(April 1, 2024).  This is no April Fools Day joke, unless you see a punchline in the fact that someone considered a pioneer in the hip-hop sub-genre of “mumble-rap” now stands among music industry giants with the most No. 1 albums in history.

Not just hip-hop history, all of music history.

No cap, as they say (for the unenlightened, “cap” is today’s slang for lie or joke).

No jokes aside, with the ascension of his latest album, We Don’t Trust You, a collaboration with super hip-hop producer Metro Boomin, to the top of the latest Billboard 200 (dated April 6), mumble-rap and trap pioneer Future is now tied for tenth place among all artists — regardless of genre — with the most No. 1 albums in the weekly chart’s nearly 70-year history.

He ties two country legends — Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney — plus Queen of Pop Madonna and the world’s greatest rock band The Rolling Stones, all with nine No. 1 albums apiece.

The prolific Atlanta hip-hop artist, considered by many to be among the most influential rappers of his generation, scored all nine of his No. 1s in less than nine years from his first (DS2 in July 2015) to this most recent.  It took Chesney, Brooks, Madonna and the Stones considerably longer to achieve their ninth No. 1 albums after earning their first. 

Of the nine acts ahead of them in the top ten, four are also rap icons, and the other five are pop/rock legends.

Here is the current rundown of artists with the most No. 1s in Billboard 200 history. 

3.Taylor Swift 13
5.Ye/Kanye West 11
5.Bruce Springsteen11
5.Barbra Streisand11
8.Elvis Presley10
10.Kenny Chesney 9
10.Garth Brooks9
10.Rolling Stones 9

Future is the only mumble-rapper in the top ten.  He is also the only trap artist and the only act from Atlanta on this elite list.

The Atlanta hip-hop scene has been thriving in the past decade, thanks in large part to Future, whose nine No. 1s have helped the Peachtree City achieve more No. 1 albums by rappers than any other city since 2014.

But even as the number of chart-topping albums by hip-hop artists has slowed since 2020, the all-genre leaderboard has been very dynamic in recent months, with several artists jostling for position as they try to catch the Beatles and Jay-Z.

Those two have been No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the all-time tally ever since Jay surpassed Presley in 2009 (before the other acts above Elvis on this list also did).

Future & Metro Boomin’s We Don’t Trust You is the 261st hip-hop album to top the Billboard 200.

The recent movers and shakers on the above list reads like a cesspool of rivals and nemeses, former and current collaborators, and even the wife of one of the leaders.

This week’s refreshed ranking comes courtesy of the collaboration between Future and mega-producer Metro Boomin, the latter of whom achieves his fourth No. 1 with We Don’t Trust You.  Boomin’s total is significant because he now stands behind only 12 rappers on the hip-hop-specific leaderboard, where Future ranks fifth.  

But Future’s nine chart-toppers move him out of a tie on the all-genre list with another legend, Elton John, who has eight No. 1 albums to his credit.

Meanwhile, Jay-Z’s equally iconic wife Beyoncé is projected to move into a tie for fifteenth place with Elton next week when her much-talked-about album Cowboy Carter is expected to debut atop the April 13 chart, giving the “Texas Hold ‘Em” singer her eighth No. 1 LP and quickly dispatching of Future and Metro Boomin’s We Don’t Trust You in the process.

Not to be outdone, former Beyoncé and Jay-Z collaborator Kanye West, or Ye as he is now known, is expected to release the second volume of his Vultures trilogy with Ty Dolla $ign in early May (postponed from last month), which could push his total to an even dozen No. 1s and the mercurial rapper in sole possession of fifth place, ahead of Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand, both of whom he just tied with Vultures 1 in February.

But before Vultures 2 claws its way to the top, there’s a certain other Kanye nemesis who is also releasing a new album in a few weeks. And that set, The Tortured Poets Department, due April 19, will no doubt pad Taylor Swift’s total to fourteen and (at least temporarily) move her ahead of Drake for third-place all time.

But Drake, a former Future (no pun intended) collaborator and noted chart-watcher, is not going to sit idly by while rivals like Ye and Future climb the leader list, both at the 6-God’s expense.

When Ye and Ty’s song “Carnival” topped the Billboard Hot 100 last month, Kanye went on a victory lap and social media tirade, which included an F-bomb lobbed directly at Drake in light of their longstanding beef.

Similarly, Future and Metro Boomin (also a former Drake collaborator), are joined on We Don’t Trust You single “Like That” by Kendrick Lamar, whose viral diss of Drake has helped make it the current No. 1 on the Hot 100.

“Like That” by Future & Metro Boomin is the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 dated April 6, 2024.

Drizzy is rumored to be sitting on another album, after his last set For All The Dogs topped the chart in October 2023. The Canadian superstar, known for never letting petty beefs just die, is likely just waiting for the right time to pounce on his nemeses.

And then there’s Eminem.  Longtime collaborator/producer Dr. Dre revealed on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live that Shady would be releasing a new album later this year as well.  Given his track record, there’s no reason to believe Em won’t get his eleventh No. 1 and break out of a four-year tie with the King of Rock-and-Roll himself, Elvis Presley.

As far as I know there are no beefs between Eminem and Elvis, although Em once rapped about being “the worst thing to happen to Black music since Elvis” on the 2002 song “Without Me,” and he did contribute a song to the 2022 Elvis movie.

Which brings us back to Future, who is now just one No. 1 album away from joining Elvis and eight others in the double-digit club and further cementing himself as a legend. 

Not in his own mind, but in his own time.

No cap.


DJRob (he/him) is a freelance music blogger from the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, disco, pop, rock and country genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @djrobblog and on Meta’s Threads.

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