May 12, 2014

XXL Freshmen: "A Statistical Analysis" (2008-2014)

The Village Voice & journalist Phillip Mylnar took the initiative and did a statistical analysis of all the freshman classes from 2014 dating back to 2008. Below is a sample of what he found and as a statistician myself away from music, it gave me a legit smile because while numbers certainly can lie, in this case they provide some great content! Let's take a closer look below, shall we? Hit the link above for more & the opinions added below are mine and only mine; just sharing my thoughts.

  • Chances of actually releasing an album during the same year: 25.8% ... most artists who appear on the cover fail to capitalize on the buzz by releasing a studio album the same year! With the way the industry is shifting, I think we're gonna see more releases than ever in the coming years, so that might change, but whether it'll be studio albums or not, I'm not sure. As the A&Rs become more obsolete, labels are only signing acts that have generated their own buzz and built their own fanbases, shouldn't they know (and want) to drop music when they have the spotlight?!
  • Chances you'll become a bonafide superstar: 12.2% ... Lupe Fiasco & J. Cole received co-signs from Kanye & Hov, Wiz Khalifa got with the amazing Amber Rose, and Macklemore hit big with the crossover "Thrift Shop." Those are solid exceptions, but that's about it ... so much to say, break-out stars like Drake, A$AP Rocky & Nicki Minaj turned down freshman cover opportunities as they didn't want to be grouped in with possibly failing talent. Hmm, interesting point. That trend will continue, for sure.
  • Chances you're a mature student: 25.7% ... over a quarter of all picks are 30 years old by the time of their cover spot. I think we'll see that changing A LOT in years to come, unless freshman continues to mean artists that have already been out for YEARS. Otherwise, yeah, more Lils in coming years, I'd put my $ down on that one.
  • Chances you're a proud New York representer: 16.2% ... New York used to be the home of Hip-Hop, but now it's spread throughout the country. After 2008, NY rhymers have been in the minority when it comes to grabbing cover spots. I honestly can't say if that'll change, because NY radio has been off for years. If we don't support our own, it can't possibly click nationally. This is the one I'm most eager to see, because these things move in cycles, eventually the sound will have to come back to New York.