Lizzo’s track, “Truth Hurts,” has been at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for five straight weeks, putting her within striking distance to claim the title of longest-running #1 track by a female rap artist of all time. The current reigning queen is Iggy Azalea, whose 2014 song “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX topped the charts for seven weeks in a row.
As Lizzo put it on Monday, if her fans keep “Truth Hurts” on repeat for another two weeks, she’ll break the record, unseating “Fancy.” In a follow-up post, Lizzo quickly noted she thinks "Fancy" is a bop and gave a shout-out to Charli XCX, who she collaborated on a track with earlier this year.
Whether or not Lizzo meant to shade her, Azalea picked up on the omission. “I could have SWORN I was the one rapping that song but okay…” she tweeted, then deleted.
Still, even as she walked back her fighting words, Azalea indicated she wouldn’t cede the throne gracefully. “Stream señorita for clear skin,” she posted, directing her fans at the Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello single currently at number two on the Billboard chart.
She also changed her Twitter display name to “IGGY AZALEA stream señorita” and her avatar to a photo of Mendes and Cabello. Azalea’s logic seems to go along these lines: if she can stack the deck in its favor, “Señorita” would unseat “Truth Hurts” and protect her title.
Lizzo has thus far taken the high road in their “spat” and has not responded to Azalea’s smear campaign. And the Australian rapper, for the record, insists she’s just fooling around. “It’s not my fault you think I’m being serious,” her Twitter bio proclaims.
The whole thing takes the sportsmanship out of topping the music charts. If “Señorita” unseats “Truth Hurts,” is it an unfair achievement boosted by “Fancy” stans? And if Lizzo stays on top for another two weeks or more, did her own streaming campaign (and Azalea’s “trolling”) tilt the scales further in her favor? We’ll most likely never know.
Besides, these days listening to music feels odd and ephemeral. Billboard can’t measure an artist’s popularity through just album sales or radio requests anymore. The Hot 100 is an opaque compilation of radio airplay, sales and streaming data. With so much in play, it’s hard to say what a titles like “longest-running #1 track” really means.