Kendrick Lamar’s big hit right now is called “Humble.” But he can afford to shed a little of his humility right now. All 14 tracks from his new album are in the top 20 Streaming songs. He all 10 of the top 10, as well.
Kendrick’s album “Damn” is number 1 in sales and streaming, with a total of 610,417. About half of that was from streaming. Damn! This happened because Lamar went through conventional channels, released “Damn” properly and with a plan. Kanye West could have had those numbers for “Life of Pablo,” but he went the route of crazy. Maybe he can learn from that for his next release.
“Damn” has something for everyone. It’s a straight up rap album first of all, with lots of “f” and “n” words. But it’s also got Rihanna and U2 as featured acts on two different tracks.
Meantime, on the streaming singles chart, Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times” dropped to 33 from 12.
Otherwise, sales are up overall because of streaming. It’s all about streaming. And today is Record Store Day. In Manhattan, it’s a tall order to find a record store. In the “old” days, we had plenty of them– Bleecker Bob’s, Rocks in Your Head were in the indies. Tower was the main deal. It was Korvette’s when I was a kid.
Albums used to cost $5.98 at most. The vinyl was warped and scratched. The LPs were fun because of the covers, the booklets, etc. But when CDs came in I was thrilled. Now LPs cost between $20-$30 apiece. Are you kidding me? Really? It’s great that kids want the vinyl experience, but how could you possibly afford more than one LP? Insane. CDs are still a bargain, and they don’t skip.
PS This week Sylvia Moy died. She wrote or co-wrote most of Stevie Wonder’s hits and other Motown classics in the 60s. This was before Stevie recorded “Music of My Mind” and came into his own. Sylvia wrote “Ma Cherie Amour” and “I Was Made to Love Her,” among others. When I was in the Songwriters Hall of Fame we inducted her in 2006, and Stevie came and honored her. What a talent! Her legacy lives on.