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Will It Be ‘Yes, And’ or ‘No, But’ for Ariana Grande Atop the Hot 100 Next Week?

Mr. Nimbus | 01/18/2024

The Contenders is a midweek column that looks at artists aiming for the top of the Billboard charts, and the strategies behind their efforts. This week (for the upcoming Billboard Hot 100 dated Jan. 27), Ariana Grande looks to score her eighth No. 1, while new songs from rap stars 21 Savage and Lil Nas X also make their initial impacts.  

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Ariana Grande, “Yes, And?” (Republic): Ariana Grande has been one of the most reliable hitmakers in pop music for over 10 years now, and though she’s only released one album so far this decade (2020’s Positions), she’s already scored a stunning five Hot 100 No. 1s since ‘20: two alongside The Weeknd (“Save Your Tears” and “Die for You”), one with Lady Gaga (“Rain on Me”), one with Justin Bieber (“Stuck With U”) and one totally solo (“Positions”). Next week, she hopes to add a sixth No. 1 to that 2020s tally, and her second one unaccompanied, with the arrival last Friday (Jan. 17) of new single “Yes, And?”  

The house-influenced song, released as the lead single from her upcoming Eternal Sunshine album, was easily the most-anticipated drop of the new year thus far, and came with a new dramatically staged and intricately choreographed music video, as well as instant radio support. But the streams for it, while considerable – it still rests at No. 1 on Spotify’s Daily Top Songs USA chart, though it’s fallen significantly lower on other daily DSP charts – are not so overwhelming that it is likely to blow past Jack Harlow’s “Lovin on Me,” which spends its third frame atop the Hot 100 this week. 

To help get the new song over the top, Grande and her team have also released edited, extended, sped-up, slowed-down, a cappella and instrumental mixes of “Yes, And?” — all of which, as of writing, are currently populating the top 10 of iTunes’ real-time sales chart. The extra sales boost might be enough to make up the difference, but it will likely be something of a photo finish between it and “Lovin,” making for our first real chart suspense atop the Hot 100 of 2024.  

Jack Harlow, “Lovin on Me” (Genaration Now/Atlantic): For its part, Harlow’s crossover banger has hardly been letting up as the new year has unfolded. “Lovin” remains atop the Streaming Songs chart this week, while dropping just one spot to No. 2 on Digital Song Sales, and jumping 5-2 on Radio Songs. As long as its radio growth continues to offset its inevitable slippage in streams and sales, “Lovin” should remain a No. 1 contender for the near future – and it’s worth noting that Harlow has yet to even release an official remix or deliver a late night or awards show performance of the song, meaning he has still has cards to play if he ever wants to give the song’s momentum another adrenaline shot.  

21 Savage, “redrum” (Slaughter Gang/Epic): While the Billboard 200 albums chart has seen even less impact from new releases so far this year than the Hot 100, this week it should get a few big debuts, led by star rapper 21 Savage’s new set American Dream. The semi-surprise release, announced just a week ago after a “movie trailer” that may have just been a particularly cinematic (and star-studded) music video for proper album opener “All of Me,” is likely to contend for the No. 1 spot on that chart — with all 15 tracks from the album (Savage’s first unaccompanied solo LP since 2018’s I Am > I Was) littering the daily charts of streaming services all week.  

One song has proven to be the early runaway hit from the set: “Redrum,” a tough-talking, The Shining-referencing early-album highlight. The song, which even ends with a clip of Jack Nicholson doing his famous “Here’s Johnny!” speech from the aforementioned Stanley Kubrick horror classic, also got its own music video, set in the U.K. — where Savage was born, and was at risk of being deported back to at the turn of the decade. The natural buzziness of the song and video (as well as its intoxicatingly threatening chorus) has led to it being American Dream’s best performer on streaming – topping the Apple Music charts for most of the week, and finishing just behind Grande and Harlow on Spotify – and could result in a top 10 Hot 100 debut, which would be the rapper’s first appearance in the chart’s top tier on an unaccompanied solo track.  

IN THE MIX 

Kali Uchis feat. Peso Pluma, “Igual Que Un Ángel” (Geffen): Uchis’ fourth full-length album (and her second predominantly in Spanish) Orquídeas has already netted some of the early year’s strongest reviews, and is also likely to earn her second straight top five placement on the Billboard 200, after last year’s No. 4-debuting Red Moon in Venus. The set also has an obvious breakout single in the Peso Pluma collab “Iqual Que Un Ángel” — with a roller-rink disco groove that gets the música Mexicana superstar on the dancefloor for arguably the first time – which has gotten off to a strong start on streaming, and may get Uchis back to the Hot 100’s top 40 for the first time since 20201’s “Telepatía.”  

Lil Nas X, “J Christ” (Columbia): Much teased and much hyped by LNX himself, “J Christ” was looking like the most headline news-making debut of the week before Ariana Grande and 21 Savage announced their own new releases. Despite similar backlash to the song’s (and its accompanying video’s) religious themes to 2021’s Hot 100-topping “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” it seems unlikely that “J Christ” will make as big an initial splash, as the song does not currently rank in the top 100 on either the Spotify or Apple Music daily charts – though it has gotten off to a solid start in sales and radio, and its video is still near the top of the Trending chart on YouTube.  

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus





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