Infographic - Precious Medals: The 2012 Hip Hop Gold & Platinum Plaques

From Nicki Minaj, Tyga and Flo Rida leading the overall top sellers and strong showings from Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz, HipHopDX breaks down the artists who pulled in plaques this year.

HipHopDX’s annual list of the top-selling albums and singles features some familiar trends. According to information provided by Nielsen, Americans purchased nearly 1 billion digital tracks by October of 2012. That set a pace to easily eclipse 2011’s total of 1.3 billion, and the growth trickled down to Hip Hop where newcomers like French Montana and PSY joined mainstays like Kanye West.
This year’s list includes all material released between December 20, 2011 and December 20, 2012, so Young Jeezy’s Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition and Flo Rida’s single, “Wild Ones” both make the list despite being released in late 2011. It should also be noted that Usher and Frank Ocean both barely missed gold certification, with Nielsen SoundScan figures in the upper 400,000 range. And finally, G.O.O.D. Music’s “Clique” was rumored to be a platinum digital single, but neither Nielsen nor the R.I.A.A. would confirm it.
We present our breakdown of the artists that turned popularity into profits, featuring fan and media favorite Kendrick Lamar. Change came in the form of onetime Playaz Circle member Tity Boi renaming himself as 2 Chainz and earning his first certifications since 2007’s “Duffle Bag Boy.”

Flo Rida joined Nicki Minaj and Tyga as the overall top medalists. Cash Money / Young Money acts kept their label’s run of commercial dominance intact thanks to multiplatinum singles from both Tyga and Nicki Minaj—owner of Hip Hop’s best-selling album for 2012 with Pink Friday: Roman Relaoded.

2012 Rap Albums And Singles That Went Gold And Platinum

RELATED: Infographic - Precious Medals: The 2011 Hip Hop Gold & Platinum Plaques


  • AdROCk

    Check your facts there are multiple mistakes on your graphic and in your post. Please review and make corrections.

  • Scan

    Macklemore had a gold single (thrift shop) that was certified plat on the 4th of january 2013......

    • Anonymous

      it says on the chart that this is from dec 20, 2011 to dec 20, 2012 this came out on the 3rd, you want them to go back in time?

  • RC

    Looks more like a glimpse at the pop charts than a Hip-Hop snap shot for the most part unfortunately. Hip-Hop's finally starting to get a lil bit of balance once again but sadly the charts have yet to truly reflect it.

  • Anonymous

    Gangnam Style, As Long as You Love Me, and Payphone were not released as rap singles. You guys also left some songs out. Oh and Tyga Make it Nasty is listed twice under both gold and platinum.

  • Anonymous

    Why Dont you guys include Taylor Swift too? I mean where is the cut off? Justin Beiver and Maroon five may have had hiphop artists on those songs, but the genre in which they were purchased in Itunes is not classified under hiphop.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I just want someone to give me a rimjob sometimes. Is that really to much to ask?

  • Anonymous

    Tyga-Make It Nasty is listed twice. Why wont you guys fix this?

  • Fish

    When I clicked on this article, i did NOT expect to be reading about how many singles Psy and Justin Beiber sold. DX, your definition of 'hip hop' is embarrassing.

  • 2 Icy Boi!

    congrats to Nicki Minaj... we da YMCMB team are proud of her. YMCMB iz da best... we always sell da mos albumz. congratz to 2Chainz and Ricky Rozay too. classic albumz... fuck Kendrick Lam-ER... dat shit wuz not hip hop. he a pop rapper. swag

  • lexxie ryan

    ummm... so Im supposed to believe that Kendrick Lamar's Recipe and Swimming Pools didn't go platinum this year huh?? and why didnt yall simply post that clique single under the gold medals... And fucking hello, are we all going to just pretend that Kanye's Mercy didn't get plat either?? REALLY HHDX?? Im not sure if Wiz Khalifa's Remember You went gold as a single, BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT WORK HARD WENT PLAT!! Strange Clouds was a gold single too if memory serves me correct!! And let's not forget Jeezy's track with NeYo, and didn't "I Do" go gold as well? Yall seriously fucked up this list this year!! Yall left out hella singles!!

    • Anonymous

      kendrick fans dont buy singles, they went out and bought the whole album, thats why he sold more than everyone on her except nicki and jeezy

    • lexxie ryan

      wish i could edit that last post... now i look like a dork for not seeing the kanye mercy single on the last... i swear its like they added it real quick after i pressed enter

  • No H8

    YMCMB is buying inventory..But the story won't be told until 20 years from now. Their business practices are suspect.

