A look back at the top tracks and artists on YouTube Music reveals hip hop was the most popular music genre of 2020.
Despite the pandemic, over two billion viewers logged in to watch a music video each month. The most popular music genre for 2020 was easily hip-hop. Of the top three genres on YouTube in the United States (hip-hop, rock, and pop), hip-hop is the fastest growing. Between October and December 2020, hip-hop was the most-viewed music genre on YouTube.
Hip-hop artists occupied all ten spots on the ten most-viewed artists in the U.S. last year. It’s a cultural influence that’s here to stay and growing massively compared to other genres.
YouTube 10 Most-Viewed Artists in the U.S.
- YoungBoy Never Broke Again
- Lil Baby
- Juice WRLD
- Red Wave
- Bad Bunny
- Kevin Gates
Top Hip Hop Songs of 2020 – YouTube Music
- Future – “Life is Good (ft. Drake)“
- Tekashi 6ix9ine – “Gooba“
- Lil Baby x 42 Dugg – “We Paid“
- NLE Choppa – “Walk ‘Em Down (ft. Roddy Ricch)“
- Cardi B – “WAP (ft. Megan Thee Stallion)“
- DaBaby – “Rockstar (ft. Roddy Ricch)“
- Roddy Ricch – “The Box“
- Drake – “Laugh Now Cry Later (ft. Lil Durk)“
- YoungBoy Never Broke Again – “Lil Top“
- Lil Baby – “The Bigger Picture“
Of course, this data is from YouTube and YouTube Music alone. But hip-hop is growing faster than any other genre across all measured stats. Let’s take a look at some of the stats proffered by Billboard for the 2020 year.
R&B/Hip-Hop was up to 211.04 million in audio album consumption units for 2020. That’s a 13.8% increase over the 18.5 million units for 2019. The genre’s market share also grew 28.2%, up from 27.7% in 2019.
Rock is the second-most popular genre, followed by pop. But neither rock nor pop kept pace with the industry’s 11.6% overall audio consumption growth in the United States. That means of the top-three genres, only hip-hop is growing, while rock and pop are declining.
Physical music sales declined in 2020, thanks to the pandemic shuttering many record stores. But despite the decline in sales for traditional media like CDs, vinyl sales continue to grow.
Lil Baby’s My Turn album beat out Taylor Swift’s folklore in total album consumption units. Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” was the top hip hop song of 2020, with 1.3 billion streams. It beat out Future’s “Life is Good,” which had around 1 billion streams. It highlights how quickly hip-hop is dominating the top of the charts, snuffing out other genres. It will be interesting to compare the top hip-hop songs of 2021 to see if it remains the chart-topping genre it was of 2020.