How the numbers show this is a one-sided debate

NOTICE: With the success of Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy,” fans and publications are starting to wonder if he has reached the level of the late King of Pop.

For several decades, dozens of music lovers have been crying out for the anointing of the next Michael jackson. Bailiff, Justin timberlake, The weekend, Chris Brown, Beyonce and Bruno Mars have all been endorsed by fans, blogs, and magazines as the heir apparent to the late King of Pop.

Now it is apparently Duckit’s your turn.

Rap star Drake (left) and the late Michael Jackson (right) have been the subjects of comparison, for whatever reason. (Photos: Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images and Liaison)

With the release of his sixth album, Boy in love certified, Drake is in thin air as the LP not only broke unprecedented streaming numbers, but nine songs reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 100, the most Top 10 pop singles on an album. The previous record – seven – was previously held by Jackson’s album in 1982. Polar, as reported by Billboard (as good as Rhythm Nation 1814, his younger sister’s 1989 album, Janet Jackson).

As Drake’s sustained success reaches its peak, sites now wonder if this massive attention is akin to Jackson at the height of his fame, leading debaters to flock to social media to engage in a furious dialogue about Drake’s validity. vying for the throne of Jackson.

It’s time to put this conversation to bed.

History can sometimes be a deceptive thing. Author Nelson george once wrote that perception is almost as important as facts when it comes to history. Music leaves so much room for insightful thinking. It is important to understand that music is subjective. Period.

There has to be some level of acceptance that artists experience a depreciation of cultural relevance and context with each passing generation. We cannot and must not condemn older listeners who appreciate Drake’s music more than Jackson’s simply because of contemporary programming, nor those who might have rated Jackson before. James brown.

Few rap artists have managed to produce hits as consistently as Drake in American history, like it or not. His accomplishments should be recognized and respected when you place him next to his peers.

But Drake and Jackson are not even.

Due to the subjectivity of the music and personal preferences, there will be no comparison of the quality of an individual song between the two. And since numbers and statistics are what sparked this debate in the first place, this is what will be used to argue that the two should not be compared.

Boy in love certified hit a record 744 million streams in its first week, as reported The New York Times. No other artist has had such success with an album since streaming was included in the sales tab.

In addition to the full albums sold in a single package, Billboard measures sales in a two-tier system equaling 1,250 streams to one album unit via paid subscription audio streams (Apple Music, Amazon Music) and equaling 3,750 streams to one album unit via funded audio streams through advertising (Spotify, YouTube).

During Jackson’s lifetime, the main way to listen to and acquire albums was to purchase physical copies, whether on cassette, CD, or vinyl. Jackson’s most successful album, Polar, is currently at 34 million albums or units sold, according to RIAA.

To put the number of albums in perspective, Drake’s all the discography of seven albums is collectively 25 times platinum, counting his collaborative album with Future, What time to live (Boy in love certified has not yet been certified platinum). People had to leave their homes and buy a physical copy of Polar, rather than listening to it on Spotify or downloading it on iTunes.

This should also be factored into Drake’s new singles record, as streaming allows his songs to earn high placement on the Billboard 100 without needing to be officially released as commercial singles like Jackson did with Polar.

Taking it one step further, Jackson continues to win in the streaming age, as Polar has gone five times platinum since 2015, which equates to almost a million units per year lately.

Yes, Polar is a musical and cultural anomaly in a million, and it might not be fair to judge this against Boy in love certified ever since Drake had top selling albums. Three of Drake’s LPs have sold over five million copies, which is amazing for any artist over the past decade, rap or otherwise. Well, from 1979 until his death in 2009, Jackson released seven albums, and his only one sold under eight million copies twice – again, mostly physical copies.

Drake also passed MJ in the total top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2020, he reached his 39th and 40th places to become number one, beating the previous record holder, Madonna, with 38. Jackson holds at 30.

That record, however, was inflated as 15 of the 40 are guests of Drake on songs by other artists, including the two that placed him in the top spot. Jackson has only been the featured guest once in his 30s with Paul McCartney‘s “Say, say, say”. In fact, if we keep things fair, Jackson has also been featured on RockwellThe number two single from “Somebody’s Watching Me” and the number one charity hit “We Are the World”, which he co-wrote.

Then there is The Jackson 5-sabbre-The Jackson, which reached 11 Top 10 singles, bringing Jackson to 43. Sure, Drake has had a lot more since 2020, but context matters.

Speaking of which, the cultural context has to be taken into account.

Random culture and early reaction trends dictate general music criticism today. Albums are declared instant classics after at least one day and one week at most. Drake benefits, to some extent, from a culture so quick to put something on a pedestal. Social media memes and dance challenges helped propel his tracks like “Toosie Slide” and “In My Feelings” to the top of the charts.

Jackson racked up his success much more methodically and before social media. Imagine if Twitter existed when Jackson walked on the moon Motown 25 or if YouTube was there when the “Thriller” video premiered. Think of the countless TikTok challenges that would come from lean “Smooth Criminal” or face transformation in the “Black or White” music video.

Finally, there is the lasting impact of each artist over time. The story of Drake’s impact on music is still being worked out, and we may not know its full extent for a long time.

What can already be determined is Jackson’s impact across the generations. He had a Top 10 Billboard 100 singles in five consecutive decades. The man began the concerts by remaining motionless for more than three minutes to unshakeable applause. And let’s not even talk about the hordes of passed out fans and the tears shed by all age groups around the world at the mere sight of his performance.

You have to thank Drake though. He embraces the idea that he’s on the same level as the King of Pop. On “You Only Live Twice,” he raps, “I don’t know if you know, but I’m actually Michael Jackson / The man I see in the mirror is turning platinum. “

All of the aforementioned people who were designed to be “the next GM” have paid tribute to her in one way or another, be it The Weeknd covering “Dirty Diana,” Beyoncé mimicking her Super Bowl outfit during her performance. own Super Bowl concert or Brown’s tearful tribute performance at the 2010 BET Awards.

Most of these artists want to keep Jackson where he is, as a role model. Timberlake shared with MTV Launch of my album in 2003 that he didn’t want to be compared to Jackson. “Personally, I don’t want it,” he said. “It’s a lot of pressure to be compared to something that’s a phenomenon.” Kendrick Lamar Recount Jimmy fallon in 2016 he was happy that his album To pimp a butterfly only got 11 Grammy nominations because he didn’t want to break Jackson’s record of 12 set in 1984.

If Drake wants the throne, he’s got a long way to go. He may want to learn to dance. And compose music. And produce. And donate hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. And record more albums with Future so he could have a chance to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice.

Like Michael Jackson.

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