Good news for people who like bad music

I don’t know if this is a new record or anything, but I read somewhere recently that the top 20 albums on Billboard’s Top 200 albums charts sold less than 750,000 copies combined last week. Which seems amazing when you think that albums like 50 Cent’s The Massacre or, for my fellow senior citizens, Pearl Jam’s Vs. were able to sell more copies in a week by themselves.

And the number one album on the charts last week, Johnny Cash’s American V: A Hundred Highways, only sold something like 83,000 copies, which is in fact a new record. No number one album on Billboard’s Top 200 has sold less copies since Billboard began using figures from Soundscan way back in 1991.

Interestingly enough though, the recording industry as a whole isn’t doing nearly as bad as you’d think. It was announced not too long ago that once you count in digital downloads and what have you, overall music sales are actually up 24% over 2005. Which is ironic since they’re always complaining that the Internet is driving them out of business.

Of course the rub is that a lot of this newfound growth is coming from music that isn’t worth a shit. The number one album so far this year is some shit called the High School Musical soundtrack. Um, what high school musical? And the rest of the top ten so far this year reads like a sampling of all of the worst trends in music this decade.

Other than whatever the fuck High School Musical is, there’s also gay-ass Nashville country by a group called Rascal Flatts, an album by American Idol runner-up Carrie Underwood, one of those various artists collections, and albums by James Blunt, Mary J. Blige, and the Dixie Chicks. Country music, in particular, is huge this year.

The lone so-called rock album in the top 10 is by Nickelback, who have a single out that somehow manages to sound even more like their first big hit “How You Remind Me” than any of their other attempts to rewrite that song. The only rap album in the top ten is TI’s King, one of the better examples of arguably the worst style of rap out right now.

Meanwhile, the biggest chart news this week in the world of hip-hop is the first week sales for Kanye West’s ghostwriter Rhymefest. His debut album Blue Collar only sold something like 15,000 copies (actually a bit less than that) its first week out. Yikes! Granted, no one was expecting it to do well, but hip-hop labels have to be concerned with numbers like this.

It could be the case that hip-hop is falling out of favor, or that urban kids aren’t copping as many albums from digital music stores like iTunes, but this can’t possibly bode well for other hip-hop artists with similarly limited commercial prospects like Lupe Fiasco, the Roots, and the Clipse, especially the ones who have had to deal with having their albums leaked a while before the release date.

  • http://nahright.com eskay

    I’m downloading ordering the High School Musical soundtrack for my daighter right now. Shit is knocking yo.

  • http://nahright.com eskay

    *daughter

  • Jo Van Gogh

    Hmmm.

    I can’t say that I’m surprised. I’d like to pretend ( in vain I’m sure ) that rap fans have finally gotten smarter and decided not to buy the abortions that labels are calling albums these days…but I’m quite sure that isn’t the case.

    And as far as artists like Lupe and the Roots go, I’m sure their numbers will come in over time as opposed to having huge first week numbers like say, 50 cent.

    Lupe, The Roots, and to some extent, Little Brother represent what I call nourishing hip hop, in that it takes time build up momentum, but the music ultimately sticks to your ribs for a lifetime unlike the snap (DFB), crack ( Jeezy ), and pop ( ummm…G-Unit) rap this coming out these days.

  • http://www.saywordatl.com Jo Van Gogh

    And yeah, phonte was right

  • Pingback: » Bol examines the music biz’s recent low sales - XXL

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u a faggit ass nigga bol

    countdown until faggit ass rey turns up to suck bol dick and type 6 20 paragraph comments about 50 not signin’ an autograph for him starts now

  • Sonny Cheeba

    “Meanwhile, the biggest chart news this week in the world of hip-hop is the first week sales for Kanye West’s ghostwriter Rhymefest. His debut album Blue Collar only sold something like 15,000 copies (actually a bit less than that) its first week out. Yikes! Granted, no one was expecting it to do well, but hip-hop labels have to be concerned with numbers like this.”

    Wowwww! And he found “jesus walks”… he should kept that shit son!

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    I agree with JVG. Surprisingly enough, I also agree with Bol.

    As soon as a rapper comes along with something fun–that DOESN’T insult anyone’s intelligence–the sales’ll go back up for rap.

    The game (not Jayceon Taylor) is up for grabs right now, and the next person that does something original and accessible (ie “gold digger) is gonna move big units. (um…nullus)

    Hey Bol, when are you gonna get tired of bashing Kanye?

