The 999th No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 has just been crowned: It’s Wiz Khalifa’s ode to Pittsburgh and its Steelers, “Black And Yellow.” Which was probably an inevitable outcome, given the country-wide Super Bowl mania and the fact that the track’s spawned more response songs than any track since The Great “I Get Money” Bite-Off Of ’07. But it’s probably not going to hang around the chart’s summit for too long, given that the Steelers were whomped by the Green Bay Packers during Sunday’s Super Bowl and America hates losers. So it’s a jump ball for the top spot on the charts this week! Let’s see who’s rounding out the top 10… oh, wait a second:
The lead single off Gaga’s upcoming album will be released worldwide to radio on Friday at 6 a.m. EST. Three hours later, the track will be available for purchase on iTunes.
That leaves something like 60-plus hours for Gaga’s song, which she apparently wrote in 10 minutes and which she is referring to it as “an immaculate fucking conception” to Vogue‘s Jonathan Van Meter, to fly off iTunes’ virtual shelves and blitz radio stations in a dominant enough fashion for her to top the chart. Sales will probably be more key to Gaga, given the truncated week of radio airplay the song’s facing; the question is, can it blow up big out enough out of the box to vault to the chart’s summit. As a point of comparison, the current Hot Digital Songs chart’s No. 1 is the Dr. Dre/Eminem collab “I Need A Doctor”; it had 226,000 downloads during the week ending February 6. I’d say that signs for “Born This Way” to eclipse the 300,000-sold mark were pretty good—Gaga has played the public like a finely tuned violin, what with the whole staggered lyric leak, and then the “photo of the Vogue cover on a table” leak, and then the declaration of impatience, and then the single cover leak, and, today, the release of the entire Vogue story. Even Justin Bieber is dying of curiosity! And that’s not even putting in mind the madness of her Monsters, a fanbase that’s as devoted to its mother’s domination as Bieberholics are to returning him to the Twitter trending topics list by any means necessary.
(How the song itself has not leaked yet, by the way, is a mystery and something I would love to talk to Gaga herself about. Perhaps her knowledge of criminality helped?)
Obviously this will all spool out in the next few days, with the trending topics and insane buy-ins flying. I don’t really have a dog in this fight, although I really really hope that—as Billboard hypothesizes—the Glee cast’s cover of “Firework” will not nab the top honor and by extension this milestone.