Screenshot via Apple Music

Drake wants a number one single. Drake wants to hit number one so badly that last week, he wrote on Instagram: "No accolades really matter to me other than the fact that I have never had a Billboard number one… if you are looking for me on that particular evening I will be passed out in the water slide that connects to our pool."

Drake's hit song "Hotline Bling" might not be the number one song in the nation this week—and it will be all his fault.

Some might think that Drake will be beat out by Adele's new roaring new track "Hello," or Justin Bieber's new smash hit, "Sorry." Both have done insane streaming numbers since their Friday releases. Drake fans are already wringing their hands that Adele might rob Drake of the number one slot.


But here's the thing: Adele is not in competition with Drake for this week's number one single.

The Billboard charts count plays from Friday to Thursday, since new music now comes out on Fridays. So the chart numbers that will be released tomorrow cover October 16 through October 22. Both "Sorry" and "Hello" were released on October 23—neither can be the number one song in the country on the charts that are released tomorrow. "Hello" will almost certainly be the number one song on the chart released November 3, but as of now, tomorrow's number one could still be snagged by Drake.

On the most recent chart, "Hotline Bling" sits at number 2—the same position as Drake's last highest-charting single, 2009's "Best I Ever Had." Last Tuesday, Drake released the video for "Hotline Bling."


Like his If You're Reading This It's Too Late album cover, the "Hotline Bling" video was meant to become a meme. Instantly, people were taking it and transforming it.

It was a smart move. Getting a number one single requires some masterful work (more about that here). It's a careful chemistry of radio plays, digital purchases, and streaming (including video). "Hotline Bling" already has good radio play, and dropping the video should guarantee a number one single, by increasing streams.


The problem? Drake released his video to Apple Music.

That means we can't watch it on YouTube (and see how many times it's been played). And neither can the people behind the Billboard charts. Apple Music also does not report plays to Billboard. None of those streams, none of the tweets or funny Vines count toward Drake's quest for a number one single.

It is possible that the hype around the song will mean more plays—people might buy the song, or  play it a few times on Spotify—to get that number one slot. It's possible, but it's not certain.


Tomorrow's chart is one of Drake's last chances to make "Hotline Bling" number one and have his waterslide party. Adele has pretty solidly sealed her number one spot for the week after, and the rest of the year is stacked with a slew of other big pop artists releasing singles.

So even if Drake nails that number one spot, he won't have it for long.



Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.