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A THREE-WAY BATTLE ON NEXT WEEK'S CHART? OR A FOUR-WAY?

Could we see a three-way battle for #1 on next week’s chart? It’s hella early, and the landscape could shift decisively in one of several directions, but right now Interscope’s Lana Del Rey, Columbia’s Tyler, the Creator and Atlantic’s Meek Mill all look to be competitive.

Lana quickly became one of the coolest acts in the pop world upon her arrival, earning major mystique and blockbuster sales in 2012 for major-label bow Born to Die; she earned a Grammy nod for a remix of "Summertime Sadness." Her 2014 set, Ultraviolence, hit #1, and 2015's Honeymoon was on track for a similar bow but was kept from a #1 debut by the Drake-Future mixtape. She continues to enjoy a huge, active social following (10m Instagram followers, 6.6m Twitter) and big streams. 

Tyler, a co-founder of the Odd Future crew, emerged with a raw, confrontational hip-hop style around 2011 and scored Top 3 bows with 2013's Wolf and 2015's Cherry Bomb. With his substantial streaming presence, network of affiliated artists, knack for cultivating controversy and formidable online following (4.1m on Twitter, 3.5m Instagram), he continues to be dangerous.

Hip-hop veteran Meek Mill remains a vital presence, with substantial streaming stats (including 7.5m monthly listeners on Spotify), though rumors continue to swirl about his inner circle of career advisers.

Meanwhile, another possible competitor could conceivably make this a four-way race.

While forecasts vary, an additional wild card is Sony Latin’s Romeo Santos, whose “Imitadora” just knocked “Despacito” off its #1 perch at Latin radio. Santos, whose 2014 set bowed with 65k and has earned 430k TEA (with 1.1m tracks sold), has earned 750m Spotify streams and could benefit from the increased visibility of Latin hits in the wake of "Despacito" and J. Balvin's "Mi Gente."

Could that all add up to a four-way battle for #1? Stay tuned.

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