Ask Billboard: Too $hort Ends Too Long Wait For First Hot 100 Top 10

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Too Short performs as part of the Rock the Bells Tenth Anniversary at San Manuel Amphitheatre on September 8, 2013 in San Bernadino, California.

The rapper reaches the Hot 100's top 10 after appearing on the chart since 1990. Plus, OneRepublic makes history

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

ONE SONG, FIVE ACTS, TOP 10

Hi Gary,

With "Loyal," credited to Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne & French Montana or Too $hort or Tyga, ascending to the Billboard Hot 100's top tier, is it the first top 10 single to feature five acts (albeit with a "featuring," "&" and "or")?

I can think of tunes that involved four credited acts, e.g., "Forever" by Drake featuring Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem or "Swagga Like Us" by Jay Z & T.I. featuring West & Lil Wayne.



Whatever the case, Too $hort is representing Oakland well, claiming his first Hot 100 top 10 after all these years. So, another question: Where does he rank in terms of acts taking the longest time to score their first Hot 100 top 10, counting back to their first Hot 100 appearance?

A "loyal" reader,

Pablo Nelson
Oakland, California


Hi Pablo,

Lots of good stuff for this topic, so the answer will likely be anything but too short.

First, I went to Billboard's R&B/hip-hop charts manager Rauly Ramirez for Wednesday's Hot 100 story to explain the background of five credited acts on "Loyal." Here it is again: Why the quirky artist listing? "Loyal" was first released in two versions, the East Coast mix featuring French Montana and the West Coast edit featuring Too $hort. When its video was released on March 24, Tyga was featured in the third verse, instead of either French Montana or Too $hort. All three versions feature Lil Wayne and are available digitally and on streaming services.

So, even though not all of those artists are on all versions of "Loyal," all get credit for Hot 100 purposes (as all current versions of songs are wrapped into a single listing for the chart). And, the usage of "or" has previously appeared on the Hot 100 and other charts when multiple versions are popular. In 2003, for instance, "Why Don't You & I" reached No. 8 on the Hot 100 as credited to Santana featuring Alex Band or Chad Kroeger. Kroeger was on the album version, but Band was on the single (due to label rights, as Band's, um, band, the Calling, was on Arista, like Santana, while Kroeger/Nickelback was not). Based on both versions' airplay (largely the Band edit, since that's what Arista promoted to radio) and sales (Kroeger on the album version), the "or" was deemed most logical chart-wise.

(Btw, all this grammar talk brings to mind one of my proudest jokes. "What answer did the indecisive rower get when he asked his canoe-mate what he should use? Either oar.")

(Lots of crickets in that canoe, apparently …)

Aaanyway … per your first question, such a one-time quintet reaching the Hot 100's top 10 is rare, but not a first. Who else has crowded in for such chart credit (and without any "or" qualifiers)? And: we're not considering acts like We Are the World, as its more than 40 members took on an all-encompassing name.

Here's a look at all the Hot 100 top 10s sporting five credited acts each (and their peaks). With "Loyal" joining the mix, the club expands to, fittingly, five titles:

"Loyal," Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne & French Montana or Too $hort or Tyga (No. 9, to date), 2014

"Down 4 U," Irv Gotti Presents The Inc. featuring Ja Rule, Ashanti, Charli Baltimore & Vita (No. 6, 2002; in Billboard's archives, the five acts are Gotti and the four featured artists, with The Inc. only a cosmetic listing as part of the grouping)

"I Need a Girl (Part Two)," P. Diddy & Ginuwine featuring Loon, Mario Winans & Tammy Ruggeri (No. 4, 2002)

"Not Tonight," Lil' Kim featuring Da Brat, Left Eye, Missy Elliott & Angie Martinez (No. 6, 1997)



"This Is for the Lover in You," Babyface featuring LL Cool J, Howard Hewett, Jody Watley & Jeffrey Daniels (No. 6, 1996)

Notably, all the songs above are R&B-based and since the mid-'90s, when the trend toward multiple featured artists on tracks started to become commonplace in the genre.

(Scanning below the top 10 in that span, Jimmy Buffett has them all beat. The former Billboard Nashville bureau chief reached No. 63, and No. 8 on Hot Country Songs, in 2004 with "Hey Good Lookin'." It was billed as by six acts: Jimmy Buffett with Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith & George Strait.)

You also asked about Too $hort's long journey to the Hot 100's top 10. Belying his name, the rap vet's trek to the region was quite long: he first appeared on the chart dated Nov. 17, 1990, when "The Ghetto" debuted at No. 94 on its way to a No. 42 peak. Thus, he waited 23 years, five months and two weeks (with this week's charts dated May 3) for his well-deserved first top 10.

Per my research, however, he comes up just … short … of the longest journey from a first Hot 100 appearance to a first top 10. The patient winner? Parody master "Weird Al" Yankovic, who needed just one week longer from his first Hot 100 entry, 1983's "Ricky" (his "I Love Lucy"-themed spoof of Toni Basil's "Mickey"), until his first top 10, 2006's No. 9 hit "White & Nerdy," which ribs Chamillionaire's Krayzie Bone-assisted No. 1 from earlier that year, "Ridin'."

