Rhyme Report

Published on July 13th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby


Billboard Insiders: Hamilton Reaches New High, Release 5 of COVID-19 Study, Billboard 200, Hot 100

Check out this week’s Billboard highlights below, including the fifth installment of Billboard/MRC Data’s COVID-19 Study series.


  • In its 250th week on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical surges to a new peak as the set vaults from No. 14 to No. 2 in the wake of the show’s Disney+ premiere on July 3. The album earned 102,000 equivalent album units (up 294 percent) in the U.S. in the week ending July 9, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.  So far, Hamilton has sold 1.97 million album copies in the U.S.
  • The last cast recording to reach the top two on the chart was the original cast album of Hair, which spent 13 weeks at No. 1 in 1969.  The set previously peaked at No. 3 on the July 2, 2016-dated chart, following the 2016 Tony Awards, where the show won 11 trophies, including best musical.  Full story HERE



  • Billboard and MRC Data have launched Release 5 of their COVID-19 Study series. Data in this installment shows that streaming has risen to normal levels after an early-June lull, with Country music still rulingover other genres, posting a remarkable 13% gain in weekly audio streams since the start of the pandemic. New video streaming subscriptions have fallen, with more Americans returning to normal life. People are also increasingly willing to return to live events, though crowd sizes remain a concern. Live streams are still a popular choice, while retail also recovering from previous weeks (weekly numbers for total physical sales from all forms of retailers rose to 980,200, up almost 32% from 742,900 at the beginning of the crisis) – Check out the key takeaways from Release 5 HERE, and the full report HERE (report available upon request to those without a Billboard Pro subscription)



  • Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, giving the late rapper his first chart-topping effort.  At No. 2, the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical surges to a new peak.
  • Back on the new Billboard 200 chart, Lil Baby’s My Turn dips from No. 1 to No. 3, while DaBaby’s former No. 1 Blame It On Baby slips from No. 3 to No. 4.  Post Malone’s previous leader Hollywood’s Bleeding dips 4-5.  The Weeknd’s chart-topping After Hours shifts down 5-6, Harry Styles’ former No. 1 Fine Line backtracks 6-7 and Polo G’s The Goat falls 7-8.  Lil Uzi Vert’s former leader Eternal Atake descends 8-9, and Lil Durk’s Just Cause Y’all Waited 2 closes out the top 10.  Full story HERE


HOT 100

  • DaBaby‘s “Rockstar,” featuring Roddy Ricch, posts a fifth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Notably, Roddy Ricch boasts the two longest-leading Hot 100 No. 1s of 2020.  The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” lifts 3-2. Jack Harlow‘s “Whats Poppin,” featuring DaBaby, Tory Lanez and Lil Wayne, dips to No. 3; Megan Thee Stallion‘s former one-week leader “Savage,” featuring Beyoncé, holds at No. 4; and SAINt JHN‘s “Roses” keeps at No. 5.
  • Late rapper Pop Smoke appears in the Hot 100’s top 10 for the first time, as “For the Night,” featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby, debuts at No. 6.  With the track, DaBaby becomes just the seventh act in the Hot 100’s nearly 62-year history to have charted at least three songs in the top six slots simultaneously.
  • Harry Styles‘ “Watermelon Sugar” hits a new high (8-7), while Lil Mosey‘s “Blueberry Faygo” also ascends a spot to a new best (9-8). Rounding out the top 10, Doja Cat‘s former one-week No. 1 “Say So” drops 6-9 and Justin Bieber‘s “Intentions,” featuring Quavo, slides 7-10.  Full story HERE

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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