Vine Stars: A pair of 17-year-old recent high school graduates from Omaha, Neb., make their Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs debut, as Jack & Jack enter at No. 25 with rap track “Wild Life.” Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson (not the Hawaiian alt-folk singer) boast 4.2 million followers on Vine. Although most of the duo’s clips are comedy-based, they have self-released five singles digitally (including “Wild”). The track also enters Rap Digital Songs at No. 5 and Hot Rap Songs at No. 16.
While Vine helped build them a fan base, Jack & Jack’s chart debut is almost entirely driven by track sales, with the song’s 59,000 downloads sold accounting for 99 percent of total chart points. (Despite its viral growth, “Wild” didn’t receive a single play on the 1,243 radio stations monitored for the Billboard Hot 100 in the week ending Aug. 12, according to Nielsen BDS.) The duo appeared on Fox’s Teen Choice Awards (Aug. 10), where they were nominated for “Choice Viner,” and they’re currently performing on the 2014 DigiTour.
Nicki’s No. 4: Following buzz surrounding its racy cover art, Nicki Minaj‘s “Anaconda” enters Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 4, marking her highest career debut and 18th top 10. The track also debuts at No. 1 at R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs and Rap Digital Songs, with 141,000 first-week downloads sold in the week ending Aug. 10, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Strange Duo: Ces Cru scores the hot shot debut and their highest rank on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (No. 4) with Codename: Ego Stripper, moving over 6,000 first-week copies. The rap duo (Ubiquitous and Godemis) signed to Tech N9ne‘s Strange Music label also lands their first top 50 rank on the Billboard 200 (No. 40) and highest rank on Rap Albums (No. 2).
Wiz Kid: Wiz Khalifa slows things down — and sings — on his first Hot R&B Songs entry as a lead, “Promises,” which debuts at No. 14. Produced by Jim Jonsin (Beyonce, Usher, Jamie Foxx), the track also enters Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 37 with 29,000 downloads sold (accounting for 86 percent of its total chart points). “Promises” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Twitter Trending 140 real-time chart the day of its release (Aug. 4) and ranks at No. 11 on the weekly version of the chart. The song follows four other tracks already released (“We Dem Boyz,” “KK,” Stayin’ Out All Night” and “You and Your Friends”) from Khalifa’s forthcoming fifth studio album, Blacc Hollywood (Aug. 19).
Turtle Power: Khalifa also debuts on Hot Rap Songs at No. 21 with “Shell Shocked,” with Juicy J and Ty Dolla $ign. The track was written and recorded for the new film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (“You know I got yo’ back, just like a turtle shell,” raps Juicy J). It jumps 50-31 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs as the top Digital Gainer with a 346 percent increase (to 29,000), while also sporting a 69 percent increase to 947,000 U.S. streams, according to BDS. The film, based on the popular comic book franchise and ’80s/’90s cartoon, opened in theaters on Aug. 8. Fittingly, Khalifa has a tattoo of Turtle Donatello on his leg (among many others).