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Transi! How you been, sis?

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    on today faggot-o-meter rey is just ahead of bol

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    …yet slightly less than you.

    You bore me, Transi. Try picking on Meka Soul, he might have some insults for you that I don’t.

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    damn high school musical. my stepdaughter had me watching that shit. one of the WORST disney films out there, next to the cheetah girls.

  • PONAMI

    i agree with u on nickleback, every song is a repeat of their first hit.

    Blood money actually did well then, 350,000. every1 was sayin it did shit but thats not bad compared 15000.

    Bol this is the shit that we need to write about cause u do research, although i saw this happein last year as well.

  • Ogeezy

    T.I.’s album is the shit. Bol, exactly what artist do you like? The internet is great except for the fact that I can’t smack the shit outta these wannabe bloggin ass bitches who complain about everything Youz a bitch Bol.

  • projectnrm

    I could’ve sworn that Bol has written this exact same column six times in the last three months.

    New material, PLEASE!

  • Global Macro

    Country albums sell because country music listeners aren’t smart enough to figure out how to download mp3s

  • Belize

    Fuck all them miggaz, all they shit is wack, thats why they aint moving shit…im sure rhymefest shit is dope but aint nobody heard that it was coming out! Good looks kanye!

  • Enlightened

    Bootlegs, mixtapes and the economy are killing Hip-Hop sales (for major labels).
    I go to work everyday. I make a decent wage. I’m far from minimum wage but I’m not killin em either. I’m making it. Most AVERAGE (not ballers) people nowadays – after you pay bills – $15 is not as small of an amount to drop on a CD as it used to seem. Not when it takes $40 to fill up your tank. So even if you buy a CD, the days are gone for most people when you would go buy 3 new releases in one day for a total between $40-$50. When your homie will burn it for you for free or the bootlegger has it for free.
    Then, the mixtapes are REALLY helping to kill sales because people are treating them now as if they are actual releases. So why should some kids 14-19 (and others) give Dogg Pound, Ice Cube, Rhymefest and others a chance when their favorites like 50 Cent, Lil’ Wayne, etc. have just dropped mixtapes?
    The upside to me is – fuck these major labels and the independents are finally getting some love because you are less likely to get a bootleg of an independent, smaller artist because there’s less demand and if you’re a fan, you feel more of a connection to him.
    So, long live independents! Go buy the hottest independent niggas where you live and on the net!

  • http://www.myspace.com/therapistmusic Therapist

    >>one of the better examples of arguably the worst style of rap out right now.

    suuuuuure

  • thoreauly77

    funny how the transient equivocates on the spelling of the word “faggot/faggit”. seems pretty gay to me.

  • Meka Soul

    why am i not surprised? oh well, util lupe & clipse drop, i’ll continue to illegally download…er… purchase YN’s breakaday songs from itunes.

    sad thing is, i like rhymefest, but even i knew he wasn’t gonna do any numbers. my job produced his “brand new” video in september 2005, and i didn’t see it on tv ’til march 2006. even funnier is the fact we all played that song for about a week straight; then that south park “trapped in the closet” episode dropped & we all forgot about rhymefest.

    and rey, thanks for the invite, but i don’t ether bloggers. it’s too much a waste of time.

  • Meka Soul

    >damn high school musical. my stepdaughter had me watching that shit. one of the WORST disney films out there, next to the cheetah girls.>

    remember “gargoyles?” that was my shit. then came chubby ass raven [who, now that she's legal, can get it].

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Fuck. Oh well. Thanks anyway.

  • the dough

    If anything these figures should be a relief to us, proving that despite the obvious influx of shitty music out there, the morons who bring it to us clearly aren’t making much money off of it. It could be worse, we could actually see artists like Dem Franchize Boys and Young Joc in the Top 10 to stay.

  • RandomName

    “khal Says:

    July 21st, 2006 at 2:03 pm
    damn high school musical. my stepdaughter had me watching that shit. one of the WORST disney films out there, next to the cheetah girls”

    You can count me as 1 sale each for the “High School Musical” soundtrack and Rhyme fest’s Blue Collar.

    My daughter loves High School Musical, and has both versions on our DVR. So I’m in danger of being subjected to it in some form 3-4 days a week.

    Those two along with Fishscale, Gnarls Barkley, and 1 or 2 others are the only music I”ve Legaly purchased this year

  • Meka Soul

    >His debut album Blue Collar only sold something like 15,000 copies (actually a bit less than that) its first week out. Yikes!>

    in the christian rock music scene, 15,000 copies = double mur.

    hate to say but:

    rhymefest’s career = gillie da kid’s “career = ethered.

