Tag Archives: Juicy J

RADIO REPORT: What’s Popping At Top 40 Radio This Week (May 14-15, 2018)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist this week. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are three new hits impacting this week at the Top 40 format:

JULIA MICHAELS featuring TRIPPIE REDD – “Jump” (Republic)
Album: TBA (2018)
Past T40 History: Michaels broke out in 2017 with “Issues”, which got as high as #4. Redd has never ranked at this format before.

MARSHMELLO x JUICY J featuring JAMES ARTHUR – “You Can Cry” (Columbia)
Album: TBA (2018)
Past T40 History: All three acts have charted before, but Juicy J has the history at #1 with a feature on Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”.

SELENA GOMEZ – “Back To You” (Interscope)
Album: 13 Reasons Why (Season Two) – Soundtrack (2018)
Past T40 History: Gomez returned to the top ten with “Wolves”, which reached #5 earlier this year. How will this new single fare?

Next week: Israeli newcomer Dennis Lloyd searches for summer magic with his Spotify-led single “Nevermind”. Will the Top 40 panel mind? Stay tuned.

Which of these new songs would you like to see top the charts? Let me know!

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Filed under POP! Goes The Picks (Radio), Single Reviews

A “Horse” With No Shame: Katy Perry Gallops For Gains

Does pop radio really love her "Unconditionally"?

Does pop radio really love her “Unconditionally”?

She came in with a “Roar” and topped the Hot 100 earlier this year; now, Katy Perry has another hot tune to challenge all the neigh-sayers out there. “Dark Horse”, featuring rapper Juicy J, was released as a digital single a little over two months ago after winning a poll sponsored by Pepsi to reveal a track from her album, PRISM. The urban-sounding song, which feels inspired by “Moments In Love” by Art Of Noise from 1985is piquing the interest of many people as a result of continued strong sales and a growing number of program directors adding the song into moderate-to-high rotation across multiple formats. So, what gives? How can this happen when she already has an active ballad, “Unconditionally”, all over the place?

As Perry’s proper second single continues to gain in the CHR radio top ten, the callout scores for it have not been particularly impressive, ranking it lower among many singles that haven’t actually gone top ten yet. In turn, the numbers are used by those directors in their research to determine rotations. Sales of the song have improved since it was first released, ranking just below the top ten, but even that seems lackluster. Meanwhile, “Dark” has broken free from the pack and landed a triple-digit bullet from unsolicited airplay on about twenty stations, mostly in the Midwest and the South along with a handful of major markets on the West Coast. (Callout isn’t available for it.) It’s currently #44 at the format and in the same region on the Rhythmic panel, gearing up for a run in the top 40. So far, it’s achieved a #17 peak on the Hot 100, a spot below “Unconditionally”. With steaming and sales on the rise, we could be hearing about this one for a while yet.

This isn’t the first time this sort of situation has happened; promotional singles have made it to the air before thanks to programmers at more liberal radio companies. In fact, over on the Hot AC chart, “Lucky Strike” by Maroon 5 is around the top 40, never declared as the fifth single from Overexposed but still picking up airtime. One notable CHR example of a few years ago is “Rockstar” by Nickelback, which went as high as #42 in December 2006 on the chart on solely unsolicited airplay until “If Everyone Cared” was announced as a single. Once it ran its course, “Rockstar” was officially released and went top ten during the summer of 2007. It may be that Perry falls into the situation if the label decides to release something like “Birthday” or “This Is How We Do”, but I would think they’d like to strike while the iron is hot.

Though it appears the buying public and radio will be leading the way on what could be the third single from PRISM, a full release of whatever the label is going to choose has yet to be locked in. It’s almost certain that “Dark” will continue to grow into next year even if it’s not the followup to “Unconditionally”. Question is, how quickly will Capitol react? After all, the song hasn’t been serviced to radio and they’re stuck in a bind considering that the second single still has life left in it (unless they no longer promote it, but that likely won’t happen.) In the meantime, it makes for an interesting chart story. Not just anyone can pull off three songs making the CHR chart simultaneously, so kudos to Perry and team for making it happen.

