ChartWatch: Revenge of the Indies, Michael Jackson Stays On Top!

This last week Michael Jackson’s memorial service was held prompting every fan he ever had to hit the stores and buy his albums. He continues to dominate the charts with five albums in the top ten this week. Number Ones holds the number one spot followed by Thriller at number three, The Essential Michael Jackson at number five, Off The Wall at number seven and Bad at number eight. The King of Pop holds five spots on the top ten plus other albums charting in the top 200. He may not be with us anymore but it looks like his presence in the music industry will be felt for a long time..

Well, wow….that’s half of my job for this week done in one paragraph. Let’s see…Anybody see John Mayer play “Human Nature”? I thought that was pretty good. Ron Artest released a Michael Jackson tribute song. I thought that was pretty bad. I hear The Game released diss song at Jay-Z. Jay probably won’t respond but I guess that’s pretty interesting. There’s an opinion piece about record labels you may want to take a look at in the editorials section. Good Stuff…good stuff. Lil Wayne still has two women pregnant proving that he really does want to “F*&# every girl in the world.” Ummmm…..Oh yeah, for some reason BET is not playing Willy Northpole’s new video, “#1 Side Chick”. Don’t know why they won’t play it but we featured him a couple of weeks ago in the “Dropping This Week” section. Oh, oh!…Mase is back…again…with Cam’ron! I feel like I should be more excited but I’m not. I guess that took up enough space – back to the charts.

Maxwell returns after eight years and enters the charts at number two. His new album BLACKsummers’ night sold 311k copies this week so it’s obvious the public was waiting on this album. This is a good start for Maxwell who says the album is the beginning of a trilogy with blackSUMMERS’night coming out in 2010 and the third album blacksummers’NIGHT in 2011. The next few years should be good for Maxwell fans.

The Hannah Montana 3 soundtrack comes in at number four proving that children around the world love some pretty horrible music. This statement will probably get me punched in my sleep by one of my little cousins but I’m standing by it.

If you’ve been in a coma for the last year you may want to pick up the number six album, Now 31, and catch up with the radio. The multivolume collection of popular music always charts well. Indie rock band All Time Low holds the number nine spot with their third album Nothing Personal.

That is followed by The Black Eyed Peas who continue to hang onto the number ten spot with their fifth studio album The E.N.D. You guys must really like “Boom Boom Pow.”

DROPPING THIS WEEK

Not as many albums dropping this week as usual but we have some nostalgic throwbacks and regional mainstays from the East coast and Midwest.

First up dropping this week is a two-time Grammy award winning group. Record label Charly is releasing a live Arrested Development disc with accompanying DVD tilted Tokyo,1994 [Live]. You guys remember “Mr. Wendal”, “People Everyday”, and “Tennessee.” All I remember about them was that it looked like they had more members than Wu-Tang. Plus they had an old dude and everyone dressed in African garb. If you miss them then pick up the album.

Since we are already in the past let’s look at some Hip Hop legends. The Beastie Boys reissue their 1994 album Ill Communication. (Right now the intro to “Sabotage” should be playing in your head). The New York based band is often said to be one of Hip Hop’s most influential groups and now those who missed their historic rise can take part. If you’re a fan or just want to find out what all the hype is about this is the album to pick up.

Next up Twista continues his attempts to gain the success of his 1994 jam with Jamie Fox and Kanye West. His new album Category F5 has everyone on it including Lil Boosie, R. Kelly, Gucci Man, OJ Da Juiceman, Busta Rhymes, Do or Die, Johnny P, and Akon. This man wants (needs?) a hit and is working hard to get it. His single “Wetter (Calling You Daddy)” is already getting some spins. But I can hear rumbling out there already…”What happen to old Twista and the Speedknot Mobsters?” I’ll tell you what happened — you didn’t buy their record. But he sold a bunch of copies of “Slow Jam” so that’s how it’s going to be. You’re lucky he didn’t do another song with Kanye…wait…nevermind. He’s on the album too. (Itunes bonus track).

Now we have Kno, Deacon The Villian, and Natti who make up the Kentucky Hip Hop trio CunninLynguists. The group releases a new live album, Strange Journey Vol 1 with volume two planned for a September release. The fifth album from the group features Killer Mike, Kujo, Slug of Atmosphere, and Fish Scale of Nappy Roots to name a few.

Longtime Tech N9ne collaborator Krizz Kaliko returns with his sophomore album Genius. Tech N9ne’s record label, Strange Music, released Krizz’s first album, Vitiligo, and it made some noise on the independent charts last year. Besides Tech N9ne and Krizz making my top ten list of people I would care not to run into in a dark alley (based on album covers alone) they have done a good job of representing Midwest Hip Hop.

New York MC Ill Bill had some affiliation with record label Strange Music but went on to release an album on Uncle Howie. Now he is working with Everlast, Danny Boy, and DJ Lethal from House of Pain (Jump around!!!…anyone?…ok back to the column) and Boston MC Slaine. They call themselves La Coka Nostra and are releasing their debut album A Brand You Can Trust In. The album features B-Real, Snoop Dog, and Bun-B. If you liked House of Pain or Limp Bizkit you should check this one out.

It was a short chartwatch this week. Try to pick up some of the albums that are dropping this week and support some of the artists.

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