Today in Hip-Hop: “Ice Ice Baby” Becomes First Rap Single to Hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

1990: “Ice Ice Baby,” the breakout single from Miami rapper Vanilla Ice, became the first hip-hop track to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Queen-sampling song was released in July of 1990 on Ice’s debut album To The Extreme. As a single, “Ice Ice Baby” was the B-side track to one of Ice’s other songs called “Play That Funky Music.” When DJ David Morales saw that fans were responding more to the B-side track, he began to promote “Ice Ice Baby” over “Play That Funky Music” and the idea caught on. Though not many people took Ice seriously as a rapper at the time, “Ice Ice Baby” was infectious enough to garner major radio love across the country. “Ice Ice Baby” stayed at the No. 1 spot in the U.S. from Nov. 3, 1990 to Nov. 10, 1990. Around that time, the song also topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. This was a huge step for making hip-hop an acceptable genre to mainstream media.
To date, “Ice Ice Baby” remains Vanilla Ice’s most recognizable and successful song. The single, as well as his album To The Extreme is certified platinum in sales.

Wiz Khalifa is still on top. The Pittsburgh MC’s latest hit, “See You Again” featuring Charlie Puth, is closing in on the title of the longest-running hip-hop song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, having spent 11 of the past 12 weeks as the biggest song in the country (Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar’s “Bad Blood” was the only cut to interrupt the reign for a single week). With no signs of slowing down, that got us at XXL thinking: What are the longest-running hip-hop songs to land atop the Hot 100?

In order to find out, we dug through the charts over the past 30-plus years to get to the bottom of it, ranking every song either by a rapper or with a featured rap verse that has ever climbed to No. 1. But before we get to the songs, here are a few fun facts we uncovered during our research.

Ed. Note (July 8): “See You Again” remained at No. 1 for a 12th week in today’s charts, putting it in a tie for the longest-running No. 1 hip-hop song on the Hot 100 ever. This article has been updated to reflect that.

—First “Rap” Song to Hit No. 1: Blondie’s “Rapture,” largely credited with helping legitimize the early hip-hop pioneers like the Sugar Hill Gang and Grandmaster Flash
—Most Weeks at No. 1: T.I. (28 weeks), Eminem (25 weeks), Diddy (24 weeks), 50 Cent (23 weeks), Nelly (23 weeks), Flo Rida (18 weeks), Ludacris (18 weeks)
—Rappers With the Most No. 1 Songs: Eminem (5), Ludacris (5), T.I. (4), 50 Cent (4), Nelly (4)
—Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Slim Thug, Juelz Santana, Petey Pablo, MC Shan, Caddillac Tah, Ma$e, Timbaland, Static Major, Mystikal, Dr. Dre, LL Cool J, Nate Dogg, Murphy Lee, Juicy J, Jeezy, Soulja Slim, Paul Wall, Kool Moe Dee and Yung Joc have all landed at No. 1 as a featured artist, but never as the main artist
—Soulja Boy, Mims, Iggy Azalea, Sir Mix-a-lot, Lil Kim, Coolio, Terror Squad, Cali Swag District, Lauryn Hill, Juvenile, Chamillionaire, B.o.B, Twista, D4L and Vanilla Ice have all had one song hit the top spot and never made it back to the top of the chart
—2pac, Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Lauryn Hill are just a few iconic rappers who have only had one of their songs hit the top spot
—XXL Freshman With No. 1 Songs (As Main Artist): Wiz Khalifa (2), B.o.B, Macklemore (2) and Iggy Azalea
—Soundtrack Songs: 8 Mile, Bad Boys II, Furious 7 and Moulin Rouge
—Rihanna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez helped rappers land atop the chart 12 times

Now check out every hip-hop song that has charted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, in order from longest-running to the tracks that touched the peak for a single week, still an impressive stat to have on the resume. Pressure’s on, Wiz. —Dan Rys

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