The stars just keep aligning for young trap producer Baauer.
First his song, “Harlem Shake”, became the sonic framework for a video dance meme, a meme which accelerated in popularity at an unprecedented rate. Then he topped the iTunes Singles chart. Now, to complete his coronation as king beatmaker of the moment, he sits at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“How is this possible?” you may ask. After all, as popular as his song might be, its URL success hasn’t translated into radio airplay just yet. Well, that doesn’t matter any more.
On February 20, Billboard announced that it would begin incorporating YouTube streaming data into the calculations for their “Hot” airplay charts. The result? Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” debuted atop on the Hot 100 chart. Not bad, though the song would’ve cracked the Top 40 on the strength of its digital sales alone.
So yeah, big win for Baauer. But you know who loses in all this? It’s South Korean entertainer cum meme-music-template-against-which-all-others-are-measured PSY. Despite the popularity and longevity of his breakthrough track “Gangnam Style”, the song, incredibly, never made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. That said, with the introduction of streaming data into chart calculations, PSY re-entered the Top 40 at number 26 the same week Baauer sat atop it.
Something gives me a feeling that PSY isn’t terribly upset with his near-miss on the charts. He’s done pretty well for himself since then.
Here’s a song from Baauer that isn’t “Harlem Shake”.