27 Apr 2019 WAS A RECORD YEAR FOR RAP & HIP-HOP IN THE UK
Rap & Hip-Hop achieved record shares in terms of both singles and album consumption in the UK last year.
That’s according to Official Charts Company data analyzed and released today (April 20) by UK record labels association the BPI as part of its annual yearbook All About the Music 2020.
The analysis, compiled from both purchases and streams of albums and tracks, found that releases classified by the Official Charts Company as Rap and Hip Hop accounted for historically high shares in 2019.
In the singles market, Rap and Hip-Hop releases comprised 21.5% of all consumption – up from 20.9% in 2018, and a new high since the BPI began analyzing the genre’s share in 1998.
In the five years from 2015 to 2019, UK artists’ share of Rap’s sales and streams increased from 10% to 26.9% on albums and from 15.5% to 42.2% on singles.
While US artists like Post Malone and Lil Nas X were among those to have the biggest hits in the UK last year, notable releases from UK rap and hip hop artists came from the likes of Stormzy, who achieved his first Official Singles Chart No.1 with Vossi Bop, and both AJ Tracey (Ladbroke Grove) and Aitch (Taste (Make It Shake)) made the top three.
In addition, there were Top 10 hits for British artists such as Dave (pictured), Russ & Tion Wayne, Young T & Bugsey and Mist among others.
In the artist albums market, Rap and Hip-Hop claimed a 10.8% share fuelled by artists such as Stormzy, whose second album Heavy Is The Head hit No.1 in December.
Dave’s debut Psychodrama went straight to No.1 on the Official Albums Chart on its release in March, and in September was awarded the Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.
Other UK artists enjoying Top 10 album success in 2019 included AJ Tracey (with his self-titled full-length debut, which reached No.3), D-Block Europe (two Top 10 albums in 2019), Skepta, Mostack, Loyle Carner, Fredo, Slowthai, Kano and Krept & Konan.
“AUDIENCES TODAY ARE VERY TUNED IN – ARTISTS WHO ARE THE MOST AUTHENTIC TO THEMSELVES HAVE SHOWN TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT INTEGRITY IN THEIR MESSAGE AND MUSIC WINS OUT.”
JAMES WALSH, NEIGHBOURHOOD RECORDINGS
James Walsh, General Manager of Neighbourhood Recordings – the label owned by Dave’s managers Benny Scarrs and Jack Foster and whom Dave releases on, said: “It’s great to see Rap at the heart of popular culture and to see how big its footprint has evolved and grown over the last few years.
“There’s so many talented British artists within the genre that are connecting with people of all backgrounds on their own terms, and that’s really powerful.
“Audiences today are very tuned in – artists who are the most authentic to themselves have shown time and time again that integrity in their message and music wins out.”
“THROUGH STORMZY, DAVE, AJ TRACEY AND OTHERS, UK RAP IS AT A NEW CRITICAL AND COMMERCIAL PEAK AND EVEN THOUGH GLOBAL COMPETITION FOR ATTENTION IN THE STREAMING AGE IS FIERCE, ARTISTS SUCH AS ED SHEERAN, DUA LIPA, MABEL, REX ORANGE COUNTY AND LEWIS CAPALDI HAVE KEPT THE PROFILE OF UK MUSIC HIGH WITH THEIR INTERNATIONAL CHART SUCCESS.”
GEOFF TAYLOR, BPI
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “From the superfan to the most casual of listeners, music plays an indispensable role in most British lives.
“This seeming near-ubiquity is not achieved without constant innovation and relentless record label investment in the next generation of diverse new talent that keeps British music riding high at home and around the world.
Added Taylor: “Through Stormzy, Dave, AJ Tracey and others, UK rap is at a new critical and commercial peak and even though global competition for attention in the streaming age is fierce, artists such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Mabel, Rex Orange County and Lewis Capaldi have kept the profile of UK music high with their international chart success.
“This, in turn, builds on the platform for exciting new talent such as BRITs Rising Star Celeste and BRIT Awards nominees Freya Ridings and Aitch to join them.
“Music has a unique power to connect us all, even at a distance, to reduce feelings of isolation, and to cheer our hearts and to soothe our minds. This will be even more valuable in these troubled times.”