Saturday, September 12, 2009

Can I Get a Suuuu... for iTunes?

When you break down the catalogs and quiz me on lyrics from Jay-Z and Wu-Tang albums, my standom – this may surprise you – for Jay’s music would get a much higher score. You saw me rooting for Rae’s new album not because I dislike Jay (truthfully he’s in my top 5), but because I wanted to root for the underdog. Picking between two mainstream audience holders like Kanye and 50 a couple of years ago was one thing, but Rae vs. Jay in a SoundScan battle? It’s not even a fair fight. Still, I put my energy into highlighting the Chef’s release to, again, help out the underdog.

Once the albums had already reached their release date, I was surprised to learn that Rae was ahead of Jay on iTunes’ album chart. Huh? How could that happen? Jay-Z had two songs (“D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)” and, more prominently, “Run This Town”) blowing up radio stations all across the country. Rae had a couple of underground cuts to keep the heads hungry for more. Just as far as reaching an audience, Jay’s dominance was unquestionable. So how could Rae top Jay on the charts? Well, for starters, I noticed that iTunes had two versions for The Blueprint 3 on its list: one with bonus tracks, one without. Still, I would have assumed that either of these two versions would have outsold Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II by leaps and bounds. Which leads me to my next question/conspiracy theory: Is iTunes telling the truth?

I have very little material with which to make this claim other than the fact that back in 2007, Jay-Z quite publicly made it a point that he was not selling his new American Gangster album via the Apple Inc.-operated store. I’m sure they didn’t take kindly to this decision. Now truth be told, I don’t see how denying Jay the top spot on iTunes’ albums chart would be a way to effectively counter-attack him for his move in 2007, but it still makes me wonder… Again, as big of a supporter I am for Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, I can’t for the life of me explain or even imagine how it beat The Blueprint 3 for the top spot. For me, it’s still a mystery… but what do you think?