FACT: PSY's "Gangnam Style" Will Be The First Video With A Billion Views

Did you know that the internet can be used as a forum for intelligent discussion and as a platform for discovery? It’s true!

PSY’s “Gangnam Style” is a viral smash, the likes of which has never been seen before. It’s been viewed hunderds of millions of times (north of 550 million at press time). It’s already got the Guiness World record for being the most liked video of all time. But it doesn’t look like that’s the only record the video is going to smash.

The good nerds over at ChannelMeter have access to reams of proprietary Youtube data on popular channels and videos. On Friday, the company posted a piece to their industry analysis blog Inside ChannelMeter that stated, according to their projections,”Gangnam Style” would be the first video to break the billion view barrier.

That the clip is already on its way to being the most watched video on Youtube is already a foregone conclusion; ChannelMeter bets that “Gangnam Style” will pass Justin Bieber’s “Baby” on or before November 21st. Just in time for Thanksgiving!


EDM's Nouveau Riche And Hip-Hop's Old Money: Comparing The Top Earners

A lot has been made about EDM’s rise to prominence in the U.S., especially by us. Assertions about the genre’s popularity were previously observations of the cultural zeitgeist. Beiber going over a “dubstep” beat. Paris Hilton tryingand failing, in spectacular fashion”to DJ. The return of rave culture and all of the wonderful, sweaty gyrations that accompany the scene. In early June, however, there was another metric by which we could measure the success of many of EDM’s finest: Cash money.

CelebrityNetWorth.com came out with a list of the Top 30 richest DJs in the world earlier in June (seen right). Now, there are a couple of surprises on this list. For example, despite having a hand in producing two of 2011’s biggest hits in “Look At Me Now” and “Give Me Everything,” Afrojack somehow finds himself at the bottom of this list with a purported net worth of $2 million. Also, the list is lopsided in terms of seniority. The top fifteen earners, from The Chemical Brothers down to Tií«sto at number 1, have mostly been in the game since the ’90s, with the arguable exception of David Guetta. The rest, however, are almost all young upstarts like Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, and Skrillex.

This list isn’t the full story either. No list of unfeeling numbers can capture the extent of the sweet life that many DJs live. Sure, always being on tour can be tough on one’s personal relationships. But these guys (and the list is all male, as it happens) are playing music for a living! The women, drugs, relative fame, and parties aren’t bad either.

But with this new information comes new comparisons. Fresh comparisons. Dope comparisons. Swag comparisons. You know where we’re going with this.

Forbes releases a number of music-earning lists annually and none carry the same weight as their installments covering the richest and top earning in Hip-Hop. There are two lists reflecting the amount of paper that the biggest in the rap game can throw around; Cash Kings: Hip-Hop’s Top Earners and The Forbes Five: Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artists.


Diddy's Making Dirty Money, 50 Cent's Worth More Than A Dime And Birdman Has A Freaking Oil Well, NBD

Forbes recently released their list of the world’s richest individuals. Mexico’s telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim is the richest man in the world two years running and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are still in the Top 5. So not much interesting news going on there. However, Forbes also released their list of the Top 5 richest rappers to accompany their billionaires’ list, giving the whole proceedings a much more pimp flavor.

Sean “Diddy” Combs has topped the list this year with a staggering $475 million dollars. No surprise there as the man is the ultimate entrepreneur. In the world of  hip hop music, making money is the opposite of selling out: it’s the name of the game. Diddy has no competition in that department even if he’s not the best rapper in the world. You name it, be it clothes, business management, brand development or what have you, Diddy has his hands in it. Jay-Z comes in at a surprisingly close second with $450 mil, his income likely more tied to his mammoth record sales and his position as the head of Roc Nation. Plus Beyoncé is his wifey. Finally, Dr. Dre rounds out the Top 3 with $125 million, a large chunk of which can probably be linked to those now ubiquitous Beats headphones (which now come in Justin Bieber flavor!).

The real surprise on this list is entrant tied with 50 Cent for the Number 4 spot: Birdman.

Wait, wait wait. Bird-who? Who-man?

True, Bryan “Birdman” Williams is not a hit maker on the same level as the other rappers on this list. In fact, I challenge you to name one of Birdman’s hits from any point in his career. That’s not to say he hasn’t produced hit tracks before, but it’s telling that he’s only had seven Billboard Top 100 hits throughout his career, none of them falling withing the Top 20. Compare that record to the string of hits that any of the other rappers on this list have come out with. It will pale in comparison. So where is Birdman getting all of his paper?

