Roddy Ricch Bests Justin Bieber, Landing a No. 1 Single and Album

Roddy Ricch Bests Justin Bieber, Landing a No. 1 Single and Album

Roddy Ricch, a 21-year-old melodic rapper from Compton, Calif., held off a brand-new comeback single from Justin Bieber to take the top spot this week on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, giving him a No. 1 song to go with his second nonconsecutive week atop the Billboard 200 album chart.

Ricch’s “The Box,” from his debut album “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial” (Atlantic), rose from No. 3, becoming the rapper’s first No. 1 single, after a monster streaming week that included 68 million plays, according to Nielsen Music, despite the song having no official music video.

Team Bieber had pulled out all the stops in hopes of having “Yummy,” the singer’s first solo single in more than two years, debut at No. 1 in its first week of release.

In addition to a strong push to traditional radio, Bieber promoted seven different videos for “Yummy” — all of which counted toward its chart position — and even became a target for criticism when he shared, and later deleted, a social-media post created by his die-hard fans that encouraged listeners to game the system. (Among other tips, international listeners were instructed on how to trick Spotify into thinking their plays were from within the United States, and thus, eligible to be counted by Billboard.)

Instead, “Yummy,” which was also promoted with the sale of special-edition vinyl and cassette singles (including some with Bieber’s autograph), came in at No. 2, including a total of 29.3 million streams, according to Nielsen.

The strength of “The Box” helped propel Ricch’s “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial” back to No. 1 on the album chart for a second week, after it debuted there last month. The album, now in its fifth week on the chart, was credited with 97,000 equivalent units, which combines sales, streams and downloads. But the album had almost all of its activity via audio streams, selling just 1,000 units, while being streamed 127 million times.

This week’s album chart marked the first time that streams from YouTube were counted toward an album’s sales total, though it barely came into play for Ricch: According to Billboard, audio streaming made up about 91,000 units of the rapper’s total activity, while video streams made up under 4,000. Ricch became the first artist to top both the Hot 100 and the Billboard 200 simultaneously since Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” soundtrack nearly a year ago.

Elsewhere on the album chart was a limited number of new releases and a pile of albums that have previously reached the top spot: Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” was No. 2; Harry Styles’s “Fine Line” was No. 3; last week’s No. 1, from Travis Scott’s JackBoys collective, fell to No. 4; and the soundtrack to “Frozen 2” was No. 5.

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