We’re nearing the midpoint of 2023, but hip-hop has yet to top the Billboard Hot 100 or Billboard 200 album charts. By her early June of last year, 2022 already boasted her No. 1 album by six different rappers: Gunna (DS4Ever), Lil Dark (7220), Tyler the Creator (Call me if you get lost), Pusha T (almost dry), future (i never liked you), Kendrick Lamar (Mr Moral & The Big Steppers). On the Hot 100, even in the midst of Harry Styles’ historic 15-week reign of “As It Was”, Jack Harlow (“First Class”) and Future and Drake (“Wait・For You”) rap hit won the first place. By the halfway point of last year.
Just one year later, hip-hop mysteriously disappeared from the top of the world. billboard Marquee album chart and single chart. All four of her albums released in 2023 recorded his No.1, Name Chapter: Temptation (Tomorrow and X together), It will be fine tomorrow (Karoll G) and one thing at a time (Morgan Warren), and 5 stars (Stray Kids) — With obvious hip-hop influences and none by traditional rappers, it was the longest calendar year without a rap album at number one since 1993. Hot 100 of the year. Only six hip-hop singles have entered the top ten charts.
So what is given? What caused a genre that has largely dominated the past decade to get such a quiet start on the charts this year? Does it mark the arrival of a new era for both music in general?
Here are five reasons why hip-hop hasn’t produced a number one album or single this year.
1. A night without many stars
It’s much harder to reach the top spot in any genre if the most popular and credible artists haven’t released a project. Earlier last year, hip-hop heavyweights flooded the charts with tons of albums. Last year Future, Kendrick Lamar, Drake (twice) and Tyler, The Creator all scored No. 1 albums, which didn’t surprise anyone. They are his four of the most established names in contemporary hip-hop, each collecting past No. 1 albums and posting solid streaming numbers and overall consumption.
This year’s hip-hop releases have come from artists with less consistent Billboard 200 records. 2023 has ushered in records from artists like Lil Dark, Moneybag Yo and Youngboy Never Broke in place of guaranteed album-selling artists like Kanye West and her J. Cole. Again, both artists have had number one albums in the past, but the crossover still doesn’t have the weight of his hip-hop superstar.
The genre is in an awkward situation with a new class of superstars yet to emerge to replace Drake-J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Mount Rushmore in the 2010s. In fact, all four of his artists are still doing well, outperforming the genre’s younger stars. All four, except Kendrick, are already in the top 10 of this year’s Hot 100. Stars like Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, 21 Savage and Lil Dark all have the potential to dominate the genre in the 2020s, but long gaps between solo albums, whimsical commercial appeal, And when it comes to real blockbuster records, it’s inconsistent, so it’s not a solid bet. .
One reason for this is the ever-increasing size of social media. Artists and fans now have an unprecedented relationship whose intimacy underpins the fans’ unwavering devotion. With a devoted fanbase, a rapper can still leave staggering numbers without making a big impact on the larger mainstream. Youngboy Never Broke Again amassed 15 Top 10 albums in just five years. However, in a relationship like this, fans can also become incredibly fickle and switch on the artist as soon as they support it. After his interest in music began to waver,Please forgive me for being anti-social.Roddy Ricch can prove that his broad fan following is volatile.
2. View from above
It’s no secret that hip-hop has reigned as the largest commercial genre in the United States since 2018. This year’s current tally shows that the genre is still the number one music in the United States. In fact, R&B and Hip-Hop are up 6.3% for him. Nevertheless, it is gradually losing its dominance in terms of market share. R&B and hip-hop currently have 26% of the market share, whereas last year he had 27.8%. This is a relatively small drop, but when combined with rising market shares in country (8.26% this year compared to 7.72% last year) and Latin music (6.68% this year compared to 6.17% last year), it has become a trend. It looks like Hop is almost certainly losing its place as America’s most consumed genre.
However, given the overall increase in consumption units, hip-hop has less room for growth than other genres. Because hip-hop has already been dominant for such a long time. Considering the explosive popularity of Afrobeat, regional Mexican music, and K-pop, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for hip-hop to remain at the center of the discussion. Audiences have more choice and access than ever before, naturally exploring genres that haven’t received much attention in the past few years.
3. Old and new deals
One of the reasons hip-hop has struggled to truly anchor a new class of superstars is that some of the genre’s most promising talents have endured gun violence, incarceration, substance abuse, or police overuse. They are victims of surveillance.
In 2018, the hip-hop world lost XXXTentacion, a controversial young rapper who held significant commercial traction during his lifetime. The “Moonlight” rapper had a posthumous streaming smash and became the first hip-hop act to posthumously reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with his act since Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. The following year, Juice WRLD’s new star, one of the genre’s most promising artists, died of a drug overdose. The “Lucid Dreams” rapper has had nine Top 10 hits to date, seven of which were collected after his death. A few months after the death of Juice WRLD, Pop Smoke, an up-and-coming Brooklyn drill rapper on the cusp of conquering rap, the Top 40 and even the film industry, was shot dead. his debut studio album, Aim for the stars, aim for the moonbecame one of the biggest albums of 2020, and Pop became the first hip-hop act to posthumously debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with their debut studio album.
The hip-hop community has lost many other promising young artists who have yet to fully enjoy their commercial heyday. The deaths of Drakeo the Ruler and King Von have shocked the hip-hop community. The loss of veteran rappers who were reaching new commercial peaks like Nipsey Hussle, Young Dolph, and Takeoff, who were just beginning to establish themselves as solo hitmakers outside of Migos, is also a sign of the genre’s near future. made me feel especially fragmented. . Even in non-fatal incidents, gun violence can affect how artists approach their music releases. Megan Thee Stallion recently recorded music to address the medical, emotional, legal and psychological hardships that plagued her life following the shooting of Canadian rapper Tory Lanez in 2020. announced that it would be taking a break and focusing on healing. “Calling My Phone” hitmaker Lil J suffered seven gunshot wounds last summer, and although he has released solo singles and featured songs by other artists, he’s still out since the incident. You have not released a full-length project.
Lil Jay hails from the Bronx, New York City, home to one of the most powerful hip-hop police forces in the country. Launched in 2019, the task force actively stalks and monitors hip-hop shows and artists across the city. In recent years, the task force has focused on the city’s bustling training scene, and Pop Smoke and fellow Brooklyn resident Fivio Fallin helped bring it to the mainstream stage. Promising young drill artists like Kay Flock, Sheff G, DThang Gz and Bizzy Banks are all currently in jail. Law enforcement has also become obsessed with criminalizing hip-hop lyrics, with Atlanta rapper Young Thug fighting a number of RICO charges partially corroborated by his lyrics. sometimes
No other American music genre sits at this particular intersection of racist persecution, gun violence, substance abuse and surveillance.
4. Chart stagnation
To lessen hip-hop’s influence a bit, the relatively stagnant charts have also contributed to the genre’s lack of topping the charts this year. With only five titles reaching the top spot on the Billboard 200 and only five of his new songs reaching the top of the Hot 100, there wasn’t much room for hip-hop to squeeze in there.
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande (“Die With You”), Jimin (“Like Crazy”) and SZA (“Kill Bill”) all spent a week at No. 1, while Miley Cyrus (“Kill Bill”)・Building”) maintained the number one position for a long time. “Flowers”, 8 weeks) and Morgan Warren (“Last Night”, 9 weeks) have basically kept the Hot 100 top away from everyone else. The same goes for SZA and Warren’s most recent studio albums, which each have chart runs in the double digits per week. Hip-hop competes with the frenzied comeback of a modern pop icon like Cyrus and a new 36-track album by Warren’s biggest country artist of the decade as hip-hop heavyweights lie down. was always difficult. low.
Rap songs haven’t hit No. 1 yet this year, but that doesn’t mean the genre isn’t completely out of the Top 10 of the Hot 100. New songs from Toosii (“Favorite Song”), Drake (“Search & Rescue”), Lil Durk & J. Cole (“All My Life”), Ice Spice and Nicki Minage (“Princess Diana”) all top the charts Ranked in. Five. However, other than “Favorite Song”, it’s worth noting that each of these songs debuted in their region and then broke out of it shortly thereafter.
5. A gradual return to the club scene
If there’s one genre that’s fully capable of adapting to change, it’s hip-hop. And it seems that the genre has already begun to steer itself towards the next axis. Since early 2020, the Top 40 has revived its love affair with nu disco, synthpop, and all the other vibrant subgenres in its vein.From Dua Lipa future nostalgia to Beyoncé renaissance to drake To be honest, never mindA-listers spent most of the 2020s decade satisfying our collective desire to dance.
Most of the big hip-hop records in recent years have deprioritized the dance floor, but that’s already changing. Two of the year’s biggest rap songs, Lil Uzi Vert’s “Just Wanna Rock” and Koy Leray’s “Players”, both Top 10 hits on the Hot 100, are both big hits in Baltimore’s club scene. The jersey club, an intense dance music division heavily influenced by the innovative music of Fusion of house and hip hop. Traces of this style can be found in 2023 hits such as Ice Spice’s “In Ha Mood” and The Pink Panther’s “Boys a Liar Part.” 2” also includes Ice Spice.
Although not fully realized yet, if hip-hop can continue to innovate across dance-centric genres that are becoming increasingly popular around the world, it will be key to staying on top of the world. maybe. signboard chart.A continued foray into dance, whether in Baltimore clubs or Amapiano, could be a viable avenue. Moving America’s biggest genre forward.