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A BATTLE FOR #1, WITH ADDED X FACTOR?

A battle for #1 appears to be shaping up on this week’s Top 50 chart, with the surprise drop by The Carters (aka Beyoncé and Jay-Z) giving the new album from Capitol’s 5 Seconds of Summer a run for its money. Both The Carters (a Roc Nation/UMG-Parkwood/Columbia co-release) and 5SOS are currently on track to do about 120k.

But there’s a wild-card factor to consider: XXXtentacion, whose death in a 6/18 shooting has caused a rush of support at both streaming services and digital retail. The late rapper has returned to the Top 10 at Spotify and has four of the Top 5 songs at Apple Music—will this activity be sufficiently intense and sustained to make XXX a force on the chart as well?

Another lingering question mark is the impact of Tidal, which had The Carters as an exclusive over their opening weekend—they seem to have some juice over there—and which has been the subject of no small amount of controversy regarding its reported numbers. Then there’s Spotify, which appears to have kept Jay and Bey off its most trafficked real estate as a consequence of the Tidal exclusive (it was also on the paid tier only at the Spot). How seriously will these two streameries affect their total?

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