Despite album sales suffering a steep decline over the past years, single sales have conversely & steadily reported upward trends since the advent of download services such as Itunes, Amazon, and more.
And while pop acts like Rihanna, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, & Lady Gaga have seen their names atop many a digital tally in months past, a rap act has acted as a silent dominator – boasting almost double single sales of many of his nearest hip hop competitors.
With Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Lil Wayne, and others consistently reigning as hip hop heavyweight champs over pop and urban charts, see who Billboard recently named the best selling rapper of the ‘digital age’ (comprised of data reviewed from 2003-2012). It may come as quite the surprise…
It’s Flo Rida!
“…on the list of all-time best-selling digital songs from 2003 to the present, Flo has five entries in the top 200. Leading the pack is “Low” (#7, 6.4 million), “Right Round” (#28, 5.2 million), “Good Feeling” (#99, 3.4 million), “Wild Ones” (#123, 3 million) and “Club Can’t Handle Me” (#165, 2.9 million).”
In addition to holding the record for most digital downloads in a week( ‘Low’ with 636k), the hip pop star also saw his latest #1 ‘Whistle’ recently pass the 4 million mark – thusly cementing Flo’s status as digital rap ruler. Note: His collective albums sales, contrarily, have yet to pass the 2 million mark.
What does this all mean?
Much like the Nelly‘s of yesteryear and Drake’s of today, Flo Rida has earned much critique from devout hip hoppers that his sing/rap style lends little (street) credibility. The pop fusion of his offerings, much like Ushers, Chris Browns, and co. have left fans wondering if it takes ‘selling out’ to land a hit. It’s no secret that despite filling albums with bass-thumping urban cuts, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and more have seen their biggest hits be the product of
poo pop persuasion.
An interesting turn as 10 years ago saw hip hop be the route many-an-artist (some awkwardly or unsuccessfully so) take to land themselves atop charts. But, now with Flo Rida being the king of riding the line between hip hop and pop, it begs the question: does having a multifaceted (fused) sound make one a sell-out?
When does being “different (or experimenting)” turn into “selling out”?