  • washington

    >funny how the transient equivocates on the spelling of the word “faggot/faggit”. seems pretty gay to me.

    Transient is the creepy dude who lived next door in American Beauty. He’s a hardcore homo in denial.

  • thoreauly77

    washington, i would be careful, he may just end up shooting you. *let it not be forgotten the tragic ending to a man (?) that loved calling people ‘faggot/faggit’*. amen.

  • Belize

    Damn trans, niggaz aint feelin u today huh? no homo

  • http://www.digital-djs.com Digital-DJs

    How about this for a theory? If somebody made an album woth a shit, maybe people would spend their hard earned on it. The problem with rap CDs is that they try to please everybody, and all of these different demographics. Chances are, you cop a disc, and you end up liking on 2 or 3 cuts. I know I got tired of being burned, so I stopped buying.

    Bol makes a good point about bootleggers and free downloads. Why pay full price for something that is mostly hot garbage on a sunny day?

  • Styles

    Blood money hasn’t even reached 300,000 in the states yet. That cd fell off the charts this week, the top 200 charts. I been saying sales for this year been falling off, but it looks like the upcomming 4th qt is going to be good.
    1. Young Buck
    2. Young Jeezy
    3. Nas
    4. Snoop Dogg
    5. The Game
    6. Jay-Z ???
    7. Kanye(Rumor)

  • Omar

    Damn, anyone else notice Bol talking faggot this, gay-ass that like he’s not gay.

  • raul

    bol dosen’t like rap he likes gay ass hoootie and the blowfish and gin blossoms.I know people round creve coeur who graduated in 99 same year as bol and told me byron was a fat band geek with thick ass glasses so do you expecty this suburban fuck to know any thing about hphop

  • INTERSCOPE JACKSON

    TI’s King, one of the better examples of arguably the worst style of rap out right now.

    LMAO…I AGREE

  • sATaLyte

    ^funny how that one dude up there starts all his comments with:

    “u a faggit ass nigga bol”

  • http://UG-RS.com Tyler

    I am surprised that dude wasn’t jockin’ TimbaFake’s dick over ‘dat wackass Nelly Furtaco record that the different internet sources swear up & down that it’s flyin’ off the racks but the streets say different. Dude need 2 lay off T.I. man, cause everybody knowz he has been bangin’ out 2 “What U know bout Dat” but yea’ as far as the nusic industry goes I keep tellin’ ya’ll “urbanrock” is the new heat for the streets take a peek at: http://www.myspace.com/marcmaysrockandrollthug
    http://www.myspace.com/marcusorealiusmusic

  • Whateva

    Seriously, the last rap album I bought legally was King and somebody tell Tip I want my damn money back! The problem is that most of the “music” that is released nowadays are what I call radio hits. Radio hits are songs you’ll listen to on the radio but will never actually go out and buy the album. I personally don’t bootleg or illegally download artists I like. But the truth is there’s nothing out worth buying. The only albums I bought this year that were worth a damn are Fishscale and that Gnarls Barkley.

  • gluvnast

    yea, i knew the new hustle about the ringtones ever since i heard the fugees “take it easy” single hit platinum, and i was wondering how the fuck they go platinum without any video or ANYTHING?

    that’s where niggaz are hitting at the downloads and ringtones, because they count…the music is more SINGLE-oriented now, which is why the albums end up being trash

  • gluvnast

    as for rhymefest, i think part of it was very POOR promotion…hell i didn’t even know his album was out had it been i stumbled upon it at the record store

  • http://xxl dabronx

    ny nigga it aint poor promotion it’s poor music

  • \sjios\deio\shnd

    i think buck will be hopin to get gold.

    I think nas’s album may only sell plat at most cause he aint commercial enough.

    I also think that theres so many genres of hip hop now that the markets being strectched. I know in europe people are startin to buy homegrown more and with UK artists sellin mixtapes on the tube peeps are now buyin that not the new ice cube cd.

  • LBDII

    What the hell was wrong with T.I.’s album. Busta Bus’s is gonna go plat before the year is over im almost sure of that Ny Shit will be a suprise hit. Umm Lets see the Rhymefest CD is good but not great.

