Future & Metro’s Streams Are Boomin With Viral Kendrick Lamar-Featuring ‘Like That’

Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up newsletter, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip. 
This week: Future and Metro Boomin’s latest smash comes courtesy of an incendiary Kendrick Lamar verse, Hozier is on his way to his biggest hit in a decade, March Madness commercials have viewers flocking to Shazam and more.

‘Like That’ is Boomin — For Future, Metro, Kendrick and Older Drake Songs, Too

A quick rule of thumb for current hip-hop artists: when your track contains an out-of-nowhere, earth-scorching Kendrick Lamar verse dissing two other rap giants, a lot of people are going to want to hear that track!

“Like That,” the standout track from Future and Metro Boomin’s collaborative project We Don’t Trust You featuring K. Dot’s Internet-shattering takedown of Drake and J. Cole, has (not surprisingly) exploded on streaming services following the album’s release last Friday (Mar. 22). After earning a whopping 10.26 million U.S. on-demand streams on Friday alone (according to Luminate), thanks to both hardcore supporters and casual fans who simply had to hear Lamar’s fire-breathing, “Like That” kept racking up high seven-figure streaming totals over the weekend, ending up with 25.62 million streams in its first three days of release.

That’ll be enough for a big bow on next week’s Hot 100 — but along the way, “Like That” also has rap obsessives re-exploring a pair of Drake tracks that may have inspired the sneak attack. “First Person Shooter,” Drake’s own Hot 100 chart-topper featuring J. Cole that Lamar directly references on “Like That,” was up 10% in streams this past weekend (1.69 million streams between Mar. 23-24) compared to the previous weekend (1.53 million streams). Meanwhile, as listeners ponder what “Like That” means for the relationship between Drake and Future, “What Would Pluto Do?” — in which Drizzy questions what his (former?) pal would do in similar situations — experienced an even greater streaming bump, up 34% in streams to 413,000 over the weekend. – JASON LIPSHUTZ

Hozier’s New Runaway Streaming Smash Is Just “Too Sweet” 

It’s been a little over a decade since Hozier saw the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 – who can forget “Take Me to Church” (No. 2)? — and he’s poised to make a splashy return to the region with a funky new track titled “Too Sweet.” Housed on the Irish rocker’s Unheard EP, which serves as epilogue of sorts to 2023’s sprawling Dante-inspired Unreal Unearth, “Too Sweet” has amassed over 11.8 million official on-demand U.S. streams in just three days (March 23-25), according to Luminate. The song earned its biggest daily tally upon release (March 23), raking in 4.7 million streams and over 1,000 U.S. digital sales. 

Although Unreal Unearth – which reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 – spawned a pair of Adult Alternative Airplay chart-toppers in “Eat Your Young” and “Francesca,” none of the album’s official singles cracked the top half of the Hot 100. Then again, none of those singles had the pre-release hype of “Too Sweet.” Hozier first teased a snippet of the track during a March 6 appearance on the How Long Gone podcast hosted by Chris Black & Jason Stewart. That snippet quickly went viral amongst Hozier’s fanbase, with a popular TikTok account uploading the “Too Sweet” tease as a sound. In less than a month, that sound has collected nearly 50,000 posts on the app, and Hozier even used it TikToks officially announcing the new EP and debuting what appears to be clips of a visualizer for the song. 

Having already hit No. 2 on US Spotify upon release, “Too Sweet” is already shaping up to be a runaway hit for Hozier – and potentially his biggest one since “Church.” 

Yahir Saldivar Wields Quirky 4batz-Esque Video to Score Viral Hit in “SC-9” 

Just as 4batz took off with music videos that paired brooding shiesty mask-accented shots with delicate R&B odes to relationship woes, Yahir Saldivar is employing a similar trick with his new viral hit “SC-9.” 

Over a jaunty cumbia arrangement, Saldivar croons of his guns, his gangster nickname (Scorpion 9) and gang life in general. The track’s accompanying music video features him and his buddies dancing along to infectious instrumental while toting guns, bottles of liquor and bulletproof vests. Released last month (Feb. 1), “SC-9” has enjoyed a slow burn that started to speed up once the music video started making the rounds on TikTok. During the week of Feb. 23-29, “SC-9” pulled just over 370,000 official on-demand U.S. streams. That marks a whopping 769% jump to over 3.2 million streams four weeks later (March 15-21). 

On TikTok, “SC-9”soundtracks over 30,000 posts, most of which feature girls flaunting their quinceañera gowns, users showing off what makes them Mexican, TikTokers dancing along. One especially viral video – which does not use the official “SC-9” — sound amassed over 4.6 million views. In the video, the user captions a clip of the “SC-9” music video with “POV: the song and video [don’t] match.” Needless to say, Spanish speakers corrected the user in the comment, explaining that video and lyrics are perfect in sync with one another. 

