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Music

The 10 Best Kid Cudi Songs That Are Perfect for Any Playlist

Nearly every modern rap song is a Kid Cudi song, to an extent. The punk rock posturing, the autotuned anhedonia, the high-fashion streetwear: that’s all him. Although Cudi has struggled to recapture the singular essence and success of his earlier work, he remains one of hip hop’s most influential and respected elder statesmen, popping up on songs with artists as disparate as Pusha T and WILLOW. Even as he’s weathered beefs with Kanye West and Drake, Cudi maintains possibly the highest Q-Rating of any active rapper; everybody, besides Kanye, likes Cudi. With the rerelease of Cudi’s 2008 mixtape A Kid Named Cudi earlier this summer and Cudi currently on his first nationwide tour since 2017, here’s a look back at the ten best Kid Cudi songs. 

“Day ‘n Nite,” Man on the Moon: The End of the Day
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Even amongst a list of the best Kid Cudi songs, “Day ‘n Nite” stands alone—this is the song that made Kid Cudi, the one that elevated him from a Kanye-adjacent BAPE store employee into a chart-topping star. It’s easy to see why. Originally released in 2007, Day ‘n Nite immediately found traction in the blogosphere before exploding in 2008 when it became the lead single for A Kid Named Cudi. By 2009, the song was inescapable, the breakout lead single from Man on the Moon: The End of the Day, Cudi’s studio debut album. It’s easy to see why. The trilling synth that forms the backbone of the beat is propulsive and instantly recognizable; the hook is catchy; the lyrics are relatable.

“Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare),” Man on the Moon: The End of the Day
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Back in 2009, nobody was doing it like Cudi. With production from indie staples MGMT and Ratatat, Pursuit of Happiness validated that Cudi could balance massive commercial success with his left-of-center approach. Further adding to Cudi’s burgeoning celebrity, Pursuit of Happiness was so undeniable that it not only went 5x platinum on its own, but also spawned a Steve Aoki remix that became arguably even more popular.    

“Soundtrack 2 My Life,” Man on the Moon: The End of the Day
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Kid Cudi isn’t a good singer—his range is limited, his voice is strained. But he’s still really good at singing; he’s emotive and has a natural knack for melody. On Soundtrack 2 My Life, Cudi pioneers a new kind of hip hop stardom, a soaring anthem that’s barely a hip hop song—it has more in common with poppy indie rock than it does with, say, Nas. Produced by Cudi’s longtime collaborator Dot Da Genius, Soundtrack 2 My Life went double platinum, becoming Cudi’s biggest song alongside Day ‘n Nite and Pursuit of Happiness.

“Erase Me,” Man On the Moon, Vol. II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
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Current beef notwithstanding, Kid Cudi and Kanye West had a long and storied history of collaboration. Of the songs they made together, though, Erase Me is the best, the purest crystallization of Cudi’s rockstar sensibilities. Rap-signing over a crunchy electric guitar-based beat, Cudi and West trods familiar ground about girl troubles, but elevate it through their chemistry and charisma; there are very few non-West rappers who can pull off a verse-closing diarrhea punchline so convincingly.  

“Mr. Rager,” Man On the Moon, Vol. II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
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If Cudi establishes himself as the Man on the Moon on his first album, his second effort introduces his alter ego, Mr. Rager. Never has partying seemed bleeker and less fun. “Mr. Rager” is the sound of seeing that the Sunday morning sun is rising and that you haven’t slept, of realizing that you can’t unclench your jaw. In a catalog full of sorrowful, isolating songs, this is among the most sorrowful and isolating.  

“By Design,” Passion Pain & Demon Slayin’
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Every Andre 3000 feature is a good one. While Andre Three Stacks doesn’t provide a full verse, he ably provides a hook that is as literate and wordy as it is catchy; I don’t know what “I see everything with new beams, I do dream/ My eyes are glowing mood rings, you’re boring/ Stop dueling with the true thing, I do think/ When you think too much you’re removing what’s moving” means, but I certainly like the way it sounds.

