Canadian rapper Drake overtakes Jay-Z as the rapper with the most No. 1s in the history of the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart this week with a jump to the top as the featured guest on 2 Chainz’s “No Lie,” bringing the former’s total of leaders to 10.
Rap icon Jay-Z pegged his ninth leader with his Kanye West collaboration “Ni**as In Paris” last November, while Drake tied HOVA at nine No. 1s in February when he topped the list -in back-to-back fashion- with a pair of singles from the smash “Take Care” album; “Make Me Proud,” featuring Nicki Minaj, and “The Motto,” featuring Lil Wayne.
In an era where featured artist listings are plentiful, it’s no surprise that Drake has had more leaders (seven) as a guest act (on tracks by artists such as Trey Songz, Timbaland, Nicki Minaj and DJ Khaled) than he has had as a lead artist. Other than the aforementioned “Take Care” chart-toppers from earlier this year, Drake hit No. 1 with his first charting single, “Best I Ever Had,” in June 2009, on which he was the sole credited act.
Among his nine No. 1s, Jay-Z’s has been the lead voice on four, including his shared credits on “Ni**as” and “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys (2009). Unlike Drake, Jay-Z’s first time in the No. 1 spotlight was earned with a guest role on Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” in 1999, three years after his chart debut with the No. 17-peaking “Ain’t No Ni**a,” featuring Foxy Brown.
Drake’s quick ascension to a double-digit No. 1 tally is quite impressive, as it’s been just three years, one month and three weeks since he claimed his first No. 1 and only five weeks longer than that since he first graced the list. By contrast, it took Jay-Z longer (three years, six months and one week) just to get his first No. 1 from the time of his initial chart appearance, while 12 years and one month passed between his first and ninth No. 1s.
Here is a list of the rappers with the most No. 1s in the history of Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart:
Lil Wayne (8)
Kanye West (6)
50 Cent (4)