Years ago, Nas emphatically claimed “hip hop is dead.” And the way things are looking, perhaps the Queens native was onto something.
As 2023 passes, it has been exactly one year since a hip hop track held the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The most recent rap song to reach this success was Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Freaky Girl,” which ruled for merely seven days.
A complete year has passed as of the week of August 27, and fans are still waiting for a hip hop single to fill the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Oliver Anthony, a country artist, now holds the No. 1 spot with his hit single “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
Because Anthony’s song is relatable to many Americans, according to one user on X/Twitter, it is the No. 1 song. She asserts that the song’s theme, which criticizes wealthy politicians while highlighting the difficulties faced by everyday employees, has resonance with U.S. citizens.
Hip Hop Appears Dead Right Now
Many hip hop singles have come close this year, but none have managed to take the top place.
Notably, “Rich Flex” (Drake and 21 Savage), “All My Life” (Lil Durk feat J.Cole), and “Search & Rescue” (Drake) all reached No. 2 on the charts.
Looking back over the chart’s history, the last time a rap track didn’t spend the full year at the top was in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Shaggy‘s “It Wasn’t Me” and Will Smith‘s “Wild Wild West” both came out during that time.
It has now been one full year since the last time a rap song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (365 days). pic.twitter.com/PniYFCUSoP
— chart data (@chartdata) August 22, 2023
The veracity of Billboard’s music charting has come under scrutiny from musicians. Rapper Russ claimed that Billboard had misrepresented the sales of his albums, while Jay-Z‘s Magna Carta record was the subject of debate over certification due to evolving certification standards.
The rankings published by Billboard are greatly influenced by streaming services.
Streams from subscription-based services such as Apple Music and Spotify are given greater weight than those from ad-supported websites like LiveOne or Pandora.
Do you feel hip hop is dead? Sound off in the comments below!
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