The E.N.D. of good music

I read the other day that the Black Eyed Peas set a new Billboard record, and I was reminded of the several weeks-long period in between when I heard that “Low” by Flo Rida was one of the most popular rap songs evar and when I actually heard it.

I only finally heard “Low” by digging it up on – I think – MTV.com. But for weeks and weeks, I kept hearing about how popular it was, but I never heard it. It didn’t come on the rap stations on Sirius the few times I listened to the rap stations on Sirius in my car, i.e. when Stern was on a commercial break. I didn’t see it mentioned on any of the few rap blogs I read. For all I knew, it really could have been one of the best rap songs evar.

I kid Flo Rida, but he really has become one of my favorite artists these days, aside from the fact that I could give a rat’s ass about his music. He seems to have really ingratiated himself to the Stern show. There was that time he brought Ashley Logan on to perform “Low,” which remains, sadly, the highlight of my adulthood, and I know he’s been on at least one more time since then. He performed at the pr0n awards out in Las Vegas, which a lot of brothers such as myself either attend, if they can afford to, or watch. And I was listening to Baba Booey on the Adam Carolla podcast the other day (yeah, I’ve got a little bit of free time), and he was talking about how Flo Rida is somehow involved with some sort of fantasy football promotion he was plugging.

I consulted the Wiki just now, to confirm the fact that “Low” is one of the most popular rap songs evar, and I read that it’s sold over 5 million digital downloads, becoming the first song to reach that mark. Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ. That’s a shedload of money, even once you account for the fact that digital downloads of songs only cost $1, and that’s why labels can’t stand iTunes and its ilk.

The record the Black Eyed Peas broke was a bit more half-assed, but it’s still fairly impressive in the sense that I’ve yet to hear either of the songs involved. A few years ago, Usher spent 19 weeks in the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100, with two different songs. “Yeah” was number one for weeks and weeks, then one of his other songs – I think “Confessions” (fuck research) – came along and replaced it. The Black Eyed Peas pulled something similar recently with two songs, called “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling.” They broke Usher’s last week, and I see “I Gotta Feeling” is still number one – which means the Black Eyed Peas have had the number one song in the country for literally the past five months.

How in the fuck can a group be so popular, and I haven’t heard either of their current singles, both of which have been the number one song in the country for lengthy periods of time? I could see if it was one of these seemingly obscure and yet ridonkulously popular rock groups that cater to lower class white people, like Daughtry. But this is a rap group. And I supposedly write about rap music for a living.

I’m sure part of it’s that I’m a lazy bastard. I probably spend less time listening to rap music than the vast majority of people who read this site. If it doesn’t look like it would interest me, I’m not gonna bother with it, regardless of whether or not it’s newsworthy. And it’s been a while since I’ve been to one of those clubs that play shit like Flo Rida and the Black Eyed Peas, even though you know the very best-looking women hang out in clubs that play shit like Flo Rida and the Black Eyed Peas. You go to a place where they play music I like, and it’s nothing but a buncha 30+ white guys in tattered Wu-Wear gear. These days, I’d rather just have a drink (or 10) in a bar, where – ironically enough – you might hear some shit like Daughtry.

But part of it must be that it’s gotten a lot easier to dominate Billboard, if your shit’s lowbrow enough. These Black Eyed Peas songs might not really be that popular – it’s just that everything else is even less popular by comparison. I was in middle school back when Boyz II Men had all of those songs that sat at number one on Billboard for umpteen weeks at a time, and I remember how fucking ubiquitous those songs were. Even those Ursher songs I heard way more often than songs I actually like. I don’t think I’m such a sorry old fuck that I wouldn’t be more familiar with these Black Eyed Peas songs, if they were really that popular – though I’m sure at least a few of you would beg to differ.

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    You know why you haven’t heard the most popular songs out today…it’s the same reason I haven’t and the same reason my father hasn’t – age.

    Pop music – scratch that – ALL music is now programmed and packaged for 15 year olds and you’re too old and a bit too intelligent for it so you just ignore it.

    I know you’ve heard the BEP’s songs because Stern has played them a bunch of times, talking about how he wants to bang Fergie and how he doesn’t understand how it constitutes music.

    It’s the reason why Jay-Z keeps making music and Slaughterhouse can’t sell much. It’s because we’re getting older and it sucks.

