Post Malone’s patience reaps a big reward, as the superstar snaps Drake’s four-year streak as Billboard’s annual Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artist to lead the class of 2019 and the year-end tally for the first time, after claiming second place in the 2018 recap.
Post Malone traces his valedictorian status to the continued success of his first two albums all year, with help from a blockbuster third release in the third quarter. His beerbongs & bentleys, album released in March 2018, logged a record-tying 77th week in the weekly Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in November to equal… his own record through his 2016 set, Stoney. Both albums overtook the longstanding champ, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which clocked 76 weeks in its 1983-84 heyday, for the longest stay since the chart began in 1965.
Billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance during the charts dated Nov. 24, 2018, to Nov. 16, 2019. Data registered before or after a title’s chart run is not considered in these standings. That methodology detail, and the December-to-November time period, account for some of the differences between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Nielsen Music.
As if the top 10 record on the album side wasn’t enough, Post Malone also owns the song with most weeks in the top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart thanks to “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”), a co-billed collaboration with Swae Lee. The track secured 45 weeks in the chart’s upper tier, surpassing a 44-week marathon for The Weeknd’s “The Hills” in 2015-16. “Sunflower” wraps at No. 2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for 2019.
Amid these historic feats, Post Malone unleashed his third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, in September. As with its predecessors, Bleeding scored multiple weeks at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and spun off a host of hit singles.
To recap Post Malone’s album finishes: Beerbongs & bentleys crowns the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for 2019, while Hollywood’s Bleeding wraps at No. 5 and Stoney comes in at No. 15. The superstar is effectively also the catalyst for the No. 8 title, the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack, thanks to the appearance of “Sunflower.”
Notably, in a rematch of last year’s top two titles on the year-end Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums ranking, Post Malone’s beerbongs edges Drake’s Scorpion this time, with the latter settling for No. 2 for the year. The two sets finished in reverse order in the 2018 count, marking the first time the same two titles have locked up the Nos. 1 and 2 positions in consecutive years.
With both albums well over a year old, the pair establish a trend that trickles down the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums year-end tally. Five of the year’s top 10 albums were released during or before August 2018: beerbongs, Scorpion, Travis Scott’s Astroworld (No. 4, Aug. 3, 2018) and Juice WRLD’s Goodbye and Good Riddance (No. 9, May 23, 2018), proving hip-hop’s sustained popularity with consumers, largely through streaming services.
As with Post Malone leading the charge across most of the R&B/hip-hop spectrum, Khalid is the undisputed king of the R&B-specific 2019 Billboard year-end rankings. The singer-songwriter rules the Top R&B Albums recap with his Free Spirit album. The LP, released in April, logged 12 weeks at No. 1 on the weekly edition of the chart and spent its first 33 weeks within the top five.
Spirit contained hit singles such as “Talk” and “Better.” The former rules as the No. 1 Hot R&B Songs title of 2019 through its 18 weeks at No. 1 on the weekly chart, while the latter wraps at No. 3 on the list, helped by its 15-week stay at the summit. Khalid’s songwriting on both hits ensures he finishes as the year’s No. 1 Hot R&B Songs chart songwriter, while, notably, Disclosure, best known for their own dance/electronic recordings, are the chart’s top producer for 2019 for their work on “Talk.”
“Talk” and “Better” split another pair of R&B prizes as the former leads the year’s R&B Digital Song Sales recap, while the latter heads the R&B Streaming Songs standings. Khalid, no surprise, is the top artist on both recaps.
Khalid nearly completes a a full sweep of the R&B genre subset, falling short only on the Adult R&B Songs airplay roundup. There, Ella Mai wins first prize for “Trip,” while H.E.R.’s “Could’ve Been,” featuring Bryson Tiller, nabs the silver medal; “Talk,” finishes with the bronze. Mai nearly posts back-to-back victories on the airplay chart’s recap after breakthrough smash “Boo’d Up,” was the No. 2 title for 2018.
Two recordholders face off for the No. 1 title on the 2019 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs ranking, with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, the champ for most weeks at No. 1 on the chart edging Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower,” which holds the most time in the top 10. Lil Nas X’s international phenomenon roped a record 20 weeks atop Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in 2019 and fittingly wraps the year in the winner’s circle, a feat it duplicates on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Rap Songs, R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales and R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs recaps, where it also posted record reigns on each.
Thanks to the once-in-a-lifetime success of “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X also wins the prize for Top New R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of 2019, though he has already avoided the dreaded one-hit wonder curse. Follow up single “Panini” reached No. 2 on the weekly Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, while his debut EP, 7, landed inside the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart’s top 10 for its first 16 weeks.
Though “Sunflower” settles for No. 2, Post Malone does bank two songs in the year’s top five on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs as “Wow.” takes the No. 4 slot. Khalid’s “Talk,” meanwhile, squeezes in between Post’s pair at No. 3. The tune, notably, returns R&B to the top five after an absence last year, in which a No. 9 showing for Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse” was the genre’s best result.
Other key R&B/hip-hop genre winners include DaBaby’s “Suge,” which reigns as the No. 1 track on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart thanks to its 11-week domination on the weekly survey. Cardi B is the top artist on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay in a year that saw her land a record 18 straight weeks at No. 1 through “Money” and “Please Me,” a collaboration with Bruno Mars.