With “Hotline Bling”, Drake has the #2 song in the country. The number of hits Drake has scored throughout his career is almost comical, as he’s landed 100 songs on the Billboard’s Hot 100. But the one position on that chart Drake has yet to achieve is that number one spot — “Hotline Bling” will likely be the one.
The song premiered through OVO Radio on Apple’s Beats 1 station July 31st and quickly became one of the most listened to songs on the OVO Soundcloud. Not long after it cracked ten million listens the song was pulled from their Soundcloud and was for sale on digital stores and up for streaming.
Then just as it began to gain the natural momentum of being a successful Drake single, everyone started doing covers. Ten years ago it was commonplace for rappers to record freestyles over another’s track — that’s one of ways Drake’s musical guide Lil Wayne rose to success — and 50 years ago it was not surprising to hear the biggest acts score hits with a cover. But in 2015, such chart-bending covers are a rare commodity. But when artists from Alessia Cara to Sam Smith and Disclose are covering a song, then clearly it struck a particular zeitgeist nerve.
Though the covers don’t contribute to the song’s overall chart position, each one pushes the audience of the song further and further out from Drake’s already broad audience. That plus the fact Drake hinted that the video for the song could be dropping soon shows that it’s ready to take control over the charts.