Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Chart Triumph: Doja Cat's 'Paint the Town Red' Reclaims Rap's Billboard Hot 100 Crown

In a historic moment for the rap genre, Doja Cat's "Paint the Town Red" has soared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, ending a year-long absence of rap songs at the chart's pinnacle.

"Paint the Town Red" debuted at a respectable No. 15, but it took the Hot 100 by storm, claiming the No. 1 position after just five weeks. This remarkable feat puts an end to four consecutive weeks of country songs dominating the chart, with Zach Bryan's "I Remember Everything" slipping to No. 2 this week.

For Doja Cat, this achievement is nothing short of extraordinary. "Paint the Town Red" marks her second song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, following her collaboration with Nicki Minaj on "Say So" in 2020. The track achieved this feat with 32.1 million radio airplay audience impressions, 27.7 million streams, and 8,000 downloads in the first week of September. Its success has been further fueled by a viral TikTok dance challenge.

The last rap song to reach the No. 1 spot was Minaj's "Super Freaky Girl" on August 12, 2022, marking a 54-week rap drought. Notably, the late '90s and early 2000s witnessed a similar hiatus between rap No. 1 hits, with rap songs absent from the top spot between Will Smith's "Wild Wild West" in July 1999 and Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" in February 2001.

"Paint the Town Red" carries additional significance due to its sampling of Dionne Warwick's "Walk on By," last on the Hot 100 at No. 6 in 1964. This sampling posthumously rewards songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, both celebrated for their previous No. 1 hits. Bacharach, whose career spanned 55 years, co-wrote eight Hot 100 No. 1s, while David, who passed away in 2012, co-wrote five No. 1s, all with Bacharach.

Following her chart-topping success, Doja Cat has unveiled the tracklist for her fourth studio album, "Scarlet," scheduled for release on Friday, September 22. This 15-track album includes "Paint the Town Red," alongside previously released hits like "Demons" and "Attention." "Scarlet" notably boasts no featured artists, signaling Doja Cat's determination to shine as a solo artist.

"Scarlet" follows Doja Cat's 2021 album "Planet Her," which generated multiple Hot 100 top ten hits and featured the Grammy-winning collaboration "Kiss Me More" with SZA. Doja Cat's chart-topping "Paint the Town Red" now solidifies her position as a leading figure in the rap and hip-hop scene.

Monday, September 11, 2023

VP Kamala Harris Shimmies to Iconic Beats at Hip-Hop's 50th Bash

Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a gala celebration at the vice presidential residence in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. The event featured a lineup of iconic hip-hop artists and pioneers, including Common, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, and more

The celebration marked a significant milestone in the genre's history, with hip-hop enthusiasts from across the nation gathering to honor its cultural impact. Harris, a self-professed fan of hip-hop, emphasized its profound influence on American culture.

"Hip-hop is the ultimate American art form," Harris declared. "It tells stories that often go unheard, serving as a powerful medium for truth. As the great Chuck D once said, rap is Black America's CNN. It calls us to action."
The event, a collaborative effort between Harris's team, the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective, and Live Nation Urban, drew approximately 400 guests. DJ D Nice, renowned for his Club Quarantine events during the pandemic, co-hosted the celebration, adding musical flair to the festivities.

Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff embraced the hip-hop spirit, dancing to classic tunes, including Q-Tip's "Vivrant Thing." The celebration showcased hip-hop's evolution from a local phenomenon in the Bronx to a global cultural force, intertwined with social and racial justice movements.

Notable political figures in attendance included Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland and Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri. The event underscored Harris's connection to hip-hop, a cultural touchstone that resonates deeply with a diverse range of Americans.

The celebration also featured electrifying performances, with Lil Wayne making a surprise appearance and thrilling the audience with a rendition of "Mrs. Officer" from his critically acclaimed album "Tha Carter III."

Friday, September 8, 2023

Lil Wayne Honored with BMI Icon Award at 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards

The 2023 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, a showcase of music excellence, unfolded at Miami Beach's LIV Nightclub this past Wednesday. Presented by BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), the event shone a spotlight on artists and creators who have profoundly shaped the R&B and Hip-Hop genres.

Lil Wayne, a BMI cornerstone for over two decades, claimed the prestigious BMI Icon Award—a testament to his astounding legacy. With an impressive 53 BMI Awards, his influence on the music landscape continues to evolve. BMI President/CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI VP of Creative Catherine Brewton, based in Atlanta, presented this honor, lauding Lil Wayne's transformative impact on Hip-Hop and aspiring artists.

The event was punctuated by electrifying performances, commencing with an enthralling medley from Big Freedia, followed by Bobby V's rendition of "Mrs. Officer." NLE Choppa ignited the audience with his take on "A Milli," while Trombone Shorty delivered a spellbinding set.

Lil Wayne joins an elite cadre of music creators, including Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and James Brown, who have forever altered the industry.

Adding to the evening's accolades, rising star Ice Spice was awarded the inaugural BMI Impact Award. In just two years, Ice Spice has garnered acclaim with four top 10 hits on the Hot 100, collaborating with luminaries like Taylor Swift, Pink Pantheress, Nicki Minaj and Aqua.

BMI also celebrated the previous year's top producers and songwriters for the 35 most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs in the U.S. The coveted Song of the Year award was clinched by "About Damn Time," authored by Ricky Reed and Blake Slatkin and brought to life by Lizzo. This track, which held the Billboard Hot 100's top spot for two weeks, also secured a Grammy for Record of the Year.

The Songwriter of the Year honor was shared by three outstanding artists. Chris Brown, known for hits like "Baddest," "Come Through," and "Under the Influence," was among them. Doja Cat, celebrated for her contributions to tracks like "Get Into It (Yuh)," "Vegas," and "Woman," also shared the title. Tems, known for impactful songs like "Free Mind," "Lift Me Up," and "Wait for U," completed the trio.

Tay Keith and Lil Yachty shared the title of Producer of the Year, a tribute to their roles in crafting hits such as "Jimmy Cooks" by Drake, "Rich Flex" by Drake and 21 Savage, and "Hot Sh-t" by Cardi B featuring Kanye West and Lil Durk. The ceremony also recognized other outstanding producers, including ATL Jacob, Rob Bisel, Dougie F, Finatik N Zac, RiotUSA and Metro Boomin.

Sony Music Publishing was hailed as BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Publisher of the Year, representing a significant portion of the previous year's most-performed songs, including the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year, "About Damn Time," as well as hits like "Break My Soul," "Get Into It (Yuh)" and "First Class."

In commemoration of 50 years of Hip-Hop, BMI united a constellation of stars, each representing a distinct chapter in the genre's history. New York was brought to life by Ja Rule and Doug E. Fresh, while Too Short celebrated the West Coast. Representing Atlanta, the Ying Yang Twins delivered an explosive performance. Flo Milli introduced the Miami sounds of Trick Daddy and Trina, and other captivating performances included Mannie Fresh and Capella Grey.