If you scan this week’s Billboard Hot 100 chart — and why the hell wouldn’t you? — you’ll notice a Drizzy-sized absence. Yes, for the first time since 2009, Drake does not have a single in the Hot 100 – ending his streak of 431 consecutive weeks in the chart.
It doesn’t have to be said that this is an amazing chart run, and by far the longest in musical history (although Mozart had a fair crack back in the late 1700s). Drake’s first chart hit was ‘Best I Ever Had’, which charted in May, 2009, reached #2, and was his biggest hit until ‘One Dance’ hit number one last year. During that time, he pumped an insane 157 singles into the Hot 100, second only to the Glee cast, who we all know doesn’t truly count as an artist – more an entity, like Lion Nathan or Fox.
It’s a record he looks certain to hold onto for some time, being some two years ahead of Lil Wayne’s 326 weeks, Rihanna’s 216, and Nicki Minaj’s 207.
In this day and age it is a lot easier to go on these epic chart streaks. Of the top ten artists, only Destiny’s Child — with 139 consecutive weeks — are no longer active, and achieved their streak during a time when physical singles had to be sold.
I have compared this current period with the steroids era in baseball before, meaning that all records are somewhat skewed and cannot be accurately compared with those from previous eras. Regardless, this is an incredible feat – eight straight years in the Hot 100 is a testament to Drake’s lasting appeal, and work ethic.
He once boasted in a song of taking the summer off, and nobody being able to tell. The charts don’t lie: we clearly couldn’t. No doubt this week is a blip, and Drake will be back, dominating the charts once again. Or maybe he’ll return to acting…