Don't nobody wanna hear that shit
Rihanna is the opposite of Adele in pretty much every way imaginable.
Rihanna, for example, is black, while Adele, though she sings well enough to get played on black radio stations, is definitely white.
Adele looks like she spends the five-year spans in between her albums eating pie, while Rihanna is the rare black chick these days who isn't pushing maximum density.
And Rihanna can't sing for shit, while Adele can sing powerfully enough to strip the varnish off a foot locker.
Another way Rihanna is different from Adele: The last Adele album was phenomenally popular. It broke sales records set by N'Sync back when people were still buying CDs. It sells more copies than the rest of the albums on the Billboard 200 combined. Most albums sold these days are Adele albums.
"If you lived in the suburbs, you were issued it."
Meanwhile, hardly anyone copped the new Rihanna album.
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Rihanna's Anti debuted at number 27 on the Billboard 200, which was topped by, you guessed it, Adele's 25, in its eighth week atop the charts since it was released this past fall. The new Biebler album was number two. I'm sure many would argue that it is number two. LOL
In fact, I've seen a lot grown people in their 30s and 40s sweating the new Biebler. I've taken that as more of a comment on grown people these days than the quality of the Biebler album.
Similarly, a Carly Rae Jepsen album hardly anyone bought almost topped this year's Pazz and Jop poll (which is still a thing). Look for the mozzarella sticks at McDonald's to top this year's restaurant poll, if it can successfully be argued that a steak dinner is sexist.
We can tell, from where it appeared on the Billboard 200, that Anti sold fewer than 1,000 copies. The New York Times quotes some young guy with access to Nielsen Soundscan data, who says it sold 460 copies its first day out—the only day that counted for that week's Billboard. Next week, with a full week to rack up sells, it should easily eclipse that figure.
You'll recall that something similar happened with Troy Ave's album Major without a Deal. It sold only 30 copies its first week out, but supposedly that's because a few retailers broke the release date. Plus, Troy Ave is independent and probably made more from those 30 albums than Rihanna made from 460. If it didn't cost anything to record, he may have netted a tidy profit of $79, just in time for Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster.
The Times also quotes a guy from Tidal saying that the streaming service sold 484,000 copies of the album.
A few things:
1) I thought Tidal was a streaming service. Why would 484,000 people buy a copy of a Rihanna album they could just as easily stream for free?
2) Billboard includes streaming data in their chart rankings. How come that 484,000 copies wasn't added to the 460? Certainly that would have been enough to crack the top 10, even if the streaming figures are discounted.
3) As the Times points out, Tidal is (supposedly) owned by Jay Z, who also owns Rihanna's label and management company, Roc Nation. There's conflicts of interest there out the wazoo.
Maybe Jay Z purchased 484,000 copies of the album from his own company, but Billboard isn't counting it because that's a bridge too far even for Billboard.
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Anti was promoted with a marketing campaign that's been described as extensive, but I didn't hear anything about it until right before it came out. Maybe I'm not going to the kind of sites Rihanna would advertise on. I'm not allowed on Tumblr anymore.
Part of this campaign involved Samsung giving away a million copies of the album for free. Again, I wasn't made aware of this. I have a Samsung phone, and I get notifications for all kinds of shit that I'm not interested in. I wouldn't listen to a Rihanna album, but maybe there's a topless photo of her in its booklet. I need to know these things.
It was determined, back when Jay Z dropped Magna Carta Holy Grail (Combat Jack's favorite album, until Rick Ross' Mastermind came along), that Billboard doesn't count such promotions in its album rankings. But the RIAA does. In fact, the trade group went so far as to revise its rules so that Magna Carta Holy Grail could be declared platinum the day it came out, rather than a month later.
And so Anti has the unique distinction of having been declared platinum its first day out, on a day in which it sold fewer copies than that Kreayshawn album sold when it came out back in 2012.
What use is a gold or platinum certification, when you can probably get one without selling a single album? It's only a matter of time before Martin Shkreli buys himself a platinum record. I mean, he bought that Wu-Tang album. I didn't even buy A Better Tomorrow.
Coincidentally, it was announced this week that the RIAA has changed the requirements to achieve its various certifications. They're now counting streams as well as actual sales, and they released a list of albums that were immediately declared gold or platinum based on the new requirements, including Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, which has racked up the equivalent of a million copies sold.
