Hip-Hop

Chris Brown's 'Crazy' Crowns Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Biggest Radio Hit Since 2008

Chris Brown and Young Thug, "Go Crazy"
Courtesy Photo

Chris Brown and Young Thug, "Go Crazy"

Chris Brown and Young Thug took the scenic route, but the pair finally arrive at their intended destination: No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as their collaboration “Go Crazy” reaches the summit in its 32nd week on the list. The single, which debuted at No. 33 in May, rises from No. 3 on the chart dated Dec. 26.

“Crazy” secures Brown’s sixth No. 1 on the chart. He last led when he, Drake and Lil Wayne all featured on Nicki Minaj’s “Only,” a one-week leader in 2014. In terms of leading roles, the new chart champ marks the R&B superstar’s first since “Look at Me Now,” featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne, clocked eight weeks in charge in April – May 2011.

Young Thug, meanwhile, banks his second Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs No. 1. He previously led just two months ago, when Travis Scott’s “Franchise,” featuring the rapper and M.I.A., debuted atop the Oct. 10-dated results.

With a 32-week ride to No. 1, “Crazy” ties for the third-longest trip to the top since the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart’s genre-wide survey began in 1958. Here’s a look at the updated standings:

Weeks to No. 1, Song, Artist, Date Reached No. 1
43, “Step in the Name of Love,” R. Kelly, Dec. 6, 2003
35, “All of Me,” John Legend, May 17, 2014
32, “Needed Me,” Rihanna, Sept. 24, 2016
32, “Go Crazy,” Chris Brown & Young Thug, Dec. 26, 2020
31, “You,” Lloyd featuring Lil Wayne, Dec. 17, 2007
30, “There Goes My Baby,” Usher, Aug. 14, 2010

'Crazy' Radio Domination: The slow-but-steady “Crazy” march aligns with its gradual weekly improvements in radio airplay, where single has found a home at multiple formats. It rules the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart for a staggering 13th consecutive frame through 29.3 million audience impressions in the week ending Dec. 20, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, and is still improving – it’s up 6% in its audience reach from the prior week.

Further assisting the “Crazy” cause is the wide lead that it has established over its competitors. Current runner-up “B.S.” by Jhene Aiko featuring H.E.R, posts 18.7 million in audience impressions; the 10.6 million gap between the top two is nearly as big as the gap between No. 2 “B.S.” and the No. 17 title, K Camp’s “What’s on Your Mind,” featuring Jacquees.

Buoyed by such strong support in the R&B/hip-hop realm, "Crazy" bumps 4-3 on the all-genre Radio Songs chart thanks to a similar 6% boost in audience to 72 million overall. The track is Brown's best performance on Radio Songs in 12 years, since "Forever" logged three weeks at No. 1 in 2008.

Here’s a secret weapon behind the “Crazy” airplay dominance – the single has generated high play at both mainstream and adult R&B stations simultaneously, a shift from most titles that either stronger reception at primarily one sector, or, for titles that do become hits at both, tend to begin at one format and later cross to the other.

While “Crazy” has already appeared to peak on mainstream R&B/hip-hip radio – having reached No. 1 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop plays airplay tally for six nonconsecutive weeks between July and September – the song has enjoyed record-breaking longevity, holding at No. 3 on the latest tally to secure a record-extending 27th week in the top five of Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop since the chart’s inception in 1992.

As mainstream radio programmers cling to “Crazy,” the adult-oriented sector demonstrates its full support behind the track, which climbs 4-1 to lead the Adult R&B Songs airplay chart for the first time. The single rises thanks to a 20% surge in plays in the week, the largest gain among all 30 songs on the chart.

The move, too, secures Brown’s new status as an adult R&B favorite after his early pop and R&B material found minor success with the adult R&B market. 15 years in, he’s now cracked the code with the format’s listeners. After reaching a No. 15 best among his first 12 entries on Adult R&B, his last three entries have all reached the top five, including back-to-back No. 1s in “No Guidance,” featuring Drake, the chart’s top-performing track of 2020, and “Crazy.”

One final, key piece of the “Crazy” puzzle is the single’s favorability with top 40 programmers in a way that Brown hasn’t seen in almost a decade. “Crazy” pushes 11-8 on the latest Pop Songs airplay chart ranking, which measures radio airplay at monitored top 40-centric stations. The hike grants Brown entry into the top 10 for the first time since 2012, when the dance-pop tune “Don’t Wake Me Up” climbed to No. 6.

Young Thug’s presence, too, likely helps in this regard, having become a familiar name to pop audiences thanks to his assists on Pop Songs chart hits such as Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” a seven-week champ in 2017, and Post Malone’s “Goodbyes,” which rose to No. 4 in 2019.