I'll let rap experts more qualified than I am to cover the nuances of Too $hort's impressive career longevity. As "White & Nerdy" suggests (see my "either oar" "joke" above …), I'm much more familiar with Yankovic's work. Two notes: one, he's not merely a clever cover act, as he's written numerous catchy originals (albeit as fun and goofy as his parodies) throughout his career. And, two, and even better, the Billboard staff marveled at how nice he was when he visited the office a few years ago. I remember thinking how genuinely humbled he seemed at being the center of attention when we all gathered for a group pic, giddy to be in a shot with perhaps the greatest musical comedian of our generation.

Actually, the scene wasn't too different from the reaction he received here:



NEXT: OneRepublic are chart 'Stars'

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

COUNTING 'STARS'

Gary,

I noticed that OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" has finally dropped out of the top 10  on the May 3 edition of the Hot 100 after being a continuous occupant of the region since the week of Nov. 9. Despite its drop, the song has joined an elite group of tunes, becoming one of just nine singles that have each spent 25 weeks or more in the top 10.

Even more  remarkable, the last song to do this was also a OneRepublic song: "Apologize," which, back in 2007-08, also spent 25 weeks in the top 10.

Congratulations to Ryan Tedder and Co. for this noteworthy feat.

Best wishes,

George Lotter



Hi George,

That the song ties the top 10 run of "Apologize" is appropriate, since "Stars" also matched the group's breakthrough hit by peaking at No. 2, marking its best Hot 100 rank.

While the song could still return to the top 10 (it descends 10-11 this week), it's, as you note, already one of the 10 longest-lasting top 10s.

Let's rank the titles with the most weeks spent in the Hot 100's top 10:

Weeks in Hot 100 Top 10, Title, Artist (Peak, Year)
32, "How Do I Live," LeAnn Rimes (No. 2, 1997)
30, "Smooth," Santana featuring Rob Thomas (No. 1, 12 weeks, 1999)
29, "Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock (No. 1, six, 2011)
28, "You Were Meant for Me"/"Foolish Games," Jewel (No. 2, 1997)
26, "Truly Madly Deeply," Savage Garden (No. 1, two, 1998)
25, "Counting Stars," OneRepublic (No. 2, 2014)
25, "Apologize," Timbaland featuring OneRepublic (No. 2, 2007)
25, "Un-Break My Heart," Toni Braxton (No. 1, 11, 1996)
25, "The Twist," Chubby Checker (No. 1, three, 1960)

Notably, Jewel's title was a double-sided physical single, so its top 10 weeks sum was aided by the consecutive airplay runs of each song; at the time, such singles were listed jointly on the Hot 100. And, Chubby Checker's "The Twist" racked its total over two runs, becoming the only song to top the chart twice in separate release cycles, as well as the Hot 100's all-time No. 1. (It also forever changed the way women and men interact, as the affable Checker explained last year. "What 'The Twist' gave us was, you're dancing in front of her… she's dancing in front of you … You had a chance to exploit your sexuality while being fully dressed. Before, that wasn't happening in music. And, we've been doing the same thing ever since.")

As for OneRepublic, the group is, thus, the only act with two hits that have each spent at least 25 weeks on the chart.

The band moves forward on the Hot 100 this week with its new single, "Love Runs Out," which debuts at No. 81. As Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield points out, OneRepublic's current album "Native" gains by 159 percent to 12,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and blasts 69-26 on the ranking courtesy of its reissue on April 15 with three new bonus tracks, including "Love." The album was first released on March 26, 2013, and sold 571,000 before its reissue.

NEXT: What's your 20?

As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20

PERSONAL CHARTS

How about another round of your charts?

Here's the latest personal tally from Chart Beat reader David Geib:

1, "Breakaway," Celine Dion
2, "Love Revolution," Levi Kreis feat. Q Boy
3, "Make It Wonderful," Erasure
4, "Cried," Candice Glover
5, "Pompeii," Bastille



6, "The Art of Letting Go," Mariah Carey
7, "Somebody 4 Everybody," Matt Zarley feat. Mark Picchiotti
8, "Survive You," New Kids on the Block
9, "Story of My Life," One Direction
10, "Walking on Air," Katy Perry
11, "Release You," Johnny Hates Jazz
12, "High Hopes," Bruce Springsteen
13, "I Hope You Find It," Cher
14, "Let Her Down Easy," George Michael
15, "Into the Blue," Kylie Minogue
16, "That's My Kind of Night," Luke Bryan
17, "Parachute," James Durbin
18, "Grace," Casey Stratton
19, "Feel the Love," Cahill & Kimberley Locke
20, "Amen for My Friends," Crystal Bowersox

What's hot in your musical world? For those of us proud chart geeks who like/need to rank our favorite hits in Billboard tradition each week, please feel free to email your latest lists to askbb@billboard.com and we'll count 'em down in the next "Ask Billboard."

I'll keep it going with my top five this week:

5, "Be Okay," Oh Honey
4, "The Man," Aloe Blacc



3, "Rain," the Strange Familiar
2, "You're Mine (Eternal)," Mariah Carey
1, "Milwaukee," the Both


For Interviews with Carey and the Both, check out this week's Billboard magazine, with a striking picture of Carey on the cover. As Andrew Hampp reports, she'll reveal her new album's title, track listing, artwork and music all at once via to-be-announced digital partners (with a physical release expected the following week.) "I have to be the one that announces this, especially the title," Carey says, teasing only that the album takes its name from a "personal possession of mine that's part of an entity that I've had almost all my life.

"With this particular album, I want my fans to hear it as a body of work," she says. "This is my life since we last left off. Just picture a dot … dot … dot … and then, here's the album."