Drake’s “God’s Plan” Is Now the No. 1 Song in the Country

Even when we don't see Drake coming, he knows where the culture is going. It's a vision like that that has landed The Boy at the top of the Billboard Hot 100: “God's Plan” is officially No. 1. As if that wasn't enough, “Diplomatic Immunity,” the other track in his 2-pack Scary Hours EP, is No. 7 according to Billboard. That makes Drake the first artist to have two songs debut in the Top 10 simultaneously since Ed Sheeran, who did so last January with “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill.” Sheeran and Drake are the only two artists to have accomplished such a feat. Clap for 'em.

When you look at the numbers, it's not surprising to see him at the top of the charts. Per Billboard and Nielsen Music, “God's Plan” was also No. 1 on the Streaming Songs chart, with 82.4 million U.S. streams. Speaking of streaming, just last week Drake broke records with both Spotify and Apple Music. Chart Data reported that “God's Plan” was streamed 4,326,679 times in the U.S., a single-day record. And Zane Lowe let the world know via Twitter that “God's Plan” was streamed more than 14 million times on its first day on Apple Music, a worldwide record for the platform.

With “God's Plan,” Drake has bumped Camila Cabello and Young Thug's “Havana” from the No. 1 spot, where it spent just one week. The competition is fierce outchea.

“God's Plan” is Drake's first debut at No. 1, and his fourth overall Hot 100 No. 1. His features with Rihanna, “What's My Name?” in 2010 and “Work” in 2016, earned him No. 1 spots, as well as his lead single “One Dance” featuring WizKid and Kyla, which also held the top spot in 2016. His latest chart topper marks his second No. 1 as a lead artist, and his first as a solo act. 

According to Chart Data, Drake joins Mariah Carey and The Beatles as the only artists with 20 or more Hot 100 top 10s in a single decade.​ While Drizzy is running these 2010s, Mariah dominated in the '90s, and The Beatles held it down in the '60s. 

Drake is reportedly already back in the studio: he's been seen hanging with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and has posted visuals of his studio to his Instagram stories. 

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The First Week Numbers for Eminem’s ‘Revival’ Are In

Eminem earned his eighth consecutive No. 1 debut after Nielsen confirmed Revival sold 267,000 equivalent album units during its initial week of release. The Shady brand is apparently still strong at retail, as Billboard reports 197,000 of the aforementioned 267,000 album units were traditional album sales. Per Billboard’s “multi-metric consumption” rule, that would leave 70,000 units comprised of from either track equivalent sales or digital streams.

Billboard noted that while Jay Z, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones also have eight No. 1 albums, no other artist has eight No. 1 chart entries in a row.

The updated figures give Eminem the third-largest sales week in hip-hop behind Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. and Drake’s More Life.

Marshall Mathers’ ascension to the top of the charts naturally means the previous leader has been dethroned. As such, Taylor Swift now occupies the second position, after Reputation racked up another 133,000 in sales last week and currently sits just shy of double platinum status.

The Beautiful & Damned by G-Eazy is the country’s third best-selling album, largely powered by the Cardi B and ASAP Rocky collaboration “No Limit.”

Ed Sheeran continues to flex sales appeal from across the pond as ÷ (Divide) boasts sales of 90,000 units to claim the fourth spot on the top albums chart.

Elsewhere, Jeezy’s Pressure gives Da Snowman his ninth album to hit Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart. Jeezy’s latest joins the top 10 thanks to 72,000 album equivalent units sold with traditional sales accounting for 54,000.

“The rapper has yet to miss the top 10 with a charting album, stretching back to his debut on the list, 2005’s Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, which peaked at No. 2,” noted Billboard. “Among his nine top 10s are three No. 1s: The Inspiration (2006), The Recession (2008) and Trap or Die 3 (2016).”

You can read the full top 10 report via Billboard. And read our 2017 cover story on Em here.

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Beyoncé Changes Her Email Weekly, According to Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran reveals that Beyoncé switches up her email more times in one month than you will in a lifetime.