Already at No. 2 on Spotify USA’s Viral 50 chart, “SC-9” could very well find some Billboard chart success should its momentum continue. 

March Synch Madness Lifts Terrance Martin & Ludacris Songs

Speaking of Future: His favorite season, March Madness, is in full swing across roughly 40% of the channels on your cable dial. For those who are still watching the NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments the old-school way – and not, say, through an app or web browser you’re barely disguising from your co-workers and/or college professors – you’ve likely seen a couple commercials (maybe more often by now than you’d prefer) that have had fans Shazaming and streaming the songs that soundtrack them by the thousands. 

Apple’s recent iPhone 15 Storage ad features a man browsing through pictures of people his phone, all of which are singing to him in the heavily vocodered voice of Terrace Martin’s “Don’t Let Go” – essentially begging him not to delete them. The slightly disconcerting spot has sent official on-demand U.S. streams soaring for Martin’s song, with it lifting from a negligible number of streams over the March 16-18 period to over 32,000 streams in the same period the following week (March 23-25), according to Luminate, following incessant airing of the ads during tourney games. Similarly, Ludacris’ 2004 rager “Get Back” is also up, thanks to a much-played Nissan ad featuring several college mascots blasting it in their Rogue – lifting 21% to 188,000 streams over that same period. 

One NCAA-featured commercial song that isn’t way up this week? Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants.” Perhaps listening to Oklahoma City Thunder stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren warbling AT&T-sloganfied versions of that pop classic’s chorus isn’t exactly doing the original version any favors for viewers. – ANDREW UNTERBERGER

Q&A: Chissy Nkemere, Rock, Alternative & Catalog Artist Partnerships at Spotify, on What’s Trending Up in Her World

What led to the rebranding of Spotify’s flagship rock playlist?

In recent years, rock music and the culture that surrounds it has experienced a revival that spans generations, subgenres and disparate music cultures alike. In rebranding Spotify’s global rock flagship playlist, we sought to reinvest in and more accurately reflect the genre’s progression. It’s an exciting time for rock listeners of course, but also for pop culture as a whole, which is experiencing rock’s influence in a new way!

Over time, rock has evolved beyond its previous definitions and MARROW is Spotify’s response: it mirrors what connects with and drives alternative youth culture. It is a reflection of the limitless trajectory of the genre and community as well as the vibrancy and diversity of the music.

Searches for phrases like “rock music” and “alt/rock” have recently exploded on Spotify. What do you think is causing that increased interest?

What I love about this resurgence in rock is the curiosity around it. Rock has always existed as an outlet of emotion — a place where we can put and express the full range of our emotions without seeking approval from society at large. There’s a general angst in our culture right now that’s starting to reach younger generations as well, and with that, a large part of youth culture is searching for what else is out there. In those searches, they’re finding and building communities that they haven’t experienced before. It hasn’t mattered when certain songs or albums were released, or what artists are current or legacy — we as a collective, are consuming and creating sounds that can be reminiscent of past generations or entirely new.

Which trend in new rock music is most interesting to you, and that you hope MARROW highlights?

The resurgence in nu metal is so exciting for me personally. I grew up in the golden age of this era, and seeing Gen Z consume & create what feels like an aural homebase for me has been fun to say the least. MARROW will definitely continue to follow this trend!

Which rock song or artist will have surprising growth over the next six months?

Amira Elfeky is one of my favorite new artists. She released her first song last summer and has steadily gained a following that we’ve been keeping an eye on. I’m keen to watch what she does with the release of her first EP and her upcoming tour schedule this spring and summer! – J.L.

Season’s Gainings: A St. Patrick’s Day Bump for Irish Artists

Feels a lot longer ago at this point, but St. Patrick’s Day came and went just a week and a half ago, with the annual March 17 holiday falling on a Sunday this year. Perhaps the weekend inspired even greater revelry than usual for those celebrating, as it inspired some major bumps in listening for Irish artists compared to the prior Sunday, including for Sinéad O’Connor (up 73% in official on-demand streams to 306,000), Van Morrison (up 22% to 1.9 million), U2 (up 43% to 1.8 million) and The Cranberries (up 45% to just over 2 million). And then of course, there was a particularly massive gain for the St. Patrick’s anthem to end ‘em all: the Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” which posted over 960,000 St. Patrick’s Day streams – even entering the top 50 on Spotify’s Daily Top Songs USA chart. – A.U.

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