Hip-Hop Represents Hard In Hot 100's Top 10

Fetty Wap
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Fetty Wap performs at Stage 48 on July 8, 2015, in New York City.

Four rap titles dot the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 for the first time in two years and the first time for R&B/Hip-Hop-charting rap titles this decade.

Fetty Wap’s 80-spot jump to No. 7 on the Hot 100 with “My Way,” reported yesterday, increased the total number of rap songs in the chart’s top 10 to four, as the track joined Silento’s “Watch Me” (No. 3), Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” featuring Charlie Puth, (No. 5) and fellow Fetty Wap tune “Trap Queen” (No. 6) in the upper rung.

Considering it took 10 weeks for the first rap song to even hit the Hot 100 top 10 in 2015 (the pop-flavored “Time Of Our Lives” by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo on the March 14 chart), this is quite a turnaround.

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The Hot 100 has not had at least four rap titles among its top 10 since the ranking dated May 4, 2013 had five. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis stood at No. 2 that week with “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ray Dalton, and at No. 3 with “Thrift Shop," featuring Wanz. In addition, PSY’s “Gentleman” (No. 5), Pitbull's “Feel This Moment,” featuring Christina Aguilera, (No. 9) and Drake’s “Started From the Bottom” (No. 10) also held residence in the top 10.

If we filter the qualifications further to look for the last time the Hot 100 top 10 housed four or more rap songs that also appeared on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs -- as this week’s rap quartet does (thus, we're backing out the pop-based rap hits) -- we would have to go back over six years to the March 14, 2009 ranking. On that list, T.I. was at No. 2 with “Dead and Gone,” featuring Justin Timberlake, and was followed by “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” from Soulja Boy Tell ‘em featuring Sammie (No. 4), Kanye West’s “Heartless” (No. 6) and “Crack A Bottle” by Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent at No. 8.

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Why the resurgence? The addition of on-demand streaming services to the Hot 100’s makeup in 2012, followed by the inclusion of YouTube views the following year has certainly helped, as consumer tastes have taken on a more active role in determining the chart’s top hits. (The Hot 100 blends airplay, sales and streaming data to determine its rankings.) Streaming more swiftly captures the fast-moving pace of trends in hip-hop and the behavior of its socially active fan base. Social media, in particular, has played a major role in bringing Silento and Fetty Wap to mainstream audiences, with the “Watch Me” dance and several popular parodies of “Trap Queen” raising the songs’ profile on YouTube, Vine and Instagram. Radio support and digital sales followed, leading to the songs’ current top 10 Hot 100 standing.

Of the four rap titles in the Hot 100 top 10, in terms of overall chart points, three are powered more from streams than either sales or airplay. Only the newest entrant, Fetty Wap’s “My Way,” boasts more sales points than streams.

The breakdown for the four rap songs in the Aug. 8-dated Hot 100 top 10:

No. 3, “Watch Me” by Silento
Airplay (13.7 percent), Sales (26.7 percent), Streaming (59.6 percent)

No. 5 “See You Again” Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
Airplay (38.2 percent), Sales (14.2 percent), Streaming (47.6 percent)

No. 6 ‘Trap Queen” Fetty Wap
Airplay (13.9 percent), Sales (16.0 percent), Streaming (70.1 percent)

No. 7 “My Way” Fetty Wap featuring Monty
Airplay (16.0 percent), Sales (53.3 percent), Streaming (30.7 percent)

Additional reporting by Trevor Anderson and Emily White.


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