It’s official: Dave and Fredo have a number one hit
After asking their fans for support on social media, the UK rappers have topped the single charts with Funky Friday.
Having been at the top of the UK singles charts for five weeks, Sam Smith and Calvin Harris’ track Promises has been knocked off the number one spot by a surprise entry: Funky Friday, a slick and independently-released rap track from London artists Dave and Fredo.
The video for Funky Friday, which was co-directed and produced by Dave, dropped on Thursday 4th October. Two days later, Spotify’s Head of UK Editorial Austin Darbo pointed out that the track was performing extremely well on the streaming service, reminding him of the impact Stormzy made with his 2016 album Gang Signs & Prayer.
Since 2014, the charts have counted streams alongside direct sales. And at the beginning of 2018, the rules were amended once again to include YouTube views (at the time of writing, Funky Friday’s video is sitting on over 3.2 million views).
After it became clear that Funky Friday had a shot at being the number one single in the UK, both Dave and Fredo took to social media to ask their fans for support. “It’s a real good look for the people who [are] rapping, who are really from that, you know what I’m saying?” Fredo said via Instagram. “We ain’t switched out, we ain’t toned it down, we’re just doing us. So can we push this?”
Sam Smith himself had warmly supported the campaign to get Funky Friday to number one, encouraging listeners of Nick Grimshaw's radio show to buy the track as well as Dave's other material.
The success of Funky Friday, you could argue, reflects the good health of the contemporary UK rap scene, where artists can receive strong support from fans and achieve strong streaming numbers without necessarily compromising their image or sound.
Earlier this year, UK rapper Ramz led a DIY social media campaign to get his track Barking to number one in the charts, gaining support from the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Fuse ODG. The track had originally reached number 41 when it was released in December 2017, and on January 19th it reached number 2, missing out to God’s Plan by Drake.
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