Top Of The Charts in 2012: Drake, Nicki Minaj Ruled R&B, Hip Hop

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December 19, 2012 ‐ By Ann Brown
Anita Baker, surprisingly, makes the top of the Billboard list this year. PatrickMcMullan.com via AP Images

Anita Baker, surprisingly, makes the top of the Billboard list this year. PatrickMcMullan.com via AP Images

It is that time of the year, when the lists of 2012′s bests get released. Columnist Gail Mitchell over at Billboard has rounded up the top artists in R&B and Hip Hop music. What’s surprising is the names not only included the obvious (Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Rihanna and Chris Brown), but newcomers as well, she writes.

There was a mix of established and young acts, such as Frank Ocean, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Miguel, Anita Baker, Brandy, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Tyrese and Tamia.

At the top of the R&B/Hip Hop Artist list was the Young Money/Cash Money (YMCM) crew with help from Drake. Drake ended 2012 at number one on the year-end R&B/Hip-Hop Artists recap, due to his 2011 sophomore studio album, Take Care. It didn’t stop there for Drake. He was also the top male artist on the all-genre Top Artists tally. And he was king of the year-end recaps Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (with Take Care) and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Artists.

YMCM continued its reign on the female artist side, as Nicki Minaj rose to number three on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. The American Idol judge also landed in the top three on the R&B/Hip-Hop Artists and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Artists. Just above her was Rihanna, who with her sixth album, Talk That Talk the singer finished at number two on the overall R&B/hip-hop artists recap.

Never count out Kanye West. His Cruel Summer came in number 15 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums recap. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Nas, Flo Rida, Young Jeezy, among others also charted in the high numbers.

Jumping over to R&B, Ms. B ruled — again. Beyoncé  took the  number one slot on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with “Love on Top.” And, her 2011 album, 4 leveled off at number 13 on the year-end R&B/Hip-Hop Albums recap. Trey Songz made a strong return with Chapter V, which included the number seven R&B/Hip-Hop Songs hit, “Heart Attack.” Chris Brown, Tyrese, Estelle, Brandy and John Legend with Ludacris also had strong chart presence.

Among the unexpected, however was “the left-of-center, critically acclaimed vibrant R&B personified by Frank Ocean and Miguel,” reports Billboard. Channel Orange, Ocean’s debut ranked  No. 12 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. And Miguel showed up twice on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs recap: “His guest spot on Wale’s ‘Lotus Flower Bomb’ puts him at No. 3 and ‘Adorn,’ from sophomore set Kaleidoscope Dream (ByStorm/Black Ice/RCA) is No. 6,” according to the magazine.

This year, Billboard revamped its charting methods. Among the changes: A new R&B chart was launched. But “because the revamped data formula is only 6 weeks old, the 2012 year-end charts were compiled using the earlier methodology,” explains Billboard.

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