Chart Check: Miguel Sets Sights on Urban Radio, SZA and Le’Andria Johnson Rebound on Urban AC

LeAndria SZA Miguel

LeAndria SZA Miguel

Welcome back to another edition of Chart Check! Each Friday, Rated R&B provides detailed insight to the weekly chart movements of your favorite R&B artists and R&B songs. In this updated format, we will discuss Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs (Urban AC) and Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop National Airplay (Urban) charts extensively. Read below for more information on the week of September 16, 2017:

On The Rise

HBO’s Insecure is one of the hottest shows this year and with the second season’s finale airing this Sunday, what better time for the show’s title track to start taking off on the charts? Jazmine Sullivan and Bryson Tiller’s “Insecure” duet received 4 adds at R&B radio this week, in addition to a 60 spin increase since last week. With today’s release of the second season soundtrack, which features work from SZA, Jorja Smith, and Kari Faux, the song will only get stronger as time goes on. Additionally, pictures from the video shoot for the song surfaced on Instagram this week, which you can view below.

Ne-Yo’s latest single “Another Love Song” has been a shining star in a week full of Urban AC chart declines. The upbeat jam saw an increase of 80 spins at Adult R&B, which is the most for the latest tracking week. The song is also tied for the most added song this week with six new additions at R&B radio. Ne-Yo is currently preparing for his Ne-Yo UK Tour, which kicks off in Manchester on Sept. 13.

New Developments

The haters aren’t the only thing he’s skywalking on; he’s also skywalking up the charts with his latest single featuring rapper Travis Scott. “Skywalker” was added to a whopping 13 urban radio station in the latest tracking week. But, the chart moves don’t stop there, as Miguel also received six adds at R&B radio, tying Ne-Yo for the most adds on the Urban AC chart. Will “Skywalker” be Miguel’s next runaway hit? Only time will tell.

Shaliek is ready to go with his new single “My Love.” The track is bubbling just beneath the official chart with 97 spins in the latest tracking week. The single is a follow-up to his song “All This Love,” which was released in March.

Leave (Get Out), but Come Back

Sometimes, an artist will release a song and it debuts on a chart, only to fall off the next week. When the single is officially sent to radio and starts to pick up steam, the song finds itself back on the chart, which is what is considered a re-entry. This isn’t necessarily the case on the Urban AC chart this week. Since there have been a host of declines and minimal spin increases in the latest tracking week, Le’Andria Johnson’s empowering “All I Got” and SZA’s “Love Galore” have found their way back on the chart this week at the No. 30 and No. 26 spots, respectively. Both songs debuted onto the chart the week of Aug. 26, with the former falling off the chart the next week and the latter leaving the chart the week of Sept. 3.

Quick Notes

And in quick notes: Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Makeup launch is definitely a cause for celebration, but she deserves an extra slice of cake as Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty,” which she is featured on, has reached the Top 5 on the Urban chart. Her other summer smash “Wild Thoughts” fell 1-3 in the latest tracking week; Brian McKnight’s “I Want U” is just one spot below the official chart this week, with 161 spins at R&B radio. The song is lifted from his newly-released album Genesis; Finally, Chanté Moore’s banging new single “Something to Remember” continues to heat up Urban AC with two adds and a 55-spin upswing at R&B radio. The song is lifted from her upcoming album The Rise of the Phoenix, which will be released next Friday, Sept. 15.

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Chart Check: Lyrica Anderson and A1 Heat Up Urban Radio, K. Michelle Lands on Urban AC

Lyrica Anderson A1 Bentley K. Michelle

Welcome back to another edition of Chart Check! Each week, Rated R&B provides detailed insight to the chart movements of your favorite R&B artists and R&B songs. In this updated format, we will discuss Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs (Urban AC) and Nielsen’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop National Airplay (Urban) charts extensively. Read below for more information on the week of November 25, 2017:

Urban Radio

Cassie has officially returned with her new single “Love a Loser.” The song, which features rapper G-Eazy, received 14 adds on urban radio formats in the latest tracking week. This is Cassie’s first single since “The Boys” with Nicki Minaj, which was released in 2012.

Married musicians and Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood” stars Lyrica Anderson and Floyd “A1” Bentley have been working behind the scenes writing and producing songs for other artists for years, but 2017 is looking to be the year for their own work to finally take off. This week, A1’s SWV-sampled single “Always” landed on the official urban radio chart at No. 40. The song, which features Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign, gained a 213 spin increase since last week. Meanwhile, Lyrica is floating four spots under with her tune “Don’t Take it Personal,” which is the lead single from her recently released album Adia. The song was spun 496 times and picked up one add at urban radio in the latest tracking week.

N.E.R.D. and Rihanna are two of the music industry’s most elusive acts, but they may have a hit on their hands with their new collaboration “Lemon.” After being released just a few short weeks ago, the bouncy banger has officially landed on the Urban radio chart at No. 39. The song garnered a whopping 420 spin increase at urban formats, the third-most in the latest tracking week.

Urban AC Radio

dvsn is ready to multiply their recent success by sending their first single to radio. That’s right: “Mood” has been selected as the first radio single from their latest album Morning After, which was released on Oct. 13. The single received eight adds on R&B radio formats, which is the most for the latest tracking week.

MAJOR. has returned to the R&B scene with his new single “Honest,” which leapt onto the Urban AC chart at No. 17 last week. The momentum continues this week as the piano driven ballad skips 17-16, garnering a 60 spin increase since last week. The song also received six more adds at R&B radio formats.

With her first charting single, K. Michelle’s new era has officially begun! This week, “Make This Song Cry” landed at No. 27 on Billboard’s Adult R&B chart, thanks to a 51 spin increase since last week. This is the first radio single from the Memphis-bred singer’s upcoming fourth studio album Kimberly: The People I Used to Know, which is set for a Dec. 8 release date.

Quick Notes

And in quick notes: Miguel’s War & Leisure lead single “Sky Walker” is picking up speed as it rises 16-14 on this week’s Urban radio chart. The single received a 282 spin increase and has crossed the 10 million mark in urban radio audience; Rapper DeJ Loaf and singer Jacquees’ new single “At The Club” continues to rise on urban radio, sitting just 3 spots below the official chart. The song received four adds in the latest tracking week; John Legend’s newest Darkness & Light single “Penthouse Floor” debuts at No. 26 on this week’s Urban AC chart. The song, which features Chance the Rapper, was the highest debut of the week; and finally, Kenny Lattimore has finally made a “Push” right onto the Urban AC chart, as he is the last of the three debuts this week. His new single, from his new album Vulnerable, landed at No. 28 with a total of 211 spins at R&B radio and formats.

What about you? Are you feeling Lyrica and A1’s new singles? How well do you think Cassie’s new song will do? Did you enjoy this week’s Chart Check? Let us know how you feel in the comment section below!

Top 5 Tracks from Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ Album

Rihanna Unapologetic album

Rihanna has been, is, and will always be a hit maker; There’s a reason why she has fourteen No. 1 singles spanning all the way back to her second album (and just for the record, her debut single “Pon de Replay” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.) Coming off her Talk That Talk album in 2011, which featured international hits “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been,” it was time for Rihanna to take it up another notch when it came to her next album. Working with fresh blood in producers Mike-Will-Made-IT and Labyrinth while enlisting pop mainstays David Guetta and Stargate, the result was Unapologetic: an eclectic mix of EDM, trap, dance, R&B, and pop songs that scaled the musical and lyrical landscape. If this album was an avatar, it’d be “The Last Genre-Bender.”

Unapologetic marked two things: Rihanna’s first artistically complete album and first No. 1 album. While Rated R and Talk That Talk had some “woah” moments, this album found Rihanna elevating her musical core to new heights. She’s still Bad Gal RiRi, but with more wisdom, more vocal strength, and with a newfound sense of artistic confidence. It’s no wonder why it won a Grammy award for “Best Urban Contemporary Album.”

Here at Rated R&B, we’ve compiled what we consider as the best tracks from Rihanna’s seventh studio album. Check out the list below:

“Loveeeeeee Song” (feat. Future)

Future always shines when paired with female artists, but his “Loveeeeeee Song” collaboration with Rihanna might be his best duet to date. The Luney Tunez-produced cut finds the two artists flirting with idea commitment, but being temporarily satisfied with the current arrangement of keeping things purely physical. “I don’t wanna give you the wrong impression / I need love and affection / And I hope I’m not sounding too desperate / I need love and affection,” they sing. On this album full of hard-hitting choruses and club-ready bass drops, this smooth late-night thumper stands out in the best way. Rihanna’s verses and Future’s bridge eventually explodes into a lush, beautifully crafted final chorus between the two of them. If you think “Kiss it Better” is Rihanna’s best bedroom banger, then “Loveeeeeee Song” definitely gives it a run for its money.

