Bubbling Under: Classified's 'Ninja' Kicks Up Support; Also, The Villains, Shaliek & Ebony Baskin

Each Friday, Billboard presents “Bubbling Under,” a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success. Up this week: Classified, the Villains, Shaliek, Ebony Baskin

Classified

After notching six hits on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 since 2009, rapper Classified has his sights set south of the border. The Nova Scotia-based MC signed with Atlantic Records in March and is on the verge of scoring his first Mainstream Top 40 hit with “Inner Ninja,” featuring David Myles (up 24% in plays at the format, according to Nielsen BDS). The cut, which hit No. 5 on the Canadian Hot 100 in March, will be featured on his self-titled Halflife/Atlantic debut album, due later this year.

The Villains

Atlanta pop/rock quintet the Villains venture to their first Billboard chart ink, as “(My) Rainy Day Girl” (Toucan Cove) enters Adult Contemporary at No. 27. The song appears on the group's sophomore album Velocity, which was produced by Stan Lynch (Don Henley, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and Billy Chapin (Backstreet Boys, Edwin McCain). WJKK Jackson, Miss., leads all AC panelists with 12 plays for the song during the May 13-19 BDS tracking week.

Shaliek

Bronx-born crooner Shaliek makes his chart debut with “The Past,” which opens at No. 39 on Adult R&B. Sirius XM's Heart & Soul channel led all panelists last week in plays (16) for the soulful plea to let bygones be bygones. Shaliek signed with Ruben Rodriguez' Pendulum Records after penning songs for such artists as Day26 and Jordan Knight as part of the songwriting team the Hitterzz.

Ebony Baskin

With airplay at 29 of the chart's 46 reporters, former backup singer Ebony Baskin's “He Chose Me” simmers just below the Gospel Songs tally. Born in Detroit and raised in New Jersey, Baskin cut her teeth singing in church choirs and with R&B group Elite. She's worked as a harmony vocalist with Faith Evans, Kiely Williams and others and co-wrote Evans' “I Still,” a track from the singer's 2010 album Something About Faith.

Reporting by Keith Caulfield, Wade Jessen, Rauly Ramirez and Gary Trust of the Billboard charts department.