jams already!)

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Go To “Church”: Chart Hits Worth The Worship

Songs at your service.

Songs at your service.

Everyone is buzzing about the debut single from 24-year-old Irish newcomer Hozier“Take Me To Church”. After a lengthy rise up the AAA survey, it’s finally made it to #1 as it continues to pile on airplay at the Alternative format, as well as begin its crossover to CHR and Hot AC radio. Now, while synagogue may be my place of choice when it comes to religious preference, there are still plenty of churchgoers around and a few of them have sung about it. So, while the latest “Church” sits just below the Hot 100, waiting to deliver its sermon upon the surveys, here are some of the other charting singles on the topic from the holy scripture we call Billboard:

“The Church Bells May Ring”, The Diamonds (#14, 1956)
Originally done by a group called The Willows, the version by this Canadian quartet broke the top 40 and became another moderate single for the four. One year later, they would score with their signature song, “Little Darlin'”, which climbed to #2.

“I Met Her In Church”, The Box Tops (#37, 1968)
“The Letter” (#1) and “Cry Like A Baby” (#2) put them in the national spotlight when it came to giant releases, but even their more obscure singles struck a chord with the buying public. Barely a top 40 entry, it was one of two charters from Non-Stop.

“Church Street Soul Revival”, Tommy James (#62, 1970)
After breaking off with his band The Shondells, James turned his attention to what should’ve been a decent-sized solo career, but the notable singles didn’t come easily. Unfortunately, this cut from 1971’s Christian Of The World isn’t well-remembered.

“I Hear Those Church Bells Ringing”, Dusk (#53, 1971)
Peggy Santiglia made it to #1 on the Hot 100 with The Angels on “My Boyfriend’s Back”, and years after that classic smash, she led this band to some minimal success. Followup “Angel Baby” stalled in the 50’s before the short-lived act called it quits.

“Church”, Bob Welch (#73, 1979)
After leaving Fleetwood Mac at the end of 1974, Welch had a small run of solo songs on the national pop survey. This was the followup to “Precious Love”, a top 20 hit, but this second single from Three Hearts didn’t do as well. He passed away in 2012.

“Church Of The Poison Mind”, Culture Club (#10, 1983)
The hype was big for Colour By Numbers, this quartet’s second album, and it was no sophomore slump. Climbing to a peak of #10 on the Hot 100 in December, it was their fourth consecutive top ten release. It also peaked at #2 in the United Kingdom.

“Church Of Your Heart”, Roxette (#36, 1992)
Sweden’s dynamic duo took a Joyride to the top in 1991, but their time on the highway to hits were numbered. “Church” went top 20 on CHR radio, though it just dented the top 40 on the Hot 100, becoming their lowest charting release up to that time.

“Little White Church”, Little Big Town (#59, 2010)
After the struggling A Place To Land era failed to answer their prayers, this “Church” became the first top ten on the Country chart for the group since 2006’s “Good As Gone”. It was their second certified single, selling 500,000 copies and going Gold.

“No Church In The Wild”, Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean (#72, 2012)
Taken from Watch The Throne, this certainly wasn’t the biggest in terms of peak position, but the collaboration between the two rappers and singer did sell enough to go Gold. It was put in several movie trailers and an advertising campaign for Dodge.

Which of these songs get you in the spirit of spirits? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for R&B/Rap Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we continue with the fields for R&B and Rap music.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

17. Best R&B Performance

“Love And War”, Tamar Braxton
“Best Of Me”, Anthony Hamilton
“Nakamarra”, Hiatus Kaiyote featuring Q-Tip
“How Many Drinks?”, Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Something”, Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Many of the winners in this category are generally successful on the R&B survey, and with a former top 5 hit on the Urban airwaves as well as a #2 album, singer Tamar Braxton stands out with her single “Love And War”. It is one smooth track.

18. Best Traditional R&B Performance

“Please Come Home”, Gary Clark, Jr. (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Get It Right”, Fantasia
“Quiet Fire”, Maysa
“Hey Laura”, Gregory Porter
“Yesterday”, Ryan Shaw

PREDICTION: A few of these acts really don’t have a lot of coverage out on social media. Fantasia, a prior nominee in this category, has a good shot, but if he isn’t a winner in Best Rock Song, I think Gary Clark, Jr. may take this one with “Please Come Home”.

