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Chart Beat

Viral Rapper Lay Bankz Debuts on Billboard Canadian Hot 100 With 'Tell Ur Girlfriend'

The 19-year-old rapper, singer and dancer is making moves onto the charts, boosted by a TikTok dance trend. LGBTQ+ pop singers Chappell Roan and JoJo Siwa also make their debuts this week.

Lay Bankz

Lay Bankz

Facebook/LayBankzMusic

Several artists are making a splash on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 this week, with three first-timers landing on the chart. Lay Bankz, Chappell Roan and JoJo Siwa all notched their first Hot 100 hits.

19-year-old Bankz is the youngest of the three and the strongest debut, arriving at No. 64 with her self-possessed single "Tell Ur Girlfriend." The track, co-written with hitmakers Johnny Goldstein and Atia Boggs, is a Timbaland-inspired throwback, with stuttering synths and vocal samples informed by tracks like Ginuwine's "Pony" and Justin Timberlake's "My Love."


Bankz updates the sound with a club-ready double-time chorus, as she gives her lover a clear set of instructions: it's time for him to tell his girlfriend about her, before she does it first. The song is a strong showcase for Bankz, who moves easily between rapping in verses and singing the hook.

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Released two months ago, "Tell Ur Girlfriend" is gaining momentum thanks in part to TikTok, where it's getting a boost from a dance challenge. It's not the first time Bankz has popped off on the app — her song "Ick" hit the top 10 on the TikTok Billboard Top 50 chart last fall. Expect more to come from her.

Another Gen Z singer cracked the Canadian Hot 100 this week: JoJo Siwa landed the No. 100 spot with her single "Karma," which warns about the pitfalls of cheating. The dance-pop song, marketed as a more mature re-brand for Siwa, sparked online conversation when Siwa said in a Billboard interview that she wanted to invent the genre of "gay pop." After Canadian queer pop icons Tegan & Sara gave the quote some side eye, Siwa clarified that she hopes to help gay pop become bigger than it currently is.

Also working on that task is queer pop singer Chappell Roan, who debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at No. 84 with her new single "Good Luck, Babe!" Roan's star has been rising since the release of last year's The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, but she's sky-rocketed in the past month, amidst performing at Coachella and touring with Olivia Rodrigo. "Good Luck" is a catchy kiss-off to a lover who can't come to terms with her own queerness, an interesting subversion of the queer empowerment anthem.

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Roan's campy persona is an exciting addition to the charts, as Midwest Princess also debuts at No. 91 on the Canadian Albums chart. While Siwa's "Karma" and Bankz's "Tell Ur Girlfriend" have yet to crack the American Hot 100, "Good Luck, Babe!" also charted there, at No. 77, indicating that Roan might be breaking through for more than just a minute.

Check out the full charts here.

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Tom Cochrane
Courtesy Photo

Tom Cochrane

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