Updated: Jan 12, 2019
The year is 2007, Skill, a seasoned pianist but novice producer embarks on his journey of making his music more accessible. After brainstorming with his fellow producer, SilasBeats, they stumble across reverbnation. The aim was to reach the top of the charts.
Fast forward to now, having achieved the top of the reverbnation charts in my region multiple times and evaluating people who have been on top of their regional charts… something dawned on me. Why on earth am I doing this?! How has it benefited me and why would it benefit me to be on top?
I came to a bleak realisation… I’ve been wasting my time with the charts.
Now before I go on a rant about why charts are useless, let me rephrase the above, I’ve been wasting my time with reverbnation charts. Honestly speaking though, initially the charts were good for gauging my craft with fellow artists within the area.
By listening to the guys at the top I was able to gauge your production, mixing quality, lyricism, flow and general dopeness with the people in my region but let’s not forget that the charts are based on the size of the following and play stats so this wasn’t always the case.
Once I was within more than acceptable standards, I should’ve abandoned the charts.
There are several charts, websites and other platforms with similar charts. Reverbnation, Google, AudioMack charts, iTunes, Billboard, Radio, TV Top 20 Charts etc. but each of them mean something different.
While reverb charts can be used as a local region talent chart to gauge yourself with, Radio charts are mainly “paid for / what’s popular / do you know the DJ” charts. I'm sure you've heard many average charts on radio. iTunes and Google charts are a way to evaluate your marketing and sales techniques and following and Billboard is a summation of the two.
Funny enough, each chart has a different indicator or tell you something.
Reverb will tell you your social media pages are growing and/or your fans are listening to your music on reverb. Radio charts will tell you your follow up game is good and/or your fanbase is requesting your music and/or your publicist that you paid for is working hard. The digital stores will tell you that your fanbase is putting in money for your cause on that particular platform.
Now to answer the main question of this entry, How relevant are charts to Hiphop Artists? Depends on what you’re using them for. If you want money from charts, don’t waste too much time on Reverbnation. If you’re looking for prestige or something to add on your presskit, don’t bother with charts from websites such as audiomack, reverbnation etc. You're better of trying to get playlisted or charted on a radio "Top 10" chart.
At the end of the day, all charts have their purpose. All I’m saying is that whatever chart you “advertise” is an indication of where you are as a musician so be aware of that when you tell your following about your "success".
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Until next time,