#HashtagMusic: Are We Witnessing its Beginning or its End?

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#Hashtags are probably the bane of your Twitter existence. You no doubt follow people who either use them too much or in the strangest possible ways. Chances are, you regularly do the same. #DGAF. Currently, there are two songs that begin with a #hashtag in the Top 20. it's the most 'sign o' the times' moment of #2013 so far. The concept of a song or album including the little symbol is so new that # is still one of the forbidden characters on Wikipedia, and Will.i.am's #willpower is an example of what Wiki does in the case of an article necessitating the character in its title.

See also: Will.I.Am Kickstarts The Perhaps-Inevitable Trend Of Naming Albums After Hashtags

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Fake Scott Walker's "Scream & Shout" Is Better Than will.i.am and Britney's Original

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Scott Walker woke up one day last week (if he indeed sleeps) and decided to cover "Scream & Shout" through the body of comedian Adam Buxton. It is the best thing that has happened to the song since someone in will.i.am's recording studio said "Hey, maybe we shouldn't make this song because it's pretty shitty" but no one listened. Here are three reasons why.

See Also:
-Scott Walker 30 Century Man: Melodrama, Studio Footage, and Fucking Sting
-Britney Spears Covers Madonna, Because Hey, Why Not
-Will.I.Am Kickstarts The Perhaps-Inevitable Trend Of Naming Albums After Hashtags

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Hot 100 Roundup: Eric Church And Luke Bryan Milk It, Eminem Gets Silly, And More

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It's almost September (it already is on the Hot 100, which is dated over a week ahead of time), and the labels are starting to roll out the medium-sized guns: Muse! The Script! Trey Songz! Slaughterhouse? The best stuff is older, though: The Chief Keef track is from a mixtape released in March, and the Eric Church and Luke Bryan tracks are both over a year old and milking best-selling albums. None of this week's entries is great, and three of them are awful (guess), but the fall season has officially started. Don't forget to duck.

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The 11 Most Infuriating Songs Of 2011, No. 10: will.i.am Featuring Mick Jagger And Jennifer Lopez, "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)"

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The Song: will.i.am feat. Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez, "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)"
The Crimes: Overhashtagging, sub-"Dancing In The Streets" incoherence from Jagger, using "feces" as a term of braggadocio.

Sometimes I feel bad for the music industry, which has had a rough go of it these past 10 or so years. Yes, they tried to make more money off artists with thin catalogs when Billboard eliminated the physical-single requirement from eligibility for the Hot 100 and ushered in the era of the $18.99 maxi-single; sure, they blew their wad when the Recording Industry Association of America established the Diamond Award, bestowed on albums with 10 million copies shipped (the last album to receive that honor was Usher's Confessions, released in 2004); and yeah, they probably should have been a bit more proactive about the whole "internet" thing. Still, though, there are a lot of good people working inside the fortresses of the big labels, and they're not the complete wastelands of lousy music that up-the-empire types who only like cool DIY bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails make them out to be.

But my sympathies get powerwashed away when I am confronted with money pits of idiocy like the solo career of will.i.am, which continues to kick along even after his 2007 solo album Songs About Girls landed here with a thud. Fresh off the success of the Black Eyed Peas' most recent collection of repurposed pop tropes and Fergie wails, will decided to once again try and make it on his own—assisted by two pop figures of yore who had slightly improbable comebacks this year. Share the wealth, right?


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Will.I.Am Kickstarts The Perhaps-Inevitable Trend Of Naming Albums After Hashtags

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The forthcoming album from will.i.am, lead Black Eyed Pea and tireless trend-rider, is called #WILLPOWER, and yes, the pound sign is intentional; apparently he's so interested in willing (ha!) himself into the Internet-enabled public consciousness, he's named his album in the style of Twitter's "hashtags," which are used to either conveniently organize chatter about particular topics or to provide compressed metacommentary on one's tweeted sentiments. The practice of hashtagging also helped coin the name of the subgenre of "hashtag rap," which Kanye West (perhaps ill-advisedly) takes claim for spawning and which he once defined thusly: "The hashtag rap—that's what we call it when you take the 'like' or 'as' out of the metaphor. 'Flex, sweater red... FIRETRUCK.' Everybody raps like that, right? That's really spawned from like 'Barry Bonds': 'Here's another hit... BARRY BONDS.'" So it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that "Hard," the album's first single, liberally uses the hashtag-rap trope, with one particularly excruciating verse culminating like this: "this beat is the shit/ feces." Hey, Ludacris, you should send will.i.am a fruit basket or something!

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