100 & Single: Pitbull Turns The Hot 100 Back Into A Boys' Club (For Now)
If, like me, you've been putting together your annual summer playlist to pump at block parties and barbecues, you may have found yourself with a historically odd problem: a relative dearth of hits this year by dudes. After you've rounded up buzzy tracks by the Queens of Popfrom Adele to Nicki Minaj to Robynyou might find yourself hunting for worthy male vocals, just for diversity.
On the charts, the guys have reasserted controlat least for this week. Cuban-American club-rapper Pitbull assumes the throne on Billboard's Hot 100 with "Give Me Everything," his first chart-topper. The Miamian born Armando Christian Pérez is the first lead male to top the authoritative song chart in, no joke, 20 weeks.
For Pitbull, it's a case of patience and persistence: "Give" spent four weeks parked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 behind Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," which finally wanes after nearly two months on top. His overachieving track reached No. 1 with some unusual chart math. "Give" is neither America's most-heard radio hit"Rolling" is still tops on Billboard's Radio Songs list, with "Give" ranked secondnor the best-selling. "Give" is only fourth-ranked among digital songs for the tracking week, actually decreasing 7%; but, crucially, Pitbull's 187,000 downloads outdid Adele by about 17,000 for the period. And none of the other competitors in the Hot 100's Top Five right now managed to line up a combination of sales and airplay big enough to top Pitbull's chart total.
As if realizing how tough an uphill battle he was facing in the pop wars of 2011, Pitbull came fortified on "Give" with two additional dudes: buttery R&B crooner Ne-Yo (whose vocal is the track's best feature by far) and Dutch producer-DJ Afrojack. Plus, just in case, he brought along a decorative ladyfriend, model and hook-singer Nayer. Even with all that backup, Pitbull might be ejected in fairly short orderand possibly by a woman. (More on that later.)
The Hot 100 has become a ladies' playground over the last couple of years. In 2010, just counting solo and lead females, gals held the No. 1 spot for just over half the year; throw in prominent female vocals, like Rihanna's turn on Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" or Devin "Dev" Tailes's big hook on Far East Movement's "Like a G6," and the 2010 total swells to 42 weeks, or an 81% female yield. At the halfway point of 2011, tracks by women have held the top a staggering 22 weeks, with all but one of those tracks featuring no men at all. The exception was the Kanye West-supported Katy Perry track "E.T.," and it could hardly be argued that Ye's goofy cameo was the signature element of that smash.
Perry's chart-topper fell in the middle of the 19-week female streak that Pitbull just ended. Starting in late February, the Hot 100 was commanded by, in order: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (six weeks); Perry's "E.T." (five weeks, nonconsecutive); Rihanna's "S&M" featuring Britney Spears (one week, interrupting Perry's run); and Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" (seven weeks).
According to Billboard, this 19-week streak of lady dominance is tied for second-longest in Hot 100 history. Here were the other two streaks, both of which very prominently featured Mariah Carey:
September 30, 1995-May 1, 1996
"Fantasy," Mariah Carey (8 weeks)
"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," Whitney Houston (1 week)
"One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men (16 weeks)
"Because You Loved Me," Celine Dion (6 weeks)
"Always Be My Baby," Mariah Carey (2 weeks)
TOTAL: 33 weeks (streak ended by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's "Tha Crossroads")
May 7, 2005-September 10, 2005
"Hollaback Girl," Gwen Stefani (4 weeks)
"We Belong Together," Mariah Carey (14 weeks, nonconsecutive)
"Inside Your Heaven," Carrie Underwood (1 week)
TOTAL: 19 weeks (streak ended by Kanye West's "Gold Digger")