19. Best R&B Song

“Best Of Me”
Performed by: Anthony Hamilton
Written by: Hamilton & Jairus Mozee

“Love And War”
Performed by: Tamar Braxton
Written by: Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick

“Only One”
Performed by: PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
Written by: Morton

“Pusher Love Girl”
Performed by: Justin Timberlake
Written by: James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Without Me”
Performed by: Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott
Written by: Barrino, Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart

PREDICTION: Even though he was shut out of the Big Four, a huge shock to many, Justin Timberlake‘s “Pusher Love Girl” was a fan favorite from his album. Hard to believe it didn’t even get an Urban AC servicing. I think it will pull off the trick here.

20. Best Urban Contemporary Album

Love And War, Tamar Braxton
Side Effects Of You, Fantasia
One: In The Chamber, Salaam Remi
Unapologetic, Rihanna (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
New York: A Love Story, Mack Wilds

PREDICTION: This category is probably going to end up being won by a female; I was initially going to pick Rihanna for the win, but I think this is Tamar Braxton‘s year to shine at The GRAMMY’s. Otherwise, this may be some bull you know what.com.

21. Best R&B Album

R&B Divas, Faith Evans
Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Love In The Future, John Legend
BetterChrisette Michele
Three Kings, TGT

PREDICTION: Both Keys and Legend are prior winners here, so the choice is ultimately between them. However, this is the only award that John Legend is up for and he’s singing “All Of Me” on the show, so be prepared for him to walk away with this one.

22. Best Rap Performance

“Started From The Bottom”Drake
“Berzerk”, Eminem
“Tom Ford”Jay Z
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”Kendrick Lamar
“Thrift Shop”Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Heavy hitters are a-plenty here, a few of whom could win in bigger categories. However, given the rock field and all the older acts there, the Billy Squier sample and Rick Rubin production on “Berzerk” by Eminem could help secure a win.

23. Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

“Power Trip”J. Cole featuring Miguel
“Part II (On The Run)”Jay Z featuring Beyoncé
“Holy Grail”, Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Now Or Never”Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You”Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd

PREDICTION: I’m convinced that one of the Jay Z collaborations is going to win here — question is, which one? “Holy Grail” was the hit, but “Part II (On The Run)” packs some marriage power and a potential performance. However, I’m going with “Grail”.

24. Best Rap Song

“F***in’ Problems”
Performed by: A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
Written by: Tauheed Epps, Graham, Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib

“Holy Grail”
Performed by: Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
Written by: Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Timberlake & Ernest Wilson (sample: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Nirvana – Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic)

“New Slaves”
Performed by: Kanye West
Written by: Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Sham Joseph, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Travis Scott, Che Smith, West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters)

“Started From The Bottom”
Performed by: Drake
Written by: W. Coleman, Graham & Noah Shebib

“Thrift Shop”
Performed by: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
Written by: Haggerty & Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Since 2010, either Jay Z or Kanye West have won this particular award, both separately and together. Once again, they’re competing against each other. Yet, this category usually goes to a hit song, so “Holy Grail” is your best best for the win.

25. Best Rap Album

Nothing Was The Same, Drake
Magna Carta… Holy GrailJay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
The HeistMacklemore & Ryan Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
YeezusKanye West

PREDICTION: Best Rap Album hasn’t gone to a newcomer in some time, and it generally goes to an act with a large first-week, which should pit Drake vs. Jay Z. The Canadian rapper won last year for Take Care; I’m guessing that a repeat is in the cards.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Dance and Pop categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Packaging/Visual Media Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we start out with the fields for Packaging and Visual Media.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

56. Best Musical Theater Album

Kinky Boots (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Matilda: The Musical
Motown: The Musical

PREDICTION: Much like the Tony Awards back in June, I think Best Musical winner Kinky Boots will be the winner in this category. This would mark singer and songwriter Cyndi Lauper‘s first GRAMMY win since claiming Best New Artist way back in 1985.

57. Best Companion Soundtrack for Visual Media

Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino, compilation producer

The Great Gatsby (Deluxe Edition)
Baz Luhrman, compilation producer

Les Misérables (Deluxe Edition)
Cameron Mackintosh, Lee McCutcheon & Stephan Metcalfe, compilation producers

Muscle Shoals
Stephan Badger & Greg Camalier, compilation producers

Sound City: Real To Reel
Butch Vig, compilation producer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I was going back and forth between Luhrman and Vig for this Award, as both soundtracks have the star power to win, but I’ll give the edge to The Great Gatsby on this one. As a stand-alone work, it’s quite inspired and did well commercially.

58. Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Argo
Alexandre Desplat, composer

The Great Gatsby
Craig Armstrong, composer

Life Of Pi
Mychael Danna, composer

Lincoln
John Williams, composer

Skyfall
Thomas Newman, composer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Zero Dark Thirty
Alexandre Desplat, composer

PREDICTION: Five out of the six nominations (minus Danna) are by previous winners in the category; that is some serious competition. However, I’m giving it to Lincoln. The movie was fantastic and Williams did an exceptional job setting the mood for it.

