As debate continues over contemporary hip-hop’s ability to top the charts, producer Sean Momberger reached into the past to help the genre regain its pop dominance — and score his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1. “Lovin on Me,” which borrows from a 1990s Detroit hit, became Jack Harlow’s third Hot 100 leader, continuing the Louisville, Ky., rapper’s success with sample-driven compositions that started in 2022 with his debut chart-topper, “First Class.”
In this case, Momberger sourced the “Lovin on Me” hook from Cadillac Dale’s 1995 hit, “Whatever (Bass Soliloquy).” The 33-year-old producer says he wasn’t too familiar with the song, but once he heard the “whips and chains” part, he immediately put it into Pro Tools and started building the track. As Momberger says, “I’m a huge sampler. I always love starting ideas with old tracks. I was trying to break the mold of using super well-known samples and dive into older R&B and ’90s songs.” Initially, he was aiming to craft an R&B song for an artist like Chris Brown, with whom he had previously worked. But once co-producer Oz (Travis Scott, Future) put his hip-hop handprint on the rhythm, those plans changed.
The making of “Lovin on Me” was a worldwide affair. The song’s roots grew in Detroit thanks to its sample, and Momberger then chopped it up in Los Angeles before sending it through Dropbox to Oz in Switzerland to add some drums. (The drums brought a bit of Bay Area bounce, which invited comparisons to Drake’s “The Motto.”) By last July, the song arrived in Harlow’s hands in Louisville.
According to Luminate, “Lovin on Me” has logged 207.4 million official on-demand U.S. streams through Jan. 11. The song debuted at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in late November and rose to the chart’s apex the following week, surviving as the most-consumed nonholiday single and returning to No. 1 by Jan. 13. As irresistible as the hook and beat are, Momberger credits Harlow for helping the song connect. He first heard the artist rap over the track in a Oct. 23 TikTok snippet that began the song’s promotional campaign. As Momberger recalls: “When I heard how he tied the sample to his lyrics… he just gets it. I knew then it was a hit.”
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