For the first time in history, Rock ‘n’ Roll isn’t the most popular music genre thanks to Hip-Hop
Nielsen 2017 Year End Report reveals that eight of the 10 most popular artists last year were all Hip-Hop and R&B based. The numbers were based on total consumption of album sales, including streaming. Not surprisingly, Drake and K.Dot dominated the top two spots in 2017. The Weeknd, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone and Eminem all cracked the top 10. Whats hard to believe is there were no Rock ‘n’ Roll acts on the list!
If you take a look at this years Coachella lineup, all the headlining acts are Hip-Hop and R&B based. Tickets sold out in less than an hour, and this is the first year there are no Rock ‘n’ Roll headlining acts. Yet, there seemed to be no complaints either.
Nielsen reported that streaming is the continuously preferred way to consume music, with a 59% increase in 2017. Much of that is owed to hip-hop, 9 of the 10 top streamed artist last year was of a Hip-Hop or R&B genre.
But, what made 2017 the year that killed Rock ‘n’ Roll? Nielsen charts showed a lack of artists in that genre. Imagine Dragons and Twenty-One Pilots were the only “new aged” Rock acts on the list! Whereas hip-hop had a huge year for “break out” chart-topping artists. If it weren’t for the Beatles and Metallica, Rock would have been non-existent on the charts. These are pretty depressing facts, and that’s coming from a lover of all music genres. But what do these statistics mean? Simply put, last year showed a lack of Rock ‘n’ Roll talent worthy of chart-topping stardom.
Although, some would argue it was a terrible year for Hip-Hop as well. In an age where streaming is dominating the way we consume music, it seems that the quality isn’t an important part of making a record. We’ve come accustomed to more of a “turn-up” feel for music as opposed to lyrical content and message. If it wasn’t for Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN” album and HOV’s “4:44” album, 2017 would have been suffocated by “Lil” this and “Lil” that, popping Zannys, raking up money we don’t have, and being depressed about the M’s that we don’t have in our bank account. And that is where I’m torn. It seems the younger generation of music consumers aren’t interested in “quality” music anymore. Of course, this is based on personal opinion. It’s a new age of music, and the millennials have made it clear that lyrical content isn’t as important as a “mumble rapping” over a turn-up beat.
But, what does this mean for the future of Rock? Will Hip-Hop continue to dominate the charts? Will Rock ‘n’ Roll be a thing of the past? There’s no way to be sure, but one thing is certain, Hip-Hop is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
2018 looks promising for Hip-Hop, and with the lack of Rock ‘n’ Roll music making an impact, it looks like it may be defeated again this year, and years to follow.