Billboard Charts Will Include Youtube Views Soon

Originally, earning platinum status was pretty straightforward. If an album sold one million physical copies, it would go platinum. Now, with the growing importance of Itunes, Spotify, and other digital platforms, the majority of sales tend to be counted through streams.


But what constitutes a stream? Does a song have to be played all the way through? Does the play have to come from an officially licensed channel or do Youtube views count? With so many questions unanswered, it seems as if the head honchos of the music industry are making up the rules as they go.


Nevertheless, artists do become certified platinum in the digital era, although they are sometimes met with controversy. For example, Post Malone’s team was recently accused of allegedly using a Youtube loophole to boost numbers for the song “Rockstar.”


Earlier this month, Billboard announced that Youtube streaming is going to be counted toward the Billboard Charts, in efforts to better represent current trends in music. This decision was met with mixed reactions from the Hip Hop community. (Read more about that here.)


However, Billboard recently reported that Youtube streams will carry less “value” than a stream on a paid service, such as Spotify, Apple, or Tidal:

“Beginning in 2018, plays occurring on paid subscription-based services (such as Amazon Music and Apple Music) or on the paid subscription tiers of hybrid paid/ad-supported platforms (such as SoundCloud and Spotify) will be given more weight in chart calculations than those plays on pure ad-supported services (such as YouTube) or on the non-paid tiers of hybrid paid/ad-supported services.”


Hopefully, this new adjustment might make it more difficult for artists to go platinum using streaming loopholes. I think platinum status needs to maintain its importance as a rare milestone in an artist’s career.


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T-Pain Announces New Album “Oblivion”

It’s been more than five years since the release of T-Pain’s last full-length album, Revolver, so the public is in need of some Pain. As a huge fan of the autotune legend, news of an upcoming project made my day.


Titled OBLiViON, the new album will be arriving on November 17th. T-Pain made this announcement in an Instagram post describing a conversation that supposedly happened between him and a passenger on a plane.

November 17th #OBLiViON #GoalLine feat. @blacyoungstafb out now. #officialmusicvideo soon come

A post shared by T-Pain (@tpain) on

Most of the details of the album have been kept under wraps but his two recent tracks, “F.B.G.M” featuring Young M.A. and “Goal Line” with Blac Youngsta will probably be included in the tracklist.


In the past, T-pain’s never failed to deliver some incredible radio hits but I’m excited to see the artistic direction he takes with OBLiViON. His acoustic appearance on NPR Tiny Desk Concert was wildly popular and became the most viewed episode of the series. The video was so successful that the artist returned a year later to deliver a 27-minute concert for NPR Front Row in the same style. In August of this year, Pain even announced an Acoustic tour.

Does this mean that OBLiViON will be less dependent on vocal effects or will he continue the tried-and-true formula that made him a star? I guess we’ll find out in September.


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2017 BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher

Since its beginning in 2006, the annual BET Hip Hop Awards ceremony has included cyphers as part of the show. On the whole, BET consistently does a good job of highlighting both talented up-and-comers (unlike the XXL Freshman Classes) as well as rap veterans.


This year’s televised ceremony (hosted by DJ Khaled) will take place on Tuesday, October 10. Recently, BET announced the list of artists that will be appearing in the cypher:



Tee Grizley

Axel Leon

Little Simz



Kodie Shane

Ali Tomineek

Fat Joe

Cyhi The Prynce


Ball Greezy

Denzel Curry

Ski Mask the Slump God

Zoey Dollaz


What do you think of this year’s line-up?


Here are a few of my favorite cyphers from previous years:


Click here for the full list of BET cypher line-ups.


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Underdog Story: Tito Lopez

Tito Lopez is an incredibly gifted rapper from Mississippi. He began to really generate buzz in 2011 when this video of him freestyling for Dr. Dre emerged.


It was confirmed he was working with Dre and all signs pointed to Lopez becoming a big name in hip-hop. Tito’s 2012 mixtape, The Hunger Game, was astounding and in that same year, he released two singles “Mama Proud” and “The Blues” which were his first works to be sold on iTunes.


