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Eminem, Jay Z, MC Hammer and More: Rap Chart Facts You May Not Know

To celebrate the launch of Billboard Hip-Hop, here are a string of milestones and rap chart facts from over the years, including the top rap album of the year every year since 1987.

Today (Feb. 6) marks the launch of Billboard Hip-Hop, a new vertical within dedicated to covering rap, hip-hop, R&B and everything that comes with it. Luckily for us, it seems like a good time to do it. Not only do Migos have the No. 1 album in the country right now (and their first chart-topper) with Culture, but today is also the 14th anniversary of the release of 50 Cent‘s first LP, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ — which became the highest-selling debut since Soundscan began tracking data in 1991, with 872,000 first-week sales — and 2017 will mark 30 years since the Beastie Boys‘ own debut, Licensed to Ill, became the first rap album to top the Billboard 200 chart in 1987.

To celebrate today’s launch, Billboard pulled together a string of milestones and rap chart facts from over the years, including a rundown of the top rap album of the year every year since the Beastie Boys’ monumental mark back in 1987. 


Highest-Selling Rap Album:

Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP: 11.04 million, according to Nielsen Music.

Longest-Running No. 1 Rap Album on the Billboard 200:

Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, MC Hammer: 21 weeks in 1990

Longest-Running No. 1 Rap Song on the Hot 100:

“Lose Yourself,” Eminem (2002-2003): 12 weeks

“Boom Boom Pow,” The Black Eyed Peas (2009): 12 weeks

“See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth (2015): 12 weeks

Rapper With Most Hot 100 No. 1s:

Eminem (“Lose Yourself”; “Crack a Bottle”; “Not Afraid”; “Love the Way You Lie”; and “The Monster”): 5

Ludacris (“Stand Up”; “Yeah!”; “Money Maker”; “Glamorous”; and “Break Your Heart”): 5

Puff Daddy (“Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”; “I’ll Be Missing You”; “Mo Money, Mo Problems”; “Bump, Bump, Bump”; and “Shake Ya Tailfeather”): 5

**While each has five No. 1s, Eminem is the lead act on all five of his; Puff Daddy is a lead act on four; Ludacris is a lead act on two.


Rapper with Most Hot 100 appearances:

Lil Wayne (133) as of the Hot 100 dated Feb. 11, 2017. 

**Drake, with 132 as of press time, is right behind him in second place.

Rapper with Most Billboard 200 No. 1s:

Jay Z: 13 No. 1 albums 

**Also a record among all solo artists, regardless of genre.

Rapper with Most Billboard 200 appearances:

E-40: 30 charted albums on the Billboard 200


Top Rap Album of the Year Since 1987 (When Licensed to Ill became the first hip-hop album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200):

1987 – Licensed to Ill, Beastie Boys

1988 – He’s the D.J., I’m the Rapper, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

1989 – Loc-Ed After Dark, Tone-Loc

1990 – Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, MC Hammer

1991 – To the Extreme, Vanilla Ice

1992 – Too Legit to Quit, MC Hammer

1993 – The Chronic, Dr. Dre

1994 – Doggystyle, Snoop Doggy Dogg

1995 – Me Against the World, 2Pac

1996 – The Score, Fugees

1997 – Life After Death, The Notorious B.I.G.

1998 – Big Willie Style, Will Smith

1999 – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill

2000 – The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem

2001 – Hot Shot, Shaggy

2002 – The Eminem Show, Eminem**

2003 – Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 50 Cent**

2004 – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below, OutKast

2005 – The Massacre, 50 Cent**

2006 – King, T.I.

2007 – Kingdom Come, Jay Z

2008 – Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne

2009 – The Blueprint 3, Jay Z

2010 – Recovery, Eminem

2011 – Tha Carter IV, Lil Wayne

2012 – Take Care, Drake

2013 – Nothing Was the Same, Drake

2014 – The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem

2015 – If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late, Drake

2016 – Views, Drake

**From 1987-2005, the ranking is the highest rap album on the year-end Billboard 200 chart; from 2006-2016, it is based on the year-end Top Rap Albums chart. Stars (**) denote albums that also topped the year-end Billboard 200 chart. Eminem and Drake, with four apiece, have the most entries on the list; Will Smith (solo and with DJ Jazzy Jeff), MC Hammer, Lauryn Hill (solo and with the Fugees), 50 Cent, Jay Z and Lil Wayne all have two.