Product Vs. Promotion: Alicia Keys – ‘In Common’

Published: Tuesday 26th Jul 2016 by Rashad
alicia keys in common thatgrapejuice product promotion

By 2012, 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys began seeing her once hot sales streak cool.

The ‘Girl On Fire’ – whose first three albums consecutively topped the Billboard 200 and her fourth, ‘The Element of Freedom,’ delivered fair numbers in comparison – was no longer burning up the charts in means fans had become accustomed to.  In fact, some 12 years after her commercially and critically acclaimed debut ‘Songs in A Minor’ (2000), the ivory tickling diva didn’t exactly find much to laugh about when her fifth album, ‘Fire,’ crashed and burned after making a #1 debut to the first week sum of 159,000 – almost a third of what ‘Freedom’s first week declared just three years prior

Taking a period to cool off to focus on philanthropy and family (see:  giving birth to her second child in late 2014), the singer/songwriter continued to tease new music throughout the downtime – even promising fans something they “wouldn’t expect.”

That promise was finally manifested in May 2016 thanks to ‘In Common’

‘Common’ – a Soca/Dancehall-tinged tune – came as quite the sonic departure for the piano playing performer given her track record for kicking off projects with numbers of slower tempo. And, if the initial critical reception was anything to go by, the risk not only paid off, but Keys was quickly on the comeback trail to prominence. Instrumentally, the bass-buoyed bop got a “thumbs up” for being a standout from Keys’ catalog as well as the sound dominating today’s radio. Elsewhere, ‘Common’s vocal arrangement also earned a nod from listeners who’d grown weary of the Grammy winner’s tendency to strain or yell through recorded and live performances.

Yet, while an overwhelming number seemed to have positive reviews “in common” in response to Keys’ crack at a comeback, to date the tune hasn’t exactly been able to mirror that reception commercially. Getting its official live TV launch via ‘SNL,’ ‘Common’ has since been performed to a world stage on the year’s UEFA Champions League Final and taken to the 2016 BET Awards in an unconventional showing that saw the singer play several instruments at once while singing the song. Despite the multi-tasking maestra’s moving live attempts to hoist the song up the Hot 100, apparently viewers were none-to-impressed. For, as of time reporting, it has peaked at the top of the bottom (see: Bubbling Under Charts).

To ‘Common’s credit, her team has only afforded it a “soft launch,” meaning it has not been made widely available to every applicable radio format. An understandable move given the amount of dollars pumped into the star’s last project, ‘Fire,’ which undoubtedly did not yield the anticipated return. To play it safe, her label home has shipped the song solely to rhythmic and R&B radio and, as peruse of related charts reveals, its performance on Billboard’s R&B charts to date clearly indicates a strong level of interest. However, its iTunes and streaming figures – especially for an artist of Alicia’s magnitude – are singing a different tune.

Simply put: where is ‘In Common’ incorrect? Have Keys and co. been choosing the wrong outlets and arenas to promote the song or is it simply a big misstep by itself? In other words…

Your thoughts?

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  1. Ughhhh July 26, 2016

    That song was a hit. She promoted it well and the product was great. It’s the digital aged millennials. For one they don’t know good music, two they are able to consume way to much music at once and three they sleep on artistry. They like catchy bullshît that they can thot too.

    • x_x July 26, 2016

      Neither. Words spreads. Women don’t support homewreckers. Old news that caught wind. And well..

  2. Charlieyoncé July 26, 2016

    Good song, poor promotion. 😒

    • Dev July 26, 2016

      I agree. I think her mistake was trying to be all earthy with the multi instrument playing, but instead she should’ve stuck with the original production and put more effort into the video and stage performances.

      If Keys had learned some steps, got a few dancer and put on a visual with maybe some african drummer and steel pan layers to mix it up a bit this would’ve been better to watch at least

      • Charlieyoncé July 26, 2016

        I concur! She let that song down so much, it had so much potential! It would’ve been a perfect comeback smash hit song for her if she’d played her cards right. Oh well. 😕

  3. ENOUGH ONIKA July 26, 2016


    • Ughhhh July 26, 2016

      A word used by every guy that has slept with you.

