Wow…Empire Beats Madonna to Snag #1 Album on Billboard 200

Fox’s TV breakout hit Empire stole the number 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart, beating out Madonna’s new Rebel Heart album! While this rumor had grown over the past few days, Empire wasn’t even in the discussion a week ago. 

 The Empire soundtrack was released March 10 through Columbia Records and has 130,000 equivalent album units earned through March 15, according to Nielsen Music vs. Madonna’s Rebel Heart at 121,000 in the same time frame. Empire is the first TV soundtrack to debut at No. 1 since Glee. 
 

I have to say, I am an avid spotify user and like to discover new music on the platform….over the past few weeks, I have subconsciously been finding myself bumping my head to songs from Empire, which are continuously rotating through the Hot 100 Pop and Hip Hop tracks playlist. As noted by Billboard, a lot of Empire’s listens have come through streaming. Welcome to the digital age of music. 

 Here’s a fun video of Jussie Smollett four years ago singing ‘Fatigue’….wish you had known him before the fame, huh? The guy has talent.

Grammy First, College Later (or Never)

Take a look at the Billboard Hot 100 today, March 9th. You’ll end up noticing all of the typical names. From Rihanna to Bruno Mars, it’s not a surprising list. One particular song, “Started From The Bottom” by Drake, has gained a lot of popularity and now sits at #6. In his music video, Drake does a satire on his own lyrics (watch the video above), which makes sense when you think about it. Come on, we all know you didn’t really start from the bottom, Jimmy.

Like every famous artist, Drake ‘hustled’ his way to the top. But he also didn’t graduate from college.

As college students, we have to wonder how much of a return we are getting on our 6-figure “investment.” Artists who show real talent are sometimes faced with a choice of getting an education, or chasing their dreams. Which is more important? Better yet, why do they have to choose? Don’t we go to college so we can chase our dreams, or does the institution hinder us from doing so? Most students wind up postponing their dreams in favor of high-paying jobs. And sometimes, those dreams never become fulfilled.

Take a look again at the Hot 100 (the first 10 songs). #3 – #10: none of these artists graduated from college. Just last year, Drake graduated from high school. #1 and #2: Macklemore and Baauer sit at the top…two relatively new names on the charts, with viral singles. Will they last? Only time will tell. Either way, 80% of the artists on the top 10 did not attend college. These 80% have multiple platinum albums and multiple Grammys to show for it. These 80% have decided to postpone higher education for success.*

So the question is: Where does college fit in for musicians? Is there a correlation between success in this music industry and lack of a college education?
Or is it just pure luck? Seriously, we all know a college dropout who is struggling to make it in the business. Either way, the stats are a little daunting for college musicians lying in a pool of debt.

*Will.i.am. will be attending college this year to study computer science