Nearly One-Quarter of All Spotify Streams Are Hip-Hop — But It’s Not the Platform’s Biggest Genre

Spotify streams hip-hop
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Spotify streams hip-hop
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Photo Credit: Raj Dhunna for Spotify

As hip-hop turns 50, Spotify shares some interesting stats surrounding the genre on the platform, including that nearly a quarter of all Spotify streams are hip-hop — but it still isn’t the platform’s biggest genre.

Hip-hop is thriving during its fiftieth birthday, and Spotify shared some exciting data surrounding the genre’s prevalence on the platform. In 2023, nearly a quarter of all streams on Spotify worldwide are hip-hop, led by mainstays like Drake, Nicki Minaj, 21 Savage, Metro Boomin, and Ice Spice.

Yet RapCaviar is only the second-most followed playlist on Spotify behind Today’s Top Hits, as hip-hop is still the second-largest genre behind pop music. Still, almost half of Spotify’s Top 50 most-streamed artists globally have been hip-hop artists for the past three years.

Hip-hop is one of the most listened-to genres worldwide on the platform, with more than 400 million users having streamed hip-hop music thus far in 2023. Globally, there are over 53 million user-generated and Spotify-curated playlists on the platform that mention hip-hop or rap in the playlist’s title, with over 2 billion playlists containing at least one hip-hop song.

To celebrate 50 years of hip-hop, Spotify is honoring the iconic musicians of different regions with a series of murals by artist Raj Dhunna: Chief Keef, Pop Smoke, 808 Melo, Lil’ Kim, and Cardi B in New York; T.I. and Arcangel in Atlanta; Dr. Dre and Mustard in Los Angeles; Trina in Miami; Akwid, Cartel De Santa, Santa Fe Klan, and Gera MX in Mexico.

Regionality is one of the most distinct aspects of hip-hop culture, with unique sounds originating from local U.S. scenes like New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Miami. After the U.S., the second-largest market for hip-hop streams in 2023 is Mexico, so it seems apropos that Spotify’s series of artwork would feature the region. Brazil, Germany, and France round out the rest of the top five markets for the genre this year.

“It’s interesting that hip-hop has become regional, but also region-less at the same time,” said Spotify’s Creative Director and Head of Urban Music, Carl Chery. “Trap is no longer exclusive to Atlanta. We’ve heard Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole on trap beats. Drill is no longer exclusive to London, Chicago, and New York; it’s a global sound. It’s always fascinating to see how fast sounds travel now.”

“I think American artists approach music with a much more global mindset now. They’re aware that there’s an entire world to conquer out there,” Carl continued. “We’re also seeing more artists from global markets having success in the U.S. Central Cee is a great example. We’re now in a space where culture can originate in Toronto, London, Paris, or Nigeria and make its way to the U.S.”