Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Like Water Through a Skull...

After all the articles about how Rain or Se7en or BoA or whomever would be invading the American pop charts, who thought that Korea's first big chart success would be from a dredlocked guy doing dancehall reggae/hiphop? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Well, I'm amazed -- the first US single by Korean singer Skull, BOOM DI BOOM DI, has now hit the No. 5 spot on Billboard's R&B/hiphop singles chart. That's a solid five-spot jump from last week. He's also No. 17 on the hot pop singles chart.

I remember watching a video by Stoney Skunk (a duo Skull is a member of) on television a while back and thinking "What the hell?" After seeing acts like the Bubble Sisters, I was ready for the worst, and could not really listen to their music impartially.

But having listened to BOOM DI BOOM DI a couple of times (and seen the video), I find it catchy and interesting (and that is coming from a guy who usually loathes reggae/hiphop).

I just hope with all this success, he will earn enough money to buy a shirt. Poor guy looks chilly...

UPDATE: Well, here is a dubious note. No signs of Skull's single anywhere on the other Billboard singles charts except the sales charts -- the easiest charts to manipulate (because CD singles in the United States are so low, it only takes a couple hundred to make a big impact).

Look at the No. 1 song on the R&B sales chart -- Big Face's "Get My Weight Up" -- which does not appear anywhere on the regular R&B singles chart. That sort of thing does not look good.

Maybe there is a simple explanation. Or maybe I do not understand the charts well enough. I certainly hope my cynicism is misplaced. I guess we shall see...

UPDATE 2: I just talked to my editors at BILLBOARD, and they said it is not unusual for an artist to chart on the sales charts but not elsewhere, especially when an artist is just starting out. So it is very possible that my earlier reaction was off-base. Interesting how quickly the rumors get going in Korea, though. Jealousy, I guess.

UPDATE 3: Newest charts are out. BOOM DI BOOM DI is up one to No. 4 this week on the R&B/Hiphop Sales chart... but down two on the overall singles sales chart. You can use the same link in the main story. Apparently BILLBOARD does not offer historical sales charts (at least not for free).

No comments: