Diamond Certified Hip-Hop And R&B Songs: A Complete Guide

Written by on November 4, 2021

With regards to a monitor’s success, phrases similar to “anthem” or “timeless” are sometimes bandied about too evenly. In actuality, there are numerous completely different levels wherein a music might be iconic, and what could also be a seminal monitor to followers of 1 specific subset of hip-hop might be meaningless to a different. 

Nevertheless, there are tracks the place their standing as pillars of the musical landscape– or in sure instances, touchstones of a second in time– include a really particular RIAA certification connected to them.  

With regards to legendary songs, reaching the standing of a diamond file is as near a scientific classification because the music trade can present. With the intention to acquire this standing, a music should attain over 10 million units– or in trendy occasions, equal units– bought. And whereas albums reaching this illustrious stage is definitely spectacular, for a music to grow to be diamond in its personal proper, and never as half of a bigger assortment, signifies that the monitor has to grow to be an integral a part of the zeitgeist. 

They’re the tracks that you just hear within the membership, on the radio, and even within the grocery retailer, to this very day. They’re the songs that you just discover incessantly catchy and in some instances, they’re the songs that you just finally develop to despise as a result of their sheer ubiquity (or maybe, you develop to like, because of the similar motive). Right here, we’re going to delve into every of the diamond-certified tracks that hip-hop has spawned over the many years, with the intention to make clear their conception, reception and legacies. 

With out additional ado, let’s dive in. And take a look at Diamond Licensed Albums here.


Kanye West – Stronger

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The latest entry to the diamond certified club, and one which impressed this checklist, it’s onerous to imagine that an artist similar to Kanye and a monitor of this sheer enormity hadn’t already reached this standing lengthy earlier than. The lead single from Kanye West’s third providing, Commencement, wasn’t a kind of lightning in a bottle moments that some have proclaimed all the most effective pop songs are born from.

As a substitute, this Daft-Punk sampling mega-hit was the product of a rigorous recording and retooling course of that led to a grand complete of 75 mixes being crafted. Taking Daft Punk’s “More durable, Higher, Sooner, Stronger” and dousing it in his personal self-styled bravado, the music was not solely successful in its personal proper however bridged the hole between dance music lengthy earlier than the phrase “EDM” entered the cultural lexicon and spawned his first primary hit within the UK. Furthermore, Ye’s Commencement-period anthem is arguably the monitor that took him from hip-hop crossover act to transcendent popular culture icon and it nonetheless stands as much as today.

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Flo Rida and T Ache – Low

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With regards to culture-shaking figures in hip-hop, it’s protected to say that Flo Rida and T Ache are two names which have been traditionally ignored. Whereas the auto-tune pioneer is progressively getting his flowers looking back, Flo Rida nonetheless finds himself left marooned someplace between his authentic style and the world of pop at massive. However, that doesn’t change the truth that “Low”, the primary single from his 2008 debut album Mail On Sunday, was a mammoth hit on the time. Made all of the extra outstanding by its outstanding inclusion on the soundtrack of Step Up 2 The Streets, this membership anthem has but to ever really go away and continues to be impactful sufficient to spawn conspiracy theories as to why the girl in query was sporting each denims and sweatpants in its refrain. 


Eminem – Not Afraid 

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Delivered to the world as a brand new decade commenced, there’s no underestimating what “Not Afraid” meant when it comes to reasserting Eminem’s historic place within the recreation. The lead single from his second post-comeback challenge, Restoration, this empowering anthem served as Shady’s first actual return to the fore as a bonafide hitmaker after the initially derided, however now progressively revered Relapse challenge. Barring maybe “Crack A Bottle,” none of Relapse’s singles had that all-encompassing energy that a few of his iconic chart-toppers of the previous did. Whereas within the case of “Not Afraid,” Em as soon as once more proved that when he places all of it on the market for the world to scrutinize, he’ll all the time strike gold. Simply as tracks similar to “The Manner I Am” and “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” had been deeply private and but resonated far and vast, “Not Afraid” and its rallying cries round Em getting clear and standing taller than ever, actually hit residence with listeners and ensured that it’ll garner a giant response in stadiums to today. 


Eminem – Love The Manner You Lie feat. Rihanna

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If Relapse had equated to one thing of a drought when it got here to hits for Em, it’s protected to say that Restoration made up for it. An train in good quaint hip-hop storytelling, “Love The Manner You Lie” is the story of a tempestuous love affair in three elements that is realized with the form of vigour that solely Shady can muster.