“Just What I Am,” Indicud
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The middle part of Cudi’s career has largely been forgotten, which makes sense because it’s largely forgettable; Indicud and KiD CuDi presents Satellite Flight: The journey to Mother Moon are insular to the point of inaccessible while Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven should be buried at the bottom of a volcano to protect virgin ears from stumbling upon it. Still, “Just What I Am” is a standout not just from Indicud, but in Cudi’s whole discography as well. The fuzzy instrumental brings to mind the semi-narcotized warmth of Cudi’s strongest early work. Meanwhile, the verses feature some of Cudi’s most lucid rapping as he finds a groove in the beat’s soft-focused expanse.

“Reborn,” KIDS SEE GHOSTS
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Before they became engaged in a messy tabloid feud over Pete Davidson’s honor, Cudi and Kanye linked up in 2018 to form Kids See Ghosts, their beloved two-man supergroup. Their eponymous debut effort was part of Kanye’s run of seven-song GOOD Music albums in 2018 and still stands as one of the most beloved projects of both Cudi’s and Kanye’s respective careers. While all seven tracks are bloodlettings to varying degrees, “Reborn” is the beating heart of Kids See Ghosts. Over the course of the nearly five-and-a-half minute track, Cudi’s simple repeated chorus fills most of the space; “I’m so, I’m so reborn/ I’m movin’ forward” assumes a mantra-like calm, a beautiful invocation of progress, whether real or manifested. 

“Ghost!,” Man On the Moon, Vol. II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
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Depression is perhaps the most prevalent theme throughout Cudi’s music; nowhere is it more clearly and incisively examined than on “Ghost!,” a relatively deep cut from Cudi’s second album. Here, Cudi voices his sense of alienation, the nagging feeling that he’s a ghost to the world. As one of the best Kid Cudi songs, this track has many good qualities, but subtlety isn’t one of them.

“The Prayer,” A Kid Named Cudi
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Despite being one of Cudi’s first songs, “The Prayer” could practically serve as a mission statement for the rest of Cudi’s career. All the main elements of his future work are here. A Band of Horses sample forms the backbone of the beat; Cudi seasons his vocals with his trademark hums; the lyrics contend with meaty issues of death and memory. Ask any hardcore Cudi-head: “The Prayer” is near the top of any serious list of the best Kid Cudi songs.

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Music

The Five Best Moments From 2022 Governors Ball

With an uptick in concerts, albeit smaller, across New York City, the 2022 Governors Ball (June 10th-12th) represented a massive step up as far as attendance and expectations go. But if you had to ask any of the thousands of attendees who were present, the 11th annual Governors Ball at Citi Field in Queens, NY not only lived up to the hype but exceeded it.

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With great weather and beautiful sunsets curating the vibes this past weekend, the 2022 Gov Ball didn’t lack in star power or quality of music. As the trio of Kid Cudi, Halsey, and J. Cole headlined each of the nights (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), attendees were first blessed to watch the day’s long performances by a who’s who of artists– Playboi Carti, Jack Harlow, Kaytranda, and Ashnikko amongst others– before or after enjoying an assortment of attractions and spaces on-site.

Even though music festivals are becoming an experience more targeted at younger fans, it still manages to unite fans of all ages and backgrounds. The sight of watching two generations of listeners rap or sing their favorite words alongside each other is a sight that can’t be lost; especially when they’re singing Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.”

Here are the five best moments from the 2022 Governors Ball Music Festival.

J. Cole, Halsey, and Kid Cudi’s superstardom is clear as day
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To some this talking point is obvious but that’s the beauty of attending performances like the Governors Ball— you’re reminded of that truth in the clearest way possible. Regardless of which stage these trio of superstars performed at (there’s a lot of space to cover in Citi Field’s parking lot, by the way), thousands of attendees sprinted their way there in order to find the best view of them.

For nearly an hour each night, J. Cole, Halsey, and Kid Cudi each effortlessly cruised through their sets; aided by a variety of their most popular songs, and new material. And if that wasn’t enough, we also watched Halsey perform a lovely rendition of “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush.

The Playboi Carti show is every bit as advertised
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The term “the ground was shaking” is often misused but in this case, it was beyond accurate. As Playboi Carti touched the stage at Citi Field, the ground was literally shaking as his rabid fanbase turned up in the night.

