When Michael Jackson tragically and unexpectedly passed away two summers ago after an overdose of Propofol (which may or may not have been administered by Dr. Conrad Murray), the primary coping mechanism that people utilized while dealing with their grief was rekindling their love of his extensive musical legacy. People who hadn’t visited record stores in years flocked to purchase his back catalog, radio stations worldwide spun his songs for months on end and, as a result, Michael Jackson became a bigger star in death than he had been during the last 15 years of his life.
Well, in terms of her cultural relevance, it’s safe to say that Amy Winehouse was no Michael Jackson. However, her untimely (if somewhat expected) death this weekend at the age of 27 has done a lot to rekindle people’s interest in her musical output, which consists of two studio albums (2003′s Frank and 2006′s Back To Black) and a handful of B-sides. Not surprisingly, she currently occupies three of the top six spots on the iTunes album charts (see below), and “Rehab” —sadly, the song that will now forever define her career— has sold enough and been spun enough in the past three days to land it at #15 on this week’s Song Of The Summer Countdown.
As for the rest of the chart, there’s not much to say this week. The top seven spots in this week’s countdown are identical to the top seven songs from last week’s countdown; Katy Perry is still holding court at the top of the charts, and Adele is still nipping at her heels, closely trailed by Pitbull, LMFAO and Lady Gaga.
In the nineties, you could count the number of commercial white rappers on one hand. Beastie Boys. Vanilla Ice. Marky Mark (and the Funky Bunch). Maybe Everlast and even 3rd Bass count too, although their “household name” reach wasn’t nearly as long. As a result, an entire generation of hip-hop fans grew up listening to a genre that was based in a primarily Urban setting, rarely poking its nichey head above ground into the pop arena. That didn’t stop the audience’s obsession with hip-hop though, and regardless of content relatability, the music managed to draw a crop of loyal, melanin-lacking disciples.
Putting his unquestionable talent aside, it’s not a huge surprise that Eminem’sSlim Shady LP was so well-received when Interscope helped him to first put take his underground music into the mainstream back in 1999. Paving the way for the constant flow of new, up-and-coming white rappers who idolized him back then, Eminem came to market with a blunt, true-to-self, lower socio-economic class character that was refreshing and different from the previous attempts of white rappers past. Looking the accidental mockery in the face, who can forget The White Rapper Show, for example? Whether you hated it or loved it, it was a trainwreck that you couldn’t resist watching, if only to laugh at the contestants’ hilarious missteps.
On Monday, it was announced that white rapper Rich Hil, son of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, was signed to Warner Brothers Records. This news not only continues to feed the growing trend of white rapper signings, but also the perpetuates the sub-genre craze that is now commonly referred to as “Frat Rap.” Focusing less on conveying social commentary or more personal issues, Frat Rap flaunts a party lifestyle, celebrating the cliche reckless behavior associated with college fraternities, like getting hammered, bagging girls, and partaking in experimental gateway drugs. Executing lyricism and celebrating the Bronx-born culture aren’t really a priority.
At the moment, everyone who isn’t named either Adele or Katy Perry is currently playing for third place, but that’s a tight race, too. Pitbull and LMFAO each continue to hold strong with their club-friendly megahits, while Lady Gaga‘s “The Edge Of Glory” makes its highest appearance on the charts so far this summer, despite its video being widely panned as being too underwhelming and not up to snuff with the rest of Gaga’s video canon. It’s also worth noting that OneRepublic‘s “Good Life” would also find itself in the running for the top prize, if not for a total lack of traction on YouTube and LastFM.
One last note: Rebecca Black‘s follow-up to “Friday”—a song which might just be the most popular (and hated) song of 2011 so far—is scheduled to be released at 8 p.m. this evening. We should know in less than 24 hours time whether this song has got what it takes to make a late summer run at #1.
As we parallel park into July and officially hit the curb of this year’s halfway point, it’s time to take a quick look back at what the past six months have taught us. Not conventional life lessons, however; we’re talking about stuff that’s a little bit less intense and also involves YOU! That’s right, in the first installment of our Top 100 Videos of 2011… So Far, we’re spilling the beans on the #100-51 most clicked-and-viewed videos on VH1.com. You’ll see that this pi?ata-like list of content contains tasty treats and slippery surprises alike! We’ve got brand-new videos that just recently launched, some VH1 Classic leaning clips (hey there, Megadeth), repeat offenders, and of course, effervescent, essential vids from the music video cannon. So take a look at the first fifty videos below and don’t forget to come back later this week as we continue on our quest to discover what artist snags the #1 spot!
You know the moment when, near the end of horror movies, the seemingly-dead killer pops back to life, only to be shot/stabbed/poked-in-the-eye-with-a-wire-clothes-hanger by the protagonist? Well, if the Song of the Summer Countdown were a horror movie –this analogy is admittedly a stretch, but just follow us here for a sec– and Katy Perry were the doe-eyed Final Girl, then Adele would have to be the villain of our race.
Last week, after being unseated the week prior by “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),”“Rolling In The Deep” came back from the grave to make one final (?) run at the #1 position. However, on this week’s just-updated Song of the Summer countdown, Katy Perry once again asserted her dominance as the Queen of the Summer Songs to claim the top spot back from the British songbird. However, the race is nowhere near over yet.
Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s ode to joys of pre-apocalyptic nookie, “Give Me Everything,” continues to climb its way up the charts; its third-place position this week marks the song’s best performance on the charts to date. LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” is currently sitting atop the Billboard and iTunes charts, and OneRepublic‘s “Good Life” burst into the Top 10 in its first week on this chart, no doubt propelled by Ryan Tedder’s recent appearances on NBC/Universal linear properties, The Voice, Platinum Hit and the Today Show (corporate synergy at its finest!). It’s entirely possible that the zeitgeist could blow in the direction of any of these songs and put some serious wind behind their sails (and sales), but at this point, it sure seems like Katy is once again the girl to beat!
