According to Nielsen Music’s 2017 mid-year report, Hip-Hop has become the most popular music genre for the first time in U.S. history! After over 30 years of steadily rising, influencing fashion, other genres and things of all types, the movement and culture is finally getting the respect it deserves.
Nielsen reports state that although they classify Hip-Hop and R&B under the same genre, it holds 25.1% of the majority. Now that may seem low, but Rock and Roll (which has always steadily held the lead) is only at 23%. Rock and Roll still leads in physical album sales, but Hip-Hop by far surpasses everything else in digital streaming.
Forbes reports that this is in part, probably due to Drake, who is the most streamed artist on Spotify. His More Life playlist was streamed over 10 billion times on both Spotify and Apple Music. While Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is currently being listed as the biggest album in the country.
Now, the twist to this: If you take a look at how Nielsen collects their data and who they collect it from, there is no way for these numbers to be accurate. If they actually polled the general public in it’s entirety, these numbers would be much larger. Hip-Hop (and R&B) is a culture, a movement, a way of life.
Even if Hip-Hop is now considered the most popular genre and no longer a trend or fad, it’s still being minimized by those who have been fighting against the rise of Hip-Hop all along. In any case, it’s already undeniable that the genre has a good lead for the first time and it’s only going to continue to grow.