Nicki Minaj and Drake have been label mates, frequent collaborators, and rumored former lovers. But above all else, the two are undeniably among the biggest names in pop and hip-hop music. In this decade, they both have been featured artists on more than 60 albums, as other artists look to make their hits even more popular by having one or both of them on their track.
And according to a study by FiveThirtyEight using Spotify’s streaming service for statistics, both artists will increase listens for songs by more than 100%, meaning if they are on a song, it will be listened to more than if they weren’t on it. FiveThirtyEight dug deeper to see if there was a difference between the two artists and found a surprising result, a Nicki Minaj guest verse will garner more listens on average than a Drake guest verse.
For the study, the data and research-focused site took the 62 albums Nicki appeared on and the 63 albums Drake appeared on and compared the most popular songs from those albums that didn’t feature Nicki or Drake and compared them to the streams of songs that did feature one or both of the Young Money duo. Songs with Nicki Minaj were streamed 46% more than the non-Minaj hit songs, and Drake’s featured songs were streamed 25% more than non-Drake hit songs. Overall, if you have Nicki on one of your songs, that track will be listened to 172% more often than any other song on your album, compared to the 126% bump that you’d receive from having Drake on a song.
However, the difference could lie in the type of songs that the artists are featured on. Nicki Minaj prefers to be featured on songs with established artists such as Ariana Grande’s “Bang Bang” or David Guetta’s “Hey, Mama,” while Drake is more often featured on less established artists songs such as ILoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday” or Romeo Santos’ “Odio,” which could effect the study due to different label budgets or established radio play of the main artist for the song. In any event, if you’re an artist who has to make the choice between the two, choose Nicki Minaj. She’s guaranteed to get your music out to more people.