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Rendered all of the extra affecting by a usually show-stealing vocal efficiency from Rihanna on the hook, this enduringly in style monitor has really spawned some retroactive backlash as a result of its depictions of home violence. However it doesn’t matter what TikTok has to say, “Love The Manner You Lie” isn’t going to drop out of the cultural line of sight anytime quickly.


Eminem – Lose Your self 

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Tied for probably the most diamond-selling information of any MC, we spherical off Eminem’s entries with the eternally rousing “Lose Your self.” First dropped within the lead-up to his movement image debut, this stirring, rock-imbued monitor encapsulated eight Mile’s thematic considerations in regards to the come-up whereas remaining innately tied to Eminem’s personal journey to the highest. Written throughout his downtime on the movie set, the “Finest Music” successful monitor was carried out by Shady on the 2020 Academy Awards as a recompense for lacking the ceremony the place he really received the award in 2003.


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Store

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Subsequent up, now we have the lead single from what’s arguably probably the most divisive winner of The Grammy’s “Rap Album Of The Yr” ever. Though Macklemore’s legacy could have been reworked from the second that he issued his apology to Kendrick for his win, it’s necessary to do not forget that when he and producer Ryan Lewis arrived, they have been wholly inescapable.

Full with a whimsical music video which made it evident that the Seattle MC wasn’t one to take himself too critically, the monitor wasn’t an prompt hit and as a substitute, reached the primary spot an entire six months after its preliminary launch in August of 2012, the place it might keep till March of 2013.  


Robin Thicke – Blurred Traces (That includes Pharrell and T.I)

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The place each different monitor on this checklist is as immovable as ever, if any has been extricated from the cultural sphere, then it’s most positively “Blurred Traces.” Dogged by each lawsuits from the Gaye Household property over its similarities to the late soul icon’s “Received To Give It Up” and its banning from university campuses across the UK, this longtime primary is swathed in outrage like no different monitor on this checklist. 

For R&B journeyman Robin Thicke, the monitor was each the apex of his profession and the start of his downfall. Whereas for T.I and Pharrell, they’ve managed to untangle themselves from the continued fallout that swirls around both the song’s lyricism and music video. 

“We tried to do every little thing that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and every little thing that’s utterly derogatory in the direction of girls. As a result of all three of us are fortunately married with kids, we have been like, “We’re the right guys to make enjoyable of this”, stated Robin Thicke on the time, “Folks say, “Hey, do you suppose that is degrading to girls?” I’m like, “In fact it’s. What a pleasure it’s to degrade a girl. I’ve by no means gotten to try this earlier than. I’ve all the time revered girls.” 

Courtesy of Emily Ratajkowski’s current revelations, it appears as if that final assertion could stay on in infamy.


The Weeknd – The Hills

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When you think about his humble beginnings as an enigmatic artist from Toronto, the truth that Abel Tesfaye is now a diamond-certified artist is a very astonishing accomplishment. Typically cited as one of many architects of recent R&B as we all know it, The Weeknd could have initially hit a couple of obstacles when it got here to creating the transition from web darling to chart-dominating star however when he discovered the method, he by no means seemed again.

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The primary Scorching 100 quantity one in every of his total profession, “The Hills” introduced his trademark decadence and made it palatable for the mainstream. Licensed diamond in 2019, the monitor went on to grow to be one of many focal factors of his exhilarating Superbowl 2021 halftime present and performed a pivotal position in making him the celebrity that he’s as we speak.  


Charlie Puth & Wiz Khalifa – See You Once more

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As shut as now we have to a ballad on this checklist, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Once more” briefly held the file for probably the most streams in a single day earlier than being bested by One Course’s “Drag Me Down.”

Commissioned particularly by the Quick & Livid franchise as a method to commemorate Paul Walker’s premature loss of life, the unlikely duo got the job after Charlie Puth had penned the refrain earlier than it was handed to Wiz. Because the pair instructed Billboard throughout a 2015 interview, they believed that the common appeal of its chorus and sentimental verses had a massive role to play in its success. 

“You may relate it to so many issues, whether or not it’s a relationship, a cherished one. It goes completely with the film”, stated Wiz. “Lots of people keep in mind Paul Walker’s legacy too. While you add all of this stuff collectively, it’s a very emotional level. For us to have the ability to try this, it’s actually cool that it connects. 

Outlined by the Pittsburgh native as the fashionable equal of Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Lacking You” in honour of the late Infamous B.I.G, it’s protected to say that whether or not it nonetheless strikes a chord otherwise you’re utterly sick of listening to it, “See You Once more” isn’t going anyplace quick. 


