Kendrick Lamar’s Back Catalog Up 49% Following Weekend of Beef, Drake’s Down 5%

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: Drake and Kendrick Lamar see the catalog side effects of their recent beefing, a couple new hit movies impact streaming with their very different soundtracks, the calendar turns to *NSYNC season and more.

Kendrick Lamar’s Diss-Track Parade is Lifting His Entire Catalog – Drake’s, Not So Much

“At least your fans are getting some raps out of you / I’m happy I could motivate you,” Drake declares near the end of “The Heart Part 6,” the most recent volley in his genre-consuming feud with Kendrick Lamar. Indeed, one of the by-products of this ongoing back-and-forth has been a new spate of material from a superstar who’s notoriously been stingy with his releases in between album cycles, as Lamar has already more than doubled his 2023 output with 2024 diss tracks alone. And while those shots at Drake have been doing boffo business on streaming services, Lamar’s entire catalog — even outside of his recent diss tracks — is up as well, as rap fans return to K. Dot’s discography for general appreciation (or to parse through subtle attacks against Aubrey Graham).

“Euphoria,” the first of Lamar’s recent diss tracks, debuted at No. 11 on this week’s Hot 100 chart and could move up next week, as the song earned a whopping 27.6 million official U.S. on-demand streams from May 3-6, according to Luminate. “Not Like Us,” the most club-friendly diss track which dropped late on May 4, could debut even higher, with 21.1 million streams in its first three days of release, while the vicious “Meet the Grahams” earned 8.8 million streams from May 3-6. (“6:16 in LA,” another Lamar diss track, has yet to arrive on streaming services.)

Plus, listeners have been interested in perusing the classic songs that have served as samples in Lamar’s diss tracks. Teddy Pendergrass’ “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration” was up 76% in streams from Apr. 26-29 (76,000) to May 3-6 (134,000) after being sampled at the beginning of “Euphoria,” while Al Green’s “What a Wonderful Thing Love Is” shot up 283% over the same time period once it was used on “6:16 in LA.” And “BBL Drizzy,” the King Willonius song that Metro Boomin sampled for his anti-Drake beat challenge, is naturally way up in streams, from a negligible amount at the end of April to 185,000 from May 5-6.

Even if you remove all of the diss tracks from Lamar’s overall catalog, however, the rapper’s streams have still significantly increased since the simmering feud reached its recent boiling point. From May 3-6, Lamar’s discography earned 50.62 million streams — up 49% from the previous Friday-to-Monday tracking period (33.98 million from Apr. 26-29). Meanwhile, Drake’s overall catalog is actually down when you similarly compare his streams from that weekend (105.86 million from Apr. 26-29) to last weekend (100.69 million from May 3-6) and remove his two streaming-available response tracks, “Push Ups” and “Family Matters.” Of course, even with that 4.9% dip in catalog plays, Drake’s streaming numbers remain roughly twice as many as Lamar’s, which can be a minor source of comfort as his adversary’s diss tracks make the bigger splash on the charts. – JASON LIPSHUTZ

New Anne Hathaway Rom-Com Has the Right ‘Idea’ With Maggie Rogers, St. Vincent & More on Soundtrack

The much-anticipated film adaptation of Robinne Lee’s hit novel The Idea of You made its Amazon Prime debut over the weekend – starring Anne Hathaway as a divorcee who takes her daughter to Coachella and ends up in an unlikely romance with the younger Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), singer from the One Direction-ish fictional boy band August Moon. Unsurprisingly for a movie where music plays such a big part, the well-received film has a number of prominent synchs – more from the alternative end of the dial than the top 40 one – which have led to big streaming gains for those songs. 

Singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers (who did play Coachella in 2019 and 2022) gets the movie’s opening credits song – also repeated in a flash-forward towards the end of the film – with her Heard It in a Past Life single “Light On.” The rousing song collected 354,000 official on-demand U.S. streams for the first four days of the film’s release (May 3-6), up 71% from the equivalent period the prior week, according to Luminate. Veteran art-rock star St. Vincent (a Coachella four-timer, most recently in 2018) also has three different songs appear in the movie, the most prominent being her Daddy’s Home highlight “Pay Your Way in Pain,” which plays on the radio (and is sung along to by Hathaway and her daughter, played by Ella Rubin) during a car ride. “Pain” racked up 32,000 streams from May 3-6, a 124% gain over the same period the week before. 

And of course, you can’t have a movie about a fictional band without some fictional songs – and August Moon has a half-dozen of ‘em, appropriately co-penned/produced by go-to One Direction collaborator Savan Kotecha, most of which were released before the film. Those songs racked up a combined 1.3 million streams over May 3-6, led by “Dance Before We Walk,” which Campbell writes and records over the course of the movie. (And perhaps at least a couple viewers were also inspired to revisit the real thing over the weekend, as 1D’s U.S. on-demand audio streams were also up 5% over May 3-5 from the same three-day period the week before.) – ANDREW UNTERBERGER

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ Challengers Score Is An Ace on Streaming 

Two weekends ago (April 26), Challengers, Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed romantic tennis drama, hit theaters, bringing the electric throuple of Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist to the silver screen. To soundtrack the stylish, sexy film, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provided a hypnotic techno-rooted score to track the intertwined fates of the film’s three characters. 

According to Luminate, the Challengers score soundtrack collected 1.09 million official on-demand U.S. streams during the film’s opening weekend (April 26-28). In the following three-day period (April 29-May 1), streaming activity jumped 66% to 1.83 million streams. In its first week of release, (April 26-May 2), Challengers (Original Score) pulled 3.44 million streams. 

