It took Kid Cudi ten years to release the final entry in the Man on the Moon trilogy, but only 37 seconds to break a Billboard record. “Beautiful Trip”, the 37-second intro to Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, has become the shortest song to ever chart on the Hot 100.
The Hot 100 launched 62 years ago to celebrate the most popular songs in America. It’s explicitly geared towards singles, and an unconventionally-structured track like “Beautiful Trip” would never have made the list before Billboard began counting online streams. As it is, Man on the Moon III debuted as the No. 2 album in the country behind Taylor Swift’s evermore, and since “Beautiful Trip” is the opening cut on a streaming hit, it almost accidentally grabbed the No. 100 spot on the Hot 100.
The song starts with silence and distant, ethereal clicks. There’s a slow swell of music that culminates in a static shock, followed by the words, “3… 2… 1…” after which the album begins in earnest. That’s not much, but the previous record-holder for shortest song wasn’t exactly Mozart, either. Until this week, the honor went to the 45-second novelty song “PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen),” by Japanese comedian Piko-Taro. Before that 2016 oddity, the record was held by the 62-second skewering of suburbia “Little Boxes”, which was released by The Womenfolk in 1964, and which later became the theme song for “Weeds”.
Last year Tool took the mark for longest track ever to crack the Billboard Hot 100 with the ten minutes and 20 seconds track “Fear Inoculum”. In November, Bruce Springsteen became the first artist with a Billboard Top 5 album in each of the last six decades. Before that, Bob Dylan set a similar mark by becoming the first artist with a Top 40 album in each of the last six decades.
It’s been a busy year for Kid Cudi, who had roles in Bill and Ted Face the Music and HBO’s We Are Who We Are. He also appeared on songs by Travis Scott (“THE SCOTTS”) and Eminem (“The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady).