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Will Jung Kook Go Two-for-Two at No. 1 With ‘3D’? 

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The Contenders is a midweek column that looks at artists aiming for the top of the Billboard charts, and the strategies behind their efforts. This week (for the upcoming charts dated Oct. 14), Jung Kook looks to follow his Billboard Hot 100-topping “Seven” with a potential second straight No. 1 debut, while the currently reigning Doja Cat and other artists stand in his way. 

Jung Kook feat. Jack Harlow, “3D” (Big Hit/Geffen/Interscope): “Seven,” Jung Kook’s Latto-featuring (and R-rated) pop blast, debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 back in July, and has since grown into one of the biggest worldwide hits of 2023. It topped the Billboard Global 200 for seven weeks and is still hanging around the Hot 100, ranking at No. 53 this week in its 11th frame on the listing (dated Oct. 7). Now, the solo star is in contention for a second straight debut atop the chart, with new song “3D.” 

Sales will be key for the single — which features American rap star Jack Harlow, and is co-produced by longtime hitmaker BloodPop and “Dynamite” producer David Stewart. The song was released Friday, Sept. 29 and then augmented Monday, Oct. 2, as part of the seven-track 3D: The Remixes set — which also includes an instrumental version, an alternate version, a clean edit, a remix from avant-pop maestro A.G. Cook, and both sped-up and slowed-down versions. All seven tracks are currently in the top eight of the iTunes real-time chart, with the main version of “3D” still reigning five days after its release.  

The question is if it will stream as well as “Seven,” which not only racked up over 150,000 in song sales in its first week, according to Luminate, but also a very impressive 21.9 million streams, including a No. 1 debut on Spotify’s Daily Top Songs USA chart. The streaming numbers for “3D” on Spotify and elsewhere have been stable, but not as resounding so far – meaning the song might ultimately need its strong sales to continue throughout the remainder of the week for the song to have a real chance of nabbing the No. 1 spot on next week’s Hot 100.  

Doja Cat, “Paint the Town Red” (Kemosabe/RCA): Doja Cat’s Scarlet biggest single returns to the Hot 100’s top spot for a second frame this week, following the release of the full album. Its streams will likely recede in the album’s second week, but airplay numbers continue to grow for the Dionne Warwick-sampling pop-rap song, which climbs 9-7 on Billboard’s Radio Songs chart this week, a new peak. If the gains in airplay continue to offset any losses in streaming – which have been relatively minimal to begin with, considering the song still leads on Spotify’s Daily Top Songs USA and is No. 4 on Apple Music’s real-time chart – it should have a pretty good shot to hang on for a third week at No. 1. 

SZA, “Snooze” (Top Dawg Entertainment/RCA): The little SZA single that could keeps scaling the Hot 100, hitting yet another new peak this week in its 42nd frame on the listing. She’s finally running out of space on the chart, though – at No. 2, there’s only one spot left to climb to. It could be tough for her to get there next week: The song still trails “Paint” in streams and sales, while the gap between the two is closing on radio (though “Snooze” is No. 3 on Radio Songs and still gaining) – and as she’s already released both the music video and the Justin Bieber-featuring acoustic remix of the song, SZA may be running out of ammo to shoot the track over the top. Still, few would have bet on the song getting this far, so it’d be a little foolish to doubt its ability to grab that final rung.  

IN THE MIX 

Tate McRae, “Greedy” (RCA): McRae’s latest isn’t likely to majorly contend for the Hot 100’s apex this week – but if it keeps growing at the rate it has been, that may not be too far off. The song rises 33-24 in its second week on the Hot 100, and continues to grow from its fast start on streaming, while radio is starting to take notice. It’s also already No. 4 on the Global 200 in its second week. At a time when the kind of classic triple-threat mold of stardom has been a little absent from top 40’s center – and given Ariana Grande in particular has been mostly out of the mix for a decently long period – there’s certainly room for McRae, her catchy new song and captivating new video to finally elbow their way into pop’s inner circle.  

*NSYNC, “Better Place” (DreamWorks/RCA): The first new single in 20 years from one of the most successful pop groups of all-time – must be set for a pretty thunderous chart debut, right? Well… maybe. “Better Place” sold respectably enough in its early release this week to possibly make some kind of Hot 100 impact. But the new song, found on the upcoming Trolls Band Together soundtrack, bowed in the midst of a messy promotional situation (due to the recently ended writers’ strike and still-ongoing actors’ strike), to something of a mixed reception from pop fans – resulting in the early streaming numbers for “Place” being less than exceptional. In other words, Jung Kook’s old group is probably safe for another week in its standing as the most recent male vocal group to capture the chart’s top spot.  

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