Today, rap music is one of the most popular genres in the world. It’s become an integral part of pop culture rather than an outlying style, making it one of the biggest and most successful genres. It’s not easy to climb to the top of the rap charts, it’s almost as hard as topping the Hot 100. In this article, we’ll look at the rappers with the most number 1 hits on the rap charts to peek at who has had the most success in their career.
1. Drake – 28
When it comes to number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart, Drake is the undisputed king. His 28 chart-topping tracks are the most by any artist, and there isn’t anyone close. Since he began his music career in 2006, he has dropped countless hit songs like Hotline Bling and Wants And Needs. He is also one of the best-selling artists of all time with well over 170 million worldwide record sales and has been ranked as the highest-selling digital artist in the US by the RIAA.
It isn’t just the rap charts that he tends to dominate either; he’s also one of the most successful artists in the history of the Hot 100. He’s scored 11 number 1 hits on that chart, holds the record for the most Top 10 singles at 68, the most charted songs at 294, and the most continuous time on the Hot 100 at 431 weeks.
2. Lil Wayne – 11
Lil Wayne’s career as a rapper has earned him a place in the conversation for being one of the greatest rappers of all time. After he began his career in 1995 at the age of 12, he would go on to become one of the most influential artists in hip hop. A Milli, Got Money, Lollipop, and How To Love are some of his most successful singles.
When it comes to chart dominance, he isn’t as strong as Drake but outclasses all other rappers, earning 11 number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart. In terms of record sales, he has earned over 200 million worldwide record sales and would become the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley for total entries to the Billboard Hot 100 with 109.
3. Puff Daddy – 10
Sean Combs, or Puff Daddy, is known best now as a record producer, but his career as an artist was one of the most successful of all time. He was the producer behind names like The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and Usher. He has his own claims to fame though, with his debut album producing a number-one single in 1997 called Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.
In a three-way tie with Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, he has a total of 10 number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart to his name, though his music career has come second to his producing career for the most part.
4. Kanye West – 10
Kanye West, Ye, or whatever you want to call him is still one of the biggest rappers in the industry despite some fairly recent controversies and his signature lunacy. At no point were his songs found lacking on the charts, and his debut in 2004 was a massive success. In total, he has earned 10 number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart with hits like Through The Wire, Gold Digger, and Flashing Lights.
He’s yet another one of the best-selling artists of all time to grace this list, earning well over 160 million worldwide record sales. Whatever you might think of him for his views and ideas, his resume as an artist speaks for itself.
5. Nicki Minaj – 10
It should come as no surprise that Nicki Minaj is tied for the third-most number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart. Her career started with freestyle mixtapes, but she quickly gained renown for her animated rapping style and versatility. A worldwide star, she will likely break this tie with any subsequent albums she releases.
Singles like Starships, Super Bass, and Anaconda were breakthrough crossover hits, and she’s—at least partially—responsible for hip hop integrating itself into pop music. As the best-selling female rap artist, she has a right to the title Queen of Rap, and she has plenty of time to consolidate her rule.
Recommended: Best-selling female artists of all time
6. LL Cool J – 8
LL Cool J might stand for Ladies Love Cool J but everybody loves his music. He was one of the earliest rappers to achieve mainstream success outside of the blossoming hip hop genre that was forming in the 80s and 90s. I’m sure you’ve heard some of his hit singles, from Momma Said Knock You Out to Going Back To Cali.
In total, he has eight number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart, but he’s also a two-time Grammy Award winner and an inducted member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
7. 50 Cent – 7
What can we truly say about 50 Cent? Almost no other rapper had the same meteoric rise in the music industry that he pulled off. His debut album Get Rich Or Die Trying would spawn two number-one singles on the Hot 100 In Da Club and 21 Questions, with the first one being certified nine times platinum by the RIAA. From 2003 through 2005, there wasn’t a more successful rapper than him, owning the Hot Rap Songs chart and earning a total of seven number ones on that tracker.
8. T.I. – 7
Tied with 50 Cent at seven number ones on the Hot Rap Songs chart is the pioneer of trap music himself, T.I. Of his 11 studio albums, seven have charted within the top five of the Billboard 200 and hits from those albums like Whatever You Like have risen to the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100. By 2003, he founded his own record label and mentored young artists under that brand like Travis Scott, Iggy Azalea, and B.o.B.
