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SZA’s ‘I Hate U’ Is Her First No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart

The single arrives as the genre's top-selling and most-streamed song of the week.

SZA collects her first No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as “I Hate U” debuts in the top slot on the chart dated Dec. 18. To boot, the single arrives as the genre’s top-selling and most-streamed song of the week.

“I Hate U” received its official release on Dec. 3 through Top Dawg/RCA Records, though an earlier version was uploaded to SoundCloud in August (and later removed) that then went viral on TikTok. SZA herself called the track, “an experiment on SoundCloud” and noted the lack of planned strategy for the release, commenting its strong Billboard chart start on Twitter with “really off SoundCloud . Really no radio . Really no promo . really no plan.”


The anticipatory buildup likely fuels the song’s strong start: “Hate” registered 26.7 million U.S. streams in the week ending Dec. 9, according to MRC Data. Notably, the streaming sum is the second-highest weekly count for any SZA song, trailing only the 27.3 million total for the “All the Stars,” her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, in the week ending Feb. 22, 2018.

The figure prompts “Hate” to open at No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs. There, it becomes SZA’s third overall champ, as well as her third consecutive leader. It follows “Good Days,” which reigned for five weeks in January – February, and “No Love,” a teamup with Summer Walker, a one-week victor last month.

Among all songs, “Hate” kicks off at No. 3 on the all-genre Streaming Songs list, behind only Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” which dominate as holiday play nears its annual apex.

In the sales market, SZA’s new single is also the R&B/hip-hop genre’s top tune. “Hate” sold 5,000 downloads in the week ending Dec. 9 to secure a No. 1 entrance on R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales. The bow gives the singer-songwriter her first chart-topper on that list. She previously achieved a No. 3 best with “All the Stars” in 2018.

Elsewhere, “Hate” also debuts at No. 1 on the Hot R&B Songs chart. It’s her second champ there, and first in nearly four years, since “The Weekend” led for one week in January 2018 after the release of its Solange-directed music video.

“Hate” also launches at No. 7 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, where it is SZA’s highest-debuting solo entry and ties for her highest career entrance. Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More,” on which SZA features, also set out at No. 7 in April before it peaked at No. 3 in July.