Drake – God’s Plan

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Frankly, one of many greatest surprises of compiling this checklist is that October’s Very Personal solely has one monitor in its personal canon that’s formally diamond licensed. Undoubtedly one of many greatest anthems that hip-hop has seen in recent times, Scorpion’s lead single was the most-streamed music of 2018 and racked up over 147 million spins. To today, it stays probably the most performed music on Apple Music.

Laden with iconic traces and visuals that may be the closest we’ll get to Drizzy’s marketing campaign video for a presidential run, it’s a music which instructed us what we already knew and that’s with regards to hip-hop icons within the industrial house, Drake exists in a lane of his personal at this level. 


Submit Malone – Congratulations

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When Submit Malone’s supervisor Dre London offhandedly muttered the phrase “congratulations” throughout a studio session, there’s no method he might’ve identified the hit that he would instantly encourage. Produced by the crack crew of Metro Boomin and Frank Dukes and that includes a memorable visitor verse from Quavo, this single from his 2016 debut file Stoney was the monitor that elevated Submit Malone from the “White Iverson” man to a real star. 

“You realize the songs are good however you by no means know in the event that they’re going to get uncovered the best way you’ll have appreciated it or folks overlook it for one more music,” Submit stated after its launch. “However, I actually really feel this was a giant necessary music.”

Suffice to say, this monitor acquired the supposed publicity after which some.  

post malone diamond certified songs

Picture by way of HNHH

Submit Malone – Rockstar feat. 21 Savage

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Though Submit wasn’t fairly a cornerstone of the popular culture panorama after Stoney, 2018’s Beerbongs & Bentleys would dismantle any considerations that he was a flash within the pan. Positioned as the primary style of the subsequent period of his profession, the 21 Savage-aided “Rockstar” not solely firmed up Posty’s place as a serious participant, however was sufficiently big to make his Atlantan co-star a severe chart-topping contender within the course of. Co-written by none aside from Joey Bada$$, “Rockstar” could have debuted on the quantity two spot behind one other inclusion on this list– extra on that later– however it went on to grow to be the second music in historical past, after Ed Sheeran’s “Form Of You” to achieve over two billion streams on Spotify.


Submit Malone and Swae Lee – Sunflower

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Having initially debuted at quantity 9 on the Billboard chart, Submit and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower” might be probably the most stunning addition to the diamond membership. Though he’d made it to the primary spot beforehand alongside Slim Jimmi throughout his time in Rae Sremmurd, this mellow providing was Swae Lee’s first time hitting the summit of the pop charts as a solo artist and is maybe greatest identified for its affiliation with the lauded 2018 animated movie Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. Naturally, the movie and its viewers’s position in bolstering the monitor to unprecedented heights isn’t misplaced in its creators.

“When Sunflower hit No. 1, that was my favourite second since you by no means know within the music trade what a music is gonna do [chart-wise],” Swae instructed Selection. “I feel it acquired so massive as a result of the youngsters find it irresistible a lot. 


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Constructed with a beat that he’d bought from Dutch producer YoungKio, Lil Nas X took his time deploying the Nine Inch Nails-sampling “Previous City Highway,” slowly drip-feeding it throughout TikTok and different social media shops as a method to generate meme fodder. Positive sufficient, this innately 21st-century advertising and marketing tactic paid off in spades and made the country-trap providing into a worldwide sensation. A record-breaking music that collected the longest-running streak at primary within the historical past of the charts, the preliminary controversy that got here from it being kicked off of the nation charts and the assist of Billy Ray Cyrus solely served to make “Previous City Highway” into one thing far past your common 2-minute pop music. Beloved by followers of all ages, it turned the premise of a profitable profession that defied any notion of Lil Nas X turning into a one-hit marvel or, maybe extra fittingly for this horse-drawn anthem, a one-trick pony.  


Fetty Wap – Lure Queen

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Though he would not precisely have a foothold on the industrial panorama today, it’s not possible to overstate simply how massive “Lure Queen” was when it first arrived. Launching the New Jersey-based MC into the heartland of the trade as if from nowhere, Fetty has since instructed Billboard that the monitor got here at some extent the place he was very much languishing in obscurity. 

“It was like mad chilly, it was freezing outdoors. We did not actually have a lot furnishings in the home, and I used to be sitting on the ground and I used to be going via this web site known as SoundClick.com… And now…years later.  “Everyone is aware of the child with the one eye from Paterson, Fetty Wap.”

The catalyst for a primary album for Fetty, it’s truthful to say that “679” and “Once more” have been colossal hits in their very own proper. Nevertheless, none might match the sheer magnitude of Fetty’s ode to introducing his new beau to his range and it’s probably that no monitor of his ever will. 

fetty wap trap queen

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XXXTentacion – SAD! 

