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Before Drake and Cardi B Sampled It, Lauryn Hill’s ‘Ex-Factor’ Was a Chart Hit

Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" may have gotten a 2018 update from both Drake and Cardi B, but the 'Miseducation' single is a stone-cold classic that was a stellar performer back when it hit the Billboard…

Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” may have gotten a 2018 update from both Drake and Cardi B, but the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill single is a stone-cold classic that was a stellar performer back when it first climbed the Billboard charts.

“Ex-Factor” was one of six hits from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The track peaked at No. 7 on the tally dated March 13, 1999, and spent 31 weeks on the list — the longest run of any of the Miseducation tunes. The set’s other charting songs: “Doo Wop (That Thing)” (peaking at No. 2), “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (No. 45), “To Zion,” featuring Carlos Santana (No. 77), “Nothing Even Matters,” featuring D’Angelo (No. 25) and “Everything Is Everything” (No. 14).

Over on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Ex-Factor” was one of three hits from the album on the list. The song topped out at No. 21, while “Doo Wop” spent two weeks at No. 1, and “Everything Is Everything” hit No. 35.


The single throws a lucky shadow over the current charts, too, thanks to Drake and Cardi’s samples. Drake’s “Ex-Factor”-lifting single, “Nice for What,” is making waves thanks to its New Orleans bounce beat and its star-studded video. “Nice for What” is drumming up buzz while his prior track, “God’s Plan,” remains No. 1 on the Hot 100. 

“Nice for What” saw its release on April 6, as did Cardi B’s hugely anticipated (and already RIAA-certified gold) debut album, Invasion of Privacy, which boasts “Be Careful” — her own contribution to the “Ex-Factor” canon — as one of its singles. Early predictions have Invasion of Privacy projected to debut atop the Billboard 200, and Cardi B will perform on Saturday Night Live for the first time later this evening (April 7).