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.