The tag team of Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow storm in and shake up Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as their collaboration, “Industry Baby,” debuts at No. 1 on the list dated August 7. The single traces its chart-topping bow to a huge streaming sum, helped by a social media promo campaign that played on Lil Nas X’ court appearance days before the song’s release and its provocative music video, which the rapper warned on Twitter was “not for kids” and mostly takes place in an all-male prison.
Through the chart-topping start, Lil Nas X (real name: Montero Hill) banks his second No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, after “Old Town Road,” which lodged a record 20 weeks on top thanks to its remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.
Jack Harlow, meanwhile, collects his first leader. He previously managed a No. 2 career best with his breakout single, “What’s Poppin’,” featuring DaBaby, Tory Lanez and Lil Wayne.
The instant success also returns a familiar name – Kanye West – to the top slot, though not as a performer. The prolific hitmaker serves as a producer on “Industry Baby,” and with the new champ, West adds an eighth Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs No. 1 in that role. He last led over six years ago (as both a co-producer and performing artist) on “FourFiveSeconds,” with Rihanna and Paul McCartney, which reigned for seven weeks in 2015.
“Industry Baby” begins as the week’s top-streamed and top-selling R&B/hip-hop song. In the former category, it registered 40.6 million U.S. streams in the week ending July 29, according to MRC Data, and opens at No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs rankings. Likewise, it kicks off atop the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales standings through 11,000 downloads sold in the same period.
Radio airplay, meanwhile, is off to its greatest reception in the pop and rhythmic markets. After its first full week of tracking, “Industry Baby” cracks both the Pop Airplay and Rhythmic Airplay charts at Nos. 29 and 28, respectively. Though it has yet to reach the corresponding Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay list, support from the genre sector is building; “Baby” notched 213 plays across 34 stations in the latest tracking week.
“Industry Baby” is likely to appear on Lil Nas X’s first full-length studio album, Montero, which the rapper announced in June is “coming soon.” The album could also contain his other 2021 hit, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” which debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in April.