For the first time ever, hip hop is the most consumed music genre in the U.S., Forbes reports, using numbers Nielsen Music recently released in a mid-year report.
While rock has long ruled, holding the top genre spot since Nielsen began to measure music consumption in the U.S. in 1991, the tables have turned, with R&B/hip hop now surpassing the popularity of rock and pop.
For the first six months of 2017, R&B/hip hop was responsible for 25.1% of all music consumption in the country, while rock claimed 23%. Hip hop also leads in digital song sales and on-demand streaming.
“It’s been an action-packed start to the year, with records broken, chart history made, and several categories growing quickly,” Nielsen stated.
Analysts at Forbes magazine believe the increasing popularity of R&B/hip hop is due to its influence on streaming services. The genre is as popular as rock and pop combined on Spotify and Apple Music.
Out of the 10 most consumed albums in the U.S. for the six-month period between January and June of this year, six were R&B/hip hop, according to Nielsen. Kendrick Lamar topped that list with his album, “DAMN.,” with nearly 1.8 million listeners. Drake’s record-breaking album, “More Life,” is the third most consumed album, with nearly 1.7 million listeners.
Hip hop was king of the song charts, too. Migos’ “Bad and Boujee” had the second-highest amount of streams in that six-month period, nearly 650 million. Seven other rap songs also made that list.
“Never thought that hip-hop would take it this far…” – Notorious B.I.G.