“Dark” isn’t personally one of my favorites on the album, but I guess I’m in the minority on this one. There’s a clear desire for it from several angles. If this is truly meant to be this era’s “E.T.”, the fourth radio single from the Teenage Dream era and largely played in remixed form with Kanye West, it will eventually see the light as a full-on single with an optional rap-free version for the Hot Adult Contemporary format. “E.T.” was a spring single three years ago; let’s see if history repeats itself with “Dark”, a song title that definitely lives up to its name. Time to pony up.

Audio:

Download “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J on iTunes.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (August 27)

The "King" takes its throne.

The “King” takes its throne.

Turn up the guitar or just get turnt up! These are all the new releases you need to know about for the week of August 27:

  • They made it to #1 last time around with Nightmare in 2010, so can rockers Avenged Sevenfold do it again? Their latest is Hail To The King and the title track is currently #1 at both Active and Mainstream Rock radio. If it’s not at the top, then it’ll definitely be somewhere in the top 3. (iTunes)
  • Big Sean made a Big Splash in 2011 with his debut album called Finally Famous. Now, he’s in the Hall Of Fame, which features the current Urban radio hit “Beware”, featuring Jhene Aiko and Lil Wayne. (iTunes)
  • “Bandz A Make Her Dance” and apparently also make her buy Juicy J‘s album. His Stay Trippy (what a title) release is out this week and could pick up some rather juicy sales. (iTunes)
  • Following the release of her recent #1 in the U.K., “Burn”, Ellie Goulding is firing up this New Release Tuesday with Halcyon Days, a deluxe edition of her 2012 album Halcyon.  (iTunes)
  • Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand are back with their first album in four years, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. “Right Action” is the first single from it, which is currently a minor hit on Alternative radio. (iTunes)
  • They’ve been performing together since the 90’s; now, they’re at it again. Jars Of Clay open the jar once more to reveal Inland, their newest full-length release. (iTunes)
  • Atlanta’s Goodie Mob, led by Cee Lo Green, returns with their first album of original material in 9 years, Age Against The Machine. (iTunes)
  • Former American Idol contestant Mandisa releases her fifth regular studio album this week, Overcomer. The gospel release is led by the title track, which is a top 5 hit on the Christian charts. (iTunes)
  • Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder brings her Harmony to the U.S., featuring the single “Stompa” and a followup, “What I Wouldn’t Do”. Both have been hits in her native Canada. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include Alabama‘s Alabama & Friends (iTunes), The Life Acoustic by Everlast (iTunes), Little River Band‘s Cuts Like A Diamond (iTunes), Famous by Marques Houston (iTunes) and a Various Artists compilation, Now! That’s What I Call Next (iTunes). There’s also a Target-exclusive release of Emeli Sandé‘s Live At The Royal Albert Hall available this week.

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

  • “Beneath Your Beautiful (EP)”, a new multi-track release featuring the hit by Labrinth and featuring Emeli Sandé. This features a few remixes of the track as well. (iTunes)
  • “Berzerk”, the crazy new single from Eminem‘s forthcoming studio album due in November. (iTunes)
  • “Best Day Of My Life”, by recent PGTC Profile act American Authors. Their self-titled EP makes its debut this week. (iTunes)
  • “Everything To Me”, from former Westlife member and now soloist Shane Filan. (iTunes)
  • “Marry Me”, a new release from pop and R&B singer Jason Derulo dedicated to his love, Jordin Sparks. (iTunes)
  • “Rock N Roll”, the latest single from pop punk princess Avril Lavigne. (iTunes)

Ariana Grande is hoping her first album, Yours Truly, brings out the teens to stores next week, but she faces some fierce competition from Nine Inch Nails and Tamar Braxton. Who will debut at the top? Stay tuned for our next update!

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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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