59. Best Song Written for Visual Media

“Atlas” (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Performed and Written by: Coldplay (Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin)

“Silver Lining (Crazy ‘Bout You)” (Silver Linings Playbook)
Performed by: Jessie J
Written by: Diane Warren

“Skyfall” (Skyfall)
Performed by: Adele
Written by: Adkins & Paul Epworth (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“We Both Know” (Safe Haven)
Performed and Written by: Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw

“Young And Beautiful” (The Great Gatsby)
Performed by: Lana Del Rey
Written by: Del Rey & Rick Nowels

“You’ve Got Time” (Orange Is The New Black)
Performed and Written by: Regina Spektor

PREDICTION: This is a pretty hard category – two of the selections in here went to #1 on my personal chart. As much as I want “Atlas” to take the prize, I am going with “Skyfall”. The GRAMMY’s wouldn’t be complete without an Adele win, would they?

63. Best Recording Package

Geneseo, Automatic Music Can Be Fun
Mike Brown, Zac DeCamp, Brian Grunert & Annie Stoll, art directors

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon
Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors  (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Jay Z, Magna Carta… Holy Grail
Brian Roettinger, art director

Metallica, Through The Never (Music From The Motion Picture)
Bruce Duckworth, Sarah Moffat, Brian Steele & David Turner

David Bowie, The Next Day
Jonathan Barnbrook, art director

PREDICTION: All five sets have pretty unique artwork even though I don’t know two of the acts in the category. I do believe David Bowie has the best chance of a win here. I liked the campaign based around it; it’s a simple piece, yet it’s also mysterious.

64. Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

Rolling Stones, The Brussels Affair
Charles Dooher & Scott Sandler, art directors

Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do (Limited Edition Box Set)
Mayer Hawthorne, art director

Mumford & Sons, The Road To Red Rocks (Special Edition)
Ross Stirling, art director

Various Artists, The Smith Tapes
Masaki Koike, art director

Wings, Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition)
Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: There’s some major GRAMMY darlings in here, and of course, my dream win would be for Hawthorne. Yet, I’ll be realistic here and say Wings Over the other four. Hey, I even got the “Maybe I’m Amazed” 12″ for Record Store Day last year.

81. Best Music Video

“Safe And Sound”, Capital Cities
Grady Hall, video director; Buddy Enright, Javier Jimenez, Danny Lockwood & Daniel Weisman, video producers

“Picasso Baby” (A Performance Art Film), Jay Z
Mark Romanek, video director; Shawn Carter & Aristides McGarry, video producers

“Can’t Hold Us”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Jon Jon Augustavo, Jason Koenig & Ryan Lewis, video directors; Tricia Davis, Honna Kimmerer & Jenny Koenig, video producers

“Suit & Tie”, Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z
David Fincher, video director; Timory King, video producer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“I’m Shakin'”, Jack White
Dori Oskowitz, video director; Saul Levitz & Candice OvaKnine, video producer

PREDICTION: Of the five entries here, only one music video helped me to like the song better, and that would be “Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities. With a clip featuring dancers from multiple eras, the nostalgia should prove to be positive with the committee.

82. Best Music Film

Coldplay, Live 2012
Paul Dugdale, video director; Jim Parsons, video producer

Green Day, ¡Cuatro!
Tim Wheeler, video director; Tim Lynch, video producer

Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite, I’m In, I’m Out And I’m Gone: The Making Of Get Up!
Danny Clinch, video director; Ben Harper, video producer

Paul McCartney, Live Kisses
Jonas Åkerlund, video director; Violaine Etienne, Aron Levine & Scott Rodger, video producers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Mumford & Sons, The Road To Red Rocks
Nicolas Jack Davies & Frederick Scott, video directors; Dan Bowen, video producer

PREDICTION: I only own one of these (Coldplay), but I think Mumford & Sons will take it. I saw the special when it aired on HBO; besides being a fan of them, it’s a high quality film and edited together well. Their past GRAMMY history also helps the cause.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Alternative, Rock and Country categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail” (+ Lyrics)

Like they never left at all.

Like they never left at all.

It’s a big day for Jay-Z as his newest album, Magna Carta… Holy Grail, is made available for Samsung Galaxy owners before it hits retail outlets on Tuesday. The first single from it is listed as a bonus track on the Samsung tracklisting, “Holy Grail”, which features Justin Timberlake. However, this is also the first track on the main listing on iTunes. Seems sort of odd. The two teamed up earlier this year on Timberlake’s comeback hit, “Suit & Tie”. We’ll see if their latest song together can travel to those heights on the national surveys. Enjoy!

