Rappers With the Most YouTube Views for Single Music Video
With eye-popping color and golden ass statues in a raunchy visual, and an infinitely quotable single for a soundtrack, the video for Cardi B’s Megan Thee Stallion-featured single “Wap” has received over 155 million YouTube views in just three weeks. This is the latest rap video to permeate pop culture and it should eventually be among the most-watched music videos of all time. Today, we’re highlighting the rap videos that already have.
Since launching in 2005, YouTube has seen numerous rap videos eclipse the 1 billion-view threshold and even more have gotten over 100 million or more. Sitting near the very top are artists like Wiz Khalifa (“See You More” featuring Charlie Puth—YouTube’s third-most-viewed music video of all time) and Eminem (“Love the Way You Lie” featuring rihanna), two rap titans whose most-watched visuals combined pop hooks with emotional lyrics. Meanwhile, artists like Drake employed meme iconography (“Hotline Bling”) and heartwarming charity (“God’s Plan”) to secure their spots. What do the most viewed rap music videos have in common?
“These are by and large songs that have been global hits to some extent at least as opposed to regional hits,” says YouTube Music Trends manager Kevin Meenan. Meenan also points to the success of videos that managed to become culturally significant beyond the normal limits of the songs they were made for.
“If you look at [Drake’s] ‘Hotline Bling,’ you look at [Rae Sremmurd’s] ‘Black Beatles,’ [‘Migos’] ‘Bad and Boujee,’ [Lil Pump’s] ‘Gucci Gang,’ these are kind of these songs that kinda had a life beyond the song,” shares Meenan. “They kinda were a part of culture, a part of internet culture, a part of meme culture and kinda transcended the song itself.”
Meenan points to Future’s Drake-featured “Life Is Good” video as an example. “The Future and Drake track where the song itself [‘Life Is Good’] hasn’t been a No. 1 hit on Billboard charts, but it actually has been a hit for us. It’s actually the most-played song of this year in the U.S.,” he says. “I think that’s because of the video. It’s a humorous, fun video, it’s obviously about as big of an all-star collab that you can imagine in 2020, basically. But, it’s interesting where the video has kinda given the song it’s own life.”
Today, XXL, with the help of YouTube, takes a look at the hip-hop music videos that managed to have their own life. Here are the artists with the most YouTube views of all time for a single music video.