How Old is the Average Hot 100-Charting Rapper Right Now? (Not Old)


Hip-hop knows no age, but if this week's Billboard Hot 100 is any indication “mainstream” rap success, the genre is indeed a sport for the youth.

In total, 28 rap acts appear at least once as the lead artist on the chart dated February 3, 2018, with an average age 26.6 years and a median age 28.

Eminem, 45, is the oldest rap act on the Hot 100, clocking in at No. 34 with the Ed Sheeran-assisted “River,” while Lil Pump, 17, is the youngest rap act on the chart, thanks to “Gucci Gang” holding strong at No. 17 after tumbling six spots week-over-week.

In 2016, Billboard analyzed six complete decades data to determine the average age every solo artist to reach No. 1 on Hot 100. By decade, the averages were fairly consistent, with a low  26.8 in the 2010s and a high  30.8 in the 1980s. Overall, the average age a lead artist to reach No. 1 on the Hot 100 over its first 60 years was 28.5. (Note: These numbers were compiled regardless the genre.)

While the average age a Hot 100-charting rap act is currently 26.6 years, if we were to remove the two greatest outliers—Eminem and Plies—that number would drop down to 25.3 years, which is more than three full years younger than the average age a No. 1 hitmaker regardless genre over the past six decades.

Based on our brief analysis, three reasonable conclusions can be formed:

  1. Becoming a “career artist”—instead plateauing as a “moment artist”—will greatly increase the likelihood success past the age 30.
  2. The “sweet spot” entry point on the chart is roughly 25 years age. This means that, for artists who are younger than 25 with aspirations Billboard success, you still have time. Take some.
  3. Plies has a greater following than any one us could have ever imagined.

Here is a complete breakdown all 28 acts by age:

40s (2)

45 Eminem (“River”)
41 Plies (“Rock”)

30s (6)

37 Gucci Mane (“I Get The Bag”)
34 Macklemore (“Good Old Days”)
33 French Montana (“Unforgettable”)
32 Jay Rock (“King's Dead”)
31 Drake (“God's Plan,” “Diplomatic Immunity”)
30 Kendrick Lamar (“LOVE.,” “All The Stars”)

20s (16)

29 A$AP Ferg (“Plain Jane”)
28 Logic (“1-800-273-8255”)
28 G-Eazy (“No Limit,” “Him & I”)
26 NF (“Let You Down,” “No Name”)
26 Quavo (“MotorSport,” “Stir Fry,” “Ice Tray”)  
26 Offset (“MotorSport,” “Ric Flair Drip,” “Stir Fry”) 
25 21 Savage (“Bank Account”)
25 Cardi B (“Bartier Cardi,” “Bodak Yellow”)
24 Famous Dex (“Pick It Up”)
23 Takef (“MotorSport,” “Stir Fry”)  
23 Lil Uzi Vert (“The Way Life Goes”)
23 Lil Baby (“My Dawg”)
22 Post Malone (“rockstar,” “I Fall Apart,” “Candy Paint”)
21 6ix9ine (“Gummo,” “Keke,” “Kooda”) 
21 Lil Xan (“Betrayed”)
20 Kodak Black (“Roll In Peace,” “Codeine Dreaming”)

Teens (4)

19 Lil Skies (“Nowadays,” “Red Roses”)
18 YoungBoy Never Broke Again (“Outside Today,” “No Smoke”)
18 YBN Nahmir (“Rubbin Off The Paint”)
17 Lil Pump (“Gucci Gang”)