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article imageToronto artists dominate Billboard’s Hip-Hop and R&B chart

By Georgia Williams     Dec 9, 2015 in Music
Toronto - 2015 is poised to go down as the year that Toronto artists not only topped popular urban music charts, it will be known as the year Toronto became a legitimate force on the international hip hop and R&B scene.
Leading Canada's surge onto the global urban scene is international hip hop artist and Toronto Raptor’s Global Ambassador Drake. The rapper/singer started 2015 with a bang when he released the surprise album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late in February. The album was an instant success with 14 tracks instantly making it on to the Billboard Hot 100, a feat that tied him with the Beatles for the most simultaneous hits on the Billboard Top 100.
The Toronto native also became the first rapper to top the Billboard Artist 100 chart. He also holds the new record (21) for tracks on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts also released by Billboard. The year continued to get better for Toronto’s prodigal son, who also released two hugely popular diss tracks in response to his rap feud with Meek Mill and What a Time to Be Alive, a collaborative album with Future that received much acclaim, and instantly gained its rightful place in the annals of hip-hop collab history.
Even Rolling Stone Magazine, the music industry standard, has officially dubbed 2015 the year of Drake. “The innumerable GIFs and parodies were enough to crown him king of Internet buzz, but Drake's mission was primarily musical,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Wallace Morgan.
As Morgan pointed out, the genius of Drake, Drizzy, The 6 God, Aubrey or whatever you want to call him is that he embraces what is hot and popular and uses to his benefit. Nothing evidences this more than his latest actions which are less musical and more strategic branding.
In late October the self-proclaimed 6 God released his "Hotline Bling" video, a minimalist music video that featured the former Degrassi High cast member dancing candidly in a variety of settings. The Internet blew up with memes and GIFs and Drake solidified his position as media master.
December saw the grand opening of the OVO front man’s first retail store in Los Angeles, geared to his diverse fan base the garments feature Drake’s OVO monogram. The rapper, who boasts 16.7 million Instagram followers, used social media tool to spread the word about the flagship stores official opening on December 5. The store opened to a crowd that stretched down the street and wrapped around the corner, proving the Toronto icon knows how to reach his fans.
This week Billboard officially honoured Drake with the much deserved title of top R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the year.
While 2015 was all about Drake, 2016 may be all about another artist hailing from the 6’s eastside. The Weeknd earned the number two spot of the Billboard top R&B/ Hip-Hop artist of the year chart and had a remarkable year in his own right.
The Weekend also set some of his own records this year, “Earlier in 2015, the singer celebrated 12 concurrently charting songs on the weekly version of the list, the most ever for a non-rapper,” reports Billboard.com.
He also topped several year-end lists including the 50 Best Albums of 2015 list and the 50 Best Songs of the Year, both compiled by Rolling Stone Magazine. As a final cap on a year that saw the melancholy singer perform alongside Victoria Secret models he has also been nominated for seven Grammy Awards.
More about Toronto, Drake, the weeknd, billboard hot 100, Rolling Stone Magazine