  • \sjios\deio\shnd

    I think Detox may be the last time we see someone sell over 5 times platinum :-(

  • http://www.myspace.com/sadsmilezrecordings1 INDOE

    I am a big fan of the mixtape but then again after hearing a track or two that i like it ends up falling over in the floor with the rest of my cd’s .also after hearing so called “hot” mc’s rap on garbage beats on these mixtapes ain’t no way i’m gonna buy their cd .i noticed Bol did’nt mention cam’ron or Dipset in the poor sellers category because i think it’s known that Diplomats product does’nt move off the shelves because their money is made off their mixtapes . But other artists don’t sell well no matter what comes first mixtape or cd . I mean how many times can 50 cent throw shots at the same ole rappers before it starts to get old ? as witnessed by Blood Money ? Anything associated with g-unit starts to seem watered down .are you really anticipating a M.O.P album ? I think it’s a shame that the millions of kids and starving artists making music at home in their bedrooms and basements will never have a chance to get heard because what they make is “different” . Any white kid trying to put together a demo to get heard that even sais once on their cd something about going crazy or beating someone with a bat will straight away be compared to Eminem , and that’s bs .So said kid will never have a chance . We need to get back to the “Golden Age” of hip-hop . Analog anyone ? In the new issue of Scratch magazine Hank Shocklee sais this same thing . When you turn it to digital you loose alot of that intimate feel of the music . I make music that i feel . I make music that i want . Nobody will dictate to me what i should and should not listen to or try to create . Be original .Forget the loads of money for a minute .The first time you picked up a mic and then heard your voice on the playback was cool , it was’nt about “oh if i could only make a beat like (hot producer of the time)i bet this would be huge . My beats that i first put together we’re junk but i could rhyme on them without any care in the world . I was doing it for me not to make 50 million dollars . People need to grow up . It’s a shame Ghostface can’t sell 2 or 3 million records . Why ? Because they say kids don’t relate to his soul samples and older sounding beats .This sucks . Millions of people scream for a new Wu-Tang record but won’t buy a solo album from a clan member ? What is this ? I’m so sick of this . Teach don’t Preach ! I’m sure i have strayed off topic here but this needs to be said , and NOW ! I’m a guy from a little town in Maryland , and trust me their are a lot more like me who feel this way . So keep putting out the same ole’ same ole’ and you will continue to get the same ole’ results . In closing i want to leave everyone with this : There are 3 kinds of people in this world : 1}People who make things happen 2}People who let things happen to them , and 3} People who have no clue what’s happening ! Which one are you ?

    From the kid who’s first tape was in 86′ from the Fat-Boys :

    INDOE

  • daesonesb

    >somehow manages to sound even more like their first big hit “How You Remind Me” than any of their other attempts to rewrite that song.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4258547

    here’s a link to a mashup of several nickelback songs, demonstrating how similar they all are to how you remind me.

  • \sjios\deio\shnd

    I think the only label that can make new artists sell now is aftermath. Def Jam has artists that have established themselves when records were selling plat.

    I hope detox sells millions. I beg nobody download or get bootleg. We need it to be known as best album of the year kk

  • thisishowwedoit?

    fuck kanye.
    whoever said he makes “intelligent, conscious music” is full of shit.
    dude is so fucking ignorant.

    i can’t even remember the name of that song he had with Nas off Late Registration

    “Can I Talk My Shit Again?”

    like eight times.

    pz

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u all sum faggit ass niggas

  • http://xxlmag.com westside money

    The Problem with sales albums be getting leaked 2 early and artist like Lloyd Bank$ put alot of their songs off an upcoming album onto a mixtape if u want people 2 buy your album dont put the track listings on the internet or leak it out.If you do that people are gonna have 2 buy your album.

  • Enlightened

    “It’s a shame Ghostface can’t sell 2 or 3 million records . Why? Because they say kids don’t relate to his soul samples and older sounding beats”

    EXACTLY. I’m glad somebody else sees it how I see it. It’s not Ghostface’s lyrics – like he’s too intelligent or something – it’s the beats that keep him, Little Brother, and so many others from reaching those sales.

