Chartbreaker 10-26-10

I took a week off from the Chartbreaker last week as things were a little slow on the Billboard Charts and I was swamped with moving preparations. This week, the charts are full of all sorts of oddities, wild returns and a #1 song that has made me very happy. Let’s take a look at the chart:

95. “Angel” by Akon

Akon returns to the chart this week with the song “Angel” (after a one week drop off. Last week was wacky). The funny thing for me is I didn’t think I was going to hear anything from Akon again for a long time. No, it has nothing to do with his grinding on a teen onstage controversy or his tossing someone Naruki Doi style off the stage controversy. Akon has stated quite clearly that he’s making money hand over fist right now and doesn’t have to perform. Where’s all the money coming from? Lady Gaga. He’s been a part of that hit machine since day one. First words that most of us ever heard from a Gaga song were “Red One. Konvict. Gaga” (the first line of “Just Dance”). Red One is the producer. Konvict refers to her label, owned by Akon. So now, making
hits is like a hobby for Akon. That’s mindblowing to me.

84. “Loca” by Shakira f/ El Cata or Dizzie Rascal

There’s a question one needs to raise here. The song “Loca” has two versions, one in English which features Dizzie Rascal and one in Spanish featuring El Cata. Billboard lumps them both together here as one song but are they really? There is a big difference between the collaborations of El Cata. El Cata’s song is the basis for “Loca” and he contributes to the song like it’s a duet (but allows Shakira to shine). Dizzee Rascal does only a little of the back and forth. In fact, he has a whole verse to himself. Should both songs be allowed to chart the same? It’s the same base but there are two very distinct differences between the two.

74. “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

I’ve seen this long linger around the UK charts for quite some time now, where it made it all the way to #4, and honestly I didn’t see this song hitting the US charts. I figured it was like the Li’l Wayne/ Tinie Tempah dynamic. The US charts are full of Li’l Wayne, the UK charts- not so much. The UK Charts are full of Tinie Tempah. The US has no clue who he is. I figured this Edward Maya song was going to be a part of that strange dynamic. But it hit here in the states. Maybe there’s some hope for Eliza Doolittle, Katy B and Swedish House Mafia. (???)

64. “Black & Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa

Are you ready for some football? Wiz Khalifa is back on the charts with his song featuring the colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers, though the song has nothing to do with the team. In fact, it’s a pretty generic rap song (look at my car, my jewelry, the women, etc.). But it’s got two things going for it. One, the chorus is catchy and the other is that Wiz Khalifa got a lot of buzz from being listed in XXL’s Freshmen class of 2009 (which included B.o.B. & Wale). Sure, he was just an honorable mention but so was Drake.

59. “No Love” by Eminem & Li’l Wayne

Inspiration comes from interesting places. For instance, I wonder how Kanye West got the idea to rap over King Crimson on the song “Power”. Then there’s this song. Of all songs to use for a sample, what inspired Eminem & producer Just Blaze to choose “What is Love?” by Haddaway? Was someone watching “A Night At The Roxbury” and got that headbob going and thought, here’s the beat I need. It sure is an interesting choice and it works but where did that inspiration come from?

50. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Glee Cast

The Glee Cast’s spree of “chart once and dispose of” hits continues with an odd set of songs. I watched a couple of episodes last season but I haven’t touched this season, so I have no clue where this came from but it was a set of odd duets. The oddest for me was seeing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” back on the charts. But enough about that, let’s fast forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow is new chart day and it’ll be the first chart since Newscorp started its row with
Cablevision. Basically Newscorp wants more money for Fox and pulled it from all Cablevision stations. While that’s not devastating, Cablevision is the 8th largest cable company in the US and services a large chunk of New York (as well as NJ, CT & PA). I wonder if sales will take a little dip due to Glee not getting shown in those areas. Probably not, it’s a juggernaut.

38. “Runaway” by Kanye West f/ Pusha-T

I’m a little surprised to see this song tumbling down the charts. This is easily the Kanye song I’ve enjoyed the most since “Champion”. Maybe people miss Kanye’s odd rap non-sequiturs when he needs to make a rhyme. I still wanna know why he would do anything for a blond dyke. I’m curious to see what happens next week for this song as it’ll be the chart after the release of Kanye’s mini movie music video. Will ballerinas, big explosions, giant Michael Jackson heads, red Klan hoods, a half naked Phoenix and other bits of Kanye’s dark twisted fantasy be enough to turn this song into a hit?

The Band Perry

Now in the top 20, the Band Perry. "If I Die Young" is at #19.

17. “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green

As much as I love the current #1 song, I wonder why this song isn’t #1. Then again, this is the US charts. This is a place where Usher doesn’t sing “Oh My God”, he sings “Oh My Gosh”. Our conservatism/ prudence is mighty strong. I should be glad that a song that tests that a little has even made it to the top 20. Thursday will be fun as it looks like the charts will have “Fuck You” and a song called “Porn Star Dancing” (The My Darkest Days song f/ Zakk Wylde) is at #101 currently. I bet a couple of people are going to be unhappy about that.

15. “Animal” by Neon Trees

This may be the Neon Trees’ 3rd consecutive week at #15 but I couldn’t be happier about its chart performance. I’ve been vocal in previous editions of Chartbreaker about the plight of rock Songs on the Billboard Hot 100. In fact, the current #1 Billboard Rock song (“Say You’ll Haunt Me” by Stone Sour) is nowhere to be found on the Hot 100. But this song is #2 on the rock charts and there it is at #15 on the Hot 100. Yes, the song has crossover pop appeal due to its sound which  harkens back to 80’s New Wave, but it’s clearly a rock song. Rock songs don’t often get  the notice they deserve because of how the system is skewed. It may be stuck at 15 but it’s a huge victory in my book.  

11. “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk

The woman with the exclamation point in the middle of her name is back. Hmm, there’s P!nk & there’s Ke$ha. Maybe I should change my stage name to Nive()us or N!ve()u$. Super bandwagon jump! 🙂 Speaking of superjumps, this song flew up the charts. Last week, it had a modest debut at #51. Now it’s at #11 which is a little bit of a surprise after how “Glitter in the Air” lingered so low on the charts and the fact that this is the classic new single to get you to buy the greatest hits album. But it’s a P!nk/ Max Martin/ Shellback collaboration, I should not have been that surprised. That’s a proven hitmaking trio.

1. “Like a G6” by Far East Movement f/ The Cataracts & Dev

There’s something about this song that I love. I can’t explain it. It’s a bit of an anomaly on my jukebox. Over the past year, songs like Skillet’s “Hero”, Flyleaf’s “Missing” and Them Crooked Vultures’ “New Fang” have dominated my listening. Somehow this song has found a place among them. The beat is simple but infectious. The energy of the song is tremendous. It’s a marvel of production and when I saw that it had reached #1, I was very pleased. In a year dominated by songs like “Tik Tok” (which I grew to tolerate) and “California Gurls” (which I still hate like it’s audiocancer), it’s nice to have a #1 that I like hearing. Congratulations Far East Movement, Cataracts & Dev. I salute you (with the okay hand sign thing).

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