Kendrick Lamar Lands "King Kunta," Five Other Tracks Hot 100...But None in Top 50. Why Not?
Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars and "Uptown Funk" have had an iron grip on the Billboard Hot 100 for the last few months, but Kendrick Lamar made the biggest splash perhaps last week, by landing six tracks into the top 100 songs in the country, to go along with repping the no. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with To Pimp A Butterfly.
Although the album that supplied the tracks may have taken the no. 1 spot (and is projected to do so again during its second week), Lamar's songs haven't placed nearly so high. He has more songs in the Hot 100 than any other performer at the moment...but none of them landed within the Top 50.
"King Kunta" was the emcee's highest charting number, coming in at no. 61, followed closely by "The Blacker The Berry" at no. 66 (interesting as "Berry" is an actual single, while "Kunta" is not, although it's rumored to become one soon). "Alright" places at no. 83 while the rest of his entries fill the last ten spots on the chart: "Wesley's Theory (no. 91), "These Walls" (no. 94) and "Institutionalized (no. 99).
So what's the story?
The Hot 100 takes a number of factors into consideration when ranking the nation's top songs from week-to-week, including individual downloads and streams. This explains the relative success of Butterfly's songs, as the album was streamed more during its first day than any other album previously (a trend that probably continued through the week). Listeners evidently came back and listened to the aforementioned tracks more than the rest.
So why couldn't they crack the Top 50? The biggest factor when counting the Hot 100 is still radio spins, something that Butterfly's singles haven't gotten much of (first single "i" has been out nearly half a year now, and it peaked at only no. 39). Ronson and company don't have to worry about its streak atop the charts.