A month after its release, Post Malone’s 21 Savage-featuring single “rockstar” has finally crept from No. 2 up to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has performed especially well on streaming, a category that includes data from YouTube as well as services like Spotify. But unlike most prominent singles, “rockstar” isn’t available in full on YouTube: The official upload by Post Malone’s label, Republic Records, is five choruses edited together. It’s clocked up almost 42 million plays in a little under four weeks.
The YouTube version of “rockstar” still runs three minutes and 38 seconds, the length of the actual song, and it’s still co-credited to 21 Savage, even though he doesn’t appear on the chorus. A link in the video caption directs fans to alternate services to hear the whole thing. Conveniently enough for Post Malone, though, listeners don’t have to click through in order to rack up an official, chart-qualifying track stream–the five-chorus YouTube loop will do the trick. “U.S. streams for that clip do contribute to our songs charts, the same way an instrumental track or a remix of song would count towards the main song’s placement if downloaded or streamed,” Billboard (a sister brand of SPIN) said in a statement.
The chorus loop may be a weirdly hypnotic, post-Vine marketing gimmick, but it seems like it worked. “rockstar” is both Post Malone’s and 21 Savage’s first-ever No. 1 single, meaning this probably won’t be the last time an artist attempts to boost a track by distilling its catchiest section into a standalone product. Maybe, in the future, we’ll all listen to seconds-long hooks on endless extended loops. Hear just the chorus of “rockstar”
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