Lil Wayne, the ubiquitous rapper and founder of Young Money Entertainment, earns his 100th entry on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. By joining Rick Ross and Drake as featured artists on French Montana’s “Pop That,” the track arrives as the chart’s top debut at No. 57.
Weezy is just the third artist and second rapper to achieve the astronomical feat dating to the first incarnation of Billboard’s original R&B chart (the “Harlem Hit Parade”) in 1942. Jay-Z leads all rappers with 108 chart titles. Among all artists, the pair trails only James Brown, who’s banked 111 entries between 1956 and 1993.
Notably, Brown made all his chart appearances as a lead act, before the now-common practice of featured artists helped swell many rappers’ sums of chart entries. Of his 100 charted titles, Lil Wayne has been the lead act on 31 and been featured on 69. (Jay-Z has led on 69 of his 108 hits and been featured on 39.)
New Orleans-born Lil Wayne’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs history spans 13 years and one month. The week of May 31, 1999, a then-16-year-old Dwayne Carter made his first appearance on Juvenile’s “Back That Thang Up,” also featuring Mannie Fresh. The song went on to peak at No. 5, becoming Lil Wayne’s first of 29 top 10s. He’s tied with Ludacris for the most top 10s in the chart’s archives among rappers.
Jay-Z took slightly longer to make his 100th Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs visit: 14 years, 10 months and one week between 1996 and 2011.
Of his 100 charted songs, Lil Wayne has sent eight to No. 1. Among rappers, only Weezy’s protégé Drake and Jay-Z, each with nine, have more.
Following his arrival via “Back That Thang Up,” Lil Wayne’s third chart entry became his first charted single as a lead, the No. 24-peaking “Tha Block Is Hot,” featuring Juvenile and B.G.
Since his breakout year in 1999, Lil Wayne has put songs in the books on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs each year. In 2007, he nabbed his first No. 1, guesting on Lloyd’s “You.” In 2008, he exploded by debuting 18 titles on the survey, including his first No. 1s as a lead act: “Lollipop” and “A Milli.”
Lil Wayne’s popularity hit new heights in 2011, when he bowed a career-best 22 titles. He also logged his longest No. 1 run as a featured act on DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One” (11 weeks). The track also features Drake and Ross — the same guests who join Lil Wayne on his milestone 100th chart entry.
On the Billboard Hot 100, which, since its 1958 launch, has ranked songs’ weekly popularity among all genres, Lil Wayne boasts the third-most entries (102). The cast of Fox’s “Glee” leads with 203 titles, followed by Elvis Presley (108).