“Get It Over With”

While the album spotlights an array of emotional lows and insecurities, there’s a silver lining thanks to this instrument-laden track. Written by Ms. Fenty, Brian Kennedy, and the ever-talented James Fauntleroy, “Get It Over With” is the ballad of broken dreams, but also a song of hope. “It’s dark in the day / I’ll say now don’t complain / Look up the sun is just a cloud away / You’re so afraid to cry / But your heart be feeling dry / It’s time to change,” Rihanna sings in the first verse. Fauntleroy is a master of stacking vocals, so it’s no surprise that we find Rihanna’s background vocals more than on point here. Paired with snaps and solemn violins, this song is the perfect mixture of resilience, strength, and sadness, which is why it makes this list.

“What Now”

Rihanna has mastered the art of emoting over the years, and “What Now” is just one flash of brilliance in her extensive discography. Co-written by fellow Bajan Livvi Franc and British producers Nathan Cassells and Parker Ighile, the song explores the dissatisfaction one feels when they’ve settled, whether that be in love, career, or life in general. “Whatever it is/It feels like it’s laughing at me through the glass of a two-sided mirror/Whatever it is/It’s just laughing at me/And I just wanna scream,” she sings. The lyrics cut just as deep as its smashing chorus, but what really elevates this song is its climax where Rihanna repeats the cadence “I don’t know where to go/I don’t know what to feel/I don’t know how to cry/I don’t know, oh-oh, why!” The winding guitar, raw emotion, and pounding bass culminates into one of the best musical moments on the album.

“Nobody’s Business” (feat. Chris Brown)

Although this collaboration didn’t make as much of a splash as their “Birthday Cake” remix, Chris Brown and Rihanna still shocked fans by linking up on this groovy duet. Co-written by Rihanna and long-time collaborator The-Dream, the song finds the ex-lovers proclaiming their love for each other, and telling off nay-sayers in the process. “You’ll always be mine / Sing it to the world / You’ll always be my boy / I’ll always be your girl / Ain’t nobody’s business / Ain’t nobody’s business / Ain’t nobody’s business / But mine and my baby,” they sing. It’s no surprise that this track contains an interpolation from “The Way You Make Me Feel,” because this euro-dance joint feels like a new-age Michael Jackson record. Breezy and Rih trade parts effortlessly; their natural chemistry is apparent. Even five years later, this song feels fresh, yet timeless, which is why it lands on this list.

“Stay” (feat. Mikky Ekko)

There’s always something special about an artist’s voice over a grand piano, which is more than clear on this tender ballad. Written largely in part by featured artist Mikky Ekko, “Stay” is almost like the continuation of “Loveeeeeee Song,” except with more feelings and time invested. “Not really sure how to feel about it / Something in the way you move / Makes me feel like I can’t live without you / And it takes me all the way / I want you to stay,” Rihanna sings. Even though the song is obviously brilliant, the reason it makes this list is because of Rihanna’s vocal showing. While her voice holds the same type of raw emotion as “What Now,” Rih wields it quite differently, drawing the audience in and pulling away with each sharp breath, vocal crack and sustained note. This all lends itself to the push-and-pull of the actual relationship that the song speaks of, which really speaks to her growth artistically and dedication to the edgier, tougher vision for Unapologetic. Major props go to Kuk Harrell, who is the vocal engineer and producer on this song as well as the entire album.

Stream Unapologetic on Spotify below.

What’s your favorite song on Unapologetic? Let us know in the comment section below!

Stream T-Pain’s New Album ‘Oblivion’

It’s been nearly seven years since T-Pain released an album. The ‘rapper ternt sanga’ makes a comeback with his new project, Oblivion, via RCA Records.

The 16-track LP includes guest appearances from Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, Ne-Yo, Tiffany Evans, Wale and more. Tory Lanez was originally supposed to be on the album but their song wasn’t able to get cleared in time. Fans shouldn’t worry, though. T-Pain has promised the song will be out in a matter of days.

“The Tory feature didn’t get cleared in time so it was either leave that song off and release it a few days later or push the album back until that one song gets cleared,” he tweeted. “Obviously I’ve pushed enough dates back lol. So enjoy the other 16 trax until we get that straight.”

T-Pain has confirmed in several interviews that Oblivion will be his last album on RCA Records before he takes the independent route — which could definitely be a great move for him. In 2011, he released Revolver, which debuted at No. 28 on the Billboard 200.

Stream Oblivion below.