The proverbial “Changing of the Guard” in Hip Hop is something that fans both fear and question with every next generation in the rap game. The same prominent figures have stuck for a good long while (reflected below), but what’s interesting to see is this new class of emcees gaining attention. This week we strike a near perfect balance of old and new, with current artists jumping on the list and veterans still holding down their places firmly. It’s safe to say there’s something for everybody this time.

Nas, Common, T.I. and Jay-Z Represent the Veterans

This week, Nas checks in at the top of the list with K’Naan. You may remember that these two worked together when K’Naan joined Nas and Damien Marley on “Africa Must Wake Up” off the Distant Relatives project. Now Nas returns the favor with “Nothing To Lose” and the payoff was major as it hit #1. Jay-Z closed the list at #10 with his ode to Blue Ivy aka B.I.C. called “Glory.” Somewhere in between? Common’s “Stay Schemin” diss to Drake at #3, T.I. and Dre’s collab at #7 (“Popped Off” ). It’s safe to say the vets consistently get love around these parts (honorable mention to Ja Rule at #8 with “Parachute” ).

Tyler, the Creator, ScHoolboy Q and ASAP Rocky Represent the Newbies

It was a very close call this week. Tyler, the Creator’s “Fuck This Election” almost made it to #2. K’Naan and Nas still inched him out, but the competition was stiff. With Odd Future’s OF Tape Vol. 2 coming in March, all sorts of material will be surfacing. Further into the rookie pool comes ScHoolboy Q. The Black Hippy just dropped Habits & Contradictions last week and the Lissie-sampled cut “Hands On the Wheel” with ASAP Rocky came in at #5. ASAP strikes again at #6 with “Celebration.” ASAP Mob is really all over the place these days; we should expect much more of that. Old favorite rappers, new favorite rappers. Everyone is welcome.

The Top 10 Most Popular Hip Hop Singles The Week Of 1/16/2012

1. K’Naan featuring Nas – Nothing To Lose

2. Tyler, the Creator (OFWGKTA) – Fuck This Election

3. Common – Stay Schemin Remix (Drake Diss)

4. Crooked I – Game Time

5. ScHoolboy Q featuring ASAP Rocky – Hands On the Wheel

6. ASAP Rocky – Celebration

7. T.I. featuring Dr. Dre – Popped Off

8. Ja Rule featuring Leah Siegal – Parachute

9. Eric Turner featuring Lupe Fiasco and Tinie Tempah – Angels And Stars

10. Jay-Z featuring B.I.C. – Glory


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