Declaring an album platinum based in part on streams is some ol' bullshit, because the artist doesn't really make money from streams, and those streams could be millions of people streaming the album just to realize that they can't stand it. It'll unfairly benefit artists that are praised all out of proportion, like Kendrick Lamar, who's been nominated for more Grammys than any artist other than Michael Jackson the year Thriller was nominated.
Thriller, under the new RIAA rules, has been declared 32x platinum (or 3.2x diamond, if you will), a good 30 million of which is people who actually bought the album. Kendrick Lamar won't come anywhere near that, even counting streams, no matter how much government propaganda he's duped into participating in.
But at least he's platinum according to the new BS rules. If it weren't for her shilling for Samsung, Rihanna wouldn't be anywhere near platinum, counting both streams and the 460 copies she managed to sell. People, it seems could give a rat's ass about her music. It might be time for her to consider a new line of work while her body's still got a few miles left in it.
It's time we begin facing the very real prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.
The 2016 presidential election began in earnest last night with the Iowa Caucus, whatever that is. In a mere matter of weeks, we'll know who the candidates are for the two corporate political parties, and then it won't be long until we know who the next president is.
I figured I might write this yesterday when I got off from work, only come to find out the Iowa Caucus doesn't begin until 7 PM. I went ahead and wrote it anyway. It seems increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be our Democratic and Republican nominees, respectively.
* * *
Hillary was leading in Iowa all along, but I figured Sanders might surge ahead at the last minute, because the Iowa Caucus tends to reward candidates with especially enthusiastic followings and candidates that bring out a lot of first time voters, and also because he's been endorsed by Killer Mike.
I took a look at Politico, to see if Sanders might be ahead in any last minute polls, only to be greeted by a story about how one of his advisers had once been arrested for embezzling money from a labor union or some shit. Obviously, it had been planted by Hillary Clinton. It wasn't the worst dirt in the world, but the night is still young. If this contest remains close for the next several weeks, who knows what we might find out.
Also, this past weekend I read that Hillary has been endorsed by both the New York Times, i.e. the newspaper of record, and the Washington Post, which supposedly has been eating the Times' lunch since it was purchased by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. I didn't bother to read either op-ed, but like I said before, there's no good policy reason to prefer Hillary Clinton. This is clearly a matter of the Illuminati favoring her over Bernie Sanders.
And the fucked up thing about it is that Sanders already announced back before the race began that he had no intention to run as a third party if he lost the nomination, or refuse to endorse Hillary. Killer Mike might have considered trying to get Sanders to reconsider this when they went to that soul food restaurant in Atlanta. If I'd been thinking, I would have sent him a text message or a DM. I think he announced beforehand, on Twitter, that he was meeting with the Senator.
* * *
Donald Trump has been leading the Republican nominees for a good six months. If any of his competitors planned to somehow kneecap him at the very last Republican debate before the Iowa Caucus, they didn't get a chance to. Trump sat the debate out, supposedly because he finds Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly disrespectful. This was brilliant strategy on his part, because nothing good can come from speaking to disrespectful women, and he probably generated more publicity for himself not showing up to the debate.
It's precisely that kind of boss move that's beginning to resonate with people who wouldn't otherwise enthusiastically support a Republican candidate or otherwise give a shit about politics. Azealia Banks may not have been trolling when she announced on Twitter yesterday that she's voting for Trump. Her reasoning—that Trump is the only candidate with the balls to bust up big business—might be the dumbest thing ever said on Twitter, which is saying something, but you can see how his persona might resonate with her.
The very best reason to vote for Donald Trump, as far as I'm concerned, is that he's promised to cut ISIS' head off and steal their oil. Not only would it be a great victory for humanity if he actually accomplished this, but it'd be interesting to see if he actually did follow through on it, from a lulz perspective.
Yeah, Trump's comments about how it might be necessary to prevent Muslims from entering the United States until we find out which ones are with the terrorists and which ones aren't might be the most Hitler-like thing a politician has said in a minute, but in its actual substance it's hardly different from current US policy towards Muslims. Clearly, many of the people fearful of the prospect of a Trump presidency haven't been following the Snowden affair.
