UK record industry trade group BPI has been delving even deeper into Official Charts Company data in relation to last year’s music streams and sales, concluding that hip hop and rap performed particularly well in 2022.
According to that number crunching, which counts both streaming and sales data, hip hop and rap had a 12.4% share of album consumption in the UK last year, up from 11.9% in 2021 and its highest ever annual share, more than triple what it achieved back in 2015.
Music from domestic talent like Central Cee, Dave and Stormzy helped with all that, of course, alongside releases from the likes of Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem.
As for other genres, rock’s share of album consumption was 37.4%, with pop at 27.2%, R&B at 7.9%, dance at 3.3%, and MOR and easy listening at 3%.
If it’s singles consumption share you’re interested in, pop got 31.9%, rap/hip hop 18.9% and dance 10.6%. So rap and hip hop accounts for more consumption when it comes to singles compared to albums, although it was in album consumption where we saw the growth in 2022.
Make of all that whatever you will. Feel free to wonder how these genres are even defined for number crunching purposes if you like. Maybe even muse about what ‘album consumption’ and ‘single consumption’ even means in the streaming age.
Or, you know, you could just take these stats as a free gift and think no more about it. Or hum a catchy tune to pass the time. That is also an option.
Says BPI Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Chief Executive Sophie Jones: “As 2023 marks the 50th anniversary since the birth of hip hop and rap, the genre is showing immaculate timing by celebrating another milestone in its remarkable history and claiming a historic annual share of the UK albums market”.
“Hip hop and rap has been hugely popular with British music fans since The Sugarhill Gang’s ground-breaking hit ‘Rapper’s Delight’ at the end of the 70s”, she reckons. “But while at one time most of its successes here were exported from across the Atlantic, the UK today has a thriving scene of its own, led by brilliant artists such as Dave, D-Block Europe, Little Simz and Stormzy, to name a few”.
“They and many others in the genre are taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by streaming”, she goes on, “which, with record label support, has placed them at the centre of British music culture and is delivering them hugely-deserved success”.
Lovely stuff. These and more stats can be found in the BPI’s ‘All About The Music 2023’ book, which is out now.