Driven in large part by its buzzy, socially-conscious video, Childish Gambino's new single "This Is America" should challenge for a No. 1 on debut on next week's Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated May 19); the Hot 100 blends weekly streaming, airplay and sales data, according to Nielsen Music. Drizzy has spent last 16 weeks in a row on top of the chart - 11 weeks with "God's Plan" and 4 weeks with "Nice For What". The video, which dropped alongside the song, has been responsible for much of its success, as the Hiro Murai-directed visuals delivered stark images of dancing and violence, exploring the senselessness and commoditization of black violence in America.
Donald Glover is setting himself up to be the star of the summer. For the Hot 100 singles chart, paid streams will now count 50 percent more than free ones do - until now they have been equal - the result of a behind-the-scenes power struggle that has been going on for months. To get to No. 1 in its first week - an incomplete week, no less, since the song only debuted around midnight ET on Sunday morning (May 6), almost two whole days into the tracking period - is a major level-up, the kind of feat only a handful of 2018 artists would be capable of pulling off.
RCA Records said the video for the track has been viewed more than 110 million times in its first nine days - and was YouTube's most-watch clip on each of those.
The case of "This Is America" is particularly striking, since the video quickly overwhelmed both Gambino's SNL performance and the song itself as the flashpoint for "America" discussion.
Internationally, the track holds at No. 1 on Spotify's Global Chart and U.S. Chart and also topped iTunes in 45 markets - and was Top 5 in 63 markets. He's really not making music after this.