  • gluvnast

    @ enlightened….the blueprint sold 2 million copies using the SAME styled beats

    as a matter of fact, it helped popularized bringing soul-induced production to the forefront…

    like i said, it’s HOW the artist uses that production. also it’s mostly about marketing and promotion…ghostface sales in comparison to MOST of the hiphop sales is average right now…i think fishscale is even outselling labelmate ll cool j’s album, and BOTH of them had the same type of promotion, with ll’s being a bit more heavier…

    alot of albums you always hear on the radio are not selling…bubba sparkxxx maybe doing great on ringtones, but his album flopped!

    it’s not because of the type of production, but because of packaging and handling the music you put out…

    gnarls barkey is having a BIG success, and there’s NOTHING predictable about their music…dangermouse is MORE obscure of a producer than you can ever get…

  • gluvnast

    this is the general fact that all artist will admit about the music business…

    and that is the music business is 10% of the music and 90% of BUSINESS

    it’s the business of selling records!! that’s it…

  • http://www.dmcworld.com/technics2004/video/2004dj1-100k.wvx KRUMB

    The Truth?

    The true reason rap records aren’t selling is that rappers have become the advocates for the upper-class. When ever you hear a verse its about what they “own” or how their lifestyles are so much better than yours (the listener). There’s no connection or accesibilty that connects artist and fan any longer.

    My point? Its the rappers fault, they’ve allowd their loyalties to be in the board room or Madison Ave. instead of the streets where it originated from…

    Why? I’ve met a ton of rap artist booking shows through the years and one thing I can tell you with complete certainty is that rappers don’t want to be rappers…They want to be movie stars, execs, or even athletes but they got sucked in to the bizness thinking they could out manuveur the odds and make it to the top for good.

    Never met one that truly has…

  • n. deep

    wait, wait, wait!

    “TI’s King, one of the better examples of arguably the worst style of rap out right now.”

    nigga you got the audacity to say some ish like this??? it’s now official. i tried to be cool and let all this hating from NY slide but damn it i can’t trake no more. NY knew that Pac was gonna steal B.I.G.’s shine and so ya’ll niggas tried to kill him at The Quad.

    WITH THE WAY NEW YORK NIGGAS ARE ACTIN TOWARDS SOUTH MUSIC, I BELIEVE BIGGIE TRIED TO OFF PAC. NY HAS DIPSET AND G-UNIT AND ONLY BECAUSE DIPSET IS NON-COMMERCIAL MUSIC AND BECAUSE 50 CENT IS THE GEORGE BUSH OF THIS RAP SHIT. FUCK THE REST OF NEW YORK AND YOUR BOUROUGHS.

    P.S. BUSTA RHYMES IS THE WORST RAPPER I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

    http://www.myspace.com/tresbientracks

  • Playa=50=

    good to know

  • Tha Blueprint

    #1 Bol what do u like? I read you little blogs and u diss everything under the sun. (you need some prozac)
    #2 You said it could be the case that hip-hop is falling out of favor, but nothing good is comin out. There is not much to be excited about in hip hop right now.
    out-

  • http://xxlmag erererer

    hiphop is dead

  • Koto

    Hip hop heads are buying(coppin) mixtapes that have the hottest songs out right now…They don’t wanna pay for excessive B.S. Only true fans will buy the album for it entirety.

  • random23124241253425

    its cuz people are tired of killing gangbanging gun slinging crap

  • dirtysout’mixtapebumpa

    Out here we on dat bootleg shyt, jus come on sites like this, see wats hot burn it an sell it for 3-6 dollars got ~30 cds but no cd player, dont need one to sell, only shit people want now is dat dmx shyt.

  • rob g

    bols a fag straight up

  • \sjios\deio\shnd

    BOL writer a rap and we can all review it. kk

  • blackmoses

    the south kill hiphop dem franchize boy and D4L

  • http://www.myspace.com/ianlopez1115 ianlopez1115

    HIGH SCHOOOL MUSICAL SUCKS DICK, ASS AND TITS! STEP UP IS THE BEST DANCE MOVE OF THE SEASON UNLIKE THAT RETATRDED SUBLIMINAL TRASH!

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  • traplif3

    man i’m gettin tired of yallboys form up north hatin on tha south

  • Clever

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    Lady’s are you a DIME PIECE OR, A ICE PIECE? Fella’s do you think your Lady is a ICE PIECE? I’ve had ICE PIECES in my time of being a single player in da world of romance. I’ve had more Dimes than Ice Pieces. I was blessed to get one or two. So fella’z how many Ice pieces have you had, or dime pieces? Lady’s how many of you Think your a ICE PIECE, send me a pic and, Let me see if you are a ICE PIECE. Its not all about looks either. ;-)

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  • Esco

    have you heard hip-hop lately…why would anybody want to invest there money in that…the blueprint 3 obfcl2 and blaqout

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