With the influential Atlanta, GA MC standing on top of a built-in hill and the lighting being mostly dark minus an occasional flash, his set was not only memorable but proved why he’s one of hip-hop’s most-watched performers. The energy and visual effects of Carti’s performance at Governors Ball were the talks of excited fans on the subway home.

Shaq + random kid = exciting DJing duo
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At the halfway point of Saturday’s action at Governors Ball, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal AKA DJ Diesel, performed what some considered the best set that day. Having jumped into the world of DJing EDM, Diesel controlled the crowd with the same ease once exhibited on the basketball court. But you know it wouldn’t be a Diesel show without crowd participation.

At one point, Diesel brought a kid on stage, put him on his shoulders, and they DJed together. The Gov Ball faithful provided a loud ovation to the interaction and the fact that Diesel’s set was only getting better.

Plenty of upcoming artists shined on stage
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What makes Governors Ball a fun experience for music fans is the ability to discover more talent. This weekend, it was routine for attendees to watch new acts perform and immediately pull their phones out to download the songs they liked during their set (and trust me, it happened a lot).

As someone who is personally an avid new-music listener, I enjoyed OCTAVIO the Dweeb, Peach Tree Rascals, and Jax during their performances!

The weather and sunsets were beautiful to look at
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Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than that!

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Music

Bops That Just Dropped: New Music Roundup

Every week a bunch of new projects, songs and snippets hit the airwaves and streaming platforms and it can be a tall task sorting through all of the noise. Luckily, ONE37pm is here to help keep you in tune with what should be on your radar. Tap in with our weekly new music roundup below and don’t forget to come back next Friday and every Friday after that for a round up of what’s new in music. This week’s collection of new releases includes fresh joints from Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi, J.I. the Prince of N.Y. and others.

“Cash In Cash Out” — Pharrell Williams featuring 21 Savage and Tyler, The Creator
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Pharrell Williams is back in his bag. A week before Skateboard P’s Something in the Water festival takes place for the first time in Washington, D.C., he delivers his latest song, “Cash In Cash Out”. The G.O.A.T. producer teams up with leaders of the new school 21 Savage and Tyler, The Creator for the big money talk record. The Pharrell-produced track is accompanied by a hella creative CGI animated video.

“Do What I Want” — Kid Cudi
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One thing about is that he’s going to do things his way no matter what. The influential artist makes that clear with his new song “Do What I Want.” The groovy track, which was first previewed in 2020, finds Cudi letting it be known that he’s forever living life to the fullest. Expect “Do What I Want” to appear on Cudi’s forthcoming eighth album, Entergalactic. Due later this year, the album will be released alongside a Netflix project Cudi has in the works with How To Make It In America creator Ian Edelman and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.

“Riot” — J.I. the Prince of N.Y.
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J.I. the Prince of N.Y. has lowkey been going in this year. He started things off with the thumper “I Ain’t Gon Lie.” Then he let us know that he holds grudges more than conversations on “Toxic.” Now he’s making it clear that he’s not playing around with his latest drill banger, “Riot.” The Brooklyn rapper is turning up the heat in anticipation for his upcoming 11-track project Young & Restless Vol. 1 Baby Don. The 20-year-old, who will be performing at this year’s Wireless Festival, also co-directed the video for his latest single.

“Drive By” — French Montana featuring Babyface Ray
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French Montana pulls up with his go-to producer Harry Fraud and Babyface Ray for “Drive By.”

“Wifey” — Rubi Rose
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Rubi Rose samples a classic N.E.R.D. track for her new jawn, “Wifey.”

“Baby Boo” — Muni Long featuring Saweetie
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Saweetie appears on singer-songwriter Muni Long’s “Baby Boo.”

“Denial” — Rae Sremmurd
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One of hip-hop’s favorite dynamic duos, Rae Sremmurd return with their first single in about four years. It’s called “Denial.”

This week’s new music roundup also features YoungBoy Never Broke Again (“Sexin Me”), NLE Choppa (“Apart From You”), RZA (“We Push”), YSB Trill (“Lost”), Cochise (“Turn It Up”), Iann Dior (“Live Fast Die Numb”), Shelley FKA DRAM (“Chocolate Covered Strawberries”) and Saucy Santana & Latto (“Booty”) who also dropped off some new music.

