Rap/hip-hop started gaining mass popularity in 2016 when 30% of the top 100 Billboard songs came from the genre (The Data Face). Ever since, its popularity has been rising, especially in the US. Let’s find out: Where rap and hip-hop are the most popular What are the most successful artists Which demographic commonly listens to it How high does hip-hop rank worldwide? Find out down below. How many people listen to rap and hip-hop? How many people listen to rap and hip-hop in America? Hip-hop audience demographics: Who listens to rap? Why do people like rap/hip-hop? How big is the rap/hip-hop industry? Rap vs. rock statistics Rap & Hip-Hop Music Statistics (Top Picks) Around 26% of music listeners worldwide listen to rap and hip-hop. Rap/hip-hop is already the most popular music genre in the US and UK, while on a global scale, it sits in 6th place. Rap/hip-hop is most popular among 16-24-year-olds and listeners from black communities. With $470 million in revenue, Jay-Z was the most successful rapper and second most successful musician in 2021. Drake is one of the most listened rappers, currently owning 26 top-charting hits. Check this article for general music and music industry statistics. How many people listen to rap/hip hop? Based on the IFPI survey, 1.85 billion people, or 26% of music listeners worldwide, listen to rap/hip-hop. The survey included 19,000 respondents from 18 countries. That translates into 1.85 billion rap/hip-hop listeners, based on the 7.11 billion people worldwide that listen to music. (IFPI) Rap/hip hop music ranked as the 6th most popular music genre worldwide in 2021. (IFPI 2) Based on TikTok music reports, rap/hip hop music jumped from 2nd most popular genre in the UK in 2020 to the most popular genre in 2021. (TikTok, Music Week) How many people listen to rap/hip-hop in America? Almost a third, or over 90 million Americans listen to hip-hop. 27.7% of Americans listened to hip-hop in 2021. That translates into 93.3 million individuals that listen to hip-hop. Here’s a table of rap/hip-hop listeners in the US: YearPercentage ofUS listenersNumber ofUS listeners202127.7%93.3 million202028.2%92.9 million201927.7%90.9 million201831.2%101.9 million201725.1%81.6 million(Nielsen Music Reports 2017-2019) (MRC Data Reports 2020-2021) In the US, the hip-hop genre represented 32.2% of all on-demand video streams in 2021. Hip-hop and rap take a large cut of all music sales. 2021Hip hop % amongall other genresTotal albums sales13.7%Physical album sales13.3%Digital album sales15%Digital song sales21.2%Total on-demand streams29.9%On-demand video streams32.2%On-demand audio streams29.8%(MRC Data Reports 2021) In 2019, 52 out of 100 top-streamed songs in the US were from the hip-hop genre. In the top 10, 6 songs were from the rap/hip-hop genre. (MBW 2019) Rappers with the most number 1 hits. With 26 chart-toppers, Drake holds the first place among rappers with the most no. 1 hits. Lil Wayne is at the distant second place, having “only” 11 chart-topping hits. RapperNumber of #1 charting hitsDrake26Lil Wayne11Puff Daddy10Kanye West10LL Cool J850 Cent7Bow Wow7TI7Nicki Minaj7Ice Cube6Nelly6Cardi B6Eminem5Post Malone5T-Pain4(Highsnobiety, Billboard) Top 20 rappers from 2021, based on Billboard charts. Drake Pop Smoke Lil Baby Juice WRLD Polo G Moneybagg Yo Megan Thee Stallion Lil Durk Rod Wave Post Malone J.Cole The kid LAROI Kanye West Da Baby 24K Goldn Pooh Shiesty Cardi B Jack Harlow Masked Wolf Lil Tjay (Billboard 2) Hip-hop audience demographics: Who listens to rap? Rap/hip-hop is the most popular among 20-24-year-olds, with a 54% audience. The audience was asked which music genre is their favorite. Here’s a table of US listeners who claimed rap/hip-hop is their favorite genre (by age group): Age groupPercentage16-1948%20-2454%25-3442%35-4433%45-5415%55-645%65+1%(Statista) Even in China, 37.1% of listeners (or 296 million people) aged between 15 and 25 listen to hip-hop. Hip-hop listeners are among the youngest out there. Another genre with a young audience, alternative music, has, on average, 3 years older listeners. (K-Frawley) Hip-hop genre popularity among Gen Z and millennials. Age groupPopularityin 2019Popularityin 2021Gen Z34%55%Millennials56%54%(YPulse) Hip hop and rap one of the most popular music genres for working out. That’s not surprising as hip hop gives more exercise motivation than other genres. 