Polo G’s “RAPSTAR” Debuts At #1
These days, a whole lot of songs debut at #1 on the Hot 100. A lot of times, those songs then plummet down the charts after making their debut. In the streaming era, a well-planned song rollout from a big-name artist can bulldoze its way to the top spot whether or not people actually like the song. Still, every once in a while, when a song debuts at #1, it’s news. When Polo G’s new joint debuts at #1, for instance, that’s a big deal.
Polo G, the melodic Chicago drill rapper, has been steadily building since he released his bluesy, hypnotic debut album Die A Legend, my favorite rap album of 2019. A week and a half ago, Polo released his new single “RAPSTAR,” a sticky sing-rapped lament driven by a fluttering ukulele loop from co-producer Einer Bankz. It’s a good song with a cool video, but it’s still a surprise to learn that, as Billboard reports, “RAPSTAR” has gone straight to #1 in its first week.
Back in 2019, Polo G’s breakout single, the Lil Tjay collaboration “Pop Out,” climbed as high as #11. But up until now, Polo G has never had a top-10 single of his own. (Last year, he was a guest on the posthumous Juice WRLD track “Hate The Other Side,” which peaked at #10.) “RAPSTAR” isn’t just Polo G’s first proper top-10 hit; it’s also the first #1 hit for anyone from Chicago’s drill scene. Unless I’m missing something, Polo is now the first Chicago rapper with a #1 hit since Chance The Rapper appeared on DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One” in 2017, and he’s also the first Chicago rapper to be the lead artist on a #1 hit since Kanye West got there with “Stronger” in 2007. Polo pulled this off without a featured guest or even a big-name producer. It’s a major accomplishment.