(November 3, 2019). The race for chart supremacy among hip-hop’s top artists just got more interesting.
The new crowning of Kanye West’s Jesus Is King at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart places the newly anointed rapper in a three-way tie for second-place with Eminem and Drake for rapper with the most No. 1 albums.
All three rank behind Jay-Z who stands with 14 on the all-time list. And all three are closing the gap between themselves and Jigga at a faster clip than ever before.
Hova’s lead once seemed insurmountable. His last chart-topping album, 4:44, led the Billboard list on July 29, 2017. At the time, he led the all-time list 14 to 7, with Kanye, Eminem and Drake each coincidentally tied for second-place at that point.
Since that time, the three challengers have added two No. 1s each. Drake has had Scorpion (2018) and Care Package (2019); Eminem topped with Revival and Kamikaze (both in 2018), and Kanye crowned with Ye (2018) and now Jesus is King this week.
The recent pace of No. 1s for each artist suggests that Jay-Z, who will be 50 next month, has even more reason to be concerned about his perch at the top. In the 2010s, he’s only had three chart-toppers, while Eminem, age 47, has had four, Kanye, 42, has had six, and Drake has had 9 (all of his No. 1s came during this decade).
It’s safe to say that all four rappers will have more No. 1 albums in the near future, especially Drake, who just turned 33 last month. All things being equal, nine of Jay-Z’s chart-topping albums occurred after his 33rd birthday. Six of Eminem’s occurred after he turned 33. And Jesus is King is Kanye’s sixth since his 33rd birthday.
What’s more, both Kanye and Drake are rumored to have new albums coming even as early as this year (yep, 2019) with West announcing that he would be releasing another set of blessed bars, Jesus is Lord, on Christmas Day. If that album is received as well as King – assuming it is actually released – then Kanye could own second place all to himself by the beginning of 2020 with ten No. 1 sets.
We will soon see…but in the meantime…
Other Jesus is King trivia:
In an unrelated piece of chart trivia, Kanye’s Jesus is King is also the first No. 1 album to invoke Jesus’ name since the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack in 1971.
It’s also the first No. 1 album to reference the Deity in any form since 2012, when Rick Ross topped the Billboard 200 with God Forgives, I Don’t.
The following year, 2013, there were a few No. 1 albums with titles that played on religious themes, with Kanye’s Yeezus, J. Cole’s Born Sinner and Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail all reaching the top during the same month (July).
File this article in the category of all the trivia you ever wanted to know about Hip-Hop No. 1 albums, but dare not ask.
DJRob is a freelance blogger who covers R&B, hip-hop, pop and rock genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff! You can follow him on Twitter @djrobblog.
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