Cody predicted it last week, folks. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this tops the charts next week.”
"WAP" is now a certified anthem, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s not surprising either. Like Cody said, Cardi has done everything in her power to set this single up for success. She invested heavily in the video’s visuals, prepped the release with a YouTube livestream, and worked with the hottest name in rap right now. She even roped in Kylie Jenner for the video, a move which proved that any press is good press.
It’s clearly working. In Billboard’s announcement, it mentioned that the song received a record breaking 93 million streams. Like it literally broke the record. Billboard notes, “the streaming sum for "WAP" is the greatest ever for a song in its first week of release.” EVER! That’s a roaring success for Cardi and Megan.
The question now is, what’s the shelf life of this song? While debuting at #1 is an amazing feat, it’s not a guarantee that a song will remain in the cultural consciousness. Back in June, “Trollz” by 6ix9ine and Nicki also debuted at #1. Don’t remember that song? Ya, neither do I.
Of course there are many reasons why "WAP" is different. For starters, the music video has already garnered 105 million views. (For reference, "Trollz" has received 245 million to date, so "WAP" has already done almost half of that in two weeks.) But beyond that, "WAP" is also viral on TikTok.
We’ve seen before how TikTok is increasingly influencing the charts, although now that it might be on its way out of the US, we’ll see how long that stays true. Still, success on TikTok largely equals success in the real world, and it’s the perfect way for a song to remain popular even after it drops positions on the Hot 100.
That’s something that Megan has a lot of experience with. If you’ll recall, “Savage” was a huge TikTok hit before the Queen anointed it with her remix. To do well on TikTok, songs need to either be meme-able or have a strong dance potential. "WAP" has both, making it a powerhouse that shows up every 1 in 6 videos while I scroll on the app.
Thanks to @besperon, "WAP" has taken over dance TikTok and the #"WAP"Challenge is incredibly popular. (I spent yesterday morning trying to do it and let me tell you, nothing will reinforce how inflexible you are than trying to perform this routine. It’s fun cardio though).
On the other end, people have been playing the song for their parents and grandparents and filming their reactions.
Sometimes, people film themselves performing the dance in front of their parents! (The bravery!)
“Like you would know anything about that,” LOL.
The point is, "WAP" is versatile enough to work in both these scenarios. In fact, it’s so versatile that it can make headlines when Carole Baskin calls out Cardi B or Ben Shapiro admits that he’s never made a woman in his life horny.
And because you keep seeing and hearing it over and over, "WAP" starts to stick in your brain. I’ve now had it playing on replay in my head for three days straight. I’m not complaining either, because life is a lot more interesting when Megan and Cardi are rapping about wet pussy in your head.
As Lainey wrote earlier, "WAP" is about female empowerment, and the unequivocal right for women, especially Black women, to be horny. And while the content of the song represents that, "WAP"’s debut is part of that story too, because it is the FOURTH female collaboration to chart at #1 THIS YEAR alongside “Rain On Me”, “Say So”, and “Savage”. It’s also one of two songs featuring female collaborations to debut at #1 ever, and Cardi and Megan are two out of four female rappers in history to have a song debut at #1.
Traditionally, rap has been a male-dominated genre filled with misogyny and sexism. And in the small space that is left for women, audiences like to pit female rappers against each other. This year has shown us that there’s enough room at the top, and that Megan, Cardi, and "WAP" are punching a hole through that narrative and storming onto the scene with their pussies out. As the numbers show, clearly we all can’t get enough of it, so at least 2020 got one thing right.