Listen to “Holy Grail”. / Pre-order Magna Carta… Holy Grail on iTunes.

“HOLY GRAIL”

[Verse 1 – Timberlake]
You take the clothes off my back and I let you
You steal the good right out of my mouth and I watch you eat it
I still don’t know why, why our love is so much, oh
You curse my name, in spite to put me to shame
Air all my laundry in the streets, dirty or clean
Give it up for fame
But I still don’t know why, why I love it so much
Yeah

[Chorus – Timberlake]
And baby, it’s amazing I’m in this maze with you
I just can’t crack ya code
One day you screaming you love me loud
The next day, you’re so cold
One day you’re here, one day you there
One day you care, you’re so unfair
Sippin’ from the cup, ’til it runneth over
Holy Grail

[Verse 2 – Jay-Z]
Blue told me to remind you n****s, f**k that sh*t y’all talk about
I’m the n*gga, caught up in all these lights and cameras
But look what that sh*t did to Hammer
Goddamn it like I like, the bright lights is enticing
But look what it did to Tyson
All the money in one night, 30 mil. for one fight
But soon as all that many blows, all the pigeons take flight
F**k the fame, keep cheating on me
What I do, I took her back
Fool me twice, that’s my bad
I can’t even blame her for that
Enough to make me want to murder, momma please just get my bail
I know, nobody to blame
Kurt Cobain, I did it to myself

[Post-Chorus x2 – Both]
And we all just entertainers
And we’re stupid and contagious

[Chorus – Timberlake]
And baby, it’s amazing I’m in this maze with you
I just can’t crack ya code
One day you screaming you love me loud
The next day, you’re so cold
One day you’re here, one day you there
One day you care, you’re so unfair
Sippin’ from the cup, ’til it runneth over
Holy Grail

[Verse 3 – Jay-Z]
Now I got tattoos on my body, psycho b***hes in my lobby
I got haters in the paper, photo shoots with paparazzi
Can’t even take my daughter for a walk, see them by the corner store
I feel like I’m cornered off, enough is enough, I’m calling this off
Who the f**k I’m kidding though, I’m getting high, sitting low
Sliding by in that big body, curtains all in my window
This fame hurt, but this chain works
I think back, you asked the same person
If this is all you had to deal with, n***a deal with
It, this sh*t ain’t work, this light work
Camera snapping, my eyes hurt
N****s dying back where I was birthed
F**k your iris and IRS, get the hell up off of your high horse
You got the sh*t that n****s will die for, dry yours
Why you mad? Take the good with the bad
Don’t throw that baby out with that bath water
You’re still alive, still that n***a, you surived
You still getting bigger n***a, living the life
Vanilla wafers, in a villa
Illest n***a alive, Michael Jackson, “Thriller”

[Chorus – Timberlake]
And baby, it’s amazing I’m in this maze with you
I just can’t crack ya code
One day you screaming you love me loud
The next day, you’re so cold
One day you’re here, one day you there
One day you care, You’re so unfair
Sippin’ from the cup, ’til it runneth over
Holy Grail

Don’t know why
Love you so much

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (July 2)

Holy moly.

Holy moly.

America The Beautiful isn’t looking so beautiful on the release schedule this week, but all those pretty pop releases will be out in no time. Meanwhile, these items are out today, July 2:

  • If you want to find next week’s big album release, it won’t be on iTunes, AmazonMP3 or even the charts… at least for another week. Jay-Z and Samsung have partnered together to give away 1,000,000 free copies of his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, via an application that can be downloaded on the Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It will be available on Thursday, July 4, before a digital release on July 7. No singles from it have been issued. (iTunes – coming soon)
  • Christian rockers Relient K are out with their first album of original material in four years, Collapsible Lung. It features a collaboration with Owl City, “That’s My Jam”. (iTunes)
  • With a new label behind him, soul singer Joe returns with DoubleBack: Evolution of R&B, featuring the single, “I’d Rather Have A Love”. (iTunes)
  • Two soundtracks to summer movies make their way into stores this week: The Lone Ranger (iTunes) and Way Way Back (iTunes).