1000 surveyed gym-goers and their music genre preferences during workouts: Music genrePercentageof listenersPop53.4%Rap/hip-hop48.6%Classic Rock46.3%Alternative30.4%Electronic/Dance29.2%Heavy Metal24%(FitRated) Percentage of rap/hip-hop listeners among white/black Americans: Out of 100%, 35% of black Americans listen to rap/hip-hop. Out of 100%, 7% of white Americans listen to rap/hip-hop. White7%Black35%(CBS News) 50% of households with at least one hip hop listener have one or more people collecting $50,000+ yearly wage. Also, statistically, hip-hop listeners are the likeliest to live in poverty. (K-Frawley) 70% of African Americans have hip-hop tracks in their top 100 track lists. RacePercentage of hip-hop musicin their Top 100 tracklistBlack70%Hispanic31%Other14%(Coleman Insights) Around 48% of Apple Music users listen to hip-hop. Interestingly, the genre seems least popular among Amazon Music users, sitting at 11% of listeners. Here’s a table of music genre popularity among different streaming services: Genre popularityamong musicstreamingservicesAppleMusicYouTubeSpotifyPandoraAmazonMusicHip-Hop48%38%24%23%11%Rock8%8%16%7%9%Pop31%36%44%29%41%Dance8%7%11%5%9%Country3%8%4%35%28%Latin1%2%<1%<1%1%Other1%1%1%1%1%(Coleman Insights) The highest percentage of 12-34 years old men have hip-hop music on their TOP 100 lists. On average, listeners in this age group filled their TOP 100 playlist with 43% of hip-hop songs… Age groupPercentage of hip-hopsongs in their playlists12-3443%35-5411%(Coleman Insights) Countries where hip-hop is the most popular The most downloaded music genres based on country. CountryMost downloadedmusic genresUSAHip-hop, Trap, R&BUKHip-hop, Trap, HouseCanadaHip-hop, Trap, EDMNigeriaHip-hop, African, AfrobeatChinaHip-hop, Trap, R&BIndiaHip-hop, Trap, EDMSouth KoreaHip-hop, Trap, EDMAustraliaHip-hop, Trap, EDMBrazilHip-hop, Trap, House(MRC Data Reports 2021) Read more on popular music genres. Hip hop popularity statistics per country. Most music listeners that listen to hip-hop in digital formats (on-demand, downloads) come from South Africa, with 59% of respondents listening to the genre. CountryPercentage of people listeningto hip-hop in digital formatsSouth Africa59%Mexico41%India36%Australia35%USA34%UK31%Germany25%China25%Brazil23%South Korea21%(Statista 3) Most listened to hip hop songs by year. “Super Gremlin” by Kodak Black was the most streamed hip hop song in 2022. Check out the #1 most-streamed hip hop song of 2022: Kodak Black – Super Gremlin Most streamed hip-hop song that year: YearMost streamedhip-hop song that year2022“Super Gremlin” by Kodak Black2021“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd2020“The Box” by Roddy Ricch2019“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X (Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)2018“God’s Plan” by Drake2017“Bad and Boujee” by Migos (Feat. Lil Uzi Vert)2016“Panda” by Desiigner2015“Trap Queen” by Fretty Wap2014“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea (Feat. Charli XCX)2013“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (Feat. TI & Pharrell)(Billboard 3) “Super Gremlin” by Kodak Black was also the most streamed rap song in 2022. Listen to the #1 most-streamed rap song of 2022: Kodak Black – Super Gremlin Most streamed rap songs that year: YearMost streamedrap song that year2022“Super Gremlin” by Kodak Black2021“Rapstar” by Polo G2020“The Box” by Roddy Ricch2019“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X (Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)2018“God’s Plan” by Drake2017“Bad and Boujee” by Migos (Feat. Lil Uzi Vert)2016“Panda” by Desiigner2015“Trap Queen” by Fretty Wap2014“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea (Feat. Charli XCX)2013“Gangnam Style” by PSY(Billboard 4) What is the most streamed hip-hop album ever? XXXTentacion’s album “?” from 2018 is the most streamed hip hop album on Spotify. It has more than 8 billion plays. RankingArtist+ albumNumber ofSpotify streams1.XXXTentacion’s – “?”8+ billion2.Drake – “Scorpion”8 billion3.Drake – “Views”7.3 billion4.Travis Scott – “Astroworld”6.2 billion5.Juice WRLD– “Goodbye & Good Riddance”5.7 billion6.XXXTentacion – “17”5.7 billion7.Kendrick Lamar – “DAMN.”5.3 billion8.Drake – “More Life”5.1 billion9.Pop Smoke– “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon”5.1 billion10.Juice WRLD – “Legends Never Die”4.3 billion(Radio France) Which rapper has the most songs? As of 2017, Snoop Dogg holds the record for the most songs in the catalog. That also includes featured songs. Data is from 2017. RapperTotal number of songsin the rapper’s catalogSnoop Dogg583Lil Wayne430Eminem388Bun B2802 Chainz274Busta Rhymes254Nate Dogg241Jay-Z229Kendrick Lamar206E40200(musicMagpie, Reddit) Why do people listen to rap/hip-hop? Rap/hip-hop music inspires people to express themselves in a more positive way. (Daily Universe) When looking past the edgy lyrics, hip-hop culture actually advocates for: Social justice Respect Self-worth Peace Having fun (Conversation) Lyrics in rap/hip-hop music also: Inspire Boost energy (when exercising) Are thought-provoking Reflect on current (social, political, economic) events This genre of music is also easy to practice, making if more attractive for young people to start expressing themselves artistically or even start their own musical path. (Audio Dome) Hip-Hop Industry How big is the rap/hip-hop industry? In 2016, the hip-hop industry was worth $15.7 billion. In 2004, it was worth $10 billion. Researchers at Wonder estimate that by 2021, the hip-hop music industry will already reach $19.8 billion. (ABC News, Wonder) R&B/Hip-Hop, while landing third in music genre sales share, doubled its sales in the last 10 years. Data from 2017. Music genreRevenuepercentagePop31.1%Rock24.1%Hip-hop/R&B11.9%Dance5.9%Country5.3%Classical4.3%Latin1.9%Jazz1.4%Other14.1%(Music & Copyright) Jay-Z earned $470 million in revenue in 2021, making him the second biggest earner that year. Kanye West landed 4th with $250 million in revenues. (RollingStone) What percentage of all music is rap and hip-hop? Hip-hop accounted for 13.7% of all albums sold in 2021 in the US. Percentageof engagementTotal rapalbumsales13.7%Physicalalbumsales13.3%Digitalalbumsales15%Digitalsongsales21.2%(MRC Data Report 2021) Hip-hop market share for the US. YearMarketshareQ2 202227.6%Q1 202128.25%Q1 202028.44%201927.7%201825.6%(Billboard 5, Billboard 6, Billboard 7, Twitter 4) Best-selling rap albums: RankingAlbum nameAlbums sold1.“The Eminem Show” by Eminem27 million2.“The Score” by Fugees22 million3.“The Marshall Mathers LP” by Eminem21 million4.“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” by Lauryn Hill20 million5.“Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” by MC Hammer18 million6.“Crazy Sexy Cool” by T.L.C.15 million7.“To the Extreme” by Vanilla Ice15 million8.“Devil Without a Cause” by Kid Rock15 million9.“Curtain Call: The Hits” by Eminem13 million10.“Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” by Outkast13 million11.“Get Rich or Die Tryin'” by 50 Cent12 million12.“Big Willie Style” by Will Smith12 million13.“Encore” by Eminem11 million14.“Nellyville” by Nelly11 million15.“Doggystyle” by Snoop Dogg11 million16.“The Massacre” by 50 Cent11 million17.“2001” by Dr. Dre10 million18.“Greatest Hits” by 2Pac10 million19.“Life After Death” by Notorious B.I.G.10 million20.“E. 1999 Eternal” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony10 million(Audio Network) There’s a 57.4% likeliness for gym-goes to achieve personal records if they listen to rap/hip hop. Around 33.7% of gym-goers think rap/hip-hop motivates them during a workout. 62.1% of gym-goers prefer listening to rap/hip-hop for intense workouts. (FitRated) Drake was the most streamed artist of 2021 in the US, with up to 8.6 billion audio streams. Basically, each 131st stream was a Drake song. (Twitter) Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” is also the most popular rap album of 2021 in the US. It sold around 1.97 million units. (MRC Data Reports 2021) Top rap songs in 2021 based on sales, plus on-demand streams. Artist+ songNumber of sales+ on-demand streamsMasked Wolf – “Astronaut in the Ocean”4,159,000LIL NAS X & JACK HARLOW– “Industry Baby”3,574,000Polo G – “Rapstar”3,563,000Drake – “Wants and Needs”3,375,000Cardi B – “Up”3,312,000(MRC Data Reports 2021) Rap vs. Rock Statistics Percentage of people listening to rock globally compared to hip-hop. 57% of respondents listen to rock, whereas 26% listen to rap/hip-hop, according to an IFPI report from 2018. Music genreGlobal popularityin percentagesNumber ofworldwide listenersRock26%1.97 billionRap/hip-hop57%4.3 billion(IFPI) Rock is the second most popular music genre worldwide, whereas rap/hip-hop ranks 6th place. (IFPI 2) Rock genre popularity among Gen Z and millennials. Age groupRock popularityin 2019Rock popularityin 2021Gen Z31%52%Millennials56%38%(YPulse) Percentage of Americans engaging with rock compared to hip-hop. Hip-hop is dominant in streaming, whereas rock does better in album sales. Here’s a table of hip-hop vs. rock stats: CategoryHip-hopRockTotal albums sales13.7%41.1%Physical album sales13.3%44.3%Digital album sales15%31%Digital song sales21.2%21.6%Total on-demand streams29.9%17%On-demand video streams32.2%17.3%On-demand audio streams29.8%11.9%(MRC Data Reports 2021) In what countries is rock the most popular? 51% of Mexicans listen to rock music in digital formats. The USA holds second place at 47%. CountryMusic genre popularity(in digital formats)Mexico51%USA45%Germany40%Australia39%UK38%India35%China25%South Africa25%South Korea14%(Statista 4) Who listens to rock compared to listeners of rap/hip-hop? US youngsters aged 18 to 29 prefer rap/hip-hop (32% popularity) over rock (17%). (CBS News) Around 40% of white Americans listen to rock compared to 6% of black Americans. (CBS News) Around 32% of women listened to hip-hop on Deezer in 2019. Compared to 68% men. (Deezer) Read more: Fascinating Music Streaming Statistics Listening to Music Stats: Time Spent Listening to Music Best Bass Earbuds in 2023 Best Bass Headphones Benefits of Listening to Music According to Science Conclusion These were the latest rap & hip-hop statistics. The music genre is getting increasingly popular, primarily due to its musical simplicity and lyrical likability. What do you think of hip-hop and rap music? Who is your favorite artist? Do you think the genre will keep on growing? Please let us know in the comments. Sources: IFPI, IFPI 2, The Data Face, TikTok, Music Week, Nielsen Music Report 2019, Nielsen Music Report 2018, Nielsen Data Report 2017, MRC Data Report 2021, MRC Data Report 2020, MBW 2019, Statista, Statista 2, Statista 3, Statista 4, Statista 5, FitRated, CBS News, Coleman Insights, Highsnobiety, Billboard, Billboard 2, Billboard 3, Billboard 4, Billboard 5, Billboard 6, Radio France, musicMagpie, Reddit, ABC News, Wonder, Music & Copyright, RollingStone, Audio Network, FitRated, Twitter, Twitter 2, CBS News, Deezer, Inside Radio, Conversation, Audio Dome, Daily Universe Billboard 7, Is Hip-Hop’s Dominance Slipping? My Concern Is the Magic Is Gone. Published Oct 18, 2022. Accessed Feb 22, 2023. Peter SusicPeter’s childhood interest in audio has grown into a full-blown quest to find the best headphones. He’s got many years of editor experience trying out numerous audiophile and consumer headphones. His words: “After many years, I can confidently say which ones are good and which ones are terrible.” Find his honest opinion in his reviews and guides.