Did Lil Wayne Ever Have a No. 1 Hit Song?
Lil Wayne is often controversial due to his public statements. He has released a mix of acclaimed albums and critically reviled albums. Regardless, he remains influential and has a dedicated fan base,
Lil Wayne’s first No. 1 hit
So far, Lil Wayne has had two No. 1 hit singles. Billboard reports the first was “Lollipop” in 2008. “Lollipop” combines rap/R&B with electropop, a genre that was about to take over the American charts. The song was certainly a product of its time, as it includes references to then-recent hits like “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast and “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas. Although it was very popular, the song proved to be divisive.
Some fans enjoyed the song for its not-so-subtle sexuality and its electronic beat. Other fans saw the song as a sell-out move. The latter fans felt the song was more of a pop song than a real rap song.
The song features a guest appearance from Static Major, an artist who woe songs for Aaliyah. According to Billboard, Static Major died of internal bleeding caused by an unspecified autoimmune disorder before the song was released. Because of his death, he is one of the few artists who had a posthumous No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Fans can only imagine where his career would have gone if not for his tragic death.
Billboard reports the song became a smash — and not just on the pop charts. It also became a hugely popular ringtone at a time when using songs as cell phone ringtones was new and exciting. Many people find the song pleasantly nostalgic — even if aspects of the song and the video haven’t aged well. For example, Fuse reports R. Kelly appears in the song’s music video. That and the song’s use of the phrase “no homo” would certainly spark controversy if “Lollipop” were released today.
His second number-one hit
Lil Wayne scored another number-one in 2009 thanks to his guest rap on Jay Sean’s song “Down.” Yet again, he reached the peak of the Billboard Hot 100 but some of his fans accused him of selling out because the song didn’t feature that much rapping.
“Lollipop” and “Down” are significantly different songs. “Lollipop” is a very sexual song whereas “Down” could get played on Radio Disney. Because of Lil Wayne’s appearance on the track, “Down” typifies the 2000s/2010s trend of having a rapper perform a guest verse on a pop song in order to give the song appeal on multiple radio formats. Although this gimmick still exists, it’s not as prominent as it was several years ago.
Lil Wayne’s third chart topper
Lil Wayne topped the charts with a single where he was the lead artist. Then, he topped the charts with a song where he was a featured artist. In his third No. 1 — “I’m the One” — Lil Wayne is one of five credited artists on the song, alongside DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Chance the Rapper.
“I’m the One” is a formulaic pop rap song. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Lil Wayne’s verse is that it references Frank Sinatra’s “The Best Is Yet to Come.” Because “I’m the One” is a pop rap song that sees Lil Wayne collaborating with Bieber, the song led to fans accusing Lil Wayne of selling out yet again.
“Lollipop,” “Down,” and “I’m the One” are not typical Lil Wayne songs. To some, they show Lil Wayne selling out. Regardless, the tracks became very popular.