by Kemet High, Vrinda Jagota, Kristin Corry, and Leah Mandel of Third Bridge Creative
In this week’s Trending Tracks Report, we highlight a resurgent touchstone from the Barbie universe, a new track from a rapper on the comeback trail, a K-Pop smash, a surging R&B single, and an internet-native rap-dance fusion.
Aqua: “Barbie Girl”
Chartmetric Artist Rank: 109
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie is on the horizon, and the world is preparing by listening to Danish pop group Aqua’s iconic 1997 dance-pop song, “Barbie Girl.” Despite Mattel suing MCA Records for trademark infringement after its initial release, Aqua’s magnum opus was sampled for Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s Barbie soundtrack contribution “Barbie World,” and remixed by Tiësto in April in anticipation of the film’s upcoming July release. In March, Aqua reached 2m YouTube subscribers and in early June, Aqua breached the top 1K artists in the world on Chartmetric, and now sit in the top 150. The song is a phenomenon across platforms: the original extended mix of “Barbie Girl” has been trending on Pandora, there are almost 600k posts on Tiktok, 379m Spotify streams, and the video for “Barbie Girl” (as iconic as the song itself) now has 1.24b views. Come on Barbie, let’s go party!
Chartmetric Artist Rank: 166
After much discourse online among rap fans questioning what a post-prison Gunna would sound like, “fukumean” is evidence that the rapper is as talented as ever. After being incarcerated for seven months amid YSL’s ongoing RICO case, the Atlanta rapper released the track on his new album a Gift & a Curse in mid-June. The song has gotten millions of new YouTube views in the past week—with over 14.3m views overall across four different uploads of the song—and soared to No. 44 on TikTok’s Viral charts, where it’s been used in over 467K posts. Two days after the album’s release, “fukumean” topped Apple Music’s US charts. At 58.5m streams and counting on Spotify, the rapper hasn’t missed a beat.
NewJeans: “Super Shy”
Chartmetric Artist Rank: 125
Country: South Korea
Korean girl-group NewJeans pull from ’90s pop while sculpting the future sound of K-Pop. Last August, the quintet released a surprise debut EP and became the fastest group in K-Pop history to reach 1B streams on Spotify (it took just over six months.) Now, they are gearing up to release their much-anticipated sophomore EP Get Up later this month, including the whimsical Jersey Club track “Super Shy.” Since being posted on YouTube on July 6, the drum and bass track has racked up nearly 25m views in just a week and was the #2 trending music video on the platform worldwide. The success of “Super Shy” is helping to build up hype for “ASAP,” the group’s forthcoming single. On June 26, they released a Sophia Coppola-esque, woodland fairy-themed trailer for the twinkling track, which has already garnered nearly 8m views. The group is infusing an already vibrant scene with their new energy.
Khamari: “These Four Walls”
Chartmetric Artist Rank: 11,614
“These Four Walls” is an ode to how persistent loneliness can be, and the Boston native’s vulnerability on the slow jam makes it a contender for a modern R&B classic. The Tomorrow’s Five alum released his highly anticipated A Brief Nirvana on May 26, and shortly after, he performed the song on COLORS. The teaser posted on the tastemaker’s TikTok channel earned 732k views on the app, and became a staple on on Apple Music’s flagship playlists like R&B Now, #OnRepeat, and Brown Sugar. Last week, singer Coco Jones (who had her own viral hit last year with “ICU”) shared a snippet singing along to the track, causing R&B fans to cross their fingers for a soulful duet between the two newcomers.
Lumi Athena and cade clair: “LET ME SEE YA MOVE!”
Chartmetric Track Score: 189
“LET ME SEE YA MOVE!” is the latest offering from friends and frequent collaborators pioneering a new genre (alongside musicians like Tomorrow's Five alum Odetari) called Krush Club: a dance fusion pairing Jersey Club production with bitcrush vocals. With their fanbase mainly on Discord and TikTok, they’ve experienced a taste of popularity with a now-deleted remix called “Kurxxed Diamonds” and “SMOKE IT OFF!” On May 9th, Athena released the first teaser of “Let Me See Ya Move!” on TikTok. After a fan posted a loop from the clip on YouTube, it gained traction and the video now has 823k views. The duo quickly released the full track on June 15, and it reached 1m streams in 3 days on SoundCloud, according to the artists. It has also garnered 8.3m streams on Spotify and 1.5m views on YouTube, and is #26 on the U.S. Spotify Viral charts.
Graphics by Nicki Camberg and cover image by Crasianne Tirado; data as of July 14, 2023.