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When this contemplative monitor was unveiled because the lead single from the Florida-bred artist’s 2018 providing ?, nobody might’ve anticipated that it’d be one of many remaining dispatches that we’d ever obtain from Jahseh Onfroy as a mortal man. But, lower than three months on from his launch, the rapper that’d ascended to the ranks of an unlikely icon to a era of followers would meet a violent and vastly untimely demise in his personal hometown. 

From the second that this forlorn examination of his psychological state was dedicated to tape, X and longtime producer John Cunningham knew that that they had one thing particular on their palms.

“The reactions to that music have been not like something we would ever seen,” Cunningham told XXL, so we knew folks would love it, however we did not know it might land at No. 7 [on the Billboard Hot 100 chart]. That shit’s loopy.” Launched alongside an eerie visible wherein X attends the funeral of his youthful self earlier than they have interaction in a battle for his soul, this examination of his inside turmoil would go on to offer X his one and solely posthumous primary and has since grow to be one in every of his signature songs alongside “Jocelyn Flores” and “Take a look at Me!”. 

Whereas the diamond accomplishment occurred in August, XXX’s mom accepted the diamond plaque for the single on his behalf simply this previous week.


Black Eyed Peas – I Received A Feeling

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By the point that BEP unveiled this all-conquering hit from the multi-platinum promoting The E.N.D, they have been maybe as entrenched in pop as any act that started their profession in hip-hop might presumably be. Coming in at quantity 5 on Billboard’s songs of the last decade, this David Guetta-helmed smash was designed to uplift spirits around the globe. “Occasions are actually onerous for lots of people and also you need to give them escape and also you need to make them be ok with life,” Will.I.Am instructed Marie Claire on the time of its launch, “particularly at these low factors.” Shortly usurping “Increase Increase Pow” as probably the most far-reaching monitor from their fifth file and has been gracing generic “social gathering” playlists ever since. 


John Legend – All Of Me

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With regards to modern-day crooners, few have the innate reward of reaching the collective heartstrings fairly like John Legend. Possessing the identical core DNA of delicate piano and reflective songwriting that made him a celebrity on Get Lifted’s “Abnormal Folks,” this unstoppable R&B love music was an ode to Legend’s spouse, Chrissy Teigen. Unsurprisingly, it struck a resonant chord along with her when she first heard it.  

“There’s a music on my album that really might be fairly good for the marriage”, John instructed Folks forward of the 2013 launch of Love In The Future. “It’s known as ‘All of Me’ and it’s impressed by Chrissy. She cherished the music and cried when she heard it.” Versus serving as their wedding ceremony music alone, Legend’s greatest hit of all time has allowed him to supply his personal entry into the traditional canon of tracks that {couples} use for his or her first dance. 


Pharrell – Joyful  

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Initially supposed for CeeLo Inexperienced, Pharrell’s incessantly peppy 2014 hit “Joyful” is deep-woven into the world’s songbook at this level. Full with cameo-laden video, limitless refrains of its refrain and a Despicable Me 2 tie-in for good measure, it is probably not the providing from the Star Trak visionary that hip-hop heads would mark out for diamond-selling standing however that doesn’t change its success in anyway. With the unique CeeLo model left on the chopping room flooring by the “powers that be,” it’s a protected guess that those self same label heads are actually ruing the choice to let Skateboard P preserve this cheerful ditty to himself.


Travis Scott – Sicko Mode feat. Drake

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When hip-hop students revisit the legacy of Travis Scott and attempt to pinpoint the second when he turned one of many unabashed rulers of hip-hop, they received’t have to look a lot additional than “Sicko Mode.” First unveiled on Travis’ now-legendary Astroworld challenge, neither the monitor nor its Drizzy function was revealed beforehand. However as we all know, that did little to cease it from capturing the cultural creativeness after which some. Probably probably the most summary and meanderingly structured composition on the checklist, “Sicko Mode” didn’t attain the primary spot on the charts till December of 2018. And by that point, it didn’t even have to because it had already torn via each social gathering, membership, and competition within the western hemisphere and can proceed to take action each time Travis steps onstage for the foreseeable future. 


Cardi B – Bodak Yellow

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Sparking debate over the excellence between co-writer and “ghostwriter” because it pertains to Pardison Fontaine’s contributions to the monitor, “Bodak Yellow” first impacted hip-hop circles earlier than progressively inseminating the broader world with its infectious and immediately recognizable refrain as time went on,

Licensed diamond in March of 2021, it’s protected to say that it probably received’t be the final Cardi monitor to achieve this accolade.

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