I Do It Solo
Chalk up two weeks at the top for Dave as Starlight enjoys a comfortable second week at No.1, adding a further 64,000 sales to its first week total. Meanwhile, the debate rumbles on, did the track really deserve all the plaudits it attracted for being an entirely "solo" work despite the music being written by someone else (Bart Howard - Fly Me To The Moon) and Dave's rapping being accompanied by an uncredited female singer.
It is a pertinent question because the issue of just what you are and aren't required to credit informs the billing for the single that is this week's No.2 as the highest new entry of the week. Baby is Aitch's foray into the world of romance, or at least as romantic as a drill track can ever get I guess given he talks about how good his paramour looks when he's shagging her. The buildup to the track's release even coincided with the babyfaced rap star going "Insta Official" with Chicken Shop Date host Amelia Dimoldenberg as if to further soften up his image - and that is indeed her making a cameo as his emotional salvation in the video as well.
Baby is based heavily around a sample from Ashanti's 2003 hit Rock Wit U (Awww Baby) and hence arrives in the market with the American singer handed a full co-credit (this despite recording her part of the song almost 20 years ago). This was clearly the deal that was cut to permit the sample to be used, thus throwing into even sharper relief the extraordinary arrangement that must have taken place to enable Dave to claim a solo writer and performer credit for his own track.
Such industry politics aside, the single is in an instant Aitch's biggest hit in two and a half years, equalling for the moment his chart best first scaled by Taste (Make It Shake) back in September 2019. And it is the first time ever that two British-made rap hits have joined each other at the top of the singles chart.
Fly Like A Dove
Baby isn't the only single to poke its way into the Top 10 as two solo (really) women also make the grade. Dove Cameron rises to No.9 with the still wonderfully dramatic Boyfriend after the track spent four week hurtling between 13, 14 and 16. That rise, like several others of note in recent weeks, is being attributed to a release of a batch of CD copies. Almost as if singles fans are copying the trend of albums consumers and are coveting physical collectables of their favourite digital songs. Meanwhile Cat Burns continues her steady and somewhat inexorable rise with Go which takes a flying leap 19-10 in its ninth week as a chart single.
This is to the detriment of current Chart Watch favourite Anyone For You by George Ezra which briefly goes into reverse at No.14, this despite posting a midweek position of No.11 for the second week in a row. It may well still be destined for a place in the Top 10 but it looks like it will continue to keep us waiting.
We Rise And Fall
That's the story for many other newly minted hit singles as they all continue to edge their way upwards. That's actually a far more refreshing sight than some singles charts of recent times where hits land and then hover in place for weeks on end without ever growing their audience. It is almost as if pluggers and promoters have cracked the trick of moving hits in the right direction in this strange new streaming world.
So let us note and celebrate Camilla and Ed's Bam Bam which moves four places to No.18, BMW by Bad Boy Chiller Crew which leaps 11 places to No.21, Numb Little Bug by Em Beihold which scuttles up again to No.25 and Run from Becky Hill/Galantis which advances to No.28. This is how the old farts on forums believe the charts are supposed to behave, just like they did back in the good old days. So take time to point this out to them where you can.
Once outside the Top 30 we finally stumble across a brand new entry, another of those superstar collaborations which sounds like it should be instantly huge on paper but opens with a bit of a splat. I mean a linking up of Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa should be massive, right? And Sweetest Pie is indeed an epic single from the glamour of its promotion through to the phenomenally exotic (and erotic) video. I noted when it first came out that it would actually work on its own as a Dua track, but in truth it requires Megan to say all the things that her British counterpart can't get away with just yet. But for all the fuss it still only opens at No.31. Then again back in the day all the big smash hits did exactly the same. So don't write this one off either.
Don't Tell Ashley
Also poking its nose into the Top 40 is former TikTok viral meme Glad You Came as performed by 16 year old Liilz (with ZieZie on co-vocals). As the title suggests it takes its inspiration from The Wanted's No.1 hit from 2011 of the same name, albeit via a hilarious lyrical adjustment which means "my universe will never be the same" as heard in the original turns into "my mind is fucked it will never be the same" for this new take on the concept. Well it made me lol anyway. No.35 this week after a 30 place climb you may well hear more of this soon, but note that it is yet another hit song that is incredibly and phenomenally short - clocking in at just over two minutes and no more.
In the world of albums 8 of this week's Top 10 records are brand new entries - I told you the spring time rush was upon us once more. British jazz/hip-hop/whatever fusion artist Rex Orange County (aka 23 year old Alexander O'Connor) makes short work of a journey to No.1, edging out Impera from Ghost and So Happy It Hurts by Bryan Adams which take second and third place respectively.