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Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ Remains Evergreen on Billboard Global Charts

The rap classic logs its 72nd week on Global Excl. U.S. -- the most of any song from the '90s.

The Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts launched in September 2020, measuring the most popular songs in the world based on global streams and sales (the latter excluding United States-based consumption).

For 72 of the 107 weeks since the lists premiered, Coolio‘s 1995 classic “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featuring L.V., has ranked among the biggest hits on Global Excl. U.S. – the most time tallied among songs released in the ’90s.

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“Paradise” ranks at No. 149 on the most recent, Oct. 1-dated, Global 200 (in its 62nd frame), as well as at No. 151 on Global Excl. U.S. In the week ending Sept. 22, the track drew 14.3 million official streams worldwide, according to Luminate.

As previously reported, Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died Wednesday (Sept. 28) in Los Angeles at age 59.

“Paradise” topped the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in 1995 and wrapped as the No. 1 Hot 100 song of that year.

Notably, while most hip-hop performs substantially better stateside than overseas, Coolio has defied that trend with a more sustained chart run on the Global Excl. U.S. chart than on the Global 200, 27 years past the song’s initial heights.

Among songs on both global charts this week, rap hits by Drake (“Jimmy Cooks”), Jack Harlow (“First Class”) and Nicki Minaj (“Super Freaky Girl”) sport some of the highest domestic shares of their overall global streams, at 58%, 46% and 43%, respectively, from the U.S.

“Paradise,” meanwhile, drew just 22% of its overall streams from the U.S. Sept. 22-28 – a share in line with such fellow lasting rap hits as “Without Me” (22%) by Eminem, from 2002 (at No. 115 on the current Global Excl. U.S. chart), and “In Da Club” (26%) by 50 Cent, from 2003 (No. 173). While “Paradise” is a grittier hip-hop track than those more pop-leaning songs, all three singles’ greater shares of consumption outside the U.S. than typical newer releases in the genre suggest that their ubiquity built over years gives them a heads up over newer competition among worldwide audiences.

As the longest-charting song released in the ’90s on the Global Excl. U.S. chart so far, “Paradise,” at 72 weeks, squeaks out a win over Nirvana‘s 71 frames with 1991’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

“Paradise” carries the longevity torch for not only songs of its era, but for rap, too. The track (which boasts added familiarity via its interpolation of Stevie Wonder‘s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise”) has spent more time on Global Excl. U.S. than any other rap title since the ranking began. That means that major contemporary chart-topping hip-hop hits have been surpassed in time spent on the ranking by Billboard’s top song of 1995.

Decades after it conquered the U.S., the track remains one of the most popular songs in the world, no matter style or era (with gains following Coolio’s passing to be reflected on next week’s Billboard charts, dated Oct. 8, encompassing activity in the Sept. 23-29 tracking week).