Welcome to the new episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all things pop on Billboard’s weekly charts. In addition, you can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop.
Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard editorial director Jason Lipshutz every week on the Pop Shop Podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes (click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com).
On the latest show, we’re joined by our special guests: dance/DJ trio Cheat Codes! The guys (Trevor Dahl, Kevin Ford and Matthew Russell) drop in to talk about their breakthrough year, working with Demi Lovato on their top 40-charting Billboard Hot 100 hit “No Promises,” their new single “Feels Great,” featuring Fetty Wap and CVBZ, and much more.
“Feels Great,” which recently granted the act its third top 10 hit on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, boasts rapper Fetty Wap on the track. And, as it turns out, he ended up giving Cheat Codes way more than they expected on the song.
“For urban music, it’s almost like you have to leave (the track) bare otherwise they’re not going to be interested,” the trio’s Russell says, suggesting that rappers who turn in a guest turn on a cut usually desire a lot of empty space on a track to fill in a verse.
“With Fetty,” who recorded his vocals separately from the group, “we were originally like, ‘oh, just sing the hook.’ That’s what we were thinking,” after they had sent the rapper the full track – but not an “empty” track. “And then he comes back with a whole verse that he wrote. Because he was probably thinking, ‘well, where’s the empty track for me to rap on?’ He literally sent us back the second verse and we had no idea that’s what he was going to do. And we were like, ‘oh cool, this is dope.’”
The guys also discuss why they throw cash into the crowd at their shows – to the tune of more than $60,000 (so far). Turns out, the idea originated at a festival show they played, where they wanted to go “all out,” hoping for the full-on pyro-and-lasers experience. As it turns out, it was going to cost $10,000 for the lasers. Stunned by the price tag, they thought, “let’s just throw it into the crowd then.”
“Lasers are cool, but, I’d probably get more hyped if somebody’s spraying money at me,” Russell says. “That’s kind of how the idea came about. We did that first show, it was lit, people went insane for it.”
Though they had some initial concerns about causing a stampede or a riot at their shows, they haven’t had a problem yet with the pricey promo. (It also helps that they are only tossing $1 bills into the crowd – to the tune of about $1,500 to $2,000 at each gig.)
In addition to the chat with Cheat Codes, the Pop Shop team dive into news about the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, the upcoming remake of The Lion King (starring Beyoncé!), chart news about Kenny Chesney, Camila Cabello, Sam Smith and more.
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