Macklemore & Ryan Lewis return to Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs following the Aug. 27 release of their latest single, “Downtown,” featuring Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz. The track is the highest debut of the week, arriving at No. 30 (on the chart dated Sept. 12) with only two days of sales and streaming data powering its bow and four days of airplay activity. It likewise enters the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 97.
Next week, watch for a big jump on both charts — and a huge debut on the Hot Rap Songs chart — after a full week of sales, airplay and streams are registered. Also sure to generate a big gain for the track: It was performed on the MTV Video Music Awards (Aug. 30).
“Downtown” is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ first entrance on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs since 2013’s “White Walls,” which reached No. 3 (Dec. 21, 2013), and best debut since “Thrift Shop” started at No. 27 in 2012.
“Downtown” logged 886,000 domestic streams in its two days (according to Nielsen Music), with virtually all clicks stemming from the song’s video. The track sold 11,000 downloads in the same timeframe, enough for a No. 22 debut on Rap Digital Songs.
Over on Rhythmic Songs (an airplay chart), “Downtown” logged enough spins for a No. 38 arrival. KEZE, Spokane, Wash., is one of the early supporters of the track, leading in plays (49) during the tracking week ending Aug. 30.
The old-school hip-hop track features veteran rappers, who helped shape the sound of hip-hop in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Featured act Melle Mel last charted on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 30 years ago, when “Vice” reached No. 90 in 1985 (when the chart ranked the week’s top 100 tracks), under the name Grandmaster Melle Mel. He also earned a top 10 hit in 1984 when “Beat Street Breakdown – Part l” peaked at the No. 8 spot. The rap legend is even said to have pioneered the term “MC” during his time as part of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.
Kool Moe Dee’s last appearance on the chart came in 1999, when he was a guest on Will Smith‘s reworking of Kool Moe Dee’s own 1988 track “Wild Wild West.” Smith’s version — recorded for the film of the same name — peaked at No. 3. The original track reached No. 4. (Smith’s version also topped the Hot 100.)
It’s the first chart appearance for the track’s other featured artists Grandmaster Caz and Eric Nally. The latter is also the lead vocalist of the rock band Foxy Shazam, which has charted two albums on the Billboard 200 chart.
“Downtown” is expected to be on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ forthcoming album, due later this year.