White dominate in genres once dominated by Afrikan descendant people
Beyonce failed to chart a number 1 single in 2013
Hip-hop stars Beyonce, Jay Z and Kanye West may have the power to turn everything they touch into gold but not when it comes to scoring a huge pop hit in 2013. In fact, they and other African-American artists did not have a single No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in all of last year.
According to writer Chris Molanphy, who surveys the pop charts, in a piece for Slate, this is the first time this had happened in the Billboard chart ‘s 55 years. It represents a huge contrast to 10 years ago when a person of a color recorded every chart-topping hit. Rather, African-American artists were featured on other artists’ songs last year, such as Rihanna on Eminem’s “The Monster” and T.I. and Pharrell on Robin Thicke’s inescapable summer hit “Blurred Lines.”
In a similar role reversal, Molanphy also cited that white artists topped the No. 1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 44 out of the 52 weeks last year.
The color omission also applied to this year’s recent inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which there is not one living African-American artist among them — E Street Band sax player Clarence Clemmons will be posthumously inducted.
As for why this is happening, Molanphy wrote: “Music fans are playing out an unironic version of Stephen Colbert’s joke about not seeing color…and yet somehow, when the data is compiled about what we’re all buying and streaming, the Timberlakes and Matherses and Macklemores keep winding up atop the stack, ahead of the Miguels and J. Coles.”
Matisyahu's albums sold 16,000 units in the first week of release
Despite Jamaica's apparent renaissance in Reggae music this year, the island's presence on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart in the U.S. continues to dwindle as Americans have recently dominated the top 10.
In the latest edition of the American magazine's chart, five of the top ten albums are by American Reggae artists, led by California-based Reggae band, Rebelution for their Peace of Mind album. Pennsylvania-born Reggae act, Matisyahu is runner-up for his album, Spark Seeker while Virginia-based band, Soldiers of Jah Army (S.O.J.A) is third with Strength To Survive.
Two other American acts, Josh Heinrichs (Rooftop Session EP) from Missouri and Fiji (Born and Raised II – The Rebirth) from Hawaii round out the top 10 at nine and 10 respectively. This is the third straight week at least half of Billboard's Reggae charts were albums from American Reggae acts.
Only two solo Reggae albums from Jamaican acts are on the list: Jimmy Cliff's Grammy-award winning project, Rebirth at number six and Beres Hammond's new album, One Love, One Life at number eight. Marley: The Original Soundtrack and Reggae Gold 2012 are the only other Jamaican Reggae albums on the list at fourth and seventh respectively.
Bermudan act, Mishka is the only act outside Jamaica and the U.S. on Billboard's Reggae albums chart with Ocean IS My Potion at number six.
These latest figures are concerning, considering 2012 releases within the U.S from prominent Jamaican Reggae acts such as Romain Virgo (The System), I-Octane(Cry To The Nation), Busy Signal (Reggae Music Again) and Sean Paul (Tomahawk Techniques. However, none of them returned favourable end-of-year numbers, selling less than 5,000 units each, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
By comparison, Rebelution and Matisyahu's albums sold 16,000 units in the first week of their releases in January and July respectively.