Hip-Hop Reigns King As Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert Explode
The results are in: R&B/hip-hop bests all other genres when it comes to music consumption.
This marks the first time since Nielsen began tracking the music industry back in 1991 that hip-hop is king, Billboard reports. The tipping point may have been recent megahits. Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow," Lil Uzi Vert's "XO Tour Llif3" and DRAM's "Broccoli" have all made a dent in the charts this past year, largely thanks to streaming, and now the numbers are really adding up.
"That Cardi B song is everywhere, and it started because people just like it," says Ibrahim "Ib" Hamad, J.Cole's manager and Dreamville Records president. "Nobody can tell you what to like anymore. If people love a song, you'll see those numbers."
Just as many were surprised by the popularity of country music when Nielson first illuminated the music industry in 1991, these latest ratings numbers on streaming reveal the modern reality of hip-hop's dominance. Naturally, this information will influence how labels move forward.
"Streaming was just a big reveal of what was already happening," says Ethiopia Habtemariam, Motown Records president and president of urban music/co-head of creative at Universal Music Publishing Group. “[But] I don't think people were equipped to handle it. Now I see [companies] hiring a lot more people that come from the culture."
At 25.1 percent of total music consumption, a full 7 percent ahead of rock in second place, hip-hop is officially king.