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Trending Up: TikTok Unwraps ‘Lollipop,’ d4vd Hits the Viral Jackpot a Second Time & The ‘Yellowstone’ Bump

Plus, even in their rush to embrace the Christmas music season, listeners still manage to remember some Thanksgiving perennials.

Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up newsletter, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip. 
This week: Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” goes viral anew, d4vd follows up his streaming breakthrough with another slow-growing hit, and an independent Texas band enjoys major gains after an appearance on one of the most-watched TV premieres of the decade.


TikTok Takes Another Lick at “Lollipop” 

Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III smash “Lollipop” may have topped the Billboard Hot 100 back in 2008, but TikTok is taking to the song like it came out yesterday. The line “Okay, lil mama had a swag like mine / Even where her hair down her back like mine” is now the soundtrack to all sorts of random ephemera on the platform: One woman used it to soundtrack herself preparing for labor, a 92-year-old grandma used it to share that she had paid off her future funeral costs, and a pair of siblings used the song to poke fun at their dad. 

There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why users are loving Tunechi’s old Cash Money track so much, but the strange TikTok buzz has surely paid off: “Lollipop” is up 47% in weekly on-demand U.S. streams to nearly 3.3 million for the week ending Nov. 21. – KRISTIN ROBINSON

‘Yellowstone’ Fever Boosts Shane Smith & The Saints Songs

If you were one of the nearly 16 million people who watched the season five premiere of the Paramount Network smash family drama Yellowstone, you heard three songs – two as performed by the band within the episode – by independent Texas outfit Shane Smith and the Saints, a previously established favorite of characters on the show. Not surprising, then, that the songs would experience a streaming bump as a result, particularly the ones the band played themselves: “Dance the Night Away,” from 2013’s Coast album, rose 164.7% in weekly official on-demand U.S. streams to 107,000 for the week ending Nov. 17, according to Luminate, while the recently released “Fire in the Ocean” saw a 81% gain to 177,000. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER

Sped-Up? Slowed-Down? Either Way, Listeners Love ‘Limbo’

“Limbo,” the bruising rap showcase from Ontario MC Freddie Dredd, has started to snowball into a hit after being featured on his Freddie’s Inferno project in August — and the song is doing so in a variety of different formats. A slowed-down version of the track is taking off on TikTok, and so is a sped-up version; “Limbo” is being synched up to dramatic sequences in Call of Duty, as well as God of War: Ragnarok. But even in its original version, Dredd’s hard-nosed rhyming is connecting with listeners: weekly U.S. on-demand streams for “Limbo” increased over 90 percent during the week ending Nov. 17, up to 3.54 million, according to Luminate.

Dredd, who is signed to RCA Records, is no stranger to TikTok virality: his 2019 single “Cha Cha,” which sampled Lisa Ono’s “Sway It, Hula Girl,” became a breakthrough for the rapper in the early days of the app’s industry influence. Yet “Limbo” is quickly becoming his signature hit, and Dredd is well-aware of its success. “Out of all the music i have made ive never had a single song do so well in a single day,” he posted on Twitter last week after a particularly strong day for “Limbo” on Spotify. “thank yall so much for streaming my s–t, thank yall for making my dreams come true.” – JASON LIPSHUTZ

d4vd Goes Two for Two With Viral Hits

Teen singer-songwriter d4vd is certainly a newcomer to the music biz, but he’s already racked up a second major TikTok hit this year. First, his single “Romantic Homicide” went so viral it hit the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 and led to a seven-figure deal with Interscope/Darkroom. Now follow-up “Here With Me” is also picking up steam, with hundreds of thousands of creations already on the app

Focusing on the lyrics “I don’t care how long it takes / as long as I am with you / I’ve got a smile on my face,” users are posting videos of heartwarming videos they found on the Internet, sometimes with them on greenscreen reacting to it. One video shows a woman feeding a stray dog, another shows a “tired teacher” putting on a “happy face” before walking into his classroom to greet students. Users’ emotional attachment to the song has transferred to real streaming wins for d4vd, as the song has climbed steadily in plays over the past month – rising 69% in official U.S. on-demand streams from 2.6 million the week ending Oct. 20 to nearly 4.5 million the week ending Nov. 17, according to Luminate. – KR

Q&A: Randy Hutson, CEO of Production Resource Group (PRG)’s Music and Live TV Divisions, on What’s Trending Up in His World

Looking back at 2022, what are some of the biggest wins for PRG, which provides resources and pushes technical innovation in the live sector?

