Wizkid And Tems’ “Essence” Is No. 1 In R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay

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“Essence” is still heating up.

Wizkid and Tems’ “Essence” track has certainly bubbled to the surface as one of the summer’s most memorable tracks. Now, following a boost from a Justin Bieber-assisted remix, the cut dominates the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart with a No. 1 position, marking a significant milestone for both artists and the Afrobeat genre as a whole.

It marks Wizkid’s first No. 1 as a lead artist following similar success with his presence on Drake‘s “One Dance,” which topped the chart in 2016. As for Tems, it is the 26-year-old songstress’ first appearance on the chart. 

Per MRC data, it is the first time artist has hit No. 1 on the chart without having any prior Top 5 tracks since DaBaby‘s “Suge” nabbed it in 2019.

“Essence” first arrived almost a year ago on Wizkid‘s Made In Lagos album. It was one of a handful of R&B-centric cuts that could have equated to similar success for Wiz. Among them were the H.E.R.-assisted “Smile” and the Ella Mai-assisted “Piece Of Me.” Months later, as the quarantine began to scale back, “‘Essence’ pushed through as the soundtrack of choice post-lockdown.

 “[‘Essence’] has become emblematic of being back outside,” former RCA Executive VP A&R Tunji Balogun told Billboard. “Then, a narrative on the internet started about the song being the song of the summer — and we took that energy and ran with it.” 

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