November hasn’t given us much to celebrate. Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell both died, New Zealand shook and well…this happened. It’s shaping up to be the 2016 of months. But we have one bit of good news to share in this dismal swamp of a calendar block, Rae Sremmurd have their first number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Black Beatles.”
It may seem impossible — given the relative omnipresence of the Brothers Sremm since “No Flex Zone” took over every public space imaginable in Spring 2014 — but Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi have never even come close to this point before. The song was their first to crack the top ten and now it’s the number one song in the country. In an added bit of justice, it knocked off The Chainsmokers‘ “Closer”, a possibly stolen soundtrack for beige wallpaper that somehow managed to be number one for 12 weeks. Those are dangerously close to Mariah X Boyz II Men numbers and that shouldn’t be acceptable in any year.
Surprisingly, the ultra-animated duo got their first chart-topper from a whole lot of people doing a whole lot of nothing. The song got a major push from its use in videos related to the Mannequin Challenge. The viral craze has roped in everyone from Paul McCartney to Hillary Clinton and its spread the song well beyond fans of the SremmLife 2 group. Thanks to the clips of people frozen in place, Billboard says the song was streamed 43.3 million times in the U.S. last week and was downloaded another 144,000 times. That was good enough for the top slot on both the Digital Song Sales and Streaming Songs charts.
The track is also the first number one for featured rapper Gucci Mane and producer Mike Will Made It, which is just insane considering that the former is responsible for New Atlanta and the latter made “23.” But it’s good to see all three of them finally get the recognition they deserve, even if its in the middle of the world’s worst month.