"Ni**as In Paris" by Jay-Z
achieved a milestone last week when it hit #1 on Billboard's
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It's the first #1 R&B hit ever to contain the "N-word" in its title.
Of the 1,212 songs that have reached #1 on Billboard
R&B chart since it was introduced in 1942, only a few have referred to race or ethnicity in their titles. The short list includes James Brown's
black-pride anthem "Say It Loud—I'm Black And I'm Proud," which topped the chart for six weeks in the fall of 1968, and the Impressions'
thought-provoking "Choice Of Colors," which hit #1 for one week in the summer of 1969. Brown wrote "Say It Loud." Curtis Mayfield
wrote "Choice Of Colors."
Jay-Z and West, who were among the writers on "Ni**as In Paris," were being deliberately provocative in using such an inflammatory word in a song title. The song, which holds at #1 on the R&B chart for a second week, jumps from #17 to #16 on this week's Hot 100. It has sold 464,000 digital copies. The pair's album, Watch The Throne, has sold 1,033,000 copies. It's the sixth best-selling album of 2011.
"Without You" by David Guetta featuring Usher jumps from #7 to #6 in its 10th week on the Hot 100. This is its highest ranking to date. The song also tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. It's Guetta's third million-seller as a lead artist, following "Sexy Chick" (featuring Akon, 3,196,000 copies) and "Where Them Girls At" (featuring Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj, 1,110,000 copies).
Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks," which drops from #5 to #7, tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. The ultra-catchy song is featured on the group's album Torches, which is the front-runner to win a Grammy as Best Alternative Music Album. "…Kicks" is one of the best-selling digital hits ever to emerge from an alternative album. It follows such hits as M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" (which has sold 3,668,000 copies) and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" (which has sold 3,082,000 copies). "Crazy" was featured on St. Elsewhere, which won a Grammy as Best Alternative Music Album.
"Pumped Up Kicks" is the 10th song (from any genre) to reach the 3 million sales threshold so far this year. Twelve songs topped the 3 million mark in all of 2010, so this year may well set a record. There were just two 3-million sellers in all of 2008. There were seven in 2009.
Flo Rida lands his sixth top 10 hit as "Good Feeling" jumps from #12 to #8 in its sixth week. He has been the lead artist on all six hits, which is unusual for a hip hop artist these days. As Billboard's Gary Trust notes, "Good Feeling" contains a second-hand sample of an old Etta James song. "Good Feeling" samples Avicii's current dance hit "Levels," which in turn sampled James' 1962 hit "Something's Got A Hold On Me." The song, which James co-wrote, reached #37 in April 1962.
"Something's Got A Hold On Me" was neither James' most famous recording (that was 1961's "At Last") nor her highest-charting hit (that was her version of Clarence Carter's "Tell Mama," which hit #23 in January 1968).
James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 songs.
featuring Calvin Harris
, "We Found Love." The song holds at #1 for the second week in its seventh week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #1 (235K).
, "Sexy And I Know It." The song jumps from #3 to #2 (a new high) in its 10th week on the chart. This is its seventh week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #2 (203K).
, "Someone Like You." The former #1 song dips from #2 to #3 in its 18th week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. The song moves up to #15 on the year-to-date chart. Digital sales rank: #3 (144K).
4. Maroon 5
featuring Christina Aguilera
, "Moves Like Jagger." The former #1 song holds at #4 in its 20th week on the chart. This is its 15th week in the top 10. The song moves up to #8 on the year-to-date chart. Digital sales rank: #7 (120K).
5. Gym Class Heroes
featuring Adam Levine
, "Stereo Hearts." The song jumps from #6 to #5 in its 21st week on the chart. This is its 10th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #9 (108K).
6. David Guetta
, "Without You." The song jumps from #7 to #6 (a new high) in its 10th week on the chart. This is its sixth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #6 (123K).
7. Foster The People
, "Pumped Up Kicks." The song drops from #5 to #7 in its 28th week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #5 (124K).
8. Flo Rida
, "Good Feeling." The song jumps from #12 to #8 in its sixth week on the chart. It's Flo Rida's sixth top 10 hit. Digital sales rank: #4 (132K).
9. Cobra Starship
, "You Make Me Feel…" The song holds at #9 for the second week in its 17th week on the chart. This is its ninth week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #14 (71K).
featuring Lauren Bennett
"Party Rock Anthem." The former #1 song drops from #8 to #10 in its 33rd week on the chart. This is its 25th week in the top 10. Digital sales rank: #11 (90K).
Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All" drops from #10 to #15 in its ninth week. Digital sales rank: #13 (75K).
