FLOP: The Urban Dictionary defines the word as “something that fails miserably”. For some reason, this label has plagued female performers during recent years. In fact, Pitchfork released an article that specifically discusses why “flops” remain lovable and appealing. My question is, why does this label mainly live within the female gender? Males also fail and seem to either disappear quietly, or disappear for a minute and then return with a vengeance. Male artists flop as well and it’s time we start bridging the term over to that gender as well. I mean it’s 2018 and Trump is president, anything goes.
We all know Train. They’re the band that crafted such hits as Drops of Jupiter, Calling All Angels, and their biggest hit to date Hey, Soul Sister. After the success of Hey, Soul Sister and it’s parent album Save Me San Francisco, they returned in 2012 with Drive By, another hit for the band which lead its parent album, California 37, to modest success. This is when things get a little… floppy. Bulletproof Picasso came and went without a sound, in fact, compared to the 500k+ sales of California 37, BP ended its run with a dismal 145k. Wait there’s more, the band not only replaced the majority of its members, but also summered-up their sound with 2017’s album A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat. The album had one moderate hit, Play That Song, but it’s only sold approximately slightly over 50,000 copies. Frankly, yes, they have been successful in the past and have had moderately popular singles with each album campaign, but then again, so have the women we call flops.
Now, I include Eminem because some may argue Train doesn’t have the clout Christina or Britney may carry; however, Eminem does. In 2013 Eminem released the Marshall Mathers LP 2. The album was an immediate success selling over 792k copies in its first week. The album produced multiple hits and sold well over two million copies. Cut to 2017 when he released Revival during the height of Q4, which is prime time for album sales. The album sold a dismal 197k copies, 267k with steams considered. As of May 2018, the album has only sold over 366k copies. Interesting that no one has outright labeled this a flop.
Case in point:
Christina Aguilera’s latest album has no single that is currently setting the charts alight, yet the album went to sell 62,000 in its first week. This was also after a 6-year reprieve from the music scene and off the heels of two albums that were deemed flops by the powers that be.
Britney has also faced what many have called two consecutive flops. Britney Jean HAD a hit (Work Bitch) on its hands prior to its released but only went to sell 272k copies. Glory, her follow up has only sold over 250k copies since its release without a hit.
If anything, Eminem is the real flop here because he went from selling over 2 million copies to selling 300k. Again, if anything, I think it’s high-time we start calling them all flops if we want to continue using this already passé term. Like it or not, we’ve all been flops; it’s all about the emancipation.