In other chart insights, the summer of Pitbull continues to roll along nicely. “Give Me Everything,” which features Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, just hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, which factors both sales and radio airplay in its formula. The song seems unescapable at the moment; Pitbull and Ne-Yo performed it both on the Today Show and The Voice last week alone, continuing to give it some much needed momentum as we begin to approach the dog days. But as huge as this song is in its current incarnation, we can’t help but wonder how big it would’ve gotten if Shakira had sang the hook (as she was originally supposed to)?
One other interesting factoid for you S.O.T.S. watchers out there. If you check out the Top 100 songs on Metrolyrics, a site that is solely dedicated to helping readers find out what some of their favorite vocalists are actually singing, their current number one is “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj (which seems to be making a nice run of its own right now). If we were to take a guess as to why this song is popping over the rest, we would have to say that the speed at which Nicki raps probably confuses a lot of her listeners, so getting a helping hand with the lyrics really comes in handy when, like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, someone asks you to start spontaneously rapping!
For the first time since we started counting down this year’s Song Of The Summer, someone other than Adele is sitting in the proverbial cat bird’s seat. Weirdly enough, though, “Rolling In The Deep” has been usurped by another song that audiences first heard back in 2010.
While we’re plenty excited that Katy Perry‘s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” knocked Adele out of the top spot, we can’t help but lament the fact that Katy Perry is still ruling the airwaves with songs from her Teenage Dream album. If you’ll recall, that record came out way back on August 24, 2010, but last year’s Song Of The Summer, “California Gurls,” was released even further back (May 11, 2010, to be exact). And if you flip the calendar back to the summer of 2008, Perry’s first smash single, “I Kissed A Girl,” was that summer’s biggest party jam.
So, folks, you tell us: What exactly is it about the summertime that makes you want to listen to Katy Perry? Why does her particular blend of breezy pop music make you want to roll your windows down and turn the singles from Teenage Dream up? Let us know in the comments, and check back here next week to see if Katy can fend off the likes of Britney Spears, Pitbull and Lady Gaga to keep the top spot in VH1′s Song Of The Summer countdown!
When Pitbull and Ne-Yo teamed to perform their single “Give Me Everything” at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards last month, we didn’t even think it worth a mention in our roundup of the show’s highlights; the slightly out-of-breath Pitbull and a seemingly off-his-game Ne-Yo turned out a solidly mediocre performance. Their appearance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, though, was an entirely different story.
Sure, the backing tracks didn’t exactly sound stellar through the booming outdoor soundsystem, but it didn’t matter, because both performers brought their best to a performance of what in the last month has climbed the charts to top out at #2 (just beneath the ever-present “Rolling In the Deep”). Sometimes, victory-lap performances like this one can be marked by indolence, but being as near the top of the charts as Adele will allow is apparently no reason for either performer to slack off. Pitbull, in particular, is all over our Song of the Summer charts, and he was similarly dominating onstage last night (so much so that Ne-Yo was not even announced beforehand as a musical guest). The Miami rapper has quietly become a chart monster over the last few years, and it’s great to see him enjoy the heck out of it.
Now that we’re four weeks into this year’s race to determine the Song Of The Summer, the race is finally starting to heat up. Adele still has a firm grasp on the #1 spot, but closer analysis reveals that the gap between her and those who would gladly take her position is closing (thanks to minor slips in iTunes sales and the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown this week).
While Adele isn’t giving up her throne anytime soon, it looks pretty clear at this point that Miami rapper Pitbull is shaping up to have his Best Summer Ever. He’s currently got three songs resting comfortably in the S.O.T.S. Top 20: He contributes guest vocals to both Jennifer Lopez‘s “On The Floor” and Shakira‘s new chart entry, “Rabiosa,” and he’s also the lead artist on the club-friendly “Give Me Everything.” Not only that, his new single with Marc Anthony, “Rain Over Me,” is just starting to bubble up and could make a strong run itself after his new album, Planet Pit, drops tomorrow.
Also, while we’re talking about potential songs that could dethrone “Rolling In The Deep,” keep an eye on Lady Gaga’s “The Edge Of Glory” next week. The video just debuted on Thursday night, and even though it underwhelmed many upon its release, the song should benefit greatly from increased exposure in the wake of Clarence Clemons’ tragic passing this week.
Got any thoughts on the Song Of The Summer? Tweet us @vh1 or leave your comments below!
If it doesn’t feel quite like summer yet, that’s because it’s still technically spring until the summer solstice arrives on June 21. After looking at the release dates of the songs atop this week’s Song Of The Summer chart, it certainly appears as if we’re still mired in springtime.
As you’ll see in our handy Microsoft Excel chart, Adele‘s dark and wintry chart topper “Rolling In The Deep” —which, we’ll continue to note until (if?) it leaves this countdown, was released in December (!)— has a strangehold on the Song Of The Summer crown for the third consecutive week. However, the smoky-voiced Brit seems to have some competition by the name of Bruno Mars, who lept over Katy Perry and J. Lo this week to snag the #2 spot with his breezy ditty, “The Lazy Song.”
However, even though “The Lazy Song” has yet to crest, we sorta feel like Pitbull‘s club-friendly plea as to why it’s best to just give in to your carnal desires, “Give Me Everything,” has the most momentum this week. Not only did it make its debut in the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, but it’s also holding down the number two spots on both the Billboard 100 and iTunes sales charts, which certainly signals that people are going to be listening Ne-Yo crooning this song’s catchy, Eurotrance-y hook all summer long.
What song do YOU think is poised to make a big leap this summer? Continue along with our analysis and then let us know in the comments!