"5 O'Clock" by T-Pain
featuring Wiz Khalifa
& Lily Allen
jumps from #14 to #11 in its sixth week. The song samples Allen's "Who'd Have Known," a ballad from her 2009 album It's Not Me, It's You
magazine's Roy Trakin likens the usage to Eminem's
use of Dido's
"Thankyou" on his 2000 hit "Stan." Neither of the sampled songs had cracked the Hot 100 prior to the sample. "Stan" made the Hot 100 in November 2000, peaking at #51 (lower than you thought, I bet). Two months later, "Thankyou" charted. It became a smash, spending three weeks at #3. So far, T-Pain's usage hasn't spurred a big uptick for "Who'd Have Known," but let's watch it.
Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 leaps from #21 to #12 in its sixth week. It's already the biggest hit from any of the Twilight movies, topping Paramore's "Decode," from the original 2008 Twilight, which reached #33. Muse's "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)" from 2010's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse hit #77. The soundtrack from the fourth Twilight movie is expected to enter the The Billboard 200 next week right around #2.
Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" leaps from #34 to #18 in its fourth week. As you know, she's vying to become the first artist ever to pull six #1 hits from an album. She currently shares the record of five #1 hits with Michael Jackson. So how far along was "Another Part Of Me" (the sixth single from Jackson's album Bad) when it was in its fourth week on the Hot 100? It jumped from #31 to #25 that week (Aug. 13, 1988) on its way to a disappointing #11 peak. At first I thought it was a mistake for Perry to put out another single from Teenage Dream (give it a rest already!), but it might be fun watching Perry's dance with pop history…In addition, the Glee version of Perry's most recent #1 hit, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," debuts at #72. It was the only Glee song to chart this week, another sign that the franchise is slowing down.
Big Sean's "Dance (A$$) jumps from #30 to #20 in its fifth week…J. Cole's "Work Out" jumps from #35 to #25 in its 10th week…Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl" jumps from #33 to #30 in its 34th week. The song also jumps to #1 on Hot Country Songs. It's the first #1 country hit for the band, which is fronted by Mike Eli and James Young.
Luke Bryan's "I Don't Want This Night To End" jumps from #41 to #34 in its sixth week…Gavin DeGraw's "Not Over You" jumps from #44 to #37 in its 13th week…Zac Brown Band's "Keep Me In Mind" jumps from #54 to #44 in its sixth week.
Two songs from Miranda Lambert's Four The Record are making noise this week. "Baggage Claim" jumps from #51 to #48 in its 13th week. "Over You" debuts at #93. Four The Record enters The Billboard 200 at a career-high #3 this week.
An impressive three songs from Wale's
sophomore album, Ambition
, are scoring on the Hot 100. "That Way," featuring Jeremih
& Rick Ross
, jumps from #60 to #49 in its 10th week. "Lotus Flower Bomb," featuring Miguel
leaps from #87 to #60 in its second week. "Ambition," featuring Meek Mill
& Rick Ross,
bows at #81. Wale's album enters The Billboard
200 at a rather stunning #2 this week.
"Marvin & Chardonnay" by Big Sean
featuring Kanye West
& Roscoe Dash
drops from #43 to #52 in its 16th week,
topped the R&B chart a few weeks ago. The song salutes Motown legend Marvin Gaye
. It was the first song that saluted another artist in its title to reach #1 on the R&B chart since Stevie Wonder's
"Sir Duke" in 1977. That song, of course, tipped its hat to jazz legend Duke Ellington.
Other #1 R&B hits have saluted other great artists, but not in their titles. These include "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (featuring 112), a tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., and the Commodores' "Nightshift," a nod to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson.
Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" vaults from #95 to #59 in its third week.
Mac Miller's "Party On Fifth Ave." bows at #64. It's from the 19-year-old's debut album, Blue Slide Park, which is expected to enter The Billboard 200 at #1 next week. Miller's "Frick Park Market" has climbed as high as #60 on the Hot 100. His "Donald Trump" (which is not on the album) reached #79 earlier this year.
Jessie J's "Domino" jumps from #81 to #67 in its fourth week…Beyonce's "Countdown" jumps from #83 to #71 in its fourth week…Florence + the Machine's "Shake It Out" jumps from #86 to #82 in its second week.
Two songs from Justin Bieber's Under The Mistletoe
enter the Hot 100. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (featuring Mariah Carey
) bows at #86. "Drummer Boy" (featuring Busta Rhymes
) bows at #99.
Carey's original version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" reached #12 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart when it was first released in 1994. It has sold 1,885,000 digital copies, more than any other holiday song in digital history. This is the second update of Carey's classic original to make the Hot 100. A remix featuring Jermaine Dupri and Lil Bow Wow reached #83 in January 2000…Harry Simeone Chorale's original version of "The Little Drummer Boy" (Bieber shortened the title) hit #13 when it was first released in 1958.
Three oldies top the 3 million mark in digital sales this week: "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira
featuring Wyclef Jean
"Lips Of Angel" and the Zac Brown Band's
"Chicken Fried." The last-named song is only the sixth country song to reach the 3 million mark in digital sales.
Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep" tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week.