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Music

19 Rap Songs that Debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

TikTok does it again! The popular social networking platform has helped catapult another song to the top of the Billboard charts. After a snippet of Jack Harlow’s latest single, “First Class” trended on TikTok, the full version upon its official release (April 8th) debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@missionaryjack/video/7082818184440532267" data-video-id="7082818184440532267" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@missionaryjack" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@missionaryjack">@missionaryjack</a> <p>“First Class” …available everywhere this Friday 😮‍💨😮‍💨😮‍💨</p> <a target="_blank" title="♬ First Class - Jack Harlow" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/First-Class-7081344356355001131">♬ First Class - Jack Harlow</a> </section> </blockquote></code>

The second single from his upcoming album, Come Home the Kids Miss You has been making noise outside of Tiktok also. With more than 10.6 million streams in the first 24 hours of its release, the single that samples Fergie’s Ludacris-assisted No. 1 hit “Glamorous” had one of the biggest single-day streams of the year on Spotify’s global chart. Currently the fastest selling single of 2022, the Louisville, Kentucky native’s latest hit moved more than 420,000 units in its opening week.

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In the history of the Billboard Hot 100, there have been 17 hip-hop songs that have debuted on top of the chart. These songs represent some of the biggest hits in hip-hop history. This significant achievement is a testament to not only how dope the songs are, but also the popularity of the artists (and producers) and behind them. Once a rare feat, debuting in the top spot has become more and more frequent over the last few years. There were 10 songs released since 2017 alone that spent their first week on Billboard’s singles chart in the No. 1 position. Drake has dropped several first-week-chart-toppers and so has Travis Scott. Here’s a look at all of the hip-hop hits that have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Jimmy Cooks” by Drake featuring 21 Savage

Debut Date: June 27, 2022

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  • “Wait For U” by Future featuring Drake & Tems

Debut Date: May 9, 2022

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Future landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for the eight time with I Never Liked You. The album features tracks with Kanye West, Gunna and Young Thug. Pluto’s ninth album also features the Drake and Tems-assisted single, “Wait For U,” which also debuted in the top spot on the Billboard charts. The video for the song that topped the Billboard Hot 100 within seven days of its release racked up 5.7 million views in just four days.

  • “First Class” by Jack Harlow

Debut Date: April 18, 2022

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Jack Harlow has another smash hit on his hands. “First Class” is receiving love from all around the world. The song debuted at No. 1 in the US, as well as in New Zealand and Australia. It also debuted at No. 2 in several countries including the UK, Germany and Ireland.

  • “Way 2 Sexy” by Drake featuring Future and Young Thug

Debut Date: September 18, 2021

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The first official single from Drake’s Certified Lover Boy claimed the top spot on the Hot 100 after a massive streaming week “Way 2 Sexy” led the way on the single’s chart, while nine other CLB tracks occupied the top 10 slots on the chart, making Drizzy the first artist in history to do so. “Way 2 Sexy” became the 6 God’s ninth number-one and extended his reign as the rap star with the most No. 1 songs in history.

  • “Rapstar” by Polo G

Debut Date: April 24, 2021

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Polo G is leading the way as one of hip-hop’s next undisputed superstars. He further cemented his status in the game with “Rapstar,” his first Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper. With more than 77.7 million streams in its first seven days, the lead single to Polo’s first No. 1 album, Hall Of Fame, became an instant hit. 

  • “What’s Next” by Drake

Debut Date: March 20, 2021

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If in 2021, you wondered what was next for Drake, he had an answer for you: more hits! “What’s Next,” the lead single for his three-track, Scary Hours 2 ep, conquered the Hot 100 immediately after its release. While the high energy track landed at No. 1, the accompanying tracks “Wants and Needs,” featuring Lil Baby and the Rick Ross-assisted “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” occupied the No. 2 and 3 spots. Drake became the first artist ever to have three singles debut in the top three positions of the Hot 100.

  • “Franchise” by Travis Scott featuring Young Thug and MIA

Debut Date: Oct. 10, 2020

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Travis Scott has been a franchise player for a while. The Cactus Jack head honcho was assisted by all stars Young Thug and MIA for “Franchise,” his third number-one debut. The hit single was at the time supposed to be the lead single for Scott’s fifth solo album, Utopia. Scott is the only artist to have three songs debut at number-one in less than a year.

