You know a week has been productive musically when the entire Singles chart isn’t dominated by just one soul. That’s what this week looked like, thankfully. Some repeat impressers were present like Drizzy and his less flashy counterpart J. Cole. The two grabbed the charts by the reigns, but made room for cats like Game, Lupe and Nas who all snuck in through the backdoor. More on that later, but one thing rang true this week musically: there might be a changing of the guards, but Hip Hop still loves its vets. It’s a young man’s game with an old soul.

Hovi Lends a Helping Hand

It was an undeniable force. Everyone was waiting with bated breath to see if J. Cole would ever get that Jay-Z verse he so greatly desired for his Roc Nation debut Cole World: The Sideline Story dropping September 27th. The rumor mill churned intel that Cole was tapping Jay for the album’s closing track. However, “Mr. Nice Watch” won out, and why wouldn’t it? The track interpolates a classic Jay-Z line “Ughh, nice watch!” from his old school cut “A Million and One Questions.” So Cole got his sort of mentor’s official cosign in the form of some swaggy bars. It’s about f*$%ing time. “Mr. Nice Watch” took the #2 spot this week, losing out to one of Drake’s sporatic leaks “Free Spirit” with Rick Ross at #1. Cole also rocked with his “I’ma Boss/Otis Freestyle” at #3 and “Can’t Get Enough” with Trey Songz at #6. Drizzy kept his presence felt with another Take Care track “Club Paradise” at #4 and the Lex Luger-produced cut he lent to Waka Flocka Flame, “Round Of Applause” at #8.

Even Rappers Recycle

When in doubt, pull some ish out of the archives. That’s just what some of our favorites did this week, and the audience reacted favorably. Jay Electronica has been on Jay Elec-holiday since aligning with Hovi’s new diamond empire. Just kidding, he’s hanging out in Europe. He did, however, manage to find some time to drop this rough demo thing of an untitled cut that walked its way up to #5. See how much people want your new music, Jay Elec? They’re settling for sneezing out some bars and hitting send on Twitter. Let’s get that album going, shall we? Nasir Jones’ “You Don’t Know” came back around for #7, Game’s standout R.E.D. cut “Martians vs. Goblins” with Weezy and the godfather of the Golf Wang, Tyler, the Creator dropped in at #9. Then, Lupe Fiasco closed out the list at #10 with “Carrera Lu,” one of three bonus cuts off Lupe’s 5th Anniversary Edition of his 2006 debut Food and Liquor. Another one was “Tilted” produced by Needlz. This week proves that even when we sense a drought, rappers always have something cooking in the reserves.

The Top 10 Most Popular Hip Hop Singles The Week Of 9/12/11

1. Drake featuring Rick Ross – Free Spirit

2. J. Cole featuring Jay-Z – Mr. Nice Watch

3. J. Cole – I’ma Boss / Otis Freestyle

4. Drake – Club Paradise

5. Jay Electronica – Unfinished Demo

6. J. Cole featuring Trey Songz – Can’t Get Enough

7. Nas – You Don’t Know

8. Waka Flocka Flame featuring Drake – Round Of Applause Remix

9. Game featuring Lil Wayne & Tyler, The Creator – Martians vs. Goblins

10. Lupe Fiasco – Carrera Lu

Last week’s Top Ten Singles List.