I like the fact that Donald Trump kicked off his campaign by declaring that all Mexicans are rapists (an exaggeration) because it signaled that he's not at all concerned about political correctness. Obviously, he doesn't believe half the shit that he says, but he's not about to let some 26-year-old white chick with a degree in Chicano gender studies tell him what he's allowed to say. He's a grown-ass man. The media needs him more than he needs the media. (If worst comes to worst, he can buy advertising.)
* * *
For a Republican candidate to win in 2016, he's gotta win more than just the old racist white guy vote. We already saw that with Obama in '08, before some of the younger millennials were old enough to vote. Trump probably already shot himself in the foot with the Hispanic vote, but a lot of them can't vote legally anyway, and I wouldn't put it past the ones who can to vote for Trump over Hillary because he's a guy. They might be willing to run the risk of a fence going up to avoid a female president. #sacrifice
Donald Trump might be the Republican candidate best suited to build a coalition, is what I'm saying. In fact, I've read that, according to polls, Bernie Sanders would beat Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head match-up, but Hillary Clinton wouldn't. Maybe it's because America would rather not have a female president, or maybe it's because, rhetoric aside, Trump might actually be to the left of Hillary. At any rate, the prospect of a Trump presidency is beginning to seem more and more likely, and I'm not convinced that it would be the worst thing in the world. Tell me I'm wrong.
This weekend, just in time for the Kanye Anal Playlist, Drake dropped "Summer Sixteen," the first single from his forthcoming, long awaited Views from the 6.
Drake premiered the song on an episode of OVO Sound Radio, his show on whatever that Apple Music radio station is with Ebro and Zane Lowe, the guy who interviews Kanye about his leather jogging pants and what have you.
Will there be a big exclusive Kanye interview to promote Waves, now that Kanye doesn't have a deal with Apple Music that I'm aware of, while Drake does, and the two of them are competing with each other?
It may depend on what Kanye has to say. I'd definitely be interested in hearing a Kanye interview in which he addresses the fact that he likes to have things shoved up his ass. That would be what's known in the industry as a ratings bonanza. You know Power 105 is plotting as we speak. Peter Rosenberg has pivoted from Kendrick Lamar and is now making gratuitous, shameless, insincere overtures to Kanye.
Last time Kanye did a round of interviews, it was radio gold. But lest we forget, that was after Yeezus had already been out for a few months and had failed to set the world on fire, and people were staying away from the tour in droves. Kanye was playing to half empty stadiums, delivering lengthy rants about racism in the fashion industry.
This new Kanye album hasn't caught a brick yet. He's got Madlib doing some of the beats, and it sounds like he's making the rhymes up as he goes along, with minimal input from the 60+ guys who wrote his rhymes on Yeezus, but who knows. This is still Kanye. Waves could get perfect reviews across the board. If you notice, the only mention of his predilection for assplay on Pitchfork is buried at the bottom of an article about how he pwned Wiz Khalifa.
Now it seems that Drake has pwned Kanye, by releasing "Summer Sixteen" this past weekend. If it was a mere matter of coincidence that the release date coincided with the Kanye Anal Playlist, then that was one hell of a coincidence. If Drake watched last week's events unfold and rearranged his marketing plan on the fly in order to capitalize, then the guy is a Machiavellian thinker, and I should probably reconsider continuing to talk shit about him. He may have read the 48 Laws of Power.
* * *
Drake and Kanye have been going at it on the low for years. Why, I'm not sure.
I know they used to be tight early on in Drake's career. Er, tight enough that Drake let Kanye direct the great video for "Best I Ever Had," which I might return to after I get done typing this, for old time's sake (c) Freddie Jackson.
I remember hearing rumblings that Drake didn't realize that Kanye would take the budget for that, Drake's first big music video, and use it "for his own personal amusement," essentially as one big excuse to film that broad Shakur bounding down a flight of stairs with no bra on—a scenario he may have cribbed from a Naughty America video (the same company that had Tiger Woods business out in the street months in advance), from their Innoncent High series.
For much more on Kanye's interest in film, and some crucial background info on Shakur, be sure to check out my fifth book (of seven total and counting), Kanye West Superstar, which is turning out to be prescient in ways even I couldn't have imagined.