Representing “the underdog”, Tito Lopez told a highly relatable story that resonated with listeners. His music spread like a virus to anybody who was exposed to the catchy vocals and impressive flow. In 2013, Lopez released, Y.O.U, which was a breathtaking mixtape and truly deserved to be an album. I think the project would’ve made a proper debut to introduce him to mainstream media. However, it remained a mixtape.


Suddenly, like the lost city of Atlantis, Tito seemingly vanished! It was as if he decided to become a monk or maybe he was kidnapped or something. I tried to find new music from him but returned empty handed.


In 2016, after years with absolutely no Internet presence, Tito Lopez finally came out of hiding. In an interview with Inspire Magazine, Lopez gave an update about what he’s been up to (watch the video at the bottom).


Simply put, he had a lot of family issues to take care of so he had to put recording to the side for some time. I respect that and, as a fan, it’s the most satisfying and understandable explanation. He chose to leave Capitol Records and he’s now with his independent label, GPT, which was his original crew. He now raps under the name Tito Lo which feels like it was a long time coming if you listen to the song “Black Dude Spanish Name.”


Tito seems to be making music again and hopefully he continues to do so for a long time. Check out Lo’s latest mixtape, The Emmett Trill EP, which he released in 2015. I didn’t know about its existence until recently because he changed his penname.


Watch the 3-part interview with Inspire below


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Russ’ Album Goes Gold

“There’s Really A Wolf” has officially earned gold status. The album was released at the beginning of May with all of the writing, recording, and editing done singlehandedly by the Atlanta emcee himself. Many people have criticized Russ for his arrogance but the truth is that he wouldn’t be where he is today without loving himself so much.



New Token Music Videos

Boston rap prodigy, Token, recently released a couple new music videos. After touring with Hopsin for the past year as an opening act, Token announced his upcoming headlining tour.


On August 8, Token released a music video titled “Dirty Flesh”. On August 16, he released another called “Have You Seen Him?”. The two videos are very well-directed and almost feel like movies. “Have You Seen Him?” begins where “Dirty Flesh” ends which makes me wonder if Token’s going to release a string of songs and videos forming a longer narrative (think R. Kelly’s Hip-Hopera “Trapped in the Closet”).


I guess we’ll have to wait and see.



What do you think of the videos?

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Everything We Know About Cyhi’s Album (So Far)

Fans of Cyhi the Prynce have been long awaiting a debut studio album.


After signing to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label in 2010, everyone was anticipating Cyhi’s moment to shine. Six years and two album-quality mixtapes later, the debut was still a no-show. In August 2015, he was released from his contract with Def Jam and made his way to Sony.


Cyhi’s indicated that he and Kanye (as well as other G.O.O.D. Music artists) are still on good terms. A few months ago, Prynce announced that his debut album, No Dope On Sundays, was finally finished. He’s assured that the project will arrive “very soon” although the actual release date is still unknown to the public.


Here is what we do know about No Dope On Sundays so far:


Cyhi’s still a part of G.O.O.D. Music

Although Def Jam handles distribution, Kanye originally founded G.O.O.D. Music in conjunction with Sony BMG. It appears that Cyhi’s move from Def Jam to Sony didn’t affect his position with G.O.O.D. Music. The upcoming project will be executive produced by Kanye West and is slated to feature ScHoolboy Q, Travi$ Scott, Pusha T, and more.


2 Chainz will be featured

Prynce posted a video of himself previewing a track including the album name and tagging Chainz in the description. I’d say it’s safe to assume the track is part of the album.


There’s one single already

So far, the only full track to be released is “Movin’ Around” (feat. ScHoolboy Q). Although the use of autotune is out of character for Cyhi the Prynce, I think he uses it decently. Based on the previews we’ve seen, not all of the songs will have autotuned vocals. Personally, I prefer Cyhi’s normal sound. That being said, it’s still a good song.


The album should be sick

This one is just my opinion but check out this video posted of him previewing an unknown track and tell me it doesn’t sound amazing.


Are you excited about the album?

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