LOS ANGELES, July 11, (Agencies): Jay Z’s latest album “4:44” may already be certified platinum but it was noticeably absent from Monday’s Billboard 200 album chart because the rapper’s own streaming platform Tidal did not report numbers to Nielsen Music.
The album, on which the Jay Z addresses cheating on his wife Beyonce and the birth of their twins, was released on June 30 as an exclusive to members of Tidal and customers of wireless carrier Sprint Corp, who were offered a free six-month subscription to Tidal to listen to the album.
The Billboard 200 album chart is based on retailers and streaming platforms reporting sales and streaming figures to Nielsen SoundScan. Tidal did not report first week streaming figures of “4:44” to Nielsen, David Bakula of Nielsen Music said.
Representatives for Tidal and Jay Z did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the album’s exclusion from this week’s Billboard chart, but this is not the first time the streaming platform’s exclusive releases have not charted on Billboard.
Kanye West’s “Life of Pablo” did not enter the Billboard charts during its exclusive Tidal release in February 2016. It only debuted on the Billboard 200 chart, at No. 1, after West made it available widely in April last year on platforms including iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.
Just six days after “4:44” was released, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album as platinum, meaning one million US consumers had already downloaded the album.
But instead of featuring Jay Z, DJ Khaled’s “Grateful” topped the Billboard 200 chart for a second consecutive week on Monday with another 70,000 album units sold.
“4:44” was made available to purchase and stream widely on July 7, which will count toward next week’s Billboard chart. The album has been praised by critics for Jay Z’s raw self-examination and socially conscious themes.
Jay Z announced a “4:44” tour on Monday and will play 31 shows across North America and Canada from October to December.
New albums in the top 10 of this week’s Billboard 200 album chart include electro-pop DJ Calvin Harris’ “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” at No. 2 with 68,000 album units sold and rock group Stone Sour at No. 8 with “Hydrograd.”
Jay Z, who has devoted the past several years to business projects, will open the tour October 27 in Anaheim, California, and play a total of 31 dates across the United States and Canada through December, promoters said in an announcement.
The rapper will preview his tour with two previously announced headlining sets in September — Made in America, a Philadelphia festival that will partially raise money for charity, and The Meadows festival in New York.
Jay Z last toured in 2014 in a series of shows with his wife, pop superstar Beyonce.
LOS ANGELES: “The Defiant Ones,” the four-hour-plus-long HBO documentary on the unlikely partnership between veteran record producers/ Beats by Dre founders Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine that premiered Sunday night, has brought together virtually every major player in the duo’s respective lives — and it turns out at least one of those reunions may have extended beyond the documentary. In an interview with Uproxx published Friday, director Allen Hughes may have let a new collaboration slip while answering a question about the pair’s transition from producers to businessmen.
“Dre still records,” he said. “People don’t know this: Dre records every day. Literally, he’s in there recording songs every day. He’s like Picasso in that way. He’s always painting. Right now he’s producing, in the 11th hour, a track for Eminem’s latest album. So Dre’s still real active in music, you know?”
Eminem has teased that a new album is coming soon, and 2 Chainz said in a recent interview with XXL that he’s been in the studio with him.
Dre produced Eminem’s 1999 debut, “The Real Slim Shady,” and played a major role in bringing the rapper to the world. The pair have worked together multiple times in the years since, with Dre contributing a track or two to most of Eminem’s albums, so a reunion would not be much of a surprise. The pair last worked together in 2010 on Eminem’s “Recovery” album.
LOS ANGELES: Rani Hancock has been named president of Sire Records. Her start date is Aug. 1. Seymour Stein, who co-founded the Warner Music Group label in 1967 with Richard Gottehrer, will remain as chairman.
The A&R veteran who, in her previous stints at RCA and Island Records has worked with Kesha, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato, joins a select group of female label heads, which includes Epic Records’ Sylvia Rhone, and Motown’s Ethiopia Habtemariam. Her hiring marks one of the first major moves by incoming Warner CEO for Recorded Music Max Lousada, who takes on his new role beginning Oct 1.
Sire Records recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a series of commemorative events and products — its legacy includes launching The Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna. With Hancock’s arrival, the label “is being reborn,” notes WMG’s announcement. Additionally, says Stein, “This year my 60th year in the music business. It has been my dream to be joined by someone I can work together with to help strengthen and expand the label. Given Rani’s exceptional track record and tremendous enthusiasm, I am convinced she is the person to build both the Sire roster and brand, and help take the company into the future.”
Adds Lousada of Hancock’s appointment: “Whether it’s artists or executives, we’re focused on attracting and developing true talent who will pioneer the future of music. Rani is the perfect example of our approach, as her own rare qualities will, in turn, draw original, genre-defying artists to Sire. Seymour built the label into a home for many of the world’s most influential artists, and I believe Rani will help us reignite Sire as a beacon for the bravest and biggest stars. She’s a first-class addition to our leadership, not only in the US, but on the global stage.”
“Over the past half-century, Sire has stood for quality, integrity and an intense devotion to artists,” says Cameron Strang, Warner Bros chairman. “Seymour and Sire have played a central role in the story of Warner Bros Records and helped set a new standard in the art of artist development. Rani is the perfect leader to grow Sire’s amazing legacy and chart a new course for this iconic label. She has great ears for discovering unique artists and outstanding instincts for making records. On behalf of everyone at Warner Bros., I welcome her to Sire and to the family.”
Hancock said, “I’ve always been inspired by Sire’s roster of artists and the label’s fearless, independent spirit. So many great Sire artists have pushed the boundaries of music and fashion, while having pop hits that appeal to a mainstream audience, from Madonna to the Ramones, from Talking Heads to the Pretenders. I hope to continue that tradition of finding and supporting culture-changing artists who make hugely popular music that withstands the test of time.”
Hancock began her career at Arista Records, working in A&R Administration as an assistant and eventually rising to Director. In 2000, Clive Davis recruited her to his just-launched “instant major” J Records as VP A&R and A&R Administration.