  • controverse

    I wonder how different this chart would look if illegal downloads were counted as well.

  • Anonymous

    It's all about other revenues nowadays. Artists don't have to even have a gold album to become millionaires.

  • Playboy69

    Newsflash: So this tell me that Nicki Minaj is NEW YORK Statute of Liberty & the Queen of Hip-Hop. Jeezy is the REAL BAWSE. Flo'rida RUNS the 305 not Rick Ross. Tyga & Kendrick Lamar are the SAVIORS of WEST COAST Hip-Hop. And Rick Ross & 2 Chainz are OVERRATED!

    • Kap Diva

      Nicki Minaj never claimed to be nothing but "Barbie", so stop trying tell lies on her. If an artist doesn't actually say something, don't words in their mouth. T.I. really said that he was the "King Of The South", but Nicki ain't never said nothing so stupid as what you just wrote.

  • Anonymous

    I guess the only way to sell music these days is to target white girls

  • sniperk


  • Anonymous

    I guess this is for units shipped, not sold.

  • Brandon

    So Rick Ross slammed on more criminals than not...isn't that a good thing? He making a living at 19 as a CO to support babies, is that not a good thing? I guess y'all want him to not lock up criminals.

  • Brandon

    Rick Ross Touch N You, was a hot track. So for it not to sell is beyond me. The album is platinum worthy. Ross always making great music. N*ggas hate on Rozay, but he been Rick Ross since the slip n slide days and homie can sell a piece crack in the hood ..and he took that and blew it to another level. You simpletons are mad because he worked in a prison at 19 for 18 months..go some's like you want him to do good, but not do good...n*gga sh*t!

  • Anonymous

    Everything about this makes me sad

  • Anonymous

    hip hop heads dont even support the artist they do like yet they are always the first to open their mouth with an opinion about other artists.

  • sabrinaharrison4

    Kayla. if you, thought Francisco`s postlng is impressive... last tuesday I got a great new Porsche 911 after bringing in $6892 this-past/4 weeks and just a little over 10k this past month. this is definitely the easiest-job I've ever had. I started this 6 months ago and almost straight away began to bring in minimum $72 p/h. I use the details on this

  • Anonymous

    What about Swimming Pools I thought that single was at least gold..

  • Dashing

    I'm pretty sure the only reason Nicki has the highest selling album is cause they count her re-release of the album with the initial album alhtough it was promoted like a new album. So combined those 2 albums sales are what they're counting.

  • siamakf

    I saw this on the Billboard list too... How can Ross sell more than Kendrick when GKMC went gold and Ross' joint didn't?

  • Anonymous

    how did mac millers single go gold, i never even heard that song once in my life

  • R.Pgh

    Congrats to Kendrick. That's the only hip hop album on the list with quality content.

    • shh

      THANX TO "TIP"...SILVER in 2 WEEKS...*smile KL = TRAPP/HOP....*smile SAIGON = THE REAL HIP HOP 2013...#EAST COAST LUV(THE HOME OF HIP HOP).....*tears....TR3Y DAWG...THE ABORTION 2013.....WHO WILL SURVIVE????...999

    • Anonymous

      the only hip hop album on the list that's actually hip hop lol

  • jason

    what happened to MMG they had a few gold and plat for last year the list is not good

    • Brandon

      It doesn't matter if Ross don't go platinum. His body of work is quality music. Most of what MMG release is really good music. That's my opinion. Eminem can say a bunch of nothing on an album and it sell like water!

    • Anonymous

      Quit drinking that hype kool aid the industry is selling you. MMG dont sell shit, Ross himself is lucky to go gold.

    • Anonymous

      what platinum did mmg have this year? ross album is certified gold, even though he didnt sell 500k, thats it, no gold singles, no platinum singles the list is accurate

  • Stephen P

    Don't get mad at YMCMB for selling. Get mad at the hip hop community for not supporting artists by buying records. Vote with your dollars!

  • uhm

    Wasn't Clique Platinum aswell? And Niggas in Paris certainly got one or two additional Platinum plaques this year also. Just sayin'.