N*E*R*D Shares Cover Art and Release Date for New Album

N*E*R*D just announced the release date for their long-awaited new album. NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES will be available on Dec. 15 for everyone who missed its surprise ComplexCon unveiling. The trio also shared what appears to be the album cover, which will certainly look nice saved to one's Apple Music library.

 

A post shared by N.E.R.D (@nerd) on Nov 22, 2017 at 5:00am PST

The album boasts N*E*R*D-worthy contributions from a variety of artists including Future and Kendrick Lamar, as well as André 3000 and Rihanna on the previously released tracks “Rollinem 7's” and “Lemon.” Ed Sheeran, Gucci Mane, Wale, and M.I.A. also make appearances.

You'll find the NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES tracklist below:
1. “Deep Down Body Thirst”
2. “Lemon” f/ Rihanna
3. “Voilà” f/ Gucci Mane and Wale
4. “1000” f/ Future
5. “Don't Don't Do It” f/ Kendrick Lamar
6. “Kites” f/ Kendrick Lamar and M.I.A.
7. “ESP” 8. “Lightning Fire Magic Prayer”
9. “Rollinem 7’s” f/ André 3000
10. “Lifting You” f/ Ed Sheeran
11. “Secret Life of Tigers”

The album marks the trio's first one in seven years, following the 2010 release of Nothing. The 10-track collection was supported by the singles “Hypnotize U” and “Hot-n-Fun” featuring Nelly Furtado.

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Amazingly, we are now a mere two years away from the band's 20th anniversary, a milestone I personally hope results in a tour featuring Pharrell and company shredding through their debut, In Search Of…, in full all across the world. I couldn't possibly be the only person still obsessively listening to “Rock Star” at least once a day.

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Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn’ Has Spent 25 Consecutive Weeks in the Billboard 200 Top 10

A few days after Kendrick Lamar released Damn back in April, the Compton rapper was projected to not only debut at No. 1, but also move close to half a million equivalent album units first week. The end result was the top slot on the Billboard 200 chart and 603,000 units moved. That moment was a sign of his impending chart dominance this year.

In the Billboard 200 chart week ending Oct. 5, Kendrick reached another career achievement: Damn has spent 25 consecutive weeks in the top 10. That's nearly half of the entire year. No matter how you slice it, it's an impressive feat.

Here's what makes it more impressive. In a year where albums have been released from Ed Sheeran, Drake, and Katy Perry—three artists who have made the Billboard charts home their entire career—only Damn and Sheeran's ​÷ have spent 25 or more weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. Sheeran has tallied up 27 weeks, but his longest streak is 20. 

And if we're talking streaks, Damn spent 21 straight weeks in the top five; Sheeran's ÷ topped out at nine weeks.

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The last rapper to spend 25 or more weeks in the top 10 was Drake with his 2016 release Views. That album lasted 35 weeks in the top 10, with a streak of 30 (May 21-Dec. 10).

Back in July, Billboard unveiled Nielsen Music's mid-year report for top-performing albums based on overall equivalent album units, and Damn led the way with 1,772,000 units. That total is now around the 2.3 million mark based on recent reports, which means Kendrick Lamar is still the front-runner.

There's a possibility Taylor Swift could swoop in the last two months of 2017 and snatch the crown with her sixth studio album Reputation (due out Nov. 10), but for now King Kendrick reigns supreme.

Check out a week-to-week rank and figure breakdown of Damn below.

Week        Rank    Figure
April 20    No. 1    603,000
April 27    No. 1    239,000
May 4        No. 1    173,000
May 11      No. 3    134,000
May 18      No. 3    117,000
May 25      No. 2    98,000
June 1        No. 2    84,000
June 8        No. 2    73,000
June 15      No. 2    69,000
June 22      No. 3    70,000
June 29      No. 3    59,000
July 6         No. 3    56,000
July 13       No. 3    54,000
July 20       No. 2    56,000
July 27       No. 5    48,000
Aug. 3        No. 2    47,000
Aug. 10      No. 1    47,000
Aug. 17      No. 2    43,000
Aug. 24      No. 3    41,000
Aug. 31      No. 5    45,000
Sept. 7       No. 4    40,000
Sept. 14     No. 8    35,000
Sept. 21     No. 4    34,000
Sept. 28     No. 8    34,000
Oct. 5         No. 9    34,000

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Insane ‘Game of Thrones’ Theory Suggests Hot Pie Could Be the Show’s Ultimate Bad Guy

Game of Thrones has no shortage of people who could nominally be labeled bad guys. There are the more obvious antagonists—the White Walkers and Cersei Lannister, for example—but there are also two-faced hustlers and sporadically violent sociopaths littered throughout Thrones history. Shades of good and evil are everywhere in Westeros.

(Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers will follow.)

Evil may even be hiding in the smallest, seemingly inconsequential corners of the Thrones universe. Everyone has their crazy theories about how the end game will play out, but one particular theory pinpoints a single man for the potential downfall of humanity. Jon Snow? Nope. Jaime Lannister? Guess again. Could it be Bran Stark? Nope. The fate of humanity has apparently been altered by… Hot Pie?

I know, I know, this sounds completely ridiculous. What does the fledgling baker have to do with the battle against the Night King, or even the stakes between the rival factions of Westeros? While he's not directly involved, as one r/GameOfThrones user points out, he may be to blame for the unfortunate chain of events we've seen unfold.

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If you'll recall, Arya Stark and Hot Pie have a brief reunion toward the beginning of Game of Thrones Season 7, and Hot Pie drops an important reveal on Arya: her half-brother (or so we thought) is now King of the North, inspiring her to make the trek back to Winterfell to reunite with her family. It was wonderful to see Arya return to her home, even if Jon wasn't there, because it put an exclamation point on her coming-of-age journey.

But as Reddit user abdo0000 points out, this was not Arya's original plan. The Stark assassin's kill list has been at the forefront of her mind, and the No. 1 target was teased in the show's first episode. Cersei Lannister is responsible for the loss of many people Arya held dear, and as she told Ed Sheeran's character during his brief cameo, Arya was on her way to murder the evil queen.

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Arya's reroute set into motion a series of events which have undoubtedly impacted the show's end game. Had Arya been able to assassinate Cersei, the entire politics of Westeros would have shifted. Though he's not necessarily “good,” Jaime Lannister has at least shown to be reasonable, and a partnership with Jon Snow and Daenerys against the Night King probably could have been worked out. Further, with Cersei eliminated, perhaps Jon and his band of misfits never head north of the wall, never have to call Daenerys for help, and never end up losing the third dragon, Viserion, to the army of the undead.

This all seems like a pretty big leap in logic, especially because there's no telling how the power players in Thrones would react if events had unfolded differently. The development of Jaime Lannister as a nominal “good guy” has come in part because he lost trust in his sister on his own accord, walking away from the woman he loves after she showed herself to be unreasonable. Had Cersei been murdered by an assassin of any kind, it feels likely Jaime would view her more sympathetically, because having her taken away from him changes his outlook on her and the world around him.

It's easy to point the finger at my man Hot Pie, because ultimately he's inconsequential and a lot easier to loathe than the characters who get lots of screen time. But he's probably not the guy to blame for instability here; Jon Snow's shitty plan to capture a White Walker was bad regardless, as was the idea that you could win Cersei Lannister's trust to begin with. Hot Pie sharing some information with an old friend is not going to cause of the end of humanity, and if it is, maybe these dumb ass “heroes” didn't deserve that distinction to begin with.

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Lil Uzi Vert and Ed Sheeran’s 2017 VMAs Performance Was the Most Unlikely Combo of 2017

Ed Sheeran was one of the opening performers for the 2017 VMAs, where he did a stripped down rendition of “Shape of You.”

But what was surprising to fans is when Sheeran brought out Lil Uzi Vert to perform what appeared to be an unofficial remix to the English singer’s Hot 100 hit. And if that wasn’t a crazy enough sight to see, Sheeran returned the favor by covering parts of Uzi’s “XO TOUR Llif3.”

It sparked a mixed reaction from the crowd. Ludacris looked like he was into it. So was Pink. However, Cardi B takes the cake with her facial reaction alone.

Others watching from home loved it, though.

Well, maybe not everyone.

