Late Friday afternoon, Billboard Senior Chart Manager, Wade Jessen, sent an announcement, detailed below, regarding the future of Christian hip-hop on the Billboard charts.

Hi, Everyone.

After soliciting feedback from the industry throughout the year, Billboard will discontinue flagging Christian Rap/Hip-Hop titles for our Gospel Albums, Gospel Digital Songs and Hot Gospel Songs charts starting next week (which is the first week of the 2015 Billboard chart year). Concurrently, all current Christian Rap/Hip-Hop titles that previously appeared on the Gospel charts will be removed from those charts.

Since Nielsen SoundScan, the CMTA and Billboard converted our Christian retail charts to point-of-sale data in 1995, most Christian Rap/Hip-Hop titles have been eligible for both Christian and Gospel album charts—and eventually, both digital genre charts and hybrid sales/airplay/streaming charts.

In an ongoing quest to make all of our charts a more meaningful and accurate reflection of the respective markets and consumers they represent, the industry urged us to reconsider eligibility for those titles on our Gospel charts, and we agree that our Christian charts are the most appropriate place for these songs and albums to compete. All Christian Rap/Hip-Hop titles will continue to be flagged for Christian Albums, Christian Digital songs and the multi-metric Hot Christian Songs. 

That said, we will remain open to considering certain albums and songs by Christian Rap/Hip-Hop artists for our Gospel lists when genre-specific drivers (style, radio airplay, touring, collaborative works or other connective factors) are involved.

We appreciate your feedback on these issues, and we look forward to ongoing dialogue in the coming year.


Wade Jessen
Senior Chart Manager, Nashville

What are your thoughts on this announcement? Let us know in the comments below!

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