While artists like Jay Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West, J. Cole, Wale, and A$AP Rocky managed to secure a number album in 2013, The Slate points out that no lead African American acts reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart last year. This was the first time this has happened in the history of the chart.
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Rap and R&B styled tunes were popular, but only ones by white artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, and Robin Thicke were able to hit number one. In fact, the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart was also led mostly by white performers with Macklemore, Thicke, and Em holding number one for 44 out of 52 weeks on that list. Rihanna’s “Diamonds” was number one for 3 weeks and Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” held the number one spot for 5 weeks.
Macklemore and Eminem ran the Rap Songs chart as well. Mac & Lewis had the number one rap song in the country for 29 consecutive weeks with “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us.” Eminem’s “Berzerk” and “Rap God” ruled for a week respectively and his duet with Rihanna, “The Monster,” held onto number one for the last 7 weeks in 2013.
Flo Rida and Psy each had a song hit the top spot on the Rap Songs chart for a week. Jay Z’s collaboration with Timberlake “Holy Grail” held onto to number one for 12 non-consecutive weeks.
The R&B Songs chart was not much different. Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke controlled the tally for most of 2013.