In case you didn’t know, Chance the Rapper and NF are dropping albums on July 26, The Big Day and The Search. As juggernauts in the music industry, both are going to be fighting for the top of the Billboard Charts. Only one can be #1, however. The question is, who’s album will get more plays?
In my opinion, Chance will top the charts over NF.
To answer this, we’ll have to look at a couple of factors, 1. Their current streaming numbers and 2. their fanbase.
Looking at each artists’ streaming numbers on the good ol’ Spotify Desktop application, each artist at first glance has pretty similar streaming numbers overall, so there is no obvious clue there. One clue for people’s interest in the artist’s current music is to compare the latest single from each artist where each came out around the same time. For Chance, it’s “Groceries” which came out May 13. For NF, that’s “The Search” which came out May 30.
Since “Groceries” came out a couple of weeks earlier, it’s going to naturally have more streams than “The Search.” 29,846,018 to 22,236,071 (at the time of this article), to be exact. However, if some math is done to find on average of how many times each single is streamed each day, we see that “Groceries” is listened to more with a rate of 420,366 per day 71 days, compared to “The Search” which has 419,549 per day. So it already looks like people are anticipating Chance’s music more than NF’s. It’s REALLY close though.
The next factor, fanbase, would be impossible to truly understand without a world-wide survey. Unfortunately, Rapzilla would not fund this proposal of mine. Instead, we will have to look at something simpler: followers across all platforms.
Chance completely dominates in this category. He has around 8 million Twitter followers, 1 million Facebook likes on his page, and 10 million Instagram followers. NF has around 412k Twitter followers, 529k Facebook likes, and 1.4 million Instagram followers. On Spotify, NF had around 2 million followers and 10 million monthly listeners, which is 278th in the world. Chance has more than double those numbers: 4 million followers and 23 million monthly listeners, which is 68th in the world.
Looking back, it’s strange how both artists have similar numbers even though, essentially, NF has half the number of fans. One explanation could be that NF’s fans are twice as hardcore as Chance’s. They stream NF’s music twice as much as Chance’s streams his. Another explanation is that NF’s music is more digestible to a wider audience because it’s clean. He also has the advantage of being played or promoted through Christian media.
In addition, it’s important to note the make-up of both of their fanbases is drastically different. Chance appeals to the urban community because of his work with Social Works and his rise from the streets of Chicago. NF appeals more to teenagers, more so white kids. This is a very important fact because white people are the main consumers of Hip-Hop.
Chance also has the attention of the mainstream music culture. Not only does his music appeal to that audience, but his album is a highly anticipated debut. NF, while he has a very loyal following, is still partially underground and caters to a niche audience. You could make an argument that he is completely mainstream because he had a radio hit with “Let Me Down” and fills the want Eminem left for an angry white rapper. However, NF does not associate with anyone in the mainstream for the most part and he keeps to himself. It also shows when comparing Chance’s followers with NF’s. NF has had chances to get on the same level. He went on tour with Logic last year and has networked with many other mainstream artists. He still has much less of a following than most mainstream artists.
With all that in mind, here’s what I think will happen after both albums drop: Chance’s fanbase probably won’t listen to The Search because NF’s music does not appeal to them. NF’s fans probably will at least check out Chance’s album because he is mainstream and his album’s anticipation. With NF’s fanbase listening to Chance’s album with Chance’s fanbase not doing likewise for NF, The Big Day will top The Search on the charts.
So while NF has a loyal fanbase, I think Chance will have a “bigger day” than NF on July 26.