Childish Gambino‘s “This Is America” crowns the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a second week. Also for a second frame, the song heads up a top four consisting entirely of rap hits, a feat that, until the past two weeks, had not occurred in consecutive frames in 15 years.
Let’s run down the top 10 of the Hot 100 (dated May 26), which blends all-genre streaming, airplay and sales data. All charts will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (May 22).
“America,” released on mcDJ/Wolf + Rothstein/RCA (as Childish Gambino’s first RCA single) is the first Hot 100 leader for actor-director Donald Glover’s musical alter ego, who premiered the song as the musical guest on the May 5 episode of NBC’s Saturday Night Live (as Glover hosted); the song and its socially-conscious video were released simultaneously around midnight ET Sunday, May 6.
Following its first seven-day tracking period of streaming and sales, “America” tops the Streaming Songs chart for a second week, up 7 percent to 69.6 million U.S. streams in the week ending May 17, according to Nielsen Music. It also takes over atop the subscription services-based On-Demand Streaming Songs chart, rising 3-1 with 26.7 million on-demand audio streams, up 27 percent, in the week ending May 17.
“America” leads the Digital Song Sales survey for a second frame, with a 36 percent decline to 50,000 downloads sold in the week ending May 17, while advancing below the Radio Songs chart, up 77 percent to 16.7 million in all-format airplay audience in the week ending May 20.
Drake‘s “Nice for What,” which ruled the Hot 100 for its first four weeks on the chart, dating to its No. 1 debut, spends a second week at No. 2. It keeps at No. 2 on Streaming Songs (42 million, down 8 percent), rebounds 4-3 on Digital Song Sales (25,000, down 8 percent) and pushes 8-6 on Radio Songs (77.1 million, up 6 percent).
Drake also holds at No. 3 on the Hot 100 with “God’s Plan,” which launched at No. 1 and spent 11 weeks at the summit prior to “Nice.”
Post Malone‘s “Psycho,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, is additionally steady on the Hot 100, at No. 4 after reaching No. 2, while earning the Hot 100’s top Airplay Gainer award, as it rises 9-8 on Radio Songs (75.4 million, up 12 percent).
For a second week, the Hot 100’s top four consists entirely of rap hits (and mirrors the top four on both Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs). Is that especially notable?
@gthot20 Hey Gary! After a few minutes of search on Billboard’s website I realized that last week’s top four is the first all-rap top four since Feb. 28, 2009 (1. Right Round, 2. Dead And Gone, 3. Crack A Bottle, 4. Heartless). Can you confirm it?
— Flávio Henrique (@Flavio__94) May 20, 2018
The last two weeks mark the first frames since Feb. 28, 2009, that the Hot 100’s top four have been a clean sweep for rap hits. Gambino’s “America,” Drake’s “Nice” and “Plan” and Post Malone’s “Psycho” the past two weeks have combined for the first such rap domination since, from No. 1 to No. 4 on that chart over nine years ago, Flo Rida’s “Right Round”; T.I.’s “Dead and Gone,” featuring Justin Timberlake; Eminem, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent’s “Crack a Bottle”; and Kanye West’s “Heartless.”
As for rap ruling the Hot 100’s top four in back-to-back weeks? The past two weeks mark the first such repeat in nearly 15 years. For four weeks in 2003, from May 31 through June 21, the top four exclusively housed in that span 50 Cent’s “21 Questions,” featuring Nate Dogg; Sean Paul’s “Get Busy”; Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey’s “I Know What You Want,” featuring The Flipmode Squad; Fabolous’ “Can’t Let You Go,” featuring Mike Shorey and Lil’ Mo; and Lil’ Kim’s “Magic Stick,” featuring 50 Cent (the lattermost of which replaced Fabolous’ hit in the region on the June 21-dated chart).
The current feat further reinforces R&B/hip-hop’s surge, as, in 2017, the genre ruled with 24.5 percent of all music consumption in the U.S., marking the first time that R&B/hip-hop led the category for a calendar year.
Capping the Hot 100’s top five, and standing as the highest-ranking non-rap hit, Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line‘s No. 2-peaking collab “Meant to Be” is stationary at No. 5. It leads the Hot Country Songs chart for a 25th week, passing FGL’s own “Cruise,” in 2012-13, for the longest command by a duo or group in the chart’s history and the second-longest overall; Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” reigned for a record 34 weeks in 2017.
Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey‘s “The Middle” repeats at No. 6 on the Hot 100 after hitting a No. 5 high. It tops Radio Songs for a second week (118.2 million, down 1 percent) and the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart for a 16th week.
Ariana Grande‘s “No Tears Left to Cry” climbs 10-7 on the Hot 100 after debuting three weeks ago at its No. 3 high; BlocBoy JB’s No. 5-peaking “Look Alive,” featuring Drake, drops 7-8; and Camila Cabello‘s “Never Be the Same” slips 8-9, down from its No. 6 peak.
Ed Sheeran‘s former six-week Hot 100 No. 1 “Perfect” rounds out the Hot 100’s top 10, descending 9-10. The song logs a 27th week in the top 10, becoming just the ninth title to have tallied at least that many weeks in the region. Sheeran holds the record for the longest such run: his “Shape of You” spent 33 weeks in the top 10 in 2017.
Below the Hot 100’s top 10, Ella Mai soars 17-11 with her breakthrough hit “Boo’d Up,” which becomes her first No. 1 on the Hot R&B Songs chart; Kane Brown hits the top 15 for the first time with “Heaven” (20-15); Marshmello and Anne-Marie’s “Friends” flies 21-16, marking a new best rank for Marshmello, who previously reached No. 20 in December with “Wolves,” with Selena Gomez; and Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood” ascends to the top 20 (27-20), passing its prior No. 22 high.
Find out more Hot 100 news in the weekly “Hot 100 Chart Moves” column and by listening (and subscribing) to Billboard‘s Chart Beat Podcast and Pop Shop Podcast. And again, be sure to visit Billboard.com tomorrow (May 22), when all charts, including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh.