In the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart published today, Jay-Z rises up to unseat Owl City at the #1 position with “Empire State of Mind”. No big deal, you say? Well, consider this: “Empire State of Mind” is Jigga’s FIRST number one single ever.

Sort of.

Jay has never hit the top of the charts as a lead artist before. He HAS hit the #1 spot three times before as a featured artist. First there was Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” in 1999, then Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” in 2003. Most recently there was his guest rap on Rihanna’s “Umbrella” in 2007. But no song from an actual Jay-Z album has ever hit #1. Not “Can I Get A…”, not “I Just Wanna Love You (Give it To Me)”, not “99 Problems”. So, congrats Jay. Although when you consider that the man has 11 #1 albums, this may not be such a big deal for him…

And while I’m writing, a few words about Jay’s nemesis, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. 50’s “Before I Self Destruct” is on track to open with about 160,000 copies sold in it’s opening frame, a sharp fall from the first weeks of his three previous albums. It will be trumped on next week’s Billboard charts by John Mayer’s “Battle Studies”, which should open with about 300,000 copies sold. To add insult to injury, neo-classical singer Andrea Bocelli, contemporary Christian outfit Casting Crowns and Norah Jones could all potentially sell more than 50 this week, which would leave him with a quite lame (for him) #5 entry on next week’s charts. Of course, it’s only Thursday and anything could happen (like Interscope Records sending a battalion of minions out to buy copies of 50’s album and inflate the sales numbers), but this has gotta be a blow to Fiddy’s massive ego and perhaps a sign that the hip-hop audience has finally gotten smart and moved beyond his tired gangsterisms.