By Hugh McIntyre
Almost two year after it was first released, Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” has finally reached the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100, giving the singer, songwriter and rapper her first leader on the all-encompassing chart. By sending her biggest success to the top spot, Lizzo has joined an extremely exclusive club of talented women who have managed to do the same, and she’s in some truly incredible company.
Lizzo is now just the sixth female rapper to score a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100, and she’s the first to do so in two years.
The first female rapper to rise all the way to the top of the tally was Lauryn Hill, whose smash “Doo Wop (That Thing)” made history back in 1998 (yes, it took until 1998 for a woman in hip-hop to rule the chart). Her success was followed up a few years later by Lil Kim, who was one of four names featured on the remake of “Lady Marmalade.” Just two years after that win, Shawnna collected her first and only leader as a featured act on Ludacris’ “Stand Up,” which became a chart champion in 2003.
It would be another decade before another female rapper collected a No. 1 smash, but since then, women have been performing better than ever in this regard. Iggy Azalea’s breakout tune “Fancy,” which featured Charli XCX, became a chart-topping smash in 2014.
Cardi B broke the mold and made history as not just the fifth female rapper to make it to the peak position, but the only one who has done so on more than one occasion. She first lifted to the penthouse in 2017 with “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves),” and then she replicated that success twice in 2018, first with her own single “I Like It” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny and then as a featured act on Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You.”
There are a number of other female rappers who have broken into the top 10, but who haven’t shot straight to the top, and any of them could end up becoming the next lucky name to join this group. Shockingly, Nicki Minaj, one of the most successful rappers of any gender, hasn’t yet landed a No. 1, though she likely will at some point in the future. Thus far, she’s collected 17 top 10s, including one track, “Anaconda,” which stalled just one rung shy of becoming her first champion.
Featured Photo: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / WireImage