Hip Hop Named Most-Consumed Music Genre For Fourth Consecutive Year

Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch, and other rap stars reached special milestones in 2020.

MRC Data has revealed its annual 2020 U.S. Year-End Report. Presented in collaboration with Billboard, the information covers music consumption for the period from January 3 through December 31.

Once again, Hip Hop/R&B was the most-consumed genre for the fourth consecutive year. Lil Baby’s second studio LP, My Turn, was the top rap album of 2020.

My Turn was also the year’s most-consumed album overall with 2.63 million equivalent album units. Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture” was the most-streamed original song released during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests (11.2 million streams).

The death of African-Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of law enforcement sparked global protests. Childish Gambino, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and N.W.A saw the largest increase in average daily audio streams from May 28 to June 6 – the days after Floyd was killed while in the custody of four Minneapolis Police Department officers.

Plus, The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” broke Ed Sheeran’s record for most weeks in the top 10 of the Hot 100. 24kGoldn scored the most-streamed song by a new artist with “Mood” featuring iann dior.

Roddy Rich had the most-consumed song of 2020. “The Box” pulled in 1.3 billion on-demand streams and 1.7 billion in audience impressions at radio. Rich’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial track spent 11 weeks atop the Hot 100 chart.

For the first time, five different female rappers had a song reach the pinnacle of the Hot 100. Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj, and M.I.A. each earned their first #1 in 2020. Cardi B gained her fourth career Number One last year.

Despite a 5.7% decline during the first eight weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown, total audio consumption for the year was up 11.6% to 756.8 million album-equivalent units. MRC Data reports sales of albums plus tracks, or track-equivalent albums, were down by 11.9%.