While original songs remain big draws for tentpole movies – who can forget the multi-format dominance of last year’s Barbie soundtrack – score soundtracks tend to cater to markedly smaller audiences. With the danceable score and the star power of the film’s cast, younger artists have been particularly drawn to the Challengers score, which they’ve continuously expressed on TikTok. (The score also appeared in a Challengers-inspired SNL skit over the weekend.) 

And who knows? Maybe the success of Challengers – in addition to her Labrinth-assisted Euphoria singles – could jumpstart Zendaya’s return to music. After all, she notched a Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hit with “Replay” (No. 40) 10 years ago! – KYLE DENIS

Online Edit Community Lifts Yëat to Another Viral Hit 

Whether you call them edits or fancams, you can always count on one of those video montages to catapult a song from obscurity to virality. While Yëat is no stranger to the Billboard charts — he’s already earned ten Hot 100 entries — “If We Bëing Real” could become his biggest solo hit yet. 

Taken from 2093, his fourth studio album (which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in March), “If We Bëing Real” pulled over six million official on-demand U.S. streams during the period of April 26-May 2. That marks a whopping 214% increase in streaming activity from four weeks ago (March 29-April 4) when it earned 1.92 million streams. 

Over the past month, streams for “If We Being Real” have increased at least 13% each week – thanks, in no small part, to its TikTok virality. An ominous, slowed-down version of “If We Bëing Real” has gained traction on the app as a soundtrack to edits of various fictional characters and real-life people, including Outer Banks’ Rafe Cameron (played by Drew Starkey), Kingdom of Heaven’s King Baldwin IV (played by Edward Norton) and Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards. There are several unofficial “If We Bëing Real” TikTok sounds with upwards of 20,000 posts, including one with nearly 100,000 clips

After hitting No. 2 on the Hot 100 by way of Drake’s “IDGAF” last year, Yeat could soon be revisiting the chart’s upper regions if “If We Being Real” continues to grow at this rate. – KD

Q&A: Josh Norek and Ernesto Lechner, Co-Hosts of The Latin Alternative Radio Show & Podcast, on What’s Trending Up in Their World

The Latin Alternative recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. What has it been like witnessing the evolving size and makeup of Latin music during that time?

Norek: In some ways, the evolving popularity and demographics of Latin music consumption has mirrored the growth of our show The Latin Alternative over the years. When we launched the program in 2009, we were airing in one single market (our parent station WEXT in Albany, NY). Today we are in 55 markets, including obvious ones like Los Angeles, Dallas and Orlando but also places you wouldn’t expect like Tulsa and Duluth where public radio stations reached out and asked for the show because they had real listener interest for Latin rock, hip-hop and left of center sounds.  Latin music’s various subgenres have far more mainstream acceptance in all markets than when our program started, and that’s largely due to the ease in accessing the music via streaming.  When I was a teenager growing up in Upstate NY back in the day, it was not exactly easy to find a Los Fabulosos Cadillacs import CD at the local record store, but a kid living in the boonies today would have no such problem finding the musical equivalent. 

What has been the most surprising aspect of Latin music’s expansion over the past few years to you?

Norek: What I find surprising and couldn’t have anticipated when we began the show 15 years ago is how digital music distribution has leveled geographic barriers. For example, Uruguay is a tiny middle class country with just three million people, and its music seldom traveled very far in the CD era. But today we play more Uruguayan music on the show than the country’s size would indicate because we have lots of Uruguayan artists submitting music to us. 

Another surprise is how regional Mexican music is finally “cool” and accepted in places like Miami and Spain where there was a lot of hostility – and not-so-subtle racism – directed at the genre. That’s really great to see, especially when over seventy percent of the U.S. Latino population is of Mexican origin. 

 Which trend in current Latin music fascinates you the most?

Lechner: I’m particularly obsessed with the way in which young artists in the reggaetón and Latin trap genres are questioning the very essence of what a pop song is supposed to be – and sound like. Their constant desire to experiment with form and content reminds me of impressionism in 19th century Paris, when Monet, Sisley and Pissarro reinvented the rules of painting. Some of the neo-reggaetón songs ignore the basics of song structure, and instead create vivid impressions, cinematic moods in the shape of song. I’m fascinated by the collaboration between Colombian producer Ovy on the Drums and KAROL G, as well as the latest works by Ozuna, Bizarrap, Rosalía, Arcángel, Rafa Pabön and Young Miko.

Fill in the blank: the Latin artist that not enough people are talking about yet is _______.

Lechner: I believe the prodigiously talented Chilean singer/songwriter Francisca Valenzuela should be an international superstar. – JL

Season’s Gainings: It’s Gonna Be *NSYNC Season

Justin Timberlake might not have made quite the lasting impact on 2024 that he’d hoped to with his new Everything I Thought It Was album – and hey, it’s been a crowded year in pop, plenty hitmakers much younger and hipper than JT are struggling too – but at least one day out of the year is still guaranteed to be his. May 1 came and went a week ago, and with it, the biggest day for his old *NSYNC group’s lone Hot 100 No. 1 hit, “It’s Gonna Be Me” (with Timberlake of course delivering the last word of the title more like “May.”) The song first spiked 107% to 277,000 official on-demand U.S. streams on April 30, according to Luminate, and then another 60% the following day to 444,000 – before dropping 45% to 247,000 on May 2, as the song goes back into semi-hibernation for the next 363 days. – AU

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