Which came first: the chart hit or the radio play?

Here is my musical take on the classic chicken and egg dichotomy.

I was listening to prime time radio for the first time in years and after being bombarded with Black Eyed Peas, Rhianna, Lady Gaga and a few other chart staples I got wondering – how much of their fame comes from having being played three times an hour on prime time radio with the DJ bigging them up constantly?

If for some reason the next Black Eyed Peas single got released as White Toed Beans and didnt make it into the radio playlist would anyone listen to it?  Is it purely a peer approval thing or is there some artistic merit in there that would cause people to go hunt down the track wherever they could find it?

Coming from a time when skiving college for half a day to go hunting through record bins was the way to find killer music, I’m curious as to how many people would take time out of there day to search for current pop music if it wasnt mass marketed and hyped for them.

But that doesnt mean they’re all bad.  Most may be creatively barren and require a bit of soul-selling to satan, but pleasing the masses is not a bad thing – it is where the money’s at.  And anyone that says they wouldnt serve a silver platter to the dark lord for $$$ to pursue worthwhile projects probably needs their head checking.

So when I’m throwing up in my mouth listening to the latest Black Eyed Peas single, I try to remember that they still know what good music is and that they probably do the same after they hear it too.

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