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‘Hell N Back’ Takes A Long Road To Bring Bakar A Hit

As with most of the songs on our Trending Tracks list, this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard “Hell N Back,” a new entrant to our chart. It may be the first time you’ve heard of Bakar, the song’s lead vocalist and architect, though—a rub in the song’s story that makes it not your everyday sort of hit. Here’s a full breakdown of why “Hell N Back” by Bakar is currently having a huge moment, and what makes its story so unconventional.

Released in 2019, “Hell N Back” proved the first chart entry for London-based singer Bakar, well known in the English indie scene but perhaps better known in the US for collaborations with Dominic Fike and Kenny Beats. Though its current success serves as its high watermark, the song certainly made an impact in its initial run. In its 27th week eligible, it hit 1st on the AAA Billboard chart. That long path set a record for the longest time elapsed between the entrance to the top position.

Summer Walker Gives Bakar & “Hell N Back” Renewed Energy

If you’re familiar with the song due to it being the TikTok sound de jour recently, you’ll note a surprisingly absent player thus far: Summer Walker. The R&B phenom remixed the song on an inline project, shortly after making contact with Bakar to arrange an official remix. Though her sound leans towards trap-laden contemporary, no one would ever levy any concerns against her truly classic vocal talent. It’s no surprise, then, that she fits like a glove into the vintage world that “Hell N Back” majors in. Their newly found chemistry re-energized it some five years after its initial release, and led it to the massively trending title it now holds.


As a final note, the corporate influence here has to again be acknowledged, regardless of whether it’s the chicken or the egg in this recipe. Also adopted by Pixar and the NFL for ad spots, that lane surely isn’t the sole driver of the song’s popularity, but it speaks to the wide net that its classic instrumentation and soft vocals create. It’d be fair to put it in the same category of timelessness as Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” or Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open,” a healthy dose of retro construction leading to a “hey, haven’t I heard this before?” reaction—even on the first spin.

Who knows how long “Hell N Back” will hold onto its new position? Given the unaging atmosphere that Bakar was able to tap into in its creation, it’d probably be cogent to bet on sustained success for the sleeper hit even as it ages.

You can find “Hell N Back,” along with all of the Bakar backlog wherever you get your music.

Along similar lines, “Like That” – Laila! found itself back on the charts a year after it first made social media waves.
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