You can catch up on all the performances here. Others expected to hit the stage include the Weeknd, Miley Cyrus, Lorde, Fifth Harmony, Logic, Demi Lovato, Alessia Cara, Kyle, and more.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Director Defends Ed Sheeran and His Despised Cameo

Director Jeremy Podeswa comes to Ed Sheeran’s defense after the singer was eviscerated on Twitter for making a cameo.

Who’s Going to Die On ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7?

It’s the middle of July but make no mistake: Winter has arrived. Game of Thrones made its triumphant return to the airwaves last night with the premiere for its penultimate season. Needless to say, with the endgame fast approaching, fans are expecting each episode to deliver two HOLY SHIT moments minimum. In that regard, last night’s episode,  “Dragonstone,” didn't  disappoint. Anyone who was expecting this episode to be lightning paced was probably let down but, c'mon: We’re in the final stage here, yes, but it’s still just the beginning of the end. The table still has to be set, and this new episode did that perfectly.

Theres a ton of takeaways from the premiere, namely in the way the series two big storylines—Daenerys versus Cersei and Jon versus the White Walkers—are being positioned to collide. Dany just touched down on the eponymous island of Dragonstone, which is where Sam has just learned a sizable deposit of Dragonglass is located, i.e. one of only two substances known to defeat White Walkers. The path is set for Jon Snow to sail there and learn that he isn't a Snow at all, he's a Targaryen, son of Rhaegar. Which would effectively make Dany the Dragon Queen his aunt. 

Even in a more deliberately paced episode, watching the very large world of Thrones contract as dozens of disparate characters get further drawn together is thrilling. The show and its various arcs are more unpredictable than ever. But that excitement waned and mutated into anxiety. Short episode order notwithstanding, we now have a full season of GoT to go, and on this series that means a sword of Damocles will be dangling over all our favorite characters' heads. The same exhilaration a new episode of Thrones brings also carries dread along with it, because even in an endgame following the deaths of many a “good guy,” the few heroes left standing are still making the same types of mistakes. And in George R.R. Martin's world, it's far more likely for the hero to die after committing a grave mistake than it is to see good triumph over evil.

Cersei's hubris is so unchecked right now the story's practically telegraphing her grand downfall. But Cersei got this far off of being underestimated and ruthless in exploiting her enemies' doubt in how calculating she really is. Dany has dragons sure, but after five seasons of wins, going up against Queen Lannister could provide her first L. Similarly, I'm troubled by Arya diving headfirst into her Hit List before even checking in on Winterfell (maybe she's unaware there's a Winterfell to check in on?). Killing off the Frey family for their part in The Red Wedding was cold, beautiful vengeance. But Cersei ranks about 117 spots higher in terms of formidability. In boldly telling Ed Sheeran that she's going to kill the queen, Arya's hubris is in effect, running just as rampantly as her enemy. This won't end well for someone and it may be the person whose death would fuck us up the most. And what gift is the sleazy swashbuckler Euron planning to bring Cersei?

Meanwhile Jon and Sansa are towing the line between understandable sibling push and pull, with both making valid leadership points but Sansa having the ultimate trump card in highlighting Ned and Robb's honor and over-investment in human decency is what got them killed. Littlefinger is clearly lurking in the corners waiting to exploit the weak link in their bond. It feels like Jon has to make it to at least season 8 but will Sansa be the next Stark to go down? 

Overall, with season 6 serving as the last chapter before the true endgame, it created a rare sense of safety and assuredness toward characters we knew simply had to play a part in the series climax. But now that we're reaching that point, all bets are off and Game of Thrones has returned to being one of the most anxiety-inducing shows on television. It's perhaps even worse now that there are so few characters to root for. Between Daenerys, Tyrion, Arya, Jon, Sansa, Brienne and even grayer characters like Jaime—who's looking at his sister with increasing trepidation—it seems inevitable that someone beloved won't make it out of winter alive. It's just a matter of who, how, and when. 

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Who Is Partynextdoor Calling a ‘Culture Vulture’?

The age of trading pointed bars back-and-forth may have passed, but new-school artists are well-versed in throwing vague shade at their rivals. Though “beef” has expanded past hip-hop artists to include celebrity feuds of all sorts, you rarely see it escalate to the point where direct shots are being taken.

Partynextdoor is no stranger to throwing shade, and he isn't afraid to acknowledge the people around him who are being fake. The latest chapter in this saga is a video that emerged from his Snapchat over the weekend where he appears to call out another artist for being a “culture vulture”:

So who is Partynextdoor beefing with here? There are a few options on the table.

Drake

Whenever an unnamed artist is getting dissed these days, Drake's name is always one of the first to come up. It makes sense from a certain angle—he's at the top of the music industry, and his combination of multiple musical styles puts him in the crosshairs for a variety of artists. And fans connected the two as soon as the culture vulture video dropped on Twitter:

But it wouldn't really make sense for PND to come at Drake. For one thing, they have a pretty good working relationship dating back years, when a connection through OVO crew members Oliver and Boi-1da who helped put Party on the map. Party would eventually sign with OVO Sound, singing background vocals on Nothing Was the Same and earning his first platinum-certified single “Recognize” with Drake featured on the track.

If he really wanted to go at Drake, he probably has way better ammo than calling him a culture vulture. Party has made a name for himself as writer for R&B artists the last few years, including being credited as a writer on Rihanna's No. 1 song “Work.” With Drake dodging ghostwriting claims during the same timeframe, Party easily could have connected a few dots for the public in an effort to take down the rap kingpin.

Instead, Partynextdoor has consistently shown love for his fellow Canadian, and often goes out of his way to credit him for all that he knows about the music industry.

Jeremih

Partynextdoor has a more complicated history with Jeremih, with 2016's Summer's Over Tour stirring up a number of wild stories. The two were at the center of a major controversy in December, when Jeremih allegedly sent out a stunt double to perform for him during their tour stop in Houston.

Things went downhill from there, with Jeremih openly dissing Partynextdoor on stage and later dropping out of appearances on the tour altogether. Party would eventually air his own grievances to the public, taking a more indirect route in the process.

“Everyone knows I'm a real person and I don't have time for any other fake shit,” he said. “I can't do fake shit. I'm not calling nobody fake, I'm just saying.”

But both artists appeared to have moved on from the controversy in recent weeks, and they featured in a picture together on May 19 prior to the ASCAP Pop Music Awards:

 

Foolin' with mi foola

A post shared by Thumpy Johnson (@jeremih) on May 19, 2017 at 12:22am PDT

It would probably be best for both parties not to continue squabbling, so it's unlikely Party was reviving their bad blood.

​Bryson Tiller

The most likely target of Party's shade could be Bryson Tiller, both because of the content of Party's video and the timing of its release. Tiller's True to Self dropped unexpectedly over Memorial Day weekend, and he announced a tour with Metro Boomin once the holiday was over. With his name in the headlines, it would make sense for a competitor like Party to come at him.

Though they've worked together in the past, both artists are incentivized to distinguish themselves from the other. They're competing for a lot of the same fans, and comparisons never seem to go away:

The Everyday Struggle crew seems to agree it's Tiller, and Joe Budden highlighted why an artist like Partynextdoor might take issue with a hybrid artist in his lane, like Tiller:

Tiller is the front-runner, but there's one dark horse to keep an eye on.

Ed Sheeran

Yes, that Ed Sheeran. Though it may seem farfetched, there are a few signs the British crooner could be the man at the center of the controversy. As mentioned previously, Partynextdoor played a pivotal role in the creation of Rihanna's “Work.” Take a listen to Ed Sheeran's song, “Shape Of You,” and see if you notice any similarities in the construction of the song.

Sheeran would later claim in a radio interview that when he wrote the dancehall-influenced song, he thought it would “really work for Rihanna.” Given that it's not far removed from music she'd already released—and that Sheeran's background is decidedly not in that vein of music—it's not too big of a leap to say he could be seen as a “culture vulture” here.

The Everyday Struggle crew also discovered PND's shots were being fired not at a rapper, but at a pop star, and Sheeran certainly qualifies there.

Maybe that's reading too far into it, but it's just as credible as any other theory at the moment. I don't know if Sheeran should start prepping a PND diss track, but at the very least, he's on notice until PND says otherwise. 

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