Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Video Premiere: Chris Rene's 'Young Homie'

Chris Rene does something that no new Idol has done since Kris Allen/Adam Lambert in AI8 has a new artist to chart on the mainstream.

This normally wouldn't be big news, but considering this is a bit of a marketability blog, and largely, as seen in Epochs 1, 2, 3, and 4, (all required reading) we saw that Idol was going in a different direction than the mainstream and churning out a success rate that was way worse than most baseball batting averages. Simon recognized that and casted a bunch of R&B/hip hop type guys, and one of those guys was Chris Rene. Even back when X Factor US 1 was running I noted that their types had more marketability potential than most Idol contestants. To further emphasize this concept of "piggybacking", here's what I said back at November 27th:

So, let's start with LA's boys because it's the easiest: with Chris Rene, I already see Mike Posner, Gym Class Heroes, Andy Grammer on the charts, and that reggae-soft rap style is something that he can piggyback off of. 

And lo and behold, guy gets 16.2million views for his X Factor audition video and has 4 million views for Young Homie so far. His video was released just two months ago, roughly. For reference, Scotty McCreery's video was released last August (roughly a year ago), and has 8 million views only. The whole Idol youtube shenanigans are found here. 

That isn't to say Chris Rene is a full fledged success. He isn't so far, but getting his song to chart, which was overplayed three times on the X Factor, means that there's some staying power to it. For these artists, it's pretty much a-getting-one-foot-in-the-door type situation where you need a catchy song that blends in with what's out there. That's why the "piggybacking" term was used in the first place. At least it looks like he'll be a one trick pony at worst, something that looks to be on par with Elliott Yamin. And as mentioned, in this new electropop/hip hop environment where Idol just can't get a foothold in (last guys to chart in AT40, as seen in the title, are Adam Lambert and one-hit-wonder Kris Allen) that's actually major apropos to him--as a TV show contestant, blending in like that is something Idol hasn't done for a while. With the groups and boybands Simon seems intent on forcing down America's throats this fall, and with the success of those groups, he might see more hits. It will be interesting to see how that forces Idol's hand--we've talked about their lack of contemporary songs in this blog, which is probably their biggest issue, even moreso than casting contemporary contestants (because face it, their contestants are either old-fashioned, or dumbed down by the song list to be old fashioned). But, that's for another blog topic.

And considering that he can rap, looks the part of Mike Posner and sings the part of what the mainstream likes, it will be interesting to see how success LA Reid can see out of him. 

And compare that to the latest Idol news today, courtesy of the Toronto Sun:

Other than Carrie Underwood at No. 3, “Idol” alumni bombed stateside with Lambert’s “Trespassing” freefalling to No. 12, last year’s Haley Reinhart flopping at No. 17, and 2009 winner Kris Allen, wheezing into No. 26 with his second studio album, “Thank You Camelia.”
It looks like Allen may soon join "Idol" winner-turned-flop Lee DeWyze as an obscure Trivial Pursuit question.

Chart is below (source: AT40)

June 02, 2012

1 - 20

Last WeekArtist & Song
Somebody That I Used To Know
We Are Young feat. Janelle Monae
33Flo Rida
Wild Ones feat. Sia
44Nicki Minaj
55The Wanted
Glad You Came
66One Direction
What Makes You Beautiful
710Carly Rae Jepsen
Call Me Maybe
87Katy Perry
Part of Me
99Maroon 5
Payphone feat. Wiz Khalifa
Rumour Has It
1112Justin Bieber
1211Kelly Clarkson
1313Calvin Harris
Feel So Close
Drive By
Where Have You Been
Back In Time
Take Care feat. Rihanna
2020Gym Class Heroes
Back Home feat. Neon Hitch

21 - 40

Last WeekArtist & Song
2117Jennifer Lopez
Dance Again feat. Pitbull
2223Ellie Goulding
2322David Guetta
Turn Me On feat. Nicki Minaj
Set Fire To The Rain
2526Demi Lovato
Give Your Heart A Break
2629David Guetta
Titanium feat. Sia
2727Jessie J
2825Flo Rida
Good Feeling
We Found Love feat. Calvin Harris
Sexy And I Know It
3133Havana Brown
We Run The Night feat. Pitbull
Party Rock Anthem feat. Lauren Bennett & ...
International Love feat. Chris Brown
3434David Guetta
Without You feat. Usher
3536Chris Rene
Young Homie
3637Neon Hitch
Love You Betta
3735Taylor Swift
Eyes Open
3839Rita Ora
How We Do (Party)
3940Neon Trees
Everybody Talks
40-Hot Chelle Rae


  1. The low AI, 8.787, indicates that Chris made that chart position purely on Epic bartering for overnight spins. Havana Brown spent about the same amount of time in the Top 50, peaked at about the same chart position as Chris, yet had over two and a half times the AI. I think Epic pretty much bought that chart position.

  2. The low AI is because the big market stations like Z100 and the rest never gave it a spin or added it. Out of the 155 monitored stations on the panel, only 88 added the song so how did EPIC buy a chart position? Havana Brown has that much AI because #1 stations like WHTZ, WKTU and WXRK in NEW YORK added and are spinning it. That's how songs get higher AI's. Chris' songs are on radio all the time not overnight. It gets huge daytime spins.

    IMO, considering how all the big guns scorned the song, "YOUNG HOMIE" has done really well, I'd say. Never been out of the top200 on itunes since it's release and is still in the top 150 as we speak. Meanwhile the song is falling like a rock on top 40 chart. That means it's been selling steadily and that's remarkable. It shows how a good song and artist can connect. Chris' success with this song has nothing to do with anyone buying spins lol! Way to diminish someone's success. It did and continue to do well because the song is good and the artist has connected. That's all.
    I think EPIC was smart to release the song that brought him fame as his first single and it did work. He's got tons of new fans and they're being smarter releasing a great summer song as the next. Here comes "TROUBLE"