The late Pop Smoke lands consecutive No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Rhythmic Airplay chart as “What You Know Bout Love” rallies from the runner-up spot on the list dated Jan. 30. The track ascends with a 15% surge in plays in the week ending Jan. 24, according to MRC Data.
The new chart champ bumps Saweetie’s “Back to the Streets,” featuring Jhene Aiko, from the summit, as it falls to No. 3.
“Love” secures Pop Smoke’s second No. 1, after “For the Night,” featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby led for five nonconsecutive weeks beginning last December. With the successive champs, Pop Smoke is the first artist to score back-to-back leaders with Rhythmic Airplay chart appearances since Drake, whose “Toosie Slide” reigned for three weeks in May 2020 before his next showing, as a featured artist on DJ Khaled’s “Popstar,” returned him to the summit for one frame last September. (Among lead acts, Drake too was the most recent performer to pull the double, with “Toosie Slide” and “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, with its five-week run that began in October 2020.)
Plus, as Pop Smoke’s first two Rhythmic Airplay champs have arrived in consecutive fashion, he’s the first act to achieve that feat since Lil Nas X in 2019. That year, the rapper’s phenomenon “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, led the chart for three weeks in May – June and follow-up single “Panini” clocked one frame in November.
As Billboard mentioned when “For The Night” reigned in December 2020, Pop Smoke became the first deceased act to reign on the chart in a lead role, though Static Major and Soulja Slim also topped the chart posthumously. Thus, with “Love,” the rapper, who died in February 2020, is the first act to post multiple No. 1s in any capacity.
Beyond its Rhythmic Airplay coronation, “Love” has found its second-strongest reception with pop audiences. The song has been a slow-but-steady builder on the Pop Airplay chart, where it moves 24-23 in its 13th week on the 40-position ranking and marks Pop Smoke’s first career entry on the list, which monitors the most played songs on mainstream top 40-centered radio stations. Despite the one-position gain on the chart, the song registered 22% more plays in the week ending Jan. 24 than the prior tracking period, ending Jan. 17.
Elsewhere, plays on R&B/hip-hop stations improves as the song begins its trajectory at the format. In its third week on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, which, similar to Pop Airplay, measures the most played records at that genre, “Love” climbs 40-38 while remaining essentially even in play count for the week.
“What You Know Bout Love” appears on the late rapper’s studio full-length debut, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon. Thanks to its steady stream of hit radio and streaming singles, the project, released last July, has shown unusual longevity. The album currently ranks at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for a 15th nonconsecutive week, the longest run for any title since 2010, and has yet to dip below No. 4 in its first 29 weeks on the chart.