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Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Hiss’ Is the Most U.S.-Centric Global 200 No. 1 So Far, By Far

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Megan Thee Stallion has made major impact with “Hiss,” not only debuting atop the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, but crowning the Billboard Global 200 (dated Feb. 10).

According to Luminate, “Hiss” drew 39.6 million official streams worldwide in its first week, Jan. 26-Feb. 1.

While that’s a sizeable global figure, “Hiss” owes most of its worldwide success to Megan Thee Stallion’s American fanbase, with 73% of its streams, as well as an overwhelming 95% of its sales, from the U.S. The track does not appear on any of Billboard’s 40-plus international Hits of the World lists.

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So while “Hiss” hits its mark atop Billboard’s flagship global ranking, it’s harder to find on its sister chart. On the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. ranking, which removes American consumption from the equation, the track arrives at No. 104. It’s just the fourth instance since the global charts began in September 2020 that the Global 200 No. 1 is outside of the top 10 of the Global Excl. U.S. – let alone the top 100. The previous biggest disparity? Just the top 15: Drake ranked at Nos. 11 (“What’s Next,” March 2021) and No. 12 (“IDGAF,” featuring Yeat, October 2023) on Global Excl. U.S. while leading the Global 200 and Encanto’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” sat as low as No. 13 while atop the Global 200 in February 2022.

It’s rare for hip-hop tracks to lead the Global 200, but “Hiss” isn’t Megan Thee Stallion’s first. She topped the inaugural chart, as featured on Cardi B’s “WAP,” which was No. 1 for three of the chart’s first four editions. Doja Cat is the only other woman rapper to hit the top (“Paint the Town Red” for four weeks in September-October 2023), with Drake and Jack Harlow responsible for the genre’s other chart-toppers. That amounts to 13 weeks out of 178, or just 7%, that rap has crowned the Global 200.

Rap, particularly by North American artists, has struggled on both global charts, but especially on Global Excl. U.S., where “Paint the Town Red” remains the genre’s only No. 1. Inherently more focused on (rapid-fire) lyrics than melody makes the genre a tougher sell in non-English-language territories than hook-based pop music. To that end, Doja Cat and Harlow scored their chart-toppers with tracks that lean toward pop, particularly via familiar samples. For his part, Drake remains an elite star who can summon a No. 1 debut on command.

“Hiss” relies heavily on Megan Thee Stallion’s sharp wordplay and speedy delivery. That separates it from even her previous chart-topper, with “WAP” cruising along a repeated hook and a sample of its own, not to mention an instantly viral and meme-able music video, in addition to a bevy of quotable lyrics.

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By the nature of its musical and lyrical structure, “Hiss” was primed to be a bigger domestic success story than international. But much of the hype that pushed the track to the top feels insular too. Following its release, listeners spotted one lyric as a reference – and not a polite one – to fellow American-born rap luminary Nicki Minaj. Minaj herself jumped in and released “Big Foot” three days later, a seething retort that generated its own Global 200 debut at No. 36.

The context around their beef spawned memes and social media back-and-forth, drawing in fans of each act, as well as those familiar with each artist’s personal lives and career history. But it didn’t do much to sell the song itself to international audiences that weren’t previously invested in the personal drama of two prominent U.S. stars that didn’t already have as strong a foothold in markets outside North America.

That’s not to say that there was no international interest in “Hiss.” The track generated 10.8 million streams outside the U.S. The fact that it debuted at all on Global Excl. U.S., albeit halfway down the chart, is more than can be said for Minaj’s own “Big Foot,” or ascendant rapper Ice Spice’s new “Think U The Shit (Fart)” (No. 78 on Global 200).

“Hiss” marks Megan Thee Stallion’s 23rd appearance on the Global 200 and 11th on Global Excl. U.S. On the latter, she’s gone as high as No. 3 with “WAP” and hit the top 40 on tracks with Dua Lipa, Maroon 5, and Ozuna. “Hiss” is her highest charting solo unaccompanied entry on Global Excl. U.S., of four overall.

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