Drake Helped These 5 Artists Get Their First No. 1

Last month, Drake tied Michael Jackson’s record for most Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits for a male soloist with “First Person Shooter,” the sixth track off his latest album For All The Dogs. However, this also served as a colossal moment for the other rapper on the song, J. Cole, whose feature verse netted him his first-ever No. 1.

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Though all six of Cole’s studio albums have landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, a spot atop the Hot 100 has always been elusive for the iconic MC. But, when discussing the feat earlier this week on Lil Yachty’s podcast, A Safe Place, Cole suggested that his No. 1 accomplishment is a bit watered down because it took the help of Drake.

“If it would have went No. 2, it wouldn’t have mattered. I wouldn’t have felt no way,” Cole told Yachty. “If the other song would have went No. 1, it’s like, bruh, I’m cool. I’d almost feel better not having my first No. 1 be off a Drake alley-oop, you know what I mean?”

Cole clarified these comments by mentioning his affinity for Drake but still noted that he wouldn’t have been upset if “First Person Shooter” peaked at No. 2 or lower.

“Like, I love Drake and I love that I’m a part of that moment with him with Michael Jackson,” he continued. “But it’s like, bruh, I’m grateful I’m a part of it. But if the other song would have went No. 1, n****, I’m still grateful I’m a part of it. I wasn’t at home like, ‘Come on, y’all! Pick up the streams, man!”

Regardless of Cole’s feelings on the matter, he is not the first artist to earn a No. 1 thanks to assistance from Drake, and he most likely will not be the last. In the last decade, four other musicians have topped the Hot 100 for the first time alongside Drake.

1. J. Cole

As we noted, “First Person Shooter” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 following the release of For All The Dogs. This served as the third overall collaboration between Drake and J. Cole, and their first since the 2013 track “Jodeci Freestyle.”

When speaking about “First Person Shooter” in a special episode of his Sound 42 SiriusXM radio show the night before the album came out (October 5), Drake mentioned that he and Cole crafted the song that night.

‌“I just got out the studio. Fourth quarter magic, me and Cole went crazy,” he said. “Me and Cole went crazy. Shoutout J. Cole. For all the Dogs. October 6. We’re here. I’m very very proud and I’m very, very grateful that any of you are still interested in what The Boy’s got to say.”

2. Future

Since the late 2000s, Future had been a cult hero in the Atlanta trap-rap scene. His entrance into the mainstream, though, would not come until the mid-2010s and was aided by his and Drake’s collaborative commercial mixtape What A Time To Be Alive (2015).

Six years after this, Future would finally earn his inaugural No. 1 hit, as he featured on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy banger “Way 2 Sexy” alongside Young Thug. A fun-loving, effortless club favorite, the song became a viral phenomenon, while also rightfully spotlighting ATL natives Future and Thug.

[RELATED: Drake’s Last 4 Albums Ranked—From ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ to ‘Her Loss’]

3. Tems

Just months after the success of “Way 2 Sexy,” Drake returned the favor and featured on Future’s 2022 album I Never Liked You. And, for the LP’s seventh song “Wait For U,” the dynamic duo went No. 1 again. However, this time, instead of getting help from Young Thug, they achieved this thanks to the vocal chops of rising Nigerian singer Tems.

Sampling Tems’ 2020 track “Higher,” and listing her as a feature on “Wait For U,” Future and Drake carried Tems to her first-ever No. 1. “Wait For U” is now only one of three Tems songs to land on the Hot 100.

4. WizKid

Another Nigerian native, WizKid earned his first-ever No. 1 on the Hot 100 with his contribution on Drake’s 2015 hit “One Dance.” Containing strong Afrobeats and dancehall themes, “One Dance” helped introduce WizKid to listeners in North America, which has resulted in all three of his albums since then landing on the Billboard 200.

5. Kyla

Also appearing on “One Dance” was U.K.-born house music singer Kyla. Much like Tems, Kyla earned her first No. 1 because a prior song of her’s was sampled by Drake, with “One Dance” interpolating her 2008 hit “Do You Mind.” Kyla was credited as a featured guest on the song, making it her only placement on the Hot 100 in her career.

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

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