The set-up seemed perfect.
Drake’s “Hotline Bling” was situated in #2 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, bested only by The Weeknd’s “The Hills,” and a video was on the way, complete with social media phenomenon capabilities. The release, handled by the all-powerful Apple Music, would ensure that Drake would finally achieve his first solo #1 single.
Only, this isn’t how the story played out.
So, how did The Weeknd’s dominance continue for yet another week? Well, it’s actually less about The Weeknd and more about Drake and his exclusive deal with Apple Music.
Since the streaming service is still fairly new, Apple Music song and video streams don’t count towards the Billboard’s charts. As a result, hype alone couldn't help to make up for a lack of metrics that would have allowed “Hotline Bling” to reach the #1 spot. It’s actually a tragedy, because the amount of social media attention the video garnered should have been enough for Drake to dethrone The Weeknd. If only the video made its way onto YouTube or VEVO.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Drake will see his #1 dreams become reality next week; Adele’s “Hello” is expected to grab that spot. Considering all of the records she has already broken in such a short period of time, “Hello” will undoubtedly remain #1 for weeks to come.
Drake wanted this badly. He said it would’ve been the biggest achievement of his career. Though it didn’t happen, Drake remains winning. “Hotline Bling” was essentially a throwaway record that started out as a "Cha Cha (Remix)." If Drizzy can reach #2 with a Soundcloud-loosie turned viral hit, imagine what will happen when he goes into Views From The 6 album single mode.
[By Sermon, who knows Drake will one day get his #1. Follow him on Twitter.]