Sex, Money & Other Ways To Guarantee Urban Radio Airplay

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A cursory glance at the year-to-date urban radio chart reaffirms an age-old music industry adage: Sex sells. You can see the Top 10 at the bottom of this post, but first let's talk about a few of the chart's recurring themes.

Sex Sells: Miguel's "Sure Thing" occupies the top spot with 86,785 spins, followed closely by Kelly Rowland's "Motivation" with 83,597.

"Sure Thing" is about being madly in love and all that mushy stuff but, Miguel being Miguel, occasionally slips in sexual innuendo wherever he sees fit. "You be the match, Imma be your fuse/Boom!" Oh Miguel, you sure have a way with words. "Motivation" needs no introduction. It sports some of the raunchiest lyrics on radio this year, and finds Rowland mewling, "push harder," "go longer" and "go, go, go!"

A few notches down at No.7 is Trey Songz's "Love Faces," a paean to post-coital expressions. "Don't it feel good when I touch on it," Songz sings, "Wouldn't it be nice if all night I was in you? Come kiss me, come with me down the hall to my bedroom. Tonight we'll be making love faces."

You've definitely heard Jeremih's "Down on Me" at some point, unless you've just returned from a trip to Mars. "Down on Me" is at No. 19, thanks to Jeremih's sexually charged poetry: "I'm gonna lick it lick it lick it till her hickey have that river running."

At No. 22 is Waka Flocka Flame's strip-club anthem, "No Hands," which features Roscoe Dash and Wale. If you're wondering why this song is still enjoying major buzz, the lyrics may offer some explanation: "Well I'm tryna hit the hotel with two girls that swallow dick/ Take this dick and swallow Bay Moscato got her freaky."

Clearly, program directors have a thing for Bay Mascato references.

Sex, ladies and gents, guarantees airplay. But that's not the only way in. After poring over the YTD chart for a minute, Rocks Off found a few other ways to get your song on the radio.

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1. Pony Up!: No pay, no play. Duh.


2. Get a Hook From Drake: Do whatever you can to legally secure a hook or, better yet, a verse and a hook from Drake. Artist X + Drake is a proven formula.

Proof: Drizzy sings or raps on five of the songs in the top 20.

(Pro Tip: If you're really serious about scoring a radio single, consider signing to Young Money or Cash Money. Five of the cuts in the Top 10 featured at least one YM/CM artist.)


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A scene from Trey Songz's "Love Faces
3. Get a Hook From Chris Brown: If Drake isn't available, try Chris Brown's Blackberry. Breezy sent three songs to the top 20. He's also singing on Big Sean's "My Last" (No. 7), which gives him a total of 4 active radio hits.


4. Become Lil WayneWayne boasts four hits in the Top 20. If you're that desperate for a hit, you'll just have to find a way to become Weezy F. Baby. You'll probably need waist-length dreds, a bizarre fascination with the letter "F," height-reduction procedures, and surgical implantation of the brain cells responsible for random outbursts of "ya dig?"


Take a gander at the urban radio Top 10.

1. Miguel, "Sure Thing" - 86,785
2. Kelly Rowland feat. Lil Wayne, "Motivation" - 83,597
3. Chris Brown, "Look at Me Now" - 75,488
4. Lil Wayne feat. Cory Gunz, "6 Foot 7 Foot" - 69,744
5. Nicki Minaj, "Moment 4 Life" - 68,362
6. Big Sean feat. Chris Brown - "My Last" - 67,339
7. Trey Songz, "Love Faces" - 63,470
8. DJ Khaled, "I'm on One" - 63,456
9. Chris Brown, "She Ain't You" - 63,280
10. Kanye West, "All of the Lights" - 62,732


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