Chart Beat

DMX's 'Ruff Ryders' Anthem' & More Are First '90s Rap Hits on Billboard Global 200

DMX
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DMX performs on the east stage at Woodstock '99 in Rome, New York at Griffiss AFB Park for the 30th Anniversary Concert.

So far, classic pop and rock has represented the bulk of global catalog chart hits.

The late DMX debuts five songs on the April 24-dated Billboard Global 200, and one on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart, following his death on April 9. The entries represent a notable benchmark on the global charts for classic hip-hop, as they are the first rap titles from before the 2010s to reach the surveys since the lists launched last September.

"Ruff Ryders' Anthem," originally released in May 1998, debuts at No. 27, leading DMX's pack in both worldwide streams (22.7 million, up 558%, in the week ending April 15) and sales (19,200, up 777%), according to MRC Data, and marking the oldest song yet to appear on the survey. It's followed by "X Gon' Give It to Ya" (2003) and "Party Up (Up in Here)" (1999) at Nos. 32 and 52, respectively, as well as "Slippin'" (December 1998) at No. 129 and "Where the Hood At" (2003) at No. 136.

Adding one more posthumous distinction to his chart history, DMX hits the Global Excl. U.S. chart with "X Gon' Give It to Ya" at No. 95, becoming the oldest rap song to hit that survey. While "Anthem" was his most-streamed and best-selling song around the world including the U.S., "X" reigns outside the U.S., with 9 million streams (up 389%) and 2,900 sold (up 1,138%).

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Among the 18 non-holiday-themed 20th-century releases that graced the Global 200 through last week, and 13 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart, none were rap songs, with such entries sticking tightly to the classic pop, rock and R&B of Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, Nirvana and Queen, among others.

Even adding the eight songs from the 2000s (2000-09) that charted on the Global 200 through last week, we see a mix of pop, rock and dance/electronic from acts including Coldplay, Daft Punk, Nelly Furtado and Linkin Park.

Prior to DMX's debuts, the oldest rap song to hit the Global 200 was 2012's "Money Trees" by Kendrick Lamar featuring Jay Rock, which reached No. 185 on the inaugural Sept. 19, 2020-dated edition. Beyond that, J. Cole's "No Role Modelz," from 2014, hit No. 155 in March. On the Global Excl. U.S. chart, it was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 2012 release "Can't Hold Us" (featuring Ray Wanz), which hit No. 183 two weeks ago. (Rihanna's 2007 classic "Umbrella," which has reached No. 159, deserves an asterisk for its featured verse by Jay-Z.)

The delineation between classic pop and rock vs. classic hip-hop is in stark contrast to the current hits on the Global 200, where four of the top five, and half the top 10, also appear on Billboard's U.S.-based Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Meanwhile, most of the catalog titles that have populated the Global 200 have come from the '70s (four) and '80s (10), compared to just AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" (1990) and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (1991) from the '90s prior to DMX's debuts this week. As hip-hop was still in its formative years throughout the '70s and '80s, it makes sense that we haven't yet seen a flood of classic rap songs on the global charts.