  4. iSpeakTruthNoFallacy July 26, 2016

    Although it sounded like a remake of Drake’s Take Care, I have thoroughly loved In Common. I love the message and the vibes that it gives off. When it comes to the problem of its success, it has absolutely nothing to do with the product or the promotion rather the socio-political climate of this country. At the current moment, there are only two artists who get regular spins on Top 40 radio, so it’s difficult for any artist of color. Furthermore as a Adele has become the great white hope for the music industry, Alicia’s place in the mainstream music scene has been replaced. The only thing for Alicia to do is realize that a part of her career is over and now operate like a true legend does. As the new material has a similar sound, I would love to see her do a jazz album, and to further perform for dignitaries around the world.

  5. LB July 26, 2016

    But why did you delete the other post when I was about to drop this drag on the Tweedy stan?

  6. Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

    Umm, wtf happened to the Beyonce VMA post!??

    • iSpeakTruthNoFallacy July 26, 2016

      I thought I was tripping; I wanted to read it. Are the VMA Noms out already?

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

        Yeah! The post was up like 2.5 seconds ago

    • HailLegendBeysus July 26, 2016

      MTV VMA VOTY Nominations:

      •Hello – Adele
      •Formation – Beyoncé
      •Hotline Bling – Drake
      •Sorry – Justin Bieber
      •Famous – Kanye West
      Where is Work???? 😂😖😂😖😂😖

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

        HOLD UP!
        They snubbed Work!?? lol. Formation, a top 10 that wasn’t released until months after Bey’s SuperBowl performance, received a nom but Work didn’t. Despite the fact that it was #1…
        Wow, the shade is too real

      • iSpeakTruthNoFallacy July 26, 2016

        Nope didn’t get nominated…I guess Jay Z slobbed on a knob better than Rih could.

  7. #JACKIE July 26, 2016

    I thought it was a nice song. I don’t know why it flopped.

    • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

      A kiss it better tea

    • The Great Lacefronce. July 26, 2016

      95% of CEDRICS discography is a flop you should be familiar with the term by now😟

      • #JACKIE July 26, 2016


  8. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    Loose bottom still stanning Leona? 😩💀💀💀

    • LB July 26, 2016

      Is Only Human gold yet?

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Is Leona still playing second fiddle to Nicole?

      • LB July 26, 2016

        Not Spirit outselling Tweedy’s entire discography. So much for the biggest female artist in the UK after Adele.

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Talking about a FAD, how did that fourth album do? Did it even go tin foil?

      • LB July 26, 2016

        Did only human after X Factor and dating a Directioner for relevance?

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Whatever tragic question that was made absolutely no sense, but didn’t Leona get dropped two times in the last 3 years?

      • LB July 26, 2016

        But Tweedy has still been unable to outsell Leona’s one album.

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Meanwhile spirit will be the only thing Leona ever has. Didn’t know you clung so hard to one hit wonders ki

      • LB July 26, 2016

        And yet Spirit has more impact than Tweedy’s entire career.

        The fact that Tweedy will never see Spirit’s sales.

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Ki when spirit was full of covers, ok sis. How is I am selling?

      • LB July 26, 2016

        Spirit still sold more records than Cheryl will ever sell.

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        But I am?

    • Mrkc9 July 26, 2016

      WHERES Cheryl’s nom? Oh yeah wait shes only relevant these days because shes dating someone from one direction….. MY BAD!

  9. hoeimHERE July 26, 2016

    At this point in her career its not about having a number one singer or proving anything to anyone. She has a solid fan base that will buy her album once it releases as well as support her tour once she embarks on it no matter what music she has out now

  10. Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

    It was cute if Rih sung the song it would have been a hit. Sucks the song made no impact like Cheryl’s career.

    • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

      I thought you were a Black Lives Matter “supporter”…
      Whats up with the Selena Gomez avi?

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Clock it sis

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

        If Molly stays in her lane, there wont be any accidents.

