This weeks chart watch comes at a time when many people are taking time to reflect because of the losses suffered in the entertainment world. The deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon were of course shockingly sad but it is Michael Jacksons death that seems to have affected, well .everybody and everything. His death strained cell phone networks, almost doubled chatter on Twitter, and consumed the news networks.
Mike had such a monumental impact on music and its interesting to see how he affected so many artists. (If you get a chance go over to the rumors page and check out Dweles tribute to MJ.) Without Michael we would never hear Nas It Aint Hard to Tell or Jay-Zs Izzo (H.O.V.A). We would not have Usher, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, most young male singing groups, most young female singing groups, etc you get the point. MTV would probably not be the same because Michael was an artist that reinvented the music video. Is there a popular Jackson song you can hear without picturing the video?
So now after watching a few days worth of Michael Jackson videos, news coverage of Michael Jackson, and (sigh) the B.E.T awards/tribute to Michael Jackson its time to chart the albums of the week. (I dont know who said it but the quote of the week: I wish B.E.T would die and Michael Jackson had to do a tribute to it. But I digress).
Jacksons influence was so strong that he literally controls the charts this week, forcing everyone in the top ten to drop three spots. He actually sets a record with this being the first time a cataloged title sold more than a current release in a week. (Jackson actually does it three times). Thriller, The Essential Michael Jackson, and Number Ones each sold over 100,000 copies putting them in the top three spots for this week. (Take note that Mike passed away on the on June 25th and the sales week ends on June 28th so the bulk of his sales happened over a three day period.) Number Ones is at number one selling 108,000 copies followed by Essential with 102,000 and Thriller with 101,000.
The Black Eyed Peas were to come in at number one but fall to four selling 85,000 copies of The E.N.D. Michaels death also appears to have covered that ridiculous feud between Will.I.Am and Perez Hilton which was just starting to get annoying.
The Jonas Brothers come in at the fifth spot with their fourth album Lines, Vines, and Trying Times. They are followed by Regina Spektor who enters the charts at number six with her fifth album Far.
The Dave Matthews Band comes in at number seven with their album BigWhiskey and the GrooGrux King which is a tribute to one of their own fallen band members.
Eminems Relapse comes in at number eight. A few weeks ago I mentioned the diss song Mariah has out against Eminem. Well apparently she is also filming a video for the song where she dresses up like Eminem. Google those pictures and keep an eye out because their feud looks like it will be oddly interesting.
Dream Theater take the number nine spot followed by Ginuwine (Yes Ginuwine) who grabs spot number ten. Ginuwines sixth album, A Mans Thoughts, helps him to enter the charts this week and hopefully his fans will help him stay for the next.
Hmmm .No Lady Gaga. Thanks Mike.
DROPPING THIS WEEK
The genius of Michael was that he did what he wanted despite what other people thought. Im pretty sure more than one person in the studio raised an eyebrow when MJ said he wanted to make a pop song with a Halloweenish theme and accompanying 14 minute long music video. Thriller, however, went on to become the highest selling album in history. Word is Quincy Jones didnt even expect the album to sell like it did and he produced it.
Hip Hop artists should take a page out of Jacksons book when it comes to creating music. Dont get me wrong, Michael was definitely focused on the business of music his approach was different. He created good music with the belief that people would listen to it, like it, and buy it. He did not however create music for the sole purpose of selling. He did not copy what was popular and reproduce it to move units. Hopefully, more artists can learn from Michael Jacksons work ethic and produce music of which they can truly be proud. Hopefully the artists dropping this week are already doing it.
First up we have Ace Hood who is dropping his second album, Ruthless. The Florida rapper just released his debut album, Gutta, last year and I for one dont remember a song off it. The album was apparently solid enough to move 100,000 units and grant Ace a shot at a second album. Ruthless features Rick Ross, Akon, Ludacris, Jazmine Sullivan, and others. If you like the sound coming out of DJ Khaleds camp then this one shouldnt disappoint.
Next we have an artist that had a feud with KRS-One back in 1987. (Theyve made up since then). Blaq Poet releases his third studio album, Tha Blaqprint, with most of the production being done by DJ Premier. The album also features N.O.R.E and Lil Fame of M.O.P so its sure to have that east coast sound.
Since we are on the east coast lets look at an artist that has been building a pretty sizable buzz in the underground community. Maino drops his highly anticipated album If Tomorrow Comes and many of his fans can now breathe a sigh of relief. The album features T-Pain, B.G., and Swizz Beatz plus production by some heavy hitters like Just Blaze. I dont think I have to tell many people to pick this one up.
Next up is an MC out of San Francisco by the name of Kaz-Well. His debut album Fish Outta Water is produced by DJ Scotty Doo, Rhythm Defense, and Da Evangelist. The Asian American MC says hes highly influenced by artists like Nas, Radiohead, and Curtis Mayfield so hopefully it makes for a good debut cd.
Now we have Jorge Alvarez a.k.a Kurious whos dropping his second album II. Kurious hasnt dropped an album since his 1994 debut A Constipated Monkey but has, since then, been feature on various singles by MF Doom and MF Grimm. His sophomore album, II, is being released by Amalgam Digital (who also recently released A Constipated Monkey: Demo Sessions) and will feature MF Doom, MC Serch, and Max B.
Now in the Best Of categories we have The Best Of Messy Marv, Playlist: The Very Best of Sir Mix-A-Lot, Playlist: The Very Best of TLC, and Playlist: The Very Best of Wu-Tang Clan. If youre a fan of these artists then pick up one of the four albums. Also, the Wu-Tang Clan is releasing Chamber Music with all new music. I havent heard much about this one (which is surprising because its a Wu-Tang album) so if someone out there has heard it let the rest of us know how it is.
Getting back to new releases one half of Kidz in the Hall drops his debut album. Naledges Chicago Picasso features Rhymefest, Mickey Facts, and others with production by Sa-Ra and Double-O. This is a lot of material that Naledge had recorded on his own and wanted to release to the public. Fans of Kidz in the Hall should like this one.
Los Angeles MC and one-half of Psyco Realm, Sick Jacken, releases his third solo album, Stray Bullets. The album features guest appearances by B Real, Planet Asia, DJ Muggs and Immortal Technique to name a few.
Tash, one of the members of the Alkoholiks is releasing his second solo album, Control Freak. Its been ten years since Tash released Rap Life, his well reviewed debut cd, and hopefully this one will be received with as much acclaim. The album features Khujo (who also has and album coming out down below), Kokane, and Knoc-Turnal plus the Alkoholiks. Those looking for west coast music should look no further than this one or the disc by Sick Jacken.
Last up we have a duo between one of the members of Goodie Mob and an eclectic producer who come together and create a mash-up of music that is hard to categorize. Gnarls---Wait not Gnarls? Theyre called Willie Isz? Jneiro Jarel does the production and vocals and Khujo raps on their Debut cd, Georgiavania, which is said to be somewhat like the Cee-Lo and Dangermouse duo. This might be interesting so give it a listen.
All right, that was the week. A lot of these albums are selling for less then ten bucks so there is no excuse. Hit the store or itunes and support some of your favorites.