  • Mutada/Mullah Atari

    Stop lying Bol, you know your ass heard boom boom pow. That shit is on every radio station, all the time, every day. And I got a feeling is doing the same thing. Come on now… Cant knock the pea’s, niggaz was fucking with Eazy E so they good in my book, and were is the love was the shit

    • http://myspace.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

      Where is the love-that is one of my favorites

      Everybody make sure you hit up my link on myspace or youtube and become a part of the new movement to bring awareness to the gay community’s contribution in hip hop. I already have Mutada, Tony, and Persian signed up. We need your help to stop the discrimination in hip hop against our people.

      http://www.youtube.com/federalranga
      http://www.myspace.com/federalranga

      Be Proud

  • ri067953

    Yo, how could you have not heard “Low”? That song was played back to back on T.V. and radio. You must be thinking of that one song where Flo-Rida sampled that cheesy eighties song “You spin my Round” or some shit.

    If you are a Stern fan, you have to have heard “Boom Boom Pow” because he plays it on the show.

  • http://myspace.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

    Everybody make sure you hit up my link on myspace or youtube and become a part of the new movement to bring awareness to the gay community’s contribution in hip hop. I already have Mutada, Tony, and Persian signed up. We need your help to stop the discrimination in hip hop against our people.

    http://www.youtube.com/federalranga
    http://www.myspace.com/federalranga

    Be Proud

  • giantstepp

    I dont bump they shit, but Fergie is HOTT!

  • Lowedwn

    “But this is a rap group”

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    That’s where your mistaken. They use to be a rap group, now they’re like a mix-and-match of all the B.S. the T.Is try to force us to listen to…ie pop.

    I’ll be damned if ain’t heard a single one of these songs either, but I quit messing with the radio a long time ago, that shit’ll kill you.

    • Jericho

      I quit messing with the radio a long time ago, that shit’ll kill you.

      ^^^
      Word.

      Kill radio. Save music.

  • Jericho

    I’ve heard Boom Boom Pow or whatever it’s called on the internets and it was easily the worst thing I’ve heard from the BEP since their last bunch of songs were on radio.

    It’s funny how labels kick up a fuss for people to buy records but put no pressure on their “artists” to put out quality work.

    I wouldn’t even call BEP a rap ensemble…10 years ago maybe but these days they’re a stripped down, shamefully shallow and unimaginative self-parody.

  • tronthadon

    Wow good thing i live in Atl..i neva heard that Bep bullshit i rememba that Flo Ridah though..and all tha BEP whack to me atleast tha ones i heard..and i hated where is tha love..Mutada/Mullah Atari u must be a immigrant or a ju ju they like that fake rap bullshit

    • Shawty J

      That’s because Atlanta’s Hip-Hop stations doesn’t play Black Eyed Peas except 95.5 otherwise you’d have to turn it to a pop station. I rarely listen to the radio yet I’ve heard BEPs at least three times.

  • Meela

    The song you are referring to is Right Round not Low – I remember reading your blog

  • geico lizard

    With this kind of success Mrs. Danny McCoy will be back on crystal meth in no time.

  • CLARK

    I havn’t heard the new single but I actually liked the Boom Boom Pow one.

  • HNIC

    I have an 8 year old daughter, & I refuse to let her listen to uncensored & even most censored rap songs, due to the content of some of the music. I’m responsible, like that. Anyway, with all that said, I’m pretty much forced to listen to B.E.P., Hannah Montana and the ilk, to appease her, during the brief time that we’re together. She doesn’t know any better yet & ignorance is bliss, as they say. She has the rest of her life to become wiser to the ways of the world & I’m not trying to corrupt her, by any means. Best believe that when she isn’t in my ride, the station is quickly changed & those songs, however catchy, are soon forgotten.

  • JAY STONE

    Me too.out of curiosty i download it to see why its so popular and i delete d the damn song fast.
    fucking waste of my time.

  • Proper Modulation

    Slaughterhouse AND Black Eyes Peas = same crap, just one emphasizes bullshit fake “lyricism” and the other emphasizes catchey beats and chorues: they’re BOTH least common denominators for their audiences.

    Q: How many of the 18,000 dorks who really bought Slaughterhouse will listen to it next week?

  • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

    after their first two records (both legit hip hop by the way), it was a wash. unable to gain major commercial success, they incorporated a white woman (and former child television star) and began to do commercials for dr pepper. once that happened, bingo!, they were multi-platinum selling pop. will.i.am may have sold his purist soul, but i am sure that he and the rest of the peas are sleeping soundly in their mansions. and lets face it, their legit shit still wasnt that dope, so what are purists complaining about?!

  • http://www.hotboxbeats.blogspot.com hotbox

    where are the crab meats today?

  • AZ40

    They came up ever since they added that strong face chick to the group…remember when it was just those dudes in the group

  • latino heat

    if it wasn’t for riding in in the car’s of a couple different females i would have never heard Boom Boom Pow. or many other bullshit songs they play on the radio that only kids and females like. i still haven’t heard that new song. nor am i gonna go out of my way to do so.