PRG continued our work elevating production for some of the world’s biggest tours this year. Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres tour has been a big moment for us, especially in terms of sustainability. Coldplay made a pledge to reduce their carbon footprint while touring, so our mission was to stay more sustainably-minded while not losing any of the magic fans have come to expect at their shows. To minimize CO2 emissions, the engineers at PRG made one of the show’s standout features – four huge 3D spheres – inflatable so they would collapse and take up ¾ of one truck. With traditional construction techniques the four spheres would have needed six for transport.  This complex engineering had never been done before.

This year we’ve also provided production solutions for legendary artists like Metallica, Post Malone, Jack Harlow, and Elton John’s Farewell Tour, among many others. Some of the Las Vegas residencies we’ve worked on this year include Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Aerosmith. It was also incredibly meaningful to do lighting and video for the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Show at Wembley Stadium.

What do you expect innovation (visual or otherwise) in the touring sector to look like in the next year and beyond?

Tours are being pressured to fill every stadium or arena seat, so one of the areas that we’re focused on is fan engagement. For example, we’ll be building on the success we had with the Indochine tour in Europe, where we positioned the audio speakers BEHIND a new transparent LED video screen, providing fans with an unobstructed view of the screens.

Efficiency in gear is increasingly important. Now, both lighting fixtures and projectors are being designed with LED and laser sources to produce a multitude of green benefits, allowing us to do more with less carbon footprint.  And lastly, for years we’ve done large tours requiring many buses and trucks for gear – whatever we needed to execute the show design. But going forward, production and tour managers are looking at reverse engineering tours, i.e., how many buses and trucks do we want to have? Artists and their productions are looking for ways to improve  touring by using companies with global footprints to cut down on equipment and people movement around the world. Fewer trucks, buses and planes moving will increase profitability (and lead to sustainability) allowing us to continue to do the work we love every day.

PRG has provided technical and logistical support for the Super Bowl halftime show for years. How has the halftime show evolved, and how will it continue to evolve with new tech?

The Super Bowl halftime show is unquestionably one of the most epic moments in an artist’s career, so we listen closely to what they are envisioning for each performance. That means some years the stage is more simplistic while others feature higher levels of spectacle. Overall, our team’s job is to ensure the visual experience is equally incredible for people in the stands and the millions watching at home. As technology and creatives have become more sophisticated, new tech has been implemented to make the show more cinematic, despite limited camera positions on the field. 

You can really see this with The Weeknd in 2021 and the Dr. Dre & Co. performance in 2022 which used our proprietary 35LIVE!® technology. 35LIVE! elevates televised events by giving them a big-screen look and feel, replacing the traditional multi-camera approach.  A team of technical specialists work together to produce astounding imagery, 100% live.  

Fill in the blank: more people in touring/events should be thinking about ______.

Sustainability. It’s never been more important to take care of the environment. In 2017 PRG developed PRG SpaceFrame®, a touring frame design with ultra-light carbon fiber construction and collapsibility that reduces truck space by approximately 35 percent. This means less trucks and a lower carbon footprint. We’re going to see more governments requiring tours, fabrication companies, and production services companies to measure and report carbon emissions and supply safety reports.

We can also anticipate seeing more regulation around power consumption. Resources like fuel are going to be more costly. Research into replacing steel with bamboo in some fabrication applications could be a game-changer. We are also using recyclable materials in place of the hard scenic elements that the industry was built on. It’s time for our entire industry to focus on doing what’s good for the planet. – JL

Season’s Gainings: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Thanksgiving

We all know about the annual Christmas bump that certain holiday perennials begin to enjoy on streaming as early as Nov. 1 – but do folks begin to anticipate Thanksgiving in the same way in the days leading up to the fourth Thursday in November? Well, the numbers aren’t as stratospheric, but slowly but surely, they’re creeping up there for some of the bigger titles. Matthew West’s “Gobble Gobble” is up 93% in daily on-demand U.S. streams from Nov. 15 to Nov 21 to 73,000, according to Luminate, while Ben Rector’s “The Thanksgiving Song” is up 64% over that same span to 45,000, and the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Thanksgiving Theme” is up 38% to 75,000. 

As for Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,” the near-20-minute, Thanksgiving-set ‘60s story song traditionally played by classic rock and Triple A stations in full on Turkey Day, the numbers are still relatively small, just passing 15,000 daily streams on Nov. 21. But it’s also rising by 1,000-2,000 streams a day, and may be poised to explode (like so many post-dinner waist shirt buttons) this Nov. 24. – AU