Polo G Scores First Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 With Debut of ‘Rapstar’

By Gary Trust4/19/2021

Plus, Doja Cat’s ‘Kiss Me More,’ featuring SZA, starts at No. 7.

Polo G achieves his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, as “Rapstar” debuts at the summit.

Plus, Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” at No. 2 on the Hot 100, is the top-selling song of the week for the first time, as it hits No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart.

“Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic, the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, takes over as the most-heard song on radio, as the track, at No. 3 on the Hot 100, rises to No. 1 on the Radio Songs chart.Artist MentionedPolo G

Also in the Hot 100’s top 10, Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More,” featuring SZA, debuts at No. 7.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated April 24) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (April 20). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

“Rapstar,” released on Columbia Records, is the 1,122nd No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 62-year history. It’s the 52nd single to debut at No. 1.

Streams, sales & airplay: “Rapstar” drew 53.6 million U.S. streams and sold 5,300 downloads in its first week, ending April 15, according to MRC Data. It also attracted 844,000 radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending April 18.

The track soars in atop the Streaming Songs chart, where it’s also Polo G’s first leader, while its streaming total marks the highest weekly sum for a male artist so far in 2021. Overall, only Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” has totaled more weekly streams this year: 76.1 million in its debut week (Jan. 23) and 59.7 million in its second frame (Jan. 30). “Rapstar” also begins at No. 21 on Digital Song Sales.

No. 1 debut, but a year in the making: Buzz for “Rapstar” began nearly a year ago, as Polo G teased what would become the full song via a YouTube clip in which he and one of the song’s producers, Einer Bankz, perform an acoustic version, with Bankz playing the ukulele.

Polo G’s prior peak: “Rapstar” is the second Hot 100 top 10 for Polo G (born Taurus Bartlett), age 22, and his first in a lead role; “Hate the Other Side,” by Juice Wrld and Marshmello featuring Polo G and The Kid Laroi, debuted and peaked at No. 10 in July 2020.

Before “Rapstar,” Polo G reached a No. 11 Hot 100 best as a lead artist with his first of 20 entries to date, “Pop Out,” featuring Lil Tjay, in June 2019.

‘Rap’ rules: Despite the genre’s lofty profile, “Rapstar” marks a rare hit in the Hot 100’s upper reaches with a form of the word “rap” in its title. “The Rapper” by The Jaggerz reached No. 2 in March 1970 (with the meaning of “rapper” then somewhat different than today) and “Rap God” by Eminem hit No. 7 in November 2013.

Plus, just over 40 years ago, Blondie’s “Rapture” played into the term, with Billboard reporting the week that it began a two-week reign in the March 28, 1981, issue that the song became “the second rap disco smash to achieve the ultimate [on the Hot 100] in less than six months, following Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ “

Six weeks, six new No. 1s: The last six weeks have seen six songs each spend a first week at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Here’s a recap:

March 20, “What’s Next,” Drake (debut)
March 27, “Up,” Cardi B
April 3, “Peaches,” Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar & Giveon (debut)
April 10, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” Lil Nas X (debut)
April 17, “Leave the Door Open,” Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)
April 24, “Rapstar,” Polo G (debut)

The turnover matches that of May-June 2020, when DaBaby’s “Rockstar,” featuring Roddy Ricch, hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 (June 13), following Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain on Me” (June 6; debut); Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage,” featuring Beyoncé (May 30); Grande and Justin Bieber’s “Stuck With U” (May 23; debut); Doja Cat’s “Say So,” featuring Nicki Minaj (May 16); and The Scotts, Travis Scott and Kid Cudi’s “The Scotts” (May 9; debut).

The two streaks mark the greatest succession of songs tallying their first weeks atop the Hot 100 since seven each logged their first weeks at No. 1 over seven weeks from Sept. 29 through Nov. 10, 1990 (before the Hot 100 began being powered by MRC Data information in November 1991).

Proves he’s a ‘Rapstar’: Polo G likewise lands his first No. 1 on the multi-metric Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts, which use the same methodology as the Hot 100.

(The track is the third Hot Rap Songs No. 1 with a form of the word “rap” in its title, after “Murder Rap” by Above the Law in April 1990 and “Rap God” by Eminem in November 2013.)