Travis Scott Scores First Billboard Hot 100 Leader: 'What's More 'Sicko Mode' Than Going No. 1?!'
"Just super-thankful to all the fans and supporters," Scott tells Billboard.
Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode" rises to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (dated Dec. 8) after two consecutive, and four total, weeks at No. 2, marking the rapper's first leader on the list. The song features contributions from Drake and Skrillex, among others.
"I don't know how I'm writing this right now … it's so many emotions. Just super-thankful to all the fans and supporters," Scott reacted in a statement to Billboard. "Me and Drake been working to make something so crazy for the kids. It's dope that one of our illest collaborations just went No. 1. I just want to thank him and the whole OVO fam for everything. And love to Skrillex!"
Did the "Sicko Mode" lyrics and meaning make for a nice metaphor for hard work leading to success? "Yes, definitely," Scott says. "The whole idea when we made the song was to go 'sicko mode' … and what's more sicko mode than going No. 1?!"
"Sicko" dethrones Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next," which led the Hot 100 for its first three weeks on the chart. "Next" could return to No. 1 on next week's chart following the Friday, Nov. 30, arrival of its retro-2000s-themed, cameo-infused official video.
Plus, Panic! at the Disco notches its first top five Hot 100 hit, as "High Hopes" pushes 6-5.
Let's run down the top 10 of the newest Hot 100, which blends all-genre U.S. streaming, radio airplay and digital sales data. All charts will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 4).
Scott's first No. 1: "Sicko," released on Cactus Jack/Grand Hustle/Epic Records and the 1,080th No. 1 in the Hot 100's 60-year history, is Scott's first No. 1 on the chart. Along with reaching a prior No. 2 high with "Sicko," he reached the runner-up spot with Kodak Black's "ZEZE," featuring Scott and Offset; after peaking at No. 2 upon its Oct. 27 debut, "ZEZE" rebounds 10-7 this week.
Remix helps spark rise: Following the Nov. 28 release of its remix with Skrillex, "Sicko" tops the Hot 100 in its 17th week on the chart. The track rises 4-2 on the Streaming Songs list with 37.2 million U.S. streams, up 1 percent, in the week ending Nov. 29, according to Nielsen Music. It charges 6-2 on Digital Song Sales with 24,000 downloads sold, up 35 percent, in the same span, good for the Hot 100's top Sales Gainer award. On Radio Songs, "Sicko" is steady at No. 8 with a 5 percent gain to 65.1 million in all-format airplay audience in the week ending Dec. 2.
Solo mode: Scott is the sole credited artist on "Sicko," although Drake's vocals are prominently featured (and he is officially billed on the song's video; plus, Skrillex does not receive chart credit, with total activity for the remix not outweighing that of the original version).
Also on the track, but not receiving official billing, are Swae Lee and, via a sample, late rapper Big Hawk. "Sicko" additionally samples "Gimme the Loot," originally performed by The Notorious B.I.G., and interpolates Luke's "I Wanna Rock," the latter of which hit No. 8 on Hot Rap Songs, No. 39 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 73 on the Hot 100 in 1992.
Notably, one of Drake's yearly-record 12 Hot 100 top 10s in 2018 sports vocals from an artist that is not credited on it: "Emotionless" (No. 8 debut and peak in July), which samples Mariah Carey's three-week 1991 No. 1 "Emotions." As for other such fairly recent examples, in 2016, Coldplay hit No. 25 with "Hymn for the Weekend," on which Beyoncé is not credited despite providing vocals, while, in 2013, Avicii soared to No. 4 with "Wake Me Up!," sung by an unbilled Aloe Blacc.
The practice was seemingly more prominent in prior decades, when artists, writers and producers would lend their talents to songs more casually (with legal and label involvement, since increased, also always playing a part in billings). In the early-to-mid-'90s, multiple No. 1s led with notable uncredited vocalists, including Madonna's "Take a Bow" (Babyface), Carey's "I'll Be There" (Trey Lorenz) and Tommy Page's "I'll Be Your Everything" (members of New Kids on the Block).
No. 1 song & album: As "Sicko" rules the Hot 100, parent album Astroworld surges 7-1 on the Billboard 200 for a third total week on top; the set led the Billboard 200 for its first two weeks on the survey (Aug. 18 and 25). Scott is the third artist to top both tallies simultaneously in 2018, after Drake, for five weeks, and Camila Cabello (one). (In 2017, Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar achieved the feat, for two weeks and one week, respectively).
Ruling R&B/hip-hop & rap: "Sicko" posts a sixth week at No. 1 on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts. The track is Scott's second No. 1 on each survey, and first in a lead role; it halted his first reign, with "ZEZE," which led each list dated Oct. 27.
"Sicko" narrowly defeats Grande's "Thank U, Next" atop the hot 100, as the former gains by 5 percent in overall activity and the latter descends by 5 percent. Still, "Next" tops Streaming Songs for a fourth week (42.5 million, down 3 percent). It falls 4-5 on Digital Song Sales (18,000, down 23 percent) and zooms 36-23 on Radio Songs (39.5 million, up 25 percent), claiming the Hot 100's top Airplay Gainer title.
"Next," which debuted as Grande's first Hot 100 No. 1 on the chart dated Nov. 17, could return to the Hot 100 summit next week, as its new official clip broke 24-hour views records on YouTube and Vevo following its premiere Nov. 30 (the first day of the streaming and sales tracking week feeding next week's charts).
Marshmello and Bastille's "Happier" holds at its No. 3 Hot 100 high, as it tops Hot Dance/Electronic Songs for an 11th week, and Halsey's "Without Me" is steady at its No. 4 Hot 100 peak, while leading Digital Song Sales for a second frame (29,000, down 22 percent).
Panic! at the Disco achieves its first top five Hot 100 hit, as "High Hopes" rises 6-5. (In the act's sole prior visit to the top 10, with debut entry "I Write Sins Not Tragedies," it reached No. 7 in 2006.) "Hopes" spends a second week at No. 1 on Radio Songs (113.8 million, up 7 percent), as it becomes Panic's first No. 1 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart, while leading the Alternative Songs airplay ranking for a fourth frame. "Hopes" rules Hot Rock Songs for a fifth week.
Sheck Wes' debut hit "Mo Bamba" hits a new Hot 100 high, lifting 7-6, and (below "ZEZE" at No. 7) Lil Baby and Gunna's "Drip Too Hard" rises 9-8, after peaking at No. 4.
Maroon 5's former seven-week Hot 100 No. 1 "Girls Like You," featuring Cardi B, drops 8-9. The song logs a 26th week in the top 10, becoming just the 12th single in the chart's archives to reach the six-month milestone (and Maroon 5 and Cardi B's first each); it's the first since Drake's "God's Plan," which spent its 26th and last week in the region on July 28. Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" holds the record with 33 weeks in the top 10 in 2017.
Rounding out the Hot 100's top 10, Juice WRLD's "Lucid Dreams" falls 5-10, after reaching No. 2.
Just below the Hot 100's top 10, Mariah Carey's 1994 holiday classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You" zooms 29-14 as the chart's top Streaming Gainer, as it jingles 30-8 on Streaming Songs (22 million, up 53 percent). The song hit the Hot 100's top 10 for the first time last holiday season, reaching No. 9.
Find out more Hot 100 news on Billboard.com this week, and, for all chart news, you can listen (and subscribe) to Billboard's Chart Beat Podcast and Pop Shop Podcast and follow @billboard and @billboardcharts. And again, be sure to visit Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 4), when all charts, including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh. The next issue of Billboard magazine is on sale Friday (Dec. 7).