On October 15, Drake put up screen shot of a Billboard tweet as a post on Instagram. The tweet declares that his latest single, “Hotline Bling,” has secured the No. 2 spot on the Hot 100 chart and that it’s “inching close” to the top. In the caption, he declares that “no accolades really matter to [him] other than the fact that [he has] never had a Billboard number one.” He continues that if he achieves the spot during October (the month of his birthday), it will be the “biggest moment of his career.” To this day, the song hasn’t been able to surpass The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness single “The Hills” and even if it eventually could, it’s likely that it won’t hit No. 1. Although his music video went viral the moment it was released, Drake had exclusively put the video out through Apple Music, which does not report music video views to Nielson Music. It’s now available on YouTube via VEVO, but due to its late upload the impact won’t be as prominent as when it was initially released.
Assuming that “The Hills” might start dropping on the charts in the coming weeks (it’s been charting for 22 weeks now while “Hotline Bling” has only been up for eight), Drizzy might eventually be able to surpass his ex-protege. However, it faces two very strong contenders that might take the No. 1 position next week: Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Adele’s “Hello.” Bieber’s last single “What Do You Mean?” had already nabbed the spot earlier and with “Sorry” being such an acclaimed track by fans and critics alike, the song is looking to receive a great deal of radio plays and digital streams. Adele’s first single in three years, “Hello,” is projected to have an even bigger impact; the music video is under a week old and already racked up over three times more view’s than Bieber’s “Sorry” dance video so far. “Hotline Bling” and its memes may have taken over your social media feeds, but it doesn’t look like it can compete with either of the contenders – especially Adele.
In no way are we knocking Drake’s hustle; the man is one of three people (along with Young Money honcho Lil Wayne and rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley) in history to have over 100 songs that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. In commemoration of his near-feat in grabbing that No. 1 spot, we revisited all of his hits and picked out the ten highest-charting tracks. Turns out, “Hotline Bling” isn’t even his highest-selling song…yet; check out the breakdown below.
1. BEST I EVER HAD
Release Date: February 13, 2009
Chart Position: 2
On top of being his most successful track to date, “Best I Ever Had” made Drake the third rapper from Canada to have a song chart on the Hot 100, behind Kardinal Offishall and K’naan. His mainstream debut entered at number 92 and then climbed all the way to number 2, falling behind The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” The songs had over 300,000 units sold, which got him the number four best selling single behind The Black Eyed Peas and Sean Kingston. The track has been downloaded over 3,000,000 times, earning Triple Platinum status with the RIAA.
2. HOTLINE BLING
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Chart Position: 2
Since “Best I Ever Had,” Drake has had a handful of hits that made it into the top ten, but none quite as successful as the 2009 single. Upon its, release “Hotline Bling” was shadowed by Drake’s second Meek Mill diss “Back 2 Back,” which was released simultaneously. It eventually debuted on the Hot 100 chart on August 22 at number 66, fueled primarily by digital sales at 41,000 downloads in its first week. On October 24, it peaked at No. 2, tying as his highest-charting single with “Best I Ever Had”. So far the song has sold over 800,000 copies in the US.
3. HOLD ON, WE’RE GOING HOME
Release Date: August 7, 2013
Chart Position: 4
“Hold On, We’re Going Home” became the Canadian rapper’s 13th top ten hit, climbing to number eight during its fifth week on the Hot 100. It eventually climbed to number four and became Drake’s first song to hit top five for three years since his 2010 song “Find Your Love.” The track has sold over two million copies as of January 2014, earning Double Platinum status.
4. FIND YOUR LOVE
Release Date: May 5, 2010
Chart Position: 5
As we all probably know, “Find Your Love” is a leftover track from Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak album. Produced by West himself and No I.D., it was one of Drake’s most vulnerable songs at the time and garnered mostly positive reviews from critics. The song peaked at No. 5, being one of the four Drake songs that hit top five on the Hot 100 chart. The song has garnered over a million downloads, making it a RIAA-certified Platinum track.
5. STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
Release Date: February 6, 2013
Chart Position: 6
Not many hip-hop songs get to place top ten; “Started From The Bottom” — the third single from his Nothing From The Same album — is Drake’s highest-charting song that he raps entirely on. It became Drake’s 11th top ten hit on the Hot 100, peaking at number six. As of January 2014, the song has sold over two million digital copies, earning Double Platinum status.
6. TAKE CARE
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Chart Position: 7
“Take Care” is one of Drake’s poppier songs compared to his other singles. The Rihanna-featured track immediately debuted within the top ten of Hot 100 at number nine, selling 162,000 copies the first week. This was Rihanna’s 21st and Drake’s ninth top ten single, peaking at number seven and remaining on the charts of 27 consecutive weeks. It’s also Drake’s best-selling track, with over four million copies sold — RIAA-certified Quadruple Platinum.
Release Date: August 27, 2009
Chart Position: 8
On September 24, 2009, “Forever” debuted at number eight on the Hot 100 charts, nearly a month after the song’s release. At the time, the Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem-posse cut was Drake’s highest debut and his third top ten single. It was also the tenth consecutive top 40 single for Eminem. The song has sold over three million copies as of April 2013, making it Triple Platinum-certified.
8. MAKE ME PROUD
Release Date: October 16, 2011
Chart Position: 9
Four days after the song’s release, “Make Me Proud” debuted at number 97 on Hot 100. One week later, it peaked at number nine on the chart. The 88-spot jump helped Drake with Akon’s Eminem-featured “Smack That” — released five years prior — for the biggest jump ever by a male artist on the chart and the fourth largest jump of all-time. The song has sold over 1.4 million copies as of December 2014, making it a Platinum-certified single.
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Chart Position: 13
A week following the debut of “Headlines” on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it entered at number 13 on the Hot 100. Although it failed to reach top ten with the release, it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rap Songs chart — the tenth time he achieved the feat. From this, Drake became the artist with the most number ones, at the time tied only with Diddy and Ludacris. It got over two million downloads, earning it Double Platinum-certified status.
Release Date: March 8, 2010
Chart Position: 14
“Over” debuted at number 35 on the Hot 100 chart and eventually rose and peaked at 14. Like with most of his other chart-topping hits, it peaked at number one on the Rap Songs chart and number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The track received over three million in downloads, earning it a Triple Platinum certification.