While current chart rules make it a little too easy for fake hits to climb up on and even top the charts, they also make it easy for songs that are truly impactful to dominate (no matter how long after their release).

In case you’re wondering, a “fake” hit is one that, for example, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 one week and is out of the top 10 two weeks later. A hit that is purely built on the star power of the performing artist has zero traction outside of the artist’s stans, and therefore, does not maintain “popularity” after the first week or so of its release. But I digress.

Back to the chart rules.

While album cuts and years old songs can chart now due to prevailing rules, back in ’98, a song couldn’t chart unless a physical single was issued for the song — even if a music video had been released for the song in question. As you can imagine, this basically shut independent artists out from the Hot 100, but it also made it impossible for songs that were popular at radio to chart. And in special scenarios where, for instance, an artist’s record label was run by her estranged soon-to-be ex-husband, the chart rules circa ’98 created a perfect opportunity for sabotage. Such is the story of multiple Mariah Carey songs from the Butterfly album.

The couple had separated before

In a filing made yesterday, attorneys representing Lizzo denied allegations made in the lawsuit filed by three former dancers — Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis and Noelle Rodriguez — last month and asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, which accuses the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Neama Rahmani, the lawyer representing the dancers, said Lizzo’s response “merely consists of boilerplate objections that have nothing to do with the case.”

All of this comes just a week after a former member of the singer’s wardrobe department, Asha Daniels, filed a lawsuit making similar allegations.

Janet Jackson’s magnus opus, Rhythm Nation, turns 34 years old this week, and while we don’t like celebrating non-milestone anniversaries, this is certainly a great opportunity to take a look back at the album’s sixth single, “Black Cat.”

The ability to execute in different genres — and do so believably — is one that few recording artists possess. Janet is a member of this elite group, and she makes this abundantly clear on “Black Cat,” a hard rock song that somehow fits perfectly in an album that is decidedly pop/R&B.

Written by Janet and co-produced by Janet & Jellybean Johnson from The Time, the song is sung from the perspective of a woman with a gang-banging man who can’t stay off the streets. Between the production and Janet’s forceful vocal delivery, it’s easy to imagine a completely different subject matter, but the song is basically “Waterfalls” (thematically, at least).

“Black Cat” would become the sixth of the record seven top five hits from Rhythm Nation. It would also become Janet’s fourth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earn her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, making her the first artist to be nominated across five genres at the award show.

Let’s file this one under Unforced Errors.

Nicki Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty (a.k.a. Zoo Bang), has been placed on house arrest for up to 120 days after threatening Offset in a video posted online last week. It’s not sure why the threats were made, but there have been rumblings about an incident that took place at the MTV Video Music Awards last week, where Cardi B (Offset’s wife) and Nicki were both present. As you all know, Nicki and Cardi have had beef for years and almost came to blows in 2018.

Kenneth’s threats are a violation of his three-year probation, which began in July 2022 after he failed to register as a sex offender. In the official court documents, he is said to have made the threats “while in the company of someone with a criminal record.”

Amy Winehouse would’ve been 40 years old today. Not only does she share a birthday with Nas, she was a friend and a fan, and one of her most notable songs is a one about missing a Nas concert.

“Me & Mr. Jones” was inspired by the singer missing a Nas concert that took place in March 2005 in Brixton. At the time, she was working on what would become her breakthrough and final album, Back to Black. The song, written by Amy and produced by Salaam Remi, was originally titled “Fuckery.” It never became a single, but it is one of Amy’s best-known songs and was one of her favorite to perform live.

Long live Amy!

Today, just weeks after hip-hop turned 50, one of its greatest talents, Nasir Jones, also turns 50.

In June of ’96, Nas released “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” (featuring Lauryn Hill) as the lead single from his sophomore set, It Was Written. The song samples Kurtis Blow’s “If I Ruled the World,” taking the hook in a more conscious direction.

The greatness of Nas’ “If I Ruled the World” is that it manages to be somewhat of a club banger while being deeply political. While some of what Nas raps about is progressive, some of it is, err, a bit questionable, but it wouldn’t be Nas if there wasn’t a whiff of hotep garbage. All of that being said, “If I Ruled the World” is a solid track and one of the best to come of the genre. It’s also one of the greatest blends of hip-hop and R&B we have ever seen.

What’s better than one “it” girl? Two.

Three years after the chart-topping “WAP,” Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion are back at it with “Bongos.” And this time, Meg is credited the right way — as a co-lead.

“Bongos” doesn’t quite jump at you right away, but as the reggaeton-ish beat gets thicker, it starts to make sense. Also, Bardi and Meg are talking cash shit from start to finish, so even as you warm up to the beat, you’ll be entertained by their bars.

If you’re not impressed by the beat nor lyrics of “Bongos,” you will at least be impressed by the video. It is flush with colors, and if not for the bouncing asses, you might think it was a Fanta commercial (and I say that with love). Also, the general consensus is that one of the dance scenes looks similar to a scene in Beyoncé’s “Baby Boy” video.

The video has been watched more than 1.5 million times in the 12 hours since its release, so a top-five debut on next week’s Billboard Hot 100 is almost a guarantee. Press play.

Earlier today, an official statement was posted to the Love & Hip-Hop Instagram page regarding Erica Mena calling Spice a monkey.

While multiple outlets are reporting that Erica has been fired, it’s important to note that that’s not quite what they said. The statement says she will not appear on the next season of Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, which leaves the door open for her to returning after next season. It also leaves the door open for her going to another city in the Love & Hip-Hop franchise.