Based on a study that looked at 600+ labels over 25 years.
The employees of Def Jam should be popping champagne right now, because Def Jam is the most successful hip hop label of all time, according to a recent study conducted by Matt Daniels of Polygraph.
Daniels methodology basically factored in each label's tracks' chart rank (on the Billboard "Hot Rap Songs" chart) weeks charted. His study goes back to 1989 and includes over 600 labels. “By highlighting the labels who produced the most hits at any given time, we’d understand who was wielding enormous influence on hip hop’s sound, distribution, and direction,” said Daniels.
Def Jam led both # of charting tracks and # of weeks charted, ultimately finishing well ahead of the runner-up Young Money. Here's the top 5 according to Daniels:
1. Def Jam - 1925 cumulative weeks on the charts
2. Young Money - 1322
3. Roc-a-Fella - 1293
4. Jive - 1255
5. Bad Boy - 1060
Daniels' page is absolutely worth viewing, as it features interactive maps and charts that let you search by label, artist, or city. Head here to check out.