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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Drake Lead Hot Rap Songs’ 25th Anniversary Rankings

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis now have another achievement to tuck under their belts: their breakout smash "Thrift Shop," featuring Wanz, is the top song in the 25-year history of the Billboard Hot Rap…

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have had a monumental run since the 2012 release of their debut album, “The Heist.” The duo has performed numerous sold out-shows and recently garnered four Grammy Awards. Now, there’s another achievement that the rapper and producer can tuck under their belts: their breakout smash “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, is the top song in the 25-year history of the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart.

Drake, meanwhile, is the top artist of the Hot Rap Songs chart’s first quarter-century.


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The tally launched in the March 11, 1989, Billboard issue. Upon its inception, the Stop the Violence Movement dominated with its collaborative hit “Self Destruction.” The Stop the Violence Movement, created by KRS-One in 1989 to bring awareness to growing violence in black communities, featured Boogie Down Productions, Stetsasonic, Kool Moe Dee, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D, Biz Markie and Public Enemy.

Macklemore & Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” reigns as the all-time top Hot Rap Songs title thanks largely to its 15-week run at No. 1 last year. It rose to the top on the Jan. 19, 2013, chart. The pair’s momentum continued with follow-up single “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ray Dalton. “Can’t Hold Us” ruled Hot Rap Songs for 14 weeks and ranks as the No. 4 title of the chart’s first 25 years.

Macklemore told Billboard last year about the origins of the unique, comically swag-skewering “Thrift Shop.” Having spent a summer at the School of Visual Arts in New York when he was 17, “I would go to thrift shops and buy really crazy outfits, and put them on and drink malt liquor and call myself ‘Professor Macklemore,'” he said. “I wore a lot of plaid, bell bottoms, older golfer, grandfather-type outfits. I didn’t want to look like anyone else.”

The 69 Boyz’ addictive “Tootsee Roll,” which sparked a dance craze of its own, comes in at No. 2 on the Hot Rap Songs 25-year anniversary top songs list. It spent seven weeks at No. 1 in 1994 amid a hefty 65-week chart run.

Missy Elliott’s “Hot Boyz,” featuring Nas, Eve and Q-Tip, ranks at No. 3. It spent 18 weeks at No. 1 in 1999-2000, the longest command in the chart’s history.

Below Macklemore & Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” at No. 4, Salt-N-Pepa’s “Expression” places at No. 5. The tracked topped Hot Rap Songs for eight weeks in early 1990.

On the 25th-anniversary Hot Rap Songs top artist tally, Drake is crowned the top act. He first reached the chart dated May 9, 2009, and in that less-than-five-year span, he’s delivered the most No. 1s, 13, in the survey’s entire history. His first entry, “Best I Ever Had,” from his 2009 EP “So Far Gone,” kicked off his amazing run with a 15-week stay at No. 1.

Jay Z is the No. 2 Hot Rap Songs act of the chart’s first 25 years. He boasts 34 top 10s, a sum second only to the No. 3 artist, Lil Wayne, who’s collected a record 38.

LL Cool J, owner of 22 Hot Rap Songs top 10s, including eight No. 1s, ranks at No. 4 and Kanye West is at No. 5. West has notched 26 top 10s, including nine No. 1s, dating to his 2003 arrival.

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