Since its beginnings in 1970s New York, hip-hop has grown to become one of the most listened-to and most pervasive music genres in the world. Many of the world’s most famous musicians today are hip-hop artists, and many others have been influenced by hip-hop and rap in one way or another.
This list looks at hip-hop facts and statistics, gathered from a range of sources across the web. Looking at male and female hip-hop artists and rappers, this article covers the most-streamed, most-followed, and other metrics to present 20 facts about hip-hop you probably didn’t know.
- Aesop Rock is the rapper with the biggest vocabulary
Aesop Rock uses 7,879 unique words in his discography, making him the rapper that uses the biggest vocabulary. Busdriver comes in second with 7,324. By comparison, at the bottom end, Lil Uzi Vert uses only 2,556 unique words.
- Eminem’s Rap God has most words in a hit single
Eminem is one of the most famous rappers in the world today, and his track ‘Rap God’ is regularly lauded as one of the most technically impressive rap tracks. The track uses the most words of any hit single. Little-known rap fact: at its peak, the rap squeezes in 97 words in 15 seconds, which is 6.46 words per second.
- The most viewed hip-hop video of all time is ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa
Wiz Khalifa’s track ‘See You Again’ (feat. Charlie Puth) is the most-viewed hip-hop video of all time, with nearly 5.5 billion views at the time of writing. Not only is it the most viewed hip-hop video – it is the fifth most viewed video on the whole of YouTube.
- The rapper with the most platinum albums is Jay-Z
With a staggering 14 platinum albums, Jay-Z has more rap albums than anyone else that have sold over a million. His 14 platinum records include The Blueprint (1, 2, and 3), The Black Album, and Reasonable Doubt.
- The Male rappers with the most Grammy awards are Kanye and Jay-Z
The Grammys are possibly the most coveted awards in the music industry. Kanye and Jay-Z each hold 24 Grammys. The person with the most Grammys is someone you may have never heard of – orchestral conductor Georg Solti holds 31.
- The female rapper with the most Grammy awards is Lauryn Hill
Neo-soul artist Lauryn Hill is the female rapper with the most Grammy awards, holding 8. The female artist with the most Grammys overall is Beyoncé, who has a staggering 28.
- Most streamed male hip-hop artist worldwide is Drake
Drake is the most-streamed male hip-hop artist worldwide, with over 54 million monthly listeners at the time of writing. Other rappers who have held the top spot in recent years include Post Malone, Eminem, Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar.
- Most streamed female hip-hop artist worldwide is Nicki Minaj
The most-streamed female rapper in the world is Nicki Minaj. At the time of writing, she has over 38 million monthly listeners, narrowly beating Cardi B.
- The richest male hip-hop artist worldwide is Kanye
There’s an ongoing jostle between Kanye and Jay-Z for the richest rapper in the world. At present, Kanye appears to be ahead of Jay-Z, partly thanks to his deal with Gap, as well as his numerous successful business ventures. At the time of writing, Kanye’s net worth is over $2 billion, while Jay-Z’s is around £1.3 billion.
- The richest female hip-hop artist worldwide is Nicki Minaj
The richest female rapper in the world is currently Nicki Minaj, with a net worth of approximately $75 million.
- The most streamed male hip-hop album is ? by XXXTENACION
The most-streamed hip-hop album by a male artist is XXXTENCATION’s 2018 ?, with approaching around 8 billion streams combined. Other close contenders include Drake’s Scorpion (2018) and Travis Scott’s Astroworld (2018).
- The most streamed female hip-hop album is Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B
The most streamed hip-hop album by a female artist is Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy (2018) with nearly 4 billion combined streams.
- The most streamed hip-hop song by a male artist is ‘Rockstar’ by Post Malone
The most-streamed hip-hop song of all time is ‘Rockstar’ by Post Malone feat. 21Savage. The Track has had a staggering 2.4 billion streams on Spotify. Other close contenders include ‘Lucid Dreams’ by Juice WRLD, ‘God’s Plan’ by Drake, and ‘SAD!’ by XXXTENACION.
- The most streamed hip-hop song by a female artist is ‘I Like It’ By Cardi B
With 1.3 billion streams, Cardi B’s track ‘I Like It’ is the most-streamed hip-hop song by a female artist. Her infamous ‘WAP’ feat. Megan Thee Stallion is a close contender, with over 1 billion streams.
- The most searched for male hip-hop artist on Google is Juice WRLD
With approximately 4 million monthly searches in the US alone, Juice WRLD is currently the most searched-for rapper. Kanye and Post Malone are his closest contenders, with around 1.9 million monthly searches each per month.
- The most searched for female hip-hop artist on Google is Megan Thee Stallion
The most-Googled female hip-hop artist is Megan Thee Stallion, with around 2.25 million searches per month in the US alone. She beats Cardi B with around 1.8 million, and Nicki Minaj with around 1.5 million.
- Eminem is the hip-hop artist with the most YouTube subscribers
Eminem is the male rapper with the most YouTube subscribers. Over the years, he’s accumulated a 51.9 million strong following on the video-streaming site.
- Nicki Minaj is the female hip-hop artist with the most YouTube subscribers
With 24.3 million subscribers, Nicki Minaj’s YouTube channel is the most-followed YouTube channel of any female hip-hop artist.
- The male rapper with the most Grammy awards for best album is Eminem
We’ve already looked at the rappers with the most Grammys overall, but the winner of the most ‘best album’ Grammys is Eminem, with 6 ‘best album’ Grammy awards.
- The first hip-hop hit was ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by The Sugar Hill Gang
Now for the classic 101 hip-hop fact: it is generally agreed that the Sugar Hill Gang’s song ‘Rapper’s Delight’ was the first hip-hop song to achieve commercial success. Released in 1979, the track became a top 40 chart hit. The iconic bassline is a sample from ‘Good Times’ by Chic.
Header image: Rodrigo Ferrari