Interesting… America Suddenly Enjoys Hip-Hop/R&B More than Rock

By: Phelicia Ball

Never thought I would be writing about the fact that America, a country that screams Rock N’ Roll, suddenly enjoys hip-hop and R&B more. According to a mid-year report by Nielsen, a global company that tracks ratings, hip-hop and R&B now dominate the sounds that Americans enjoy—for the first time ever. According to the reports, hip-hop and R&B make up 25 percent of the market, whereas rock makes up 23 percent. So, what changed?

According to the Huffington Post, it’s due to the adoption of online streaming. Rock of course beats hip-hop and R&B in album sales, however as we are now living and still transitioning into a cyberspace world, online streaming is highly popular, and hip-hop dominates that population.

If you know me, I like to complicate things and dissect various reasons for why things are the way they are, especially in Amerikkka. So, bear with me as I pick at your brain.

Is the reason for the domination of hip-hop and R&B solely due to online streaming? In general, hip-hop culture influences everyday culture, more specifically American culture. And as we all know, cultural appropriation has been at its highest. Kylie and Kendall Jenner most recently plastered their faces on top of iconic artists such as Notorious Big and Tupac. I’m sorry, but what made you think it would be plausible to place your face on top of hip-hop artists that for one, have absolutely nothing to do with you.

So, does this mean less cultural appropriation or more? In my opinion, I believe this means more. Who do you think dominates the population of hip-hop and R&B listeners? It might be surprising to some, however it should be less so now that we know America enjoys hip hop and R&B more than rock, and whites dominate the overall population in America. So, the answer is whites. They dominate the population of listens of such a historical genre. I won’t get too political, but if you are a white listener, it is important to take on the responsibility of captivating respect for the pillars that hip-hop and R&B were built on and how they correlate with Black roots and historical struggles.

Is hip hop and R&B popular to Americans because it dissects the struggles of people of color that whites don’t even have to consider? Because it sets Blacks far apart from whites? I believe that hip hop especially, makes whites think that this genre gives them an insight into the Black experience and allows them to essentially feel “cool” or culturally accepted without actually facing the oppressions that Blacks go through.

To each its own, but I’ll leave that up for you to discuss. 


Phelicia BallComment