The most popular music genre of 2020 was easily hip hop


Photo credit: Joel Muniz

A look back at the top tracks and artists on YouTube Music reveals that hip hop was the most popular music genre of 2020.

Despite the pandemic, more than two billion viewers tuned in to watch a music video every month. The most popular music genre in 2020 was easily hip-hop. Of the top three genres on YouTube in the US (hip-hop, rock, and pop), hip-hop is the fastest growing. Between October and December 2020, hip-hop was the most watched music genre on YouTube.

Hip-hop artists held all ten spots on the top ten most-watched artists in the United States last year. It’s a cultural influence that’s here to stay and growing massively compared to other genres.

YouTube 10 most watched artists in the United States

  1. YoungBoy never broke again
  2. Little baby
  3. Juice WRLD
  4. red wave
  5. bad bunny
  6. Coming
  7. DaBaby
  8. Duck
  9. Eminem
  10. Kevin Gates

Best hip-hop songs of 2020 – YouTube Music

  1. Future – “Life is Good (ft. Drake)”
  2. Tekashi 6ix9ine – “Gooba”
  3. Lil Baby x 42 Dugg – “We Paid”
  4. NLE Choppa – “Walk ‘Em Down (ft. Roddy Ricch)”
  5. Cardi B – “WAP (ft. Megan Thee Stallion)”
  6. DaBaby – “Rockstar (ft. Roddy Ricch)”
  7. Roddy Ricch – “The Box”
  8. Drake – “Laugh Now Cry Later (ft. Lil Durk)”
  9. YoungBoy Never Broke Again – “Lil Top”
  10. Lil Baby – “The Bigger Picture”

Of course, this data comes only from YouTube and YouTube Music. But hip-hop is growing faster than any other genre in every measured stat. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics provided by Billboard for the year 2020.

R&B/Hip-Hop reached 211.04 million audio album consumer units for 2020. This represents a 13.8% increase from 18.5 million units for 2019. Market share gender also increased by 28.2%, compared to 27.7% in 2019.

Rock is the second most popular genre, followed by pop. But neither rock nor pop kept pace with the 11.6% growth in the industry’s overall audio consumption in the United States. This means that of the three most popular genres, only hip-hop is growing, while rock and pop are declining.

Physical music sales declined in 2020, thanks to the pandemic shutting down many record stores. But despite declining sales of traditional media like CDs, vinyl sales continue to grow.

little baby My turn album beat 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 Future’s “Life is Good”, which had around 1 billion streams. This highlights how quickly hip-hop dominates the top of the charts, smothering other genres. It will be interesting to compare the best hip-hop songs of 2021 to see if they remain the chart-topping genre they were in 2020.


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