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Hip-Hop Out-Charted Pop By 227 Weeks in 2017

It may come as no surprise, but hip-hop was the most popular genre of music in 2017, by an impressive margin. It was reported earlier in th...

The Method: The Peak and Death of Hip-Hop in New York


I gathered the following information about 78 major New York artists and groups from 1990 through 2017:


  • Album number
  • Average critical review score
  • Sales
  • Billboard 200 chart position
  • Hip-Hop/R&B chart position
  • Release date
  • Age at release date
  • Name of song
  • Billboard Hot 100 position
  • Billboard hip-hop/R&B chart position
  • Sales (if available)
Down the bottom of this page I've listed every single artist in the dataset. 


In order to get a true snapshot of the health of New York hip-hop, I only analysed the hip-hop/R&B chart positions, not the Billboard 200 for albums or the Billboard Hot 100 for singles. Those chart positions are subject to the fortunes of hip-hop as a whole, or impacted by other major releases from all other genres. This article is comparing New York rap to the genre in the rest of the country (or countries when we consider artists like Drake). 

I haven't included any analysis relating to either album or single sales. Album sales are impacted by too many other factors, notably the impact of piracy and the switch to streaming, as explored in this article. The singles sales figures available are incomplete and at times unreliable. They are already tied heavily to chart position, so using chart position alone is enough to gauge relevance and popularity. 

I chose artists based entirely on their popularity and relevance. All New York artists or groups that were relevant and charted well from the period 1990 through 2017 were included.

I decided to begin the analysis at 1990 (although some of the graphs start from 1991, because data for 1990 was scarce). The 90s really saw an explosion in the quantity of popular New York artists, and including data from before then, when less artists were available for analysis, began to skew the data and my correlation coefficients. I think this is a fair representation of New York rap, which hit stratospheric heights in the mid-to-late 90s and bottomed out in the mid-to-late 2000s.

I included New Jersey in the analysis because NJ is as East Coast as anything out of Brooklyn or The Bronx, and Jersey artists are often spoken of in the same breath as those from the 5 boroughs. 


I do not have access to radio placements or spin counts. The analysis is ultimately subjective, despite being based on concrete, objective facts and numbers. 

Every artist in the dataset

50 Cent A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Action Bronson Amil Angie Martinez ASAP Ferg ASAP Mob ASAP Rocky ATCQ AZ Azealia Banks Beastie Boys Big L Big Pun Black Star Busta Rhymes Cam'Ron Cardi B C-N-N Das EFX Dave East De La Soul Desiigner Diddy DMX The Diplomats Fabolous Fat Joe Foxy Brown French Montana Fugees Ghostface Killah G-Unit GZA Ja Rule Jadakiss Jay-Z Jim Jones Joe Budden Joey Badass Juelz Santana Lady Luck Lauryn Hill Lil' Kim Lil Mama LL Cool J Lloyd Banks Mase Method Man Method Man & Red Man Memphis Bleek Mims Mos Def Nas Nicki Minaj NORE Notorious BIG Onyx P.M. Dawn Petey Pablo Public Enemy  Q-Tip Raekwon Redman Remy Ma Run-DMC RZA Salt-n-Pepa Sheek Louch Shyne Slick Rick Styles P Swizz Beatz Terror Squad The LOX Tony Yayo Wu-Tang Clan Wyclef Jean 

If you are interested in this dataset, or any from my previous albums, drop me a DM on my socials and we can work out a fair exchange (money is less important than shares). 

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