This week, the bigwigs at the R.I.A.A. decreed that from now on digital streams and video views on certain select sites like MTV.com, YouTube, Vevo, Spotify, and Rhapsody will count towards a song going Gold and Platinum. Under the old measures, a song had to be downloaded (legally) 500,000 times for it to go Gold and 1,000,000 for Platinum. Now, every 100 streams an artist racks up will count as one download. Which means an artist will have to reach 50 million streams for it to go Gold. But this isn't so crazy. Here's seven rappers who are well on their way to getting a Gold certification for a song that was never, ever a "hit."
1. 50 Cent, "Put Your Hands Up"
While looking to drum up interest in his fifth and final Interscope album, Fif' has constantly struggled to match the anthemic persuasion of "In Da Club." This 2011 mixtape effort wasn't the solution -- but under the new rules, it's one-Fifth of the way there.
Number of YouTube Plays to Date: 9,274,969
2. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, "Irish Celebration"
Buoyed by the success of "Thrift Shop," the kid Macklemore's celebration of his roots could follow suit and end up in the Gold club.
Number of YouTube Plays to Date: 9,123,856
3. RZA a.k.a. Bobby Digital, "La Rhumba"
Clearly, we shouldn't count out RZA's unconvincing Bob Digi persona.
Number of YouTube Plays to Date: 9,264,780
4. Tech N9ne feat. B.o.B. and Hopsin, "Am I A Psycho"
All power to the underground, with the Strange Music Army propelling this dose of horrorcore into the shiny Gold territory.
Number of YouTube Plays to Date: 9,353,991
5. Big L, "Put It On"
Harlem's dearly departed finest who was once courted by Roc-A-Fella -- but fond of the sort of brilliantly uncouth quips that would rarely see him clocking up a traditional mainstream radio hit.
Number of YouTube Plays to Date: 11,808,067
6. Soulja Boy and Bow Wow, "Marco Polo"
"Marco Polo" was released as a bonus cut on the deluxe edition of Bow Wow's New Jack City II album. Then the two tykes promptly fell out. Still, the track's clocked up healthy online eyeballs.
Number of YouTube Plays to Date: 20,839,341
7. Dead Prez, "Hip-Hop"
M-1 and stic.man's brooding and uncompromising hip-hop call to arms never even cracked the Billboard Hot 100 on its original 1999 release, but it could still crawl its way to defiant Gold status decades later.
Number of YouTube Plays to Date: 10,381,416