Best of 2006: The “Snakes on a Plane” Awards
by Winston "Stone" Ford
In 2006, the “Snakes on A Plane” effect was in full force. What is the “Snakes on a Plane Effect?” Well, its when something gets hyped to the heavens on the Internet, only to bomb whenever it gets released to the general public, just like the movie Snakes on a Plane. Remember that movie? It was so bad that the studio didn’t think it would make it into theaters. But when bloggers and college students with time on their hands created Photoshop movie posters and YouTube videos, the studio took notice. It dumped millions of dollars into a crappy film only to have the movie open to a mere $15 million at the US box office.
After the movie dropped, the Entertainment world learned that Internet Success does not equal real world success. Sames goes for hip-hop as well.
5.) The Roots - This one is a no brainer. The Roots invented Okayplayer, so naturally the leadup to Game Theory was the most talked about thing on OKP for months. When “Can’t Stop This” dropped, people were about to give up their first born to Questlove. But of course, Game Theory didn’t do major numbers. But we all expected that, didn’t we?
4.) Little Brother – It seems like everyone on Okayplayer goes crazy whenever Phonte sneezes. Too bad, they don’t buy Little Brother’s albums.
3.) J Dilla. The dude is the Tupac of the underground–when he left us, the Internet went into mourning for months, and rightfully so. But let’s face it, if you listen to Dilla, you’re more likely to have an internet connection and an iPod. Much love to Dilla, but I’m just keeping it real.
2.) Lupe Fiasco. Poor Lupe. This dude is one of the most prolific MC’s to come out into the game in a long time. Honestly, he’s probably the only MC that I can truly identify with. The Internet loved and MC who talked about comic books instead of handguns and Lupe’s every move was covered by blogs, OKP, XXL, and even mainstream sites like MTV.com. Unfortunately, his album dropped with a reasonable 82,000 copies, and people were analyzing SoundScan numbers like an A&R rep to figure out why.
1.) Clipse. Hell Hath No Fury is one of the best albums of the year. However, Malice and Pusha are hip-hop’s equivalent to Samuel L. Jackson. HHNF was never supposed to come out. The album was shelved in 2004 after record label and marketing disputes. But the Internet hearts the Clipse. We went crazy over the We Got It for Cheap mixtapes. Add to that the trap rap dudes also are more marketable than Lupe, Dilla, or Rhymefest. The groups singles didn’t catch on radio but we still believed. Pressure from the group (including lawsuits), as well as pressure from bloggers and music critics, forced the label to release HHNF in November, after delaying it two times.
The result: Hell Hath No Fury debuted at number 14 on the Billboard charts, selling 78,487 albums. If you’re keeping score, that’s less than what Lupe Fiasco pulled when Food and Liquor debuted. The moral of this story is that even though you might have “the Internet goin’ nuts,” that means nothing in a country where only 15% of people read blogs, most people with internet connections are stealing your music, and 70% of your target demographic still considers BET, MTV, and radio their main source of music entertainment.