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Nearly a Quarter of All Streams on Spotify Are Hip-Hop. Spotify's Global Editors Reflect on the Genre's Growth


As hip-hop turns 50, fans around the world are celebrating its golden anniversary. For a genre that started at a block party in the Bronx, this milestone is a testament to the massive impact and influence hip-hop has had in virtually every corner of the globe.

And today on Spotify, hip-hop is thriving, with artists and fans from around the world discovering and connecting with one another. In 2023, nearly a quarter of all streams on Spotify globally are hip-hop music, led by artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, 21 Savage, Ice Spice, and Metro Boomin.

But it goes further than that . . .

Hip-hop is one of the most-listened-to genres globally on Spotify, and more than 400 million users around the world have streamed hip-hop music in 2023 so far.

RapCaviar ranks as the second most-followed playlist on Spotify.

Around the globe, there are over 53 million user-generated and Spotify-curated playlists on Spotify that mention hip-hop or rap in the title of the playlist, and over 2 billion playlists that contain at least one hip-hop song.

For the past three years, almost half of Spotify's Top 50 most-streamed artists globally have been hip-hop or rap artists.

One of the most distinct aspects of hip-hop culture is its regionality, with the unique sounds coming out of local U.S. scenes like New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Miami helping one of the most dynamic genres in the world flourish.

That's why we're celebrating these iconic regions with a series of original murals created by Raj Dhunna.


In New York, Chief Keef, Pop Smoke, and 808 Melo will be featured as we highlight drill's evolution over the years, while Lil' Kim and Cardi B will appear in a second mural honoring the Big Apple's legendary women rappers. In Atlanta, we're toasting the globalization of trap with T.I. and Arc ngel. In Los Angeles, we're saluting Dr. Dre and Mustard, two titans of the West Coast sound. And in Miami, we're paying homage to the provocative flows of Trina.


In Mexico, we're also honoring the country's most influential hip-hop stars with a mural that features over 15 artists, including Akwid, Cartel De Santa, Santa Fe Klan, and Gera MX.

It's interesting that hip-hop has become regional, but also region-less at the same time, said Carl Chery, Creative Director, Head of Urban Music, Spotify. 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.

But as hip-hop continues to grow and evolve, it's not just U.S. regions that are setting the agenda. In countries and markets across the world, artists and fans are putting their stamp on the genre as they take inspiration from hip-hop's pioneers and innovators in the U.S. and add their own special flair to the music and culture.

In 2023 to date, the Top 10 markets for hip-hop streams on Spotify are . . .











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 explained. 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.

To better understand the global impact hip-hop has had over the last half-century, For the Record talked to Spotify Editors in Mexico, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Colombia, and the Philippines. They shared their insights on the defining moments that helped hip-hop blossom in their countries, what makes each region's sound unique, and exciting local artists the world should be looking out for.

Brazil Hip-hop in Brazil basically started in S o Paulo in the mid-'80s, when young people from different neighborhoods were regularly gathering downtown to have fun and share their cultural inspirations from around the world, like in the classic hip-hop film Wild Style. The political and social climate in Brazil at the time-which revolved around the end of the military dictatorship and a lack of job opportunities, among other things-revealed shared vulnerabilities that united these young fans, who were Black and poor for the most part.

What makes Brazilian hip-hop unique: One distinct aspect of Brazilian hip-hop is that it's strongly linked with drums. As a people with a close relationship with African roots, BR rap incorporates other Brazilian genres, rhythmic constructions influenced by samba and African religions learned from samba and African-matrix religions, and rhyme schemes inspired by repente and embolada-local genres from the northeastern part of the country. These rhyme schemes and influences help emphasize much of the genre's message: A vibrant call for social and racial equity.

Artists to look out for: Orochi, Matu , and RADAR pick Veigh.

Mexico Mexico has a wholesome relationship with hip-hop music, not only because of its closeness to the U.S. but also because the street culture and the fight for the community are integral to Mexican identity. From the earliest days of hip-hop, Mexico has been embracing the sound. This started with the comedian Memo Rios when he recorded a Spanish-language parody of The Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight with funny lyrics. Then in the '80s, Mexican pop began to mix with hip-hop in TV top programs, and hip-hop reached the hood when those who had been deported from the U.S. returned to Mexico. But things really took off in the '90s, as rap collectives started to form and DJs began throwing parties all over the country. That was the decade when Me
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