Cardi B and Bruno Mars released their standalone single “Please Me” on Valentine’s Day (listen to it above), and it has debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in its first week of release. Can it get them to number-one? Their previous collaboration, “Finesse,” spent several weeks in the top 10 in 2018, but it could never quite reach the top. It peaked at number-three. Will they improve on that result this time around?
This R&B come-on was written by Cardi B and Mars along with James Fauntleroy, Jonathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves and Ray McCullough II. NME writer Rhian Daly describes the song as “a mix of modern and classic — a smooth slow jam with trap stylings.” But Pitchfork writer Michelle Kim is more critical, saying that “the duo doesn’t make as much sense together” as they did last year on “Finesse,” and “Cardi’s playful and risque verses … rub up against the extreme blandness of Bruno’s chorus.”
Nevertheless, “Please Me” pleased listeners enough to debut at number-five on the Hot 100, which makes it Cardi B’s 7th top-10 hit and Mars’s 16th. And though they haven’t reached number-one together yet, they’ve been there multiple times separately. Cardi B’s trio of chart toppers “Bodak Yellow,” “I Like It” and “Girls Like You” have made her the only female rap artist with multiple number-one hits. Meanwhile, Mars has been number-one seven times, most recently with “That’s What I Like” in 2017.
But they’re going to have to get past Ariana Grande, who has spent 12 of the last 16 weeks at number-one. Her current hit “7 Rings” remains in the lead position for the fifth straight week. Will “Please Me” be enough to ascend to the top?