Contrary to popular belief, the music most celebrated on the charts isn’t always the best. Okay, that was sarcasm. But even artists with hits on the charts have a slew of singles that fall by the wayside. Not every album is a Katy Perry string of #1s. Thus, here is a list of artists whose albums were certainly recognized, but had singles that didn’t quite get the attention they deserved.
Rye Rye’s delayed and delayed album Go! Pop! Bang! finally came out in May of this year–and is really fantastic. An upbeat, eletro-pop banger that not only samples the Vengaboys‘ “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom”, but also elevates Rye Rye’s signature sound. Unfortunately, it didn’t do so well on the charts, only hitting #9 on Dance Songs.
When other high schoolers were sneaking on the phone at the wee hours of the morning to talk to their crush, Rye Rye was touring with M.I.A. After DJ Blaqstarr discovered the young rapper at the age of 15, they collaborated on “Shake It To The Ground,” a youthful dance track that caught the attention of M.I.A. only months later. Now, 21, the Baltimore, MD rapper has released her debut album Go! Pop! Bang! that was four years in the making. To appreciate Rye Rye’s music one must understand the oftentimes disparate state of her hometown. Then one must consider the city’s definitive musical sound unique to that place and its natives. The arts was a way for the young funky teen to express herself outside of the confines of the housing projects she grew up in. As much as Rye Rye is a rapper, she’s a dancer. And the latter inspires the sound of Go! Pop! Bang! more than the expected hardened environment she grew up in.
Her first single, “Boom Boom” (video below), is a perfect indication of what to expect from the album. It’s about partying, boys and having a bloody good time. The whole point is not to take herself too seriously. Over the video game beat, Rye Rye raps in her semi-fast, edgy tone about wanting a guy in her room. Tracks like “DNA” featuring Porcelain Black, “New Thing,” “Dance” and “Hardcore Girls” are where her Baltimore club influence is most dominant — a mix of house, D.C. go-go and techno-electro. On “Crazy Bitch,” she teamed up with Akon in a more concept driven track where the beat is slightly slower than the usual uptempo beat. With the help of Akon she pokes fun at being considered the “crazy bitch” in the relationship. “Sunshine” and “Bang” both feature M.I.A. and have the bombastic drum beat M.I.A. tends to love on her own tracks. Both records offer that distinctive voice that only an M.I.A. feature can add. Her rhymes in “Bang” slow the listener down from the natural inclination to dance to actually listen to her rhymes. “Never Will Be Mine” featuring Robyn is one of the slower tracks on the record but still manages to keep the light fun mood of the rest of the album. Read more…
As we hold our breath in anxious anticipation for the May 15th release date of Trespassing, it’s good to know that Adam Lambert is right there with us. At last night’s 2012 NewNowNext Awards, which aired on our sister station Logo, Adam delighted the Glambert Nation by choosing to perform the title track from his new album instead of the first single, “Better Than I Know Myself.” Now, he has neither confirmed nor denied that “Trespassing” will be the next single from the record, but after the reception that this high energy rendition of the song got from the audience, we can certainly imagine that it’s definitely in the running.
Thematically, the song reminds us of a 2012 update of the song “Signs”, originally recorded in 1970 by the Canadian rock act Five Man Electrical Band, but popularized by the hair metal act Tesla in 1990. Both songs use the metaphor of signs to detail the way that an overly rigid and uptight society tries to get individuals to conform; with the song “Signs”, “long haired freaky people” are being oppressed, and in “Trespassing”, you could easily infer that Lambert is referring to the LGBT community. As Lambert sings in the song’s chorus:
“Well I was walkin’ for some time/When I came across this sign/Saying ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Where are you from?’/We don’t like when visitors come/’No Trespassing’, that’s what it said/At least that’s what I could read/’No Trespassing’, yeah my ass! Wait ’til they get a load of me.”
We love it when Adam Lambert speaks to issues of empowerment, and this awesome performance has got us even more psyched for the May 15 release date of Trespassing!