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Right sis. In the alley waiting for her customers?

      • Annalise July 26, 2016

        DEATH!!!! That WH00RE supports Selena HŒmez, who just outted herself as a racist. Oh the irony! KIIIII! Clearly black lives don’t matter to Mildred-the-Biracial-Maid 😆

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Deathhhhh scalp it sis

  11. LB July 26, 2016

    Sucks the song made no impact like Cheryl’s career

    Crying real tears!!! The Cheryl stan is so easy to drag lmao

    • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

      Kiii right and not tyra playing its bodyguard I can’t 😂

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

        Change your avi. You have 5 minutes.

  12. © Centurion ::. July 26, 2016

    TGJ was caught lying about Beyonce’s 11 VMA nominations. 😂 They weren’t even out yet. No wonder they deleted the Beyonce post. The bias is really appalling and speaks volume, thus the struggle AIexā ranking 🙃

  13. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    Deathhhhh at lb clinging to a hooters bar maid. My impact. Not you clinging to racist trash who stans an all lives matter girl who stays taking Ls.

    • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

      Girl your favs a racist your home girl Annalise already spilt that TEA.

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        SIS your fave just got scalped last week. Stay in your alley ☕️

  14. LB July 26, 2016

    Gurl, Tweedy’s second marriage lasted longer than her career

  15. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    The irony when it stans a girl that’s been dropped from 2 labels in the last 3 years.

  16. LB July 26, 2016


    Did she really get 11 nominations or did The struggle juice lie?

    • © Centurion ::. July 26, 2016

      As we speak, MTV is now announcing the nominations.

    • iSpeakTruthNoFallacy July 26, 2016

      She really did get 11 noms even though half are in the professional category that are non-voting.

      • LB July 26, 2016

        Good for her

  17. LB July 26, 2016

    The fact that Leona’s Christmas album can go gold and yet Only Human can’t after X Factor and dating a one directioner, the struggle is real.

  18. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    But how did I AM do? I’m still waiting for that.

    • Mrkc9 July 26, 2016

      “Only Human” yes Cheryl thats why we forgive you for being a terrible singer 😘

  19. LB July 26, 2016

    Unlike Only Human, I am got an international release, something Tweedy can’t get.

  20. LB July 26, 2016

    To add to the list of things Tweedy cannot do, belt like this

  21. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    It has yet to answer the question. How did it do? We’re still waiting

  22. LB July 26, 2016


    I don’t know why it is shouting racist when it’s fav slaps black bathroom attendants.

    • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

      Kiiiii right boo and calls them “black jigaboo b******”

    • © Centurion ::. July 26, 2016

      SCREAMING!!!! Bruh… Nnnnooooo! I YELLED 😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • RihNavy July 26, 2016


  23. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    What is I ams chart position? Why is it deflecting w videos of girls who chart in the top 1500?

  24. Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

    Are you stupid, simple, or slow?
    Beyonce was in fact nominated for 11 VMA’s this year. You can look at all of the VMA nominees on MTV’s website.
    Google is your friend. Its really not that hard

    • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

      Sis it has like 5 brain cells. Bush babies have small brains

    • iSpeakTruthNoFallacy July 26, 2016

      The noms just came out 7min ago; he’s good.

  25. Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

    Kiii I just love how tyra is defending someone who Stans for a racist kiii Cheryl Cole is racist boo boo

    • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

      Stop playing dumb! Because I don’t even use Cheryl Cole.
      How can you call yourself a Black Lives Matter supporter when you stan for Selena Gomez? You’re a fake ass b****

  26. LB July 26, 2016

    Why can’t the biggest female artist after Adele go Gold or outsell Spirit after X Factor and dating a One Directioner?

  27. Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

    @Molly the Maid
    Do Black lives really matter to you? You’re sporting a Selena Gomez avi. So evidently they dont *sips lemonade*

    • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

      Your defending someone who stans for someone who racially assulated a black woman so why are you talking ?

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

        B**** I’m not defending any muthafuckin body. I’m calling you out and putting you in your place.

      • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

        Lmao faaag please this had nothing to do with you until you wanted to play captain save a hoeeee. 😂

      • RihNavy July 26, 2016

        Kiiii Mildred you are getting DRAGGEDT, hunTEA

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

        One of these days, Ima find your IP address and whoop yo racist ass.

      • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

        Kiii do it so I can have that ass arrested.

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

        Already visualizing myself duct-taping that mouth

      • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

        You’re fucccking psychotic

    • RihNavy July 26, 2016


  28. #formulation 🐸☕ July 26, 2016

    The song flopped because it was s***…

    Not shade, I’m an Alicia fan…

  29. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    Sis but what are I ams sales? You try so hard to deflect but the fact is your fave went from 2 mil to 10k in 4 years.

    • Mrkc9 July 26, 2016

      I didnt know a cheryl stan was even cool enough to use the word “sis”?🙈😳

  30. LB July 26, 2016

    I am still waiting for an answer as to why the biggest UK female artist after Adele cannot go Gold or outsell Spirit, when she had X Factor and is dating a One Directioner

    • Mrkc9 July 26, 2016

      Don’t shame poor Amy like that. She might be deas but she was still bigger than trashy cheryl

  31. MUSICHEAD July 26, 2016

    Alicia Keys can’t afford to shy too far away from an urban sound because her fanbase is mostly urban. The problem with that tho is she can’t sell records without pop radio which means she has to carefully balance urban music that is pop friendly. It’s going to be difficult for her because pop radio doesn’t play black r&b artists anymore and urban is dominated by rap. Her name still carries weight tho so she will probably get another Gold album even without any strong hits.

  32. RihNavy July 26, 2016


  33. RihNavy July 26, 2016

    That VMA post is gonna be in shambles. Let me go to Starbucks and get my frappucino & my burrito bowl from Chipotle to prepare my soul

  34. Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016

    @Molly the Maid
    Lets be real, you don’t want these problems

    • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

      Lmao you’re so lame tyra

      • Cops Give A Damn About A Negro. Pull A Trigger Kill A N**** He’s A Hero (Tyler) July 26, 2016


    • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

      Clock that prostitute.

      • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016

        Oh I’m the prositute when you admitted to sleeping with over 20 men?

      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Sis where? You literally said you suck and swallow a d!!ck a week 😂😂😂

      • Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch July 26, 2016


      • CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

        Saying “I suck a lot of d!!ck” to me and Alyssa 😂😂😂

  35. CherylSoldierr July 26, 2016

    How did Leona go from spirit to Nicole’s understudy?

  36. Jennifer July 26, 2016

    I think In Common is her best first single since You Dont Know My Name and deserved to be a hit…but people nowadays support trash or overrated singers so…
    Btw she doesnt need a hit, she is still the best RnB female artist of her generation. She just need to release a great album.

  37. Annalise July 26, 2016

    KIIIIII my name stays on MILDRED’S mouth like the cüm she guzzles. I CAN’T!!!!

    • RihNavy July 26, 2016

      HAHSHRHDGD!!! Lmao get in the other post sis! I’ve spilled TEA on LB & Centurion and they have yet to refute my claims

      • Annalise July 26, 2016

        LMFAOOOOO the lashings the Nazi are receiving are brutal!! Lemme join in and Kiii kii!!!!

  38. JOHNVIDAL July 26, 2016

    She´s one of the best singer-SONGWRITERS of the last 20 years regardless.

  39. JOHNVIDAL July 26, 2016

  40. Jec2 July 26, 2016

    The song is whack is she is an overhyped “Clive-kid” with an inability to sustain a pitch. And the song is lame. The first 3 mins of her BET performance looked liked a mistake. Less toking please.

  41. Justafan July 26, 2016

    Ok. The issue here is that ‘common’ sounds like a half baked Take Care plus her new image is not right. You ain’t India Arie guuurrl!!!!

  42. ow Reddish tran ivy blokz Need UK timely Ukuyikiji July 28, 2016

    The song is nice

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