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Can you have a number one album without stirring up controversy?

All you rappers take note: if you want a number one album, you may want to get busted trying to buy some illegal firearms. Just kidding, but not really.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last two weeks or too preoccupied with when Common’s going to drop his long awaited album, you’d probably know that T.I. is living up to his alter-ego and is the KING of the charts, after moving close to 600,000 units of his album Paper Trail.

Of course it goes with out saying that T-I-P’s record was highly anticipated due to the fact that right before he started working on the record, he was looking at some serious jail time because of his run in with the law, who caught him trying to arm a small army with some serious weapons. But, it all actually worked for T.I. Kinda like it worked out for 50 getting shot nine times and Kanye West almost buying the farm after he got into that car accident that made him look like the fourth friend for Alvin & the Chipmunks.

See the pattern here? Three of the biggest selling rap artists in the world all had to overcome getting shot, not knowing how to drive, or trying to build a small militia to ensure that their records sold well.

Of course, you’re probably thinking “What about Lil’ Wayne?” Weezy F. Baby didn’t have to overcome that many steps – but he did convince enough people that the Carter 3 was going to be his last album, simply because they thought he was going to kick the bucket because of the lean he drinks. Think of it like the same way painters make way more for their art after they’re dead.

Could these be the new marketing plans to ensure that rappers will successfully chart at the coveted number one spot? If so, then Jay may have to build a space ship. There probably isn’t a rap album that’s been more anticipated than that record, so it’s clearly easy to say that there’s going to need to be some sort of “event” to build the album. Then again, we’re talking about Jay-Z here and the last thing he ever needs is any hype to promote an album.


What do you guys think? Do rappers need to do a massive “event” before their albums drop or can they just sail on their skills?

As far as Summers go, 2008 was a pretty big one. From Nas dropping his controversially (un)-named album to Jay-Z returning to the mic and promising to deliver another installation in the Blueprint series, all of the hit-makers were in top form. This summer even marked the spot for Tag Records first signed artist Q. Not only is dude pretty nice with the rhyme skills, but his signing is a pretty amazing example of how far hip-hop has come. Anytime a major corporation backs a project it’s a big deal. When one of the biggest companies in the world backs it, best believe that people are waiting for that album to drop.

But while hip-hop waits to hear what Q has to say, I’ve been wondering where some of the more anticipated releases from this Summer went.

Particularly, rapper Common’s still unreleased Summer album.

Big Com-Sense’s album Invincible Summer was supposed to drop a few months back, but since becoming hip-hop’s goodwill ambassador for Presidential nominee Barack Obama, all’s been quiet with regards to his record. Even so, that hasn’t been a bad thing. Since Common’s thrown his signature hat and b-boy stance into the political arena, one could argue that he’s become even more of a household name. And lest you forget, dude did do Gap commercials. You don’t get more household than that.

In any event, I got to thinking and it seems that the best time for Common to drop Invincible Summer (or Fall, Spring or Winter) would be after the country finds out who’s going to be the president of these here United States. That way Common could either release the record on a positive note or retool the entire project to make a dark, brooding record that reflects how he really, really feels about the way things turned out. Not saying that he’ll be incredibly upset if the other guy wins, but you get the point.


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