  • “WAP” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion

Debut Date: Aug. 22, 2020

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What happens when two of the biggest female rappers of the moment come together? Well, when Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion connected for “WAP,” they almost broke the internet. Their bass heavy, sex-positive Balitimore club-inspired banger spent four week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. With the immediate success of “WAP,” Cardi became the first female rapper to chart a No. 1 in two decades. “WAP” was her fourth and Megan’s second chart-topping single.

  • “Trollz” by 6ix9ine & Nicki Minaj

Debut Date: June 27, 2020

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Controversy sells and the career of 6ix9ine has been proof. For his single, the infamous rapper linked up with Nicki Minaj for a third time. The combination of controversy and lots of hype resulted in the tandems’ track debuting at No. 1. The track only spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • “The Scotts” by Travis Scott & Kid Cudi

Debut Date: May 9, 2020

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The legend known as Kid Cudi made his first appearance on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “The Scott’s,” the 2020 collab between him and Travis Scott. Following the huge debut of the single produced by Take A Daytrip, Dot da Genius and Plain Pat, Scott became one of only six artists in history to have multiple songs debut at No. 1.

  • “Toosie Slide” by Drake

Debut Date: April 18, 2020

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“Toosie Slide” became Drake’s third number-one debut on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as his seventh chart-topping song. The song named after social influencer, Toosie was the lead single from Drizzy’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes mixtape.

  • “Highest In The Room” by Travis Scott

Debut Date: Oct. 19, 2019

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The 2019 single brought in 59 million streams in its first week and was remixed by Lil Baby and Latin star Rosalia.

  • “This Is America” by Childish Gambino

Debut Date: May 19, 2018

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“This Is America” was the 31st song to spend its opening week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also Childish Gambino’s first chart-topping and top ten single. It went on to win four Grammy Awards, including Best Rap/Sung Performance, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Music Video. “This Is America” became the first rap song to take home the Grammy trophies for both Record and Song of the Year.

  • “Nice for What” by Drake

Debut Date: April 21, 2018

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An ode to the independent women out there, “Nice for What” contained a sample of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor,” as well as vocals from Big Freedia. Upon its debut, it replaced “God’s Plan” in the No. 1 spot, making Drake the first artist in history to replace one No.1 debut with another No.1 debut. The hit song held down the top spot on Billboard’s single charts for eight nonconsecutive weeks.

  • “God’s Plan” by Drake

Debut Date: February 3, 2018

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Drake seemingly had a plan when it came to his 2018 album Scorpion. That plan was to rule the charts. “God’s Plan” was the first of several Scorpion singles that topped the Billboard Hot 100. The Grammy Award-winning song broke first-day streaming records on Spotify, as well as on Apple Music and became the most streamed song of 2018 for both Spotify and Apple Music.

  • “I’m The One” by DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne

Debut Date: May 20, 2017

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DJ Khaled told us he had been grinding all his life. With “I’m The One,” the second single from his tenth album, Grateful, he finally reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song which has been streamed more than a billion times on Spotify also debuted in the top position on the UK Singles Chart.

  • “Not Afraid” by Eminem

Debut Date: May 22, 2010

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What hasn’t Eminem done? The megastar rapper broke several records through his lengthy career. His 2010 single was the first rap song in about 12 years to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Boi-1da-co-produced track became Em’s second certified diamond single.

  • “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill

Debut Date: November 14, 1998

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One of the G.O.A.T. female rappers, Lauryn Hill shook up the game when she released her debut solo single, “Doo Wop (That Thing).” The lead single from her debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill became the first debut single to top the Hot 100 in its opening week. The two-time Grammy Award-winning song is also the first song by a female rapper to hit No. 1.

  • “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans Featuring 112

Debut Date: June 14, 1997

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The first rap song to debut on top of the Billboard Hot 100 was a tribute to the late and great Notorious B.I.G. “I’ll Be Missing You” featured Biggie’s wife Faith, as well as Bad Boy crooners 112. In the US, the single spent 11 weeks at No. 1, while it also landed in the top position in 15 countries around the world. To date, the Grammy Award-winning single is one of the top-selling songs of all time.