Mr. West is sitting pretty on top of the Trending140 chart.
A couple months ago, Billboard teamed up with Twitter to introduce the Trending140, a chart with the goal to measure the most talked about songs on the internet at any given time. Without getting too long-winded, it’s essentially trending topics—except for songs.
Today, Kanye West’s “All Day” finds itself dominating the chart. This is pretty sweet because Kanye is awesome. This is also pretty weird because, um, “All Day” hasn’t been released yet. Instead, what the chart is measuring is the leak of a shitty, shitty recording of a clip of the song, one that’s so bad it sounds like somebody put an iPod in the garbage disposal. Moreover, the track isn’t even full-length.
A couple weeks ago when “All Day” originally leaked, we came to the editorial decision to not post the song. We agreed it was too bad of a version and would be a disservice to our readers. We probably missed out on a lot of page views, but ultimately, we decided: this is not a song and this is not worth putting on our corner of the internet. Yet here “All Day” is, sitting pretty on top of the Trending140, staring down at legit recordings from Soulja Boy, Michael Jackson, Eve, Ryan Adams, Tory Lanez, and more. Did we make the wrong decision in not posting this because the entire world is now talking about this track? I still don't think so—but that doesn't mean what's happening right now isn't pretty sweet.
Some people might argue that ranking songs in this manner is a bad thing—that we need to put music in certain boxes and that a bullshit recording of the leak of a song that snobby music publications (like the one you’re currently reading) are refusing to cover cannot be what we consider “a number one song.” But this is a brave new world of the internet, a world made up of sad boys from Sweden and rappers who put their hair in buns for their first national television performances. The best thing about music (other than it being invisible) is that it’s continually evolving, and the only thing holding it back are the expectations we put upon it. I tip my hat to Billboard for tossing archaic views out the window and doing everything they can to track what music—whether us professionals consider it legit or not—is being listened to across the globe at any given moment.
Anyway, all of that aside, goddamn I really want to hear the real version of "All Day."
Follow Eric on Twitter — @ericsundy