At the time, I though rumors of a possible rift between Drake and Kanye were wishful thinking on the part of bored, lonely hoodrats who were upset that there weren't enough dark butts in "Best I Ever Had.' But maybe I was wrong.
In 2K14, after America got a whiff of Yeezus, Drake told a reporter from Rolling Stone that he didn't fuxwit some of the bars on that album—this despite the fact that Kanye had more rappers than you can name off the top of your head (see, you can't do it!) writing his rhymes on that album. Drake only uses a small handful of ghostwriters and manages to come up with much better material.
After the interview dropped, Drake tried to front like he never said that, as if the guy from Rolling Stone just made it up. Used to dealing with magazines like XXL, where I was working during the "Best I Ever Had" era, he probably figured Rolling Stone knew better than to print some shit like that. He wasn't familiar with "The Runaway General" and Michael Hastings' subsequent assassination by the Illuminati, because I'm not sure how much school he attended and he doesn't seem to have thoughs about anything important.
Granted, since then Rolling Stone has been caught red handed making up stories about fraternities gang raping people, so who knows. I've never, ever once made up a story about rape for journalism purposes. I'd argue that this makes me more credible than Rolling Stone, though I'm sure many would beg to differ.
I think Rolling Stone also snatched away the cover and probably gave it to either a decrepit '60s-era rocker or a skanky teenage white girl. Drake then declared that he was done giving interviews to magazines. He's since appeared on the cover of the 100th issue of the Fader, but that doesn't count, because the Fader isn't a real magazine. Like Ozone magazine back during the "slut monkey" era, you can buy the cover of the Fader, and I'm thinking that Drake cover may have been a covert ad for Sprite.
* * *
I tracked down a copy of "Summer Sixteen" on some obscure, generic sounding rap blog that's still out here fighting the good fight. It was either that or pay $1.29 to download it from iTunes, or listen to the entire episode of OVO Sound Radio, which is embedded at Pitchfork, which is also in bed with Apple Music.
I found the song to be decidedly anti-climactic, but what do I know. I've liked very little of what Drake has done. I liked "Hotline Bling" the first one-and-a-half times I heard it, but then radio proceeded to play it ad nauseum all last summer and into the fall, until that Adele song hit.
After "Hotline Bling," I pulled up If You're Reading This It's Too Late and listened to it in the van once or twice on the way to the warehouse, to see what, if anything, I'd been missing. I found it to be a very difficult listen, like Drake almost should have been paying me to listen to that shit. Umpteen variations on the exact same song, very drab and monochromatic. Drake spitting random bars he seemed to have pulled out of his ass (no Kanye) right there on the spot, with minimal regard for flow or structure.
What do people seen in this guy?
Given a choice, I'd much rather listen to Kanye. Kanye can't rap either, but he's a much more interesting character than Drake. The more L's he takes, the more I'm interested to hear what he has to say. I see he keeps posting pics of himself and various people in the studio working on Waves. Does this mean he's still recording the album, and if so does this mean it could possibly include reference to what we found out on Twitter the other day? This could be the most interesting gospel album since Like a Ship without a Sail.
There's no way "Summer Sixteen" becomes anywhere near the hit that was "Hotline Bling," but maybe that wasn't the point? You'd have to think that the idea here was to get the streets buzzing in advance of whatever R&B-laced garbage becomes the actual hit single from this album. Hence all the covert shots at Drake, Kanye, Kendrick Lamar and the president.
In the song, Drake prides himself on having a bigger swimming pool than Kanye . . . as if black people know how to swim. I'm sure Kanye is devastated. He also played a song by Max B on that same episode of OVO Sound Radio. Wiz Khalifa, you'll recall, accused Kanye of ripping off Waves from Max B.
A few weeks ago, Barack Obama declared that Kendrick Lamar is a better rapper than Drake. Which you'd think wouldn't be particularly controversial, but I guess Drake disagrees. He pays other people a lot of money to write his rhymes, to have the president out here talking shit. Drake responds that his rhymes are bulletproof like the windows on the president's limousine. Aww dang.
Drake is from Canada. Is there any way Obama can have his visa pulled? Other countries do it to our rappers all the time. It's time we stop letting rappers from furrin countries come here to perform. They suck anyway. Yeah, I said it!
It's time to make America great again.