  • Pana

    Lmao@ strong faced chick! But didn’t they have another chick before Fergie?

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    I’d heard boom/pow but didn’t know until I overheard some kids talking about it. Same for “‘right round”, & probably countless songs that aren’t geared to my liking. That “ice cream paint” by Dorrough for example. I dint know that was him until I read the album review in here. & when I’d heard it, it was from a person who likes Drake’s & Wayne’s music. Take that however.

  • Avenger XL

    test
    It is more than age gentleman. Disposable dance tunes and pop tunes totally rule the waves without balance. Labels don’t take chances anymore at all and barely did in the past. Now the part where age comes in is simply the fact Disney and Nick are becoming music taste makers for a new generation. So they are grooming their teenie bopper stars to become the next whatever. The Black Eye Peas are shameless hip-pop artists who do a certain type of lowbrow dance music that 40 to 50 year old moms don’t mind listening too while doing aerobics. At my Job I know several older white women who love the black eye peas(NAtch). The Flo Ridas,Black Eye Peas etc…. of the world are labels attempt to still sell consistantly to an mass audience this next generation isn’t as substance driven because they grew up on pop. The previous generation grew up on funk,classic R&B,classic Rock and was introduced to hip-hop. They are even throwing us Drakes to try and bridge the gap between lyrical and pop. Jay-z’s new effort will be more respectable hip-pop that you can listen to as a true fan without being murked like if I catch you listening to boom boom pow!

  • DJ Postman

    Come on, I don’t believe for a minute that you haven’t heard “Low” or either of the Black Eyed Peas songs. If you’re that hard up for something to write your blog about that you have to make things up, then maybe you shouldn’t be writing a blog at all.

  • Nate

    Proper Modulation:

    Buy, read reviews, or listen to Slaughterhouse.

    I bought 4 copies. Gave three to friends who are all former 90′s hip hop fans but grown like me. 2 have kids, 1 is a regular working dude but all like a wide variety of rap music.

    BEP is NOTHING like them. All my friends agreed it’s superior to any radio crap that’s on right now. Of course you knock what you haven’t heard.

    Those “dorks”, many of them were hiphop fans for 5-20 years and know real music when they hear it. BEP fans worldwide, many are “DORKS”, because they started jumping on, as soon as ugly ass Fergie got off the stripper pole and joined the group. Their angle was, appeal to countries all over the world, keep it dancy, popcorn bullshit. There is a occasional good song but most is total BS.

    If you pass over Slaughterhouse then you are a hypocrit to go to some fucking club on a “old school hiphop night” and dance to all the 80′s/90′s anthems because that just means that radio played you. And you only like what they decided was hot. But a lot of old school hiphop has lyricism, good beats, creativity, and originality, with top MC’s. So does Slaughterhouse.

    BEP does not….

    I could give a fuck about 25K over 2 weeks, because when they hit 50K that will mean a quarter million people downloaded digital, or bootlegged it. Unlike hundreds of thousands of played out untalented generic young kids who haven’t learned or experienced the game who won’t sell 1,000.

    BEP WAS cool, 10-12 years ago. They sold out somewhere 5-7 years ago…

  • Brooklyn

    i never fucked with bep because they always seemed manufactured to me, like some record exec thought it would be a good idea to put a white girl, black dude, navajo looking nigga, and some puerto rican looking nigga together on some “puzzle place” shit and see how much money they can earn. besides that, they’re wack as hell. i didn’t know they’d been around 10+ years though, i only heard of them within the last 4-5 years.

  • Chris S

    i’m pretty sure they weren’t on top for 5 months straight cuz i think Michael Jackson’s songs were like #1, 2, & 4-10 or something on the Billboard right after he died…

  • nicholasdelorejo

    I must say that some of you guys are haters. BEP managed to find a demographic of people who actually buy music, make music that is popular, and still call themselves hip hop whether we consider them or not. It amazes me that rap fans demand more content from rappers yet don’t even make the attempt to purchase the music as much as the pop crowd. It’s the same kind of mentality that forced dudes like Flo-rida, Kanye, and others to not give a fuck about actual rap fans since those fans don’t care about them. At least not enough to purchase their music as much as the pop consumers.

  • stoneyisland

    BEP was a legit group during thier first album, once they added that skank Fergie they lost all street cred. They may have white america on lock but I dont know any real hip hop head who thinks BEP are even worth talking about. When was the last time you heard real street cats saying “Yo dog you got that new BEP album? ” …………

  • Ya Boy

    That “I gotta feeling” always plays in the clubs nd the girls go crazy. So I dont mind dat particular song. If I ever hear “Boom Boom Pow” or “My Humps” again however I will Stomp a bitch out.

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