  • Anonymous

    Y'all niggas know who's gon have 2013 on lock (*cough Kendrick cough*)

  • ilexx

    This Infographic shows how shitty a year 2012 was in Hip Hop.... It didnt even occur to me that Nicki Minaj's piece of shit album was the highest selling Hip Hop album of 2012.... Even the fact that Tyga was up there as a medalist this year surprised me, I mean dude's songs was on the radio out here in Miami all year. Faded is still playing but that surprised me man. Good for him but jeez its lame. The most hilarious thing is that for ALL of MMG's major dominance in terms of attention and radio play and all that... They still can dominant an actual chart, people don't seem to buy into the hype really. YMCMB still does more commercial damage than MMG and everybody else for that matter. Congrats to Kendrick for coming out in the 4th quarter and doing major things though. That is obviously extremely impressive.

    • BLACK


    • Anonymous

      The only difference between Nicki's albums and other rap albums, was the fact that sang her own hooks.

    • Anonymous

      Just think of it this way if Kendrick dropped at the same time as Nicki and had a re release of his album he'd be well plat by now. Besides I don't usually label albums that are technically hip-hop pop just because of their sound.. but Nicki Minaj's album was literally a pop album between all the singing, repetition, and the beats. So to me, Kendrick had the top selling hip hop album.

  • Anonymous

    you know hip hop in bad shape when ymcmb got most plaques smfh

  • Dumbass

    You guys have Make it Nasty listed twice. Should probably fix that

  • Really?

    How is Make it Nasty both platinum and gold? Lol you guys fuck up this chart every single year

  • There is an Error

    Tyga-Make it Nasty is listed twice. It is under platinum and gold. So which one is it? You guys never check your work do you?

  • Anonymous

    repost: it should be noted that nicki has sold just over 700,000. the remaining 300,000 are lying dusty in target shelves. thanks

    • They are more then haters

      They are geeks. Talk bad about one of there favorite artist i bet you they catch a fit. Say something like Nas is wack. They gonna bitch. (Oh by the way Nas is my favorite rapper all time other then 2Pac) But its true these geeks catch feelings when you say Nas or Kendrick is wack. Or one of those Underground niggas.

    • Anonymous

      now the haters trying to say she isn't a rapper, because she sold more than every other

    • Anonymous

      shes not a rapper so its irrelevant justin bieber moved mad units too

    • GRiiP

      How many other rappers sold more than 700,000 albums? Name at least 5 solo rap albums in the last year that sold more than 700,000 albums, before you attempt to hate. Oh yeah, she sold 4,000,000 singles on top of that and we just talking domestic numbers not worldwide.

  • Anonymous

    VV I meant "noted" not "nominated" VV

  • Anonymous

    it should be nominated that nicki has sold just over 700,000. the remaining 300,000 are lying dusty in target shelves. thanks

  • highlyopininated

    tyga is doing pretty well considering the fact he's getting sueed left and right, not to mention the fact he owes money on a friend's credit card.

  • Anonymous

    rick ross tweets everyday begging people to buy his album

  • Anonymous

    it should also be noted that ross and 2chainz havent even sold 500k yet

    • Anonymous

      thats just not how it works no one is getting $4 an album with a distribution deal and all those big name producers and features arent cheap mac miller making more off his album than officer ricky

    • Anonymous

      actually ross has a distribution deal, so he is getting at minimum 4 dollars per unit shipped wholesale.

    • Anonymous

      Rick Ross is signed to a major and his label is part of that major so.. no. 2Chainz does NOT own Def Jam lmao.

    • Anonymous

      wrong and wrong, no one getting 4 bucks off an album except maybe the indies they may own their imprints but the white jews still own them

    • Real profit

      Rick Ross and 2 Chainz own their labels, so they making at least a $4.00 per album sold profit. Both of them probably have made at least $2,000,000.00 profit off of their non gold albums.

  • OUCH!

    Nicki? not rap and ross? not really gold. 440,000 more like it...

    • Fucking nerds

      I swear you online geeks are fucking haters. So what it sounds pop. I hate Young Money music but you nerds take shit to personal and hate on people yall don't even know. Fucking nerds.

    • Anonymous

      The album sounded completely pop. Just because there's some rapping on it does not make it a rap album.

    • Anonymous

      i was more talking about ross

    • real facts

      how is it facts, when she raps on all of her songs. just because she talented enough to sing her own hooks and doesn't have to spend extra money to get an r&b singer to do it, she still raps 80% of her albums. stop hating on her when u know she a rapper..

    • Anonymous

      its not hate those are facts

    • Anonymous

      wow, your hate is strong. go get a career or business and stop working by the hour.