Put on your headphones and prepare for major nostalgia. Billboard partnered with Polygraph.co to create an audio timeline of the most popular tracks in rap since 1989, as told by Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart data.
Listen to and watch the sound of hip-hop develop as different artists, labels and entire regions rise and fall, from the heyday of Public Enemy to viral sensations ignited by Soulja Boy.
Experience the full chart here: http://poly-graph.co/billboard/
Use the timeline at the bottom of the graph to select a point in history (try picking the year you graduated high school for a major flashback). Select one of the six featured tracks below the timeline for detailed information about the chosen song and its relevance to ongoing cultural touchstones and trends. Search for an artist or click on a track title to uncover an artist’s extended chart history.
For example, a search for Drake (who just tied the record for the longest run at No. 1 on the list at 18 weeks) yields each top 10 hit he’s placed on the chart:
Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart is a weekly 25-position list that made its debut on March 11, 1989 as a sales-based chart, then known as Hot Rap Singles. In 2002, the chart was replaced with Hot Rap Tracks, based on radio audience impressions monitored by Nielsen Music. The chart added digital downloads and streaming data into its formula in 2012 and was renamed Hot Rap Songs, as it remains today.
The chart displays the top 10 songs of every week, switching audio playback each time a new song reaches No. 1. For simplicity, the animated line chart only displays songs that peaked in the top five.
Here are some key milestones and chart records from Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart:
Artists with the Most No. 1s:
1. Drake (15)
2. Puff Daddy (10)
3. Kanye West (9)
4. TIE Lil Wayne, LL Cool J (8 each)
5. TIE 50 Cent, Bow Wow, T.I. (7 each)
Songs with the Most Weeks at No. 1:
“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
“Hot Boyz,” Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott Featuring NAS, EVE & Q-Tip
“Hotline Bling,” Drake
“See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth
“Timber,” Pitbull Featuring Ke$ha
“Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz
“Best I Ever Had,” Drake
“Can’t Hold Us,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Ray Dalton
“The Motto,” Drake Featuring Lil Wayne
“Lollipop,” Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major
“Flava In Ya Ear,” Craig Mack
“I‘m On One,” DJ Khaled Featuring Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
“Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” Puff Daddy Featuring Mase
“Work It,” Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott
“In Da Club,” 50 Cent
“Lean Back,” Terror Squad
“Holy Grail,” Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake