Chart Breakdown: Week of September 23rd 2017

Chart Breakdown is a weekly feature watching the Billboard Charts, which track the performance of songs nationwide. 

It’s a big week on the charts where Cardi B is fighting Taylor Swift for command of the Billboard Hot 100 (which ranks songs across all genres). Swift wins out this week as last with the debut single “Look What You Made Me Do” from her new album Reputation but strong momentum behind Cardi‘s “Bodak Yellow” bumped it up to the two spot this week. It’s the first time since since December 2014 that two solo women have occupied the top two spots on the Hot 100. Keep an eye on “Bodak” as the two ladies go head to head again next week.

Cardi B‘s success on the overall chart is fueled in by her dominance of the R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts, which we dive into below.

Billboard groups Hip Hop and R&B together as a single genre while Rap is counted separately. Even so, songs can be counted in both categories. 

R&B/Hip Hop

The Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart tracks the biggest songs across the genre based on their performance on the three component charts: R&B/Hip Hop Airplay (Radio), R&B/Hip Hop Digital Song Sales, and R&B/Hip Hop Streaming Songs (YouTube, Spotify, etc). The better a song does on any of the three component charts, the better it will do on the overall “Hot” songs chart (this is true of the overall Hot 100 as well).

“Bodak Yellow” tops this week’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs Chart as the overall biggest R&B/Hip Hop song in the country for the second week in a row. It is also the most streamed song of the week. Up two big spots this week from #4 to #2 is “1-800-273-8255” a major collaboration from Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid named for the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Streams of the track’s deeply emotional, cinematic music video and a big boost in sales (it’s the most downloaded song in the genre this week) propelled the song upward, making it the 5th biggest song in the nation overall.

At number 3 on the Hot Chart is the most played genre hit on radio, former chart leader “Wild Thoughts” from DJ Khaled, Rihanna, and Bryson Tiller. The track also counts as the biggest R&B hit of the week. Rounding out the Top 5 this week are “Unforgettable” by French Montana and Swae Lee at #4, and “Rake It Up” from Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj, which bumps up to #5 from the #6 spot.


Unlike R&B/Hip Hop, Billboard only runs three Rap charts: Hot Rap Songs, Rap Streaming Songs, and Rap Albums.

The biggest rap song this week is again “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” by Cardi B, which spends a fourth week on top. “1-800-273-8255” trades places with “Unforgettable”, moving up to #2 while the latter track falls to #3

The last two rap hit in the Top 5 this week are “Rake It Up” from Yo Gotti and Nicki Minaj and 21 Savage’s “Bank Account” which swap the #4 and #5 spots from last week. 

While Cardi B seems in full control of both charts this week, strong momentum behind “1-800-273-8255” could mean big things for the track if it keeps up. Big new releases can always shake things up as well.


This week’s biggest R&B/Hip Hop album and biggest Rap album are the same (not something that happens every week), and the prize this time around goes to Luv Is Rage 2 by Lil Uzi Vert. On the overall Billboard 200 albums chart, which counts all genres, Luv is Rage 2 came in at Number Two this week, getting knocked out of the top spot by the debut of LCD Soundsytem‘s American Dream

That’s what’s happening on the charts this week! Check back next week for all the latest.

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Dante Mazza