I’m a stickler for the perfect single. While there’s no science to choosing the right one, it is a skill, which is why artists have consultants and handlers around them deciding just that. Sometimes the choice is left up to the label. Sometimes the artist has the final say. Sometimes it’s collaborative. It’s all about picking that song that will instantly catch people’s ears, be re-playable and also have a certain commercial factor in the case of major-label artists anyway.
But sometimes, artists start their projects off on the wrong foot by choosing a bland single. For example, I thought Soulja Boy’s “Bird Walk” was a terrible lead single. Had “Turn My Swag On” arrived first, maybe that would’ve aided his sales, or “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” or “Yamaha Mama” with Sean Kingston. Some fans were turned off by Eminem’s “We Made You” as a first single choice, although that didn’t really hurt his numbers. Where choosing the best single matters more, though, is for artists who have little momentum or need to show and prove. Examples of good single choices in my opinion: Maino “Hi Hater,” Rick Ross “Magnificent” and Fabolous “Throw it in the Bag.” Can’t really go wrong with a Dream hook.
Another category is album cuts that should be singles. It drives me crazy when an artist has a dope project overall but picks the wackest songs as singles. I want people to be as interested in the album as I am and certain tracks do a better job of that than others. One main purpose of the single is to serve as a reference point for your album and spur sales. In any case, fans have just as good of an ear for music as major-label honchos, sometimes better since they’re coming from an outside perspective. Then again, like Hov said, “Everybody can tell you how to do it, they never did it”!Which artists had the wrong singles but a dope project? Was “D.O.A.” a solid lead single for Jay? Which album cuts do you wish were singles? -clovito