Certificates, chocolate prizes?

Certificates, chocolate prizes?

Whether they’re gold, platinum or diamond, rappers aren’t waiting for the season to start chasing certifications. In the public eye, conquering this grail is the ultimate commitment for an artist and the crowning achievement of a project or single. A true object of desire reserved for a limited circle of rappers in the last decade, The advent of streaming has changed the cards to such an extent that it is possible to devalue performance. Alexandre Lasch, director general of SNEP, and Arnaud Fraisse, journalist of Mouv, decipher the phenomenon.

The love between the rapper and the certificate was contentious before it got better lately. However, the interest in these awards has not changed a bit between the different eras and Arnaud Fraisse could attest to that. Journalist Mouv’ produces the program, in tandem with Vikram Gounasegarin Roro on the YouTube channel of the radio where the artists talk about the gold certification. The bottom line is clear, everyone is talking about it with stars in their eyes whether they are old or new generations. “Nobody devalues ​​it, on the contrary, it represents something strong for them and for those around them. This is even more true for artists who did not get entry like Kaaris or Youssoupha. They doubted and reinvented themselves after years of careers to find the right formula“, explains Arnaud Fraisse.

Getting a certificate is synonymous with leaving a mark in the great history of music. These awards were born in the 50s and have since crossed the centuries to be picked up by Michael Jackson, Tupac, Jay-Z. Walking in the footsteps of an idol is therefore, undeniably, a symbol of success. It marked the year 2020 explosion of “niche rap” in the public eye with Laylow, Dinos, Freeze Corleone and Alpha Wann winning gold for the first time. A great achievement for these rappers, labeled as eternal uncrowned kings new generations such as Salif or Nessbeal, according to some. These gold plates confirmed the long-term work of these artists, opening new doors for them. “The public will always distinguish between those who have it and those who don’t. It is limited to the diploma awarded to a good student. The codes may have changed with streaming, because the way music is consumed is different, a gold record remains a career defining moment.“, states the journalist. Proof of this pride, many artists appear with their trophies in hand..

Each in his own way: Soso Maness symbolically hung Petrouchka’s diamond disc outside the Porte des Beaumettes surrounded by his other trophies last August. Others play more simply like PNL with Le Monde Chico in 2016. It was around this time that Group 91 got their first gold record for the album that launched their career. Bound to their roots, two brothers brought the trophy home, that is, to the district of Corbeil-Essonnes where it all began.

Streaming, the savior of awards

The years 2000-2010 marked the famous disk crisis. The number of certificates has fallen, especially for singles, under the influence of illegal downloads. Considering stream’, a growing market at the time, gave the needed boost and allowed the music sector to experience a new golden age. We remind you that each country has its own distribution organization. In France, these awards are issued by the National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (SNEP) and the Union of Independent French Phonographic Producers (UPFI). Artist gets his gold single for 15 million stream equivalents and 50,000 sales equivalents for a gold record. The term sales equivalent appeared in July 2016 when SNEP decided to count streaming for its awards. “This new channel had to be considered, because the certificates must reflect the consumption of music in all its forms. We had to think about how to balance the rules of equivalence between the physical and the digital to keep the balance“, explains Alexandre Lasch, general director of SNEP.

Six years after the reform, certificates fell without stopping on the French tail, weakened by disc collapse before. And Ninho is the one who “ felt Roro on his first studio album, the rapper best represents the new era of certified artists. Translator of Fendi has a huge collection of records of all kinds since its explosion in 2017. He achieved 200 certificates last February and his three studio albums (As expected, Fate and JEFE) are certified 100% gold single. An absolute record in French music and a performance unimaginable just a few years ago. July and its hundred qualities do not go unnoticed in the category of certificate hunters.

Streaming platforms are constantly expanding and flow’ is gaining more and more weight in the award balance. To the extent that SNEP has worked to recalculate the attribution rules to regulate the rapper’s acute collection of gold and platinum accolades. “There aren’t too many gold plates. Since 2015, we no longer certify, because the listening volume is higher. We have gone from a period when the physical single was a dead market to the explosion of this segment with streaming platforms. The rules must follow the evolution of music to stay current“, continues Alexandre Lasch. So SNEP has twice modified way of counting streaming sales: as of 2018, only “premium” account listening is taken into account. The union has made a 50% adjustment to thresholds for individual certificates to accommodate the trend.

The second reform affected the reduction of the weight of the stream’ in 2019 on the calculation of sales in 2019. 1,000 album listens before the reform, now there are 1,500. These decisions were contested by part of the industry and explain the resurgence of interest in the physical format in recent years. For SNEP, these modifications were necessary to have ever fairer rewards. “We are changing the methodology so that certificates reflect reality and truly reward outstanding achievements. The question is often raised whether thresholds should be changed. Nothing prevents us from reviewing the system and making a new adjustment by the end of the year. It is not our goal to reward all trips“, says the general director of SNEP.

A tail without a certificate is obviously possible

Even if getting a gold record has become a reality for some rappers, others are still running after their first gold album like Medina. He admitted that he had regrets during his promotion for Medina France because he didn’t get the final trophy. “It tastes like a bitter dream that came true too late. I always feel like I’m chasing this medal without ever getting it, so it’s true that there’s a little frustration. Mind you, I’m not obsessed with the gimmick“, he nuanced in front of Mehdi Maizi in the show Code on Apple Music.

The rapper from Havre is in a similar situation as the rest of his colleagues : famous enough to make a living from music, but not enough to get a certificate. And as he says, he lives very well without this award. Basically, is it so important to get a gold record when an artist manages to unite a solid fan base or when there is respectable success? Living off rap in the current era without being a big seller has become possible and never getting a gold record is nothing but a flop. As Makala says in Intro SLR : ” Whether they give me a gold record or not at all, I’m screwing them. “A mass has been appointed…

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