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

  • “Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down)”, a benefit single for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings by Neil Diamond. (iTunes)
  • “Get Like Me”, the brand new single by Nelly featuring Nicki Minaj and Pharrell Williams. (iTunes)
  • “Give It 2 U”, a dance track from Robin Thicke and Kendrick Lamar. (iTunes)
  • “Live For The Night”, new from the dance trio Krewella. (iTunes)
  • “What Are You Listening To?”, the first solo single from country singer Chris Stapleton, formerly of The SteelDrivers. (iTunes)

R&B singer Ciara is trying for her fourth top ten album next week… will she make it? An update is coming in seven!

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BEHIND THE GROOVE: “Me And My” Sampled Track

I like it, "I Love It".

They Pop on with another winner.

They crashed their car into the bridge, but the musical mobile that is Icona Pop continues to roll along after their international smash, “I Love It”. It has thus far peaked at #7 on the Hot 100. It could be that we’re looking at a future one-hit wonder for the books because it’ll likely be impossible to top this summery sound, but the duo is trying once again with a new single entitled “Girlfriend”. It started to spread a few days ago when a rip made its way across the blogosphere and message boards, though most of those links and videos have been taken down. An official audio clip on the group’s YouTube account just went up several hours ago. It’s another catchy number that bounces to the beat of a 90’s rap sample that also seemed to jive for one of today’s top power couples in music. Time to put it in drive and go behind the groove:

The sample:
“Me And My Girlfriend”, 2Pac featuring The Lady Of Rage (1996)
He was one of the most popular rap artists that was taken far too soon. Shakur was shot and killed in September 1996, just weeks before finishing his latest album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, credited to the stage name Makaveli. It was eventually released in November that year to instant success. Though the album sold well, none of the single releases from it actually entered the Hot 100. (“Hail Mary” did go top ten on the Rap chart.) Perhaps the most enduring song from it is this track, particularly because it has stood the test of time as a sample in several R&B and hip-hop songs. From Eminem to Mariah Carey and Usher to The Game, many acts have been inspired by the classic tune, but not all of those album cuts made it onto the radio.

Sampled by:
“’03 Bonnie & Clyde”, Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé (#4, 2003)
In terms of the charts, this is the biggest single that incorporated “Girlfriend”, released in the fall of 2002. The future Mr. and Mrs. Carter created the song on the whim of the rapper’s then-producer Kanye West and appeared on Jay-Z‘s album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse. Several parts of the 2Pac composition are sampled within this song. Musically, both the bass and guitar lines are lifted from it. Like the new Icona Pop song, the lyrical sample from “Girlfriend” comes from the chorus: “All I need in this life of sin is me and my girlfriend (me and my girlfriend)/Down right to the very end, just me and my boyfriend (me and my boyfriend)”, although “Bonnie” interpolates a few other lines, such as “Look for me, lost in the whirlwind, ’96 Bonnie and Clyde” into “Look for me, Young B, cruisin’ down the westside highway.” That tail-end of the lyric also inspired the name of the song, as well as the bank-robbing couple themselves (Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow), who are portrayed in the music video by our rapping and singing couple. It was ultimately a success in terms of sales and their budding relationship. Awww!

Around the same time that “Bonnie” was released as a single, a Toni Braxton track entitled “Me And My Boyfriend” (utilizing the same sample) was scheduled to be released from her album More Than A Woman. Braxton took the press, stating that Jay-Z and his then-producer Kanye West had stolen her concept, but ultimately backed down as the era dissolved mostly in part to Braxton’s impending pregnancy in March 2003. Jay-Z also fired back stating that he didn’t intentionally use the song out of revenge or spite, claiming that he would have collaborated with Braxton had he known about the issue.

“Girlfriend”Icona Pop (2013)
The Swedish duo promised new music by the end of the summer, and even though it’s just beginning, this fresh tune hit the internet this week. Even though it’s not confirmed to be a single yet, the version of the song that ended up around the web is a clean version, which would indicate that it’s been prepped for a release. (Notice that in the bridge leading up to the chorus, there’s a certain four-letter word censored with a slurred effect.) Who knows? The dance song is radio ready, in my opinion, but let’s face it: “I Love It” is still going to be around for a while because it’s, well, still loved. Full of heavy synths and “na na na” repetitions, you know it’ll be blasting at all the summer pool parties. Although it’s weird for me to hear a 2Pac song being sampled in a throwaway electronic song, your average teenager will a) probably not know who 2Pac is (sadly) and b) probably won’t know a song is being sampled. Do they know what it means to sample a song? Look out for this one to hit hard by the time you push some bags down the stairs.

EDIT: This is officially a new single for the duo from a forthcoming project. Several posts on their Facebook page refer to it as a single, thus, it’s confirmed.

For more on your favorite music, from sampling to singles to statistics, keep it here on the blog or follow me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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