Despite its lack of commercial availability and official label promotion, the track starts strong at radio. Also, moves for Yo Gotti & Future.
While not available for purchase, Beyonce‘s “Formation,” which she released on YouTube Feb. 6 and then performed on the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show Feb. 7, makes a noteworthy start at R&B/hip-hop radio.
Even though the song has yet to be officially promoted to radio stations by its label, Columbia, the song arrives as Beyonce’s highest career debut on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart (dated Feb. 27), entering at No. 11 with 16.3 million in audience (from 88 stations that played the song), according to Nielsen Music. Beyonce previously started at a high of No. 14 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay as featured (with Lil Wayne) on Usher’s “Love in This Club Part II” in 2008. As a lead artist, she tops her prior best beginning of No. 20 with “Singles Ladies (Put a Ring on It”), also in 2008. “Ladies” would become her longest-leading (12 weeks) of seven No. 1s on the chart.
On the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart (which, with Adult R&B Songs, combines to form the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay panel), “Formation” launches at No. 17. Genre airplay also pushes the track to a No. 18 debut on the Hot R&B Songs tally.
‘DM’ Remix Hits Top 10: Over on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Yo Gotti scores his first top 10, of his total 25 charted entries, as “Down in the DM” jumps 13-7, earning the top Digital Gainer tag. The commercial release of a remix featuring Nicki Minaj boosts sales of the song to 51,000 downloads in the week ending Feb. 11, a 154 percent increase. Now featured on the track, Minaj earns her 22nd top 10 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Streams for “DM” also soar by 59 percent to 7.2 million, with Spotify leading with 38 percent of overall plays across streaming providers. The arrival of the remix additionally helps the track leap 39-21 on the Billboard Hot 100, granting Gotti a new career-high rank.
Future Is Here: As previously reported, Future‘s EVOL blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The set also starts at the summit of Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (100,000 sold), while six of its tracks enter Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. “Low Life,” featuring The Weeknd, leads the debuts, earning Hot Shot Debut honors at No. 18, with the majority of its chart points stemming from 61,000 downloads sold, good for its No. 3 entrance in R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs.