A New Study Says Def Jam Is The Most Successful Hip-Hop Label Of All Time

Evaluating labels’ success on the Billboard charts.

A New Study Says Def Jam Is The Most Successful Hip-Hop Label Of All Time

Matt Daniels—who earned a lot of attention last year when he used data to rank rappers' vocabularies—is back with a new project. This time he focused on the history of hip-hop labels, comparing them according to their success on the Billboard charts. (Billboard started a Hot Rap Singles chart in 1989.)

According to Daniels' analysis, Def Jam is the most successful rap label of all time, with 152 charting tracks—nearly 50 more than its closest competitor, Jive—which spent a cumulative 1925 weeks on the charts. Impressively, Young Money is in second place after Def Jam, followed by three other classic rap institutions: Roc-A-Fella, Jive, and Bad Boy.

Daniels' numbers also suggest that Young Money is dominating the contemporary hip-hop marketplace to an unprecedented degree. Check out the graphs and interactive maps here.

October 19, 2015
A New Study Says Def Jam Is The Most Successful Hip-Hop Label Of All Time