New Orleans newcomer August Alsina picks up his first Billboard airplay chart-topper, as "I Luv This Shit," on which he's co-billed with Trinidad James, jumps 4-1 on the Nielsen BDS-based Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay ranking. The Knucklehead-produced track rises by 18% in plays, dethroning Jay Z’s "Holy Grail" (featuring Justin Timberlake) after two weeks on top. "I Luv This Shit" also leapfrogs Drake’s "Hold On, We’re Going Home" (featuring Majid Jordan), which holds at No. 2 (up 4%), and J. Cole's former No. 1 "Crooked Smile" (featuring TLC) (3-3).
Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop and all charts will refresh on Billboard.biz on Thursday (Oct. 10).
Alsina’s move makes him the first R&B singer to top the chart with a debut single since Jeremih’s "Birthday Sex" spent four weeks at No. 1 in 2009. He's also the third new act to reach No. 1 on the list this year: A$AP Rocky reigned with "Fuckin' Problems" and James led in his first visit with "All Gold Everything," both in February.
Making the chart's new No. 1 an even more impressive feat, "I Luv This Shit" reaches the summit after a 21-week climb, tying for the second-longest trip to the top in the chart's 20-year history. Monica holds the record with "Before You Walk Out of My Life," which took 25 weeks to hit No. 1 in 1996. Lil Jon’s "Snap Yo Fingers" (featuring E-40 and Sean Paul of the YoungBloodZ) needed 21 weeks to rule in 2006.
"We are very proud of August Alsina," says Island Def Jam senior VP of urban promotion Rodney Shealey. "The trek to No. 1 wasn’t an easy one, but we were committed to him as an artist and this record, as we are to all our projects."
With rap dominating mainstream R&B/hip-hop and pure-R&B songs more readily accepted by adult-leaning R&B stations, the label has faced a bit of a battle in working "I Luv This Shit." "We realize the lifeblood to what we do is breaking new artists. In order to do that you have to be willing to ride it out despite the resistance," Shealey says. "R&B records take longer to build and longer to break, but when they do, they stick around longer."
Shealey credits Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s support and the song’s remix, featuring Chris Brown and Trey Songz, as catalysts for its No. 1 status. "We benefitted from having Doc Wynter [Clear Channel brand manager for urban/urban AC] being a strong early believer in August as an artist and really believing that 'I Luv This Shit' was a hit. That commitment, combined with a Clear Channel launch on the remix this past Friday, catapulted us to No. 1."