First, he’s the head of Cash Money Records. Cash Money initially blew up when they signed a $30 million dollar distribution deal with Universal. The company counts Young Money Records, home of Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake among others, as an imprint. Impressive, but pretty standard stuff  in the record business. What is it that really sets Birdman apart from the rest of his fellow Forbes rappers?

It’s oil. Which explains this tattoo.

Oh yes, that's a picture of an oil derrick.

In 2009, Birdman and brother Ronald “Slim” Williams began the Bronald Oil & Gas Company. Bronald is dedicated to “working cooperatively with governments and private enterprise to recover energy from reserves throughout North and Central America in an environmentally friendly manner”. While news of the enterprise was initially met with either shrugs or jokes it appears that the Williams brothers have done well for themselves on this one. Not only that but some commentators who know a lot more about the oil business then we do report that “indie oil companies”, like Bronald, are the future of the industry. So kudos to Birdman for having the temerity to break into such a competitive industry.

And kudos for getting that paper. Scrilla, chedda, scratch or green; you name it, Birdman’s got it.

Has Gaga Backed Herself Into A Conceptual Corner?

Lady Gaga has been all the rage the last couple years, and probably for good reason: she plays piano, sings well, designs her own clothes and writes her own music. Oh yeah, and she spends copious amounts of time being as weird as she possibly can. But, over the last few months, it’s starting to look like she’s gradually painted herself into a corner. This culminated a few weeks ago at the GRAMMY’s when she showed up in a giant egg carried in by four men and then hatched on stage. This may be the latest episode in the Gaga saga, but the constant one-upping of her strangeness has been going on for a long time now. The question is, where can she go from here?

Let’s face it, Gaga goes out of her way to be different for the sake of being different. Consider the raw meat dress she wore to the VMAs. Supposedly it was a retaliatory symbol against gays being discharged from the military, but wearing a meat dress hardly seems an effective medium for protest. And it doesn’t make any sense. And of course there was her see-through beekeeper costume that she wore to her sister’s high school graduation, and her “Alejandro” video that even Katy Perry called blasphemous. Is she beginning to plateau, though? More recently she has been sporting shoulder and face horns in public and gave birth to evil in her latest video (literally). It may be getting a bit stale at this point, but she did bring home $62 million in 2010, according to Forbes, which makes it tough to criticize her life choices.

Lady Gaga and Madonna comparison

Another point of Gaga controversy of late has been over her alleged rip off of Madonna. Idolator has a complete breakdown of the possible similarities, so we’ll let you make the call for yourself. One thing is for certain, however: more and more people are starting to question Lady Gaga and her longevity. Her much anticipated Born This Way will drop in late May through Interscope, so we’ll soon find out if they’re onto something. Let us know what you think in the comment space below!

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Coldplay signs huge recording contract with Universal

In fact, it’s so huge the figure can’t even fit on your computer monitor. Coldplay recently re-signed to Universal Music”the world’s largest music publishing company. Neither has released details about the contract, but it’s speculated to be one of the biggest in music history and worth millions to each of Coldplay’s four band members. Looks like Apple and Moses Martin will have a big Christmas this year.

Jenny and Johnny to release album on August 31st

Sure, we’re excited about this collaboration between Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis and her boyfriend, songwriter Jonathan Rice. The album is called I’m Having Fun Now and comes out on August 31st. (You can pre-order it on iTunes right now if you want.) But, if we’re being honest, the real reason why we’re writing about the new Jenny and Johnny record is so that we can share their awesome cassette tape music player with you. Listen to the songs and watch the tape move back and forth. Now we’re having fun.

The Bad

Jay-Z tops Forbes list


Coming in at a cool $63 mill, Jay-Z makes the top of Forbes highest-paid rappers list for the second year in a row. According to Buzzfeed, it may have little to do with lyrical adroitness. Check out this list of the worst lyrics by the world’s richest rappers. It’s a hoot.

The Ugly

New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys to tour together

New Kids On The Block

If you don’t know who these bands are, you’re a lot cooler than us and may want to skip ahead to the next section ¦

¦OK, now that all the youngbloods are gone, OMG can you believe NKOTB and BSB are gonna tour!!! Hanging Tough AND Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)? Surely there is no arena on Earth that can handle a show this rad. In conclusion, JORDAN KNIGHT!!!

And we’re done.