The second week of 2011 will not be remembered as a momentous time in the history of popular music, but some cool things definitely went down. After all, it’s not every week that a major rap star gets an ice cream cone tattooed on his face.
It was a big week for new singles. Kanye West took time out from recording new music with Lil Wayne to deliver the first taste from his upcoming album with Jay-Z. Missy Elliott, Stevie Nicks and Britney Spears also debuted new tunes from their respective comeback albums. Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield loved the Spears track in particular, giving it a four-star review and declaring it “prime Britney.”
Nevertheless, it was a fairly grim week for the music industry as a whole. Taylor Swift had the dubious honor of scoring the Number One album in the worst week for record sales since Nielsen SoundScan began monitoring sales in 1991. It may be a sign of things to come, as a Nielsen music study showed that internet users are three times as likely to listen to music for free on YouTube or download records illegally than purchase digital music legally.
Anyway, enjoy the long weekend! We’ll be taking Martin Luther King Jr. Day off, but if you need to kill time until Tuesday, we suggest watching every movie in Rolling Stone‘s Top 15 Best Rock Docs on Netflix Instant.