Without a doubt, the 2010s saw a dramatic transformation in the R&B and hip-hop landscape, thanks to genre-bending experimentation, atypical release schedules and promotion, and the emergence, and then dominance, of streaming and the almighty Internet, where a nobody could become the somebody overnight.
That evolution, meanwhile, helps explain the narrative of the songs and albums in the top spots on Billboard‘s decade-end R&B/hip-hop charts.
As the end of the 2010s nears, Billboard has compiled 30 charts encompassing the decade, including the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and those covering R&B/hip-hop; all-genre streaming, radio airplay and song sales; all-genre social and touring activity; and the top songs and albums in country, rock, Latin, Christian, gospel and dance/electronic. (See below for decade-end chart methodologies.)
Drake wraps the decade with the No. 1 set of the 2010s on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Take Care. The LP, released in 2011, broke the chart’s all-time longevity mark thanks to its 220 weeks on the survey (through the latest chart, dated Nov. 16). Of its record run, Take Care scored 12 weeks at No. 1, the most among superstar’s 10 leaders.
Another embodiment of 2010s hip-hop, Post Malone, claims the genre’s No. 2 album of the decade with Stoney. As with Drake’s Take Care, Post Malone’s debut LP also achieved a major chart mark, becoming the all-time record-holder for the most time in the chart’s top 10, at 77 weeks to date (surpassing Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which notched 76); further reflecting his ascent, his 2018 follow-up beerbongs & bentleys has tied the mark, with 77 top-10 weeks to date, as well.
Although Stoney was successful upon release, debuting at No. 6 on the weekly survey in late 2016, the album experienced multiple buoys in sales and streams as Post Malone’s star grew. In June 2017, six months after Stoney debuted, the set’s “Congratulations,” featuring Quavo, climbed into the top 10 of the Hot 100, while a Post Malone performance of the album’s “I Fall Apart” went viral in late September 2017. Both generated boosts in sales and streams and positioned the album to ultimately win the top-10 endurance race.
To recap thus far: Take Care, the album with the most weeks ever on the chart ends at No. 1 on the decade-end Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums recap, while Stoney, the top-10 record setter (a mark it now shares with its follow-up) takes the runner-up spot. Continuing that trend, the album with the most weeks at No. 1 this decade, Eminem‘s Recovery, finishes in third place on the recap. The 2010 release, fueled by the hits “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna, clocked the most time at No. 1 on the chart, 16 weeks, since 1990, when M.C. Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em commanded for 29 frames, a mark that couldn’t be touched for two decades.
The top five rounds out with The Weeknd‘s 2015 set Beauty Behind the Madness at No. 4 and J. Cole‘s 2014 Forest Hills Drive (sure enough, from 2014) at No. 5. The former notched eight weeks at No. 1, and yielded such crossover hits as “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face,” while the latter’s longevity, at 181 weeks on the chart so far, helps ensure its high ranking.
‘SHOP’ ON TOP
On the songs front, newcomers into the R&B/hip-hop lane best veteran acts for the decade’s top honors.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘ “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, leads as the No. 1 title on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for the 2010s, thanks to its14-week command in 2013. Notably, the ode to lifestyles of the far-from-rich-and-famous benefited from a change in the chart’s formula in 2012 to mirror that of the Hot 100, which includes radio airplay from all formats, as well as streaming and sales. Thus, the track’s strong presence on pop radio (it topped the Pop Songs airplay chart for two weeks) and its seven-week stay atop the Streaming Songs chart proved an unbeatable combination.
Bruno Mars‘ “That’s What I Like” is No. 2 on the decade-end Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was released from 24K Magic, the superstar’s first all-in dive to R&B music after two largely pop-centered albums. The move easily paid off, as “Like” dominated the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for 10 weeks.
Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. and Pharrell, lands at No. 3 for the decade. The collaboration logged 16 weeks at No. 1 on the chart, easily the longest stay at No. 1 for each member of the trio.
Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)” captures the No. 4 spot on the decade-end songs tally. The track, from the soundtrack to the hit film, rewrote the record for the most weeks spent in the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart’s top 10: 45 frames, surpassing The Weeknd’s “The Hills,” which logged 44.
In a slight case of déjà vu, “Sunflower” again edges “The Hills,” the No. 5 song on the decade recap.
TOP ARTISTS: STAY TUNED!
For overall Top Artists and genre-specific artist recaps, including Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artists, acts ranked Nos. 11 through 50 on each are viewable in our decade-end charts menu, while those at Nos. 10 through 6 will be revealed monthly leading up to the Billboard Music Awards, airing live on NBC on April 29, 2020, when No. 1 for each category will be announced from among five remaining finalists.
How We Charted the Decade: Billboard‘s decade-end recaps encompass chart performance from Dec. 5, 2009, through Sept. 28, 2019 (except for those for the Social 50, which began on Dec. 11, 2010, and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Streaming Songs, each of which launched on Jan. 26, 2013).
On the decade-end Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums recaps, titles are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 on weekly charts earning the greatest value and weeks at lower positions earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology and title turnover rates over the decade, certain periods were weighted differently.
Top Artists recaps are ranked based on a formula blending performance, as outlined above, of all their chart entries. Specifically, the overall Top Artists category ranks the best-performing artists based on activity on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally, as well as social media data and touring revenue from Billboard Boxscore, while genre-focused Top Artists rankings blend acts’ decade-spanning performance on each genre’s main song and album charts (such as, for R&B/hip-hop, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums).
Billboard‘s decade-end touring charts are based on Billboard Boxscore data for performances between Dec. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2019.