9. Bow Wow – 7
Bow Wow used to go by Lil Bow Wow for good reason. He was discovered by Snoop Dogg in the 90s and started his recording career at 13 years of age. His debut album was released in 2000, but his acting career is what made him so popular.
Performing the songs for his own film soundtracks of movies such as Like Mike, those songs helped boost his popularity and notoriety. If you’ve ever seen Like Mike, The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, or Johnson Family Vacation, you definitely know who he is.
10. Cardi B – 6
Cardi B is another massive female rapper who broke into the scene in 2018 with her first studio album. That entry earned her a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, making her the first woman ever to win that award. She’s produced numerous hit tracks on the Hot 100 and Hot Rap Songs chart, from Bodak Yellow to WAP.
Despite her relatively short career so far—compared to most of the other artists on this list—she has notched six number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart and currently stands tied with Ice Cube and Nelly, though this will surely change as she releases more music.
11. Ice Cube – 6
Ice Cube is iconic. From his time with NWA to his solo career, he’s one of the few artists credited with popularizing the gangsta rap genre. Tracks like It Was A Good Day, No Vaseline, and Check Yo Self are among the best tracks in the genre’s history, so it should come as no surprise he’s earned six number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart. Outside of music, Ihessful acting and directing career in film, with movies like Boyz N The Hood, Friday, and Ride Along all to his name.
12. Nelly – 6
Nelly started his solo career in 2000 with his debut album Country Grammar and instantly became a hit sensation. While songs like Hot In Herre are the ones we remember the most, others like Stepped On My J’s and Air Force Ones remain some of his biggest hit singles. In total, he earned six number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart. He would also win three separate Grammy Awards and go on to establish two clothing lines when he ventured outside of the music industry.
13. Eminem – 5
There may not be a more successful and controversial rapper than Eminem. Starting out as a rapper without a filter, he would eventually become one of the greatest of all time and one of the best-selling music artists of all time by achieving over 200 million worldwide record sales.
The winner of Billboard’s Artist of the Decade—from 2000 through 2009—he has five number-one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart, but it’s his album sales that make up the bulk of his success rather than chart-topping hits. Tracks like Lose Yourself, Love The Way You Lie, and Not Afraid have all been certified Diamond by the RIAA, and his list of overall accolades is utterly endless despite him scoring most of the awards.
14. Rihanna – 5
Tied with Eminem is an artist he worked with quite a lot, Rihanna. Mixing pop and dance music into her R&B and hip hop to create a unique style, she is an icon in the music and business worlds. Songs like Diamonds, Rude Boy, and Umbrella launched her to profound success and made her the second-best-selling female artist in history with over 250 million worldwide record sales.
In total, she has 14 number-one songs on the Billboard Hot 100, with five tracks that topped the Hot Rap Songs Chart. Today, she’s known for being the wealthiest female music artist with a massive net worth above one billion dollars and her constant humanitarian work.
15. Chris Brown – 5
Despite a very public domestic abuse case from his actions involving Rihanna, Chris Brown has the same number of number-one singles as her on the Hot Rap Songs chart. Known as an incredible performer, he had numerous hit singles on both the Hot Rap Songs chart and the Billboard Hot 100 with tracks like Yeah 3x, Look At Me Now, and Beautiful People garnering widespread acclaim.
16. Post Malone – 5
We indeed have a four-way tie. Post Malone is known for blending multiple styles to create his own version of the rap game. Widely praised by fans, he has enjoyed success since his debut in 2014 and has become one of the best-selling artists worldwide with over 80 million record sales.
17. Ludacris – 5
Here ends where we can judge based on the Hot Rap Songs chart, as too many artists tie to have it make sense. From here on, we use Hot 100 number-one singles. Ludacris is a name everyone should know, as his tracks like Move Bitch, How Low, and Act A Fool were all huge hits.
18. Travis Scott – 4
Travis Scott is relatively new to the music scene since his debut in 2015. He’s worked with several huge artists like Drake and Quavo on hit collaborations like Sicko Mode, seeing him reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 four times.
19. Jay-Z – 4
Jay-Z became hip hop’s first billionaire through his work as an artist, producer, and entrepreneur. He was the first living rapper to be honored with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the first rapper to earn a place in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
20. Flo Rida – 3
Flo Rida is another rapper that scored several massive hits, from Low to My House. While he may not be one of the biggest names in hip hop, he’s produced some of the biggest hits of the generation and is one of the best-charting artists in the genre.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.