Despite the challenges surrounding 2020, hip hop artists on YouTube thrived more than ever.
The popular video sharing platform attracted more than two billion viewers each month last year, and YouTube reported in a blog post that the hip hop genre stood out the most in 2020. Of the top three genres on the platform, which are hip hop, pop and rock, hip hop has been growing the fastest.
“The year 2020 was hard, but that challenge didn’t stop the music,” YouTube’s Director of Black Music and Culture Tuma Basa said in the blog post. “And it didn’t stop fans from connecting and engaging with artists on YouTube, particularly in hip-hop.”
To keep true to this, hip hop artists went even harder when they took over all 10 spots on YouTube’s top 10 most-viewed artists in the U.S. list last year. To no surprise, NBA YoungBoy aka YoungBoy Never Broke Again held it down at #1 again.
Here’s YouTube’s top 10 most-viewed artists in the U.S. in 2020:
- NBA YoungBoy
- Lil Baby
- Juice WRLD
- Rod Wave
- Bad Bunny
- Kevin Gates
NBA YoungBoy has been the top artist on YouTube for a few years now, mainly because of his loyal fanbase and the fact that his new music usually features on the platform first. The southern rapper has 9.27 million subscribers on his YouTube page, which is nearly three million more than he had at this time last year. While his videos get millions of views, his hit song “Lil Top” attracted more than 112 million viewers alone in since last year.
There can be many reasons attributed to YouTube’s success last year in general, one of them being the fact that artists used the platform in creative ways to bring more entertainment to fans at home. One example is Drake’s single “Toosie Slide,” which he filmed the video for in his home last year. Toosie Slide’s video hit YouTube last April and has more than 283 million views today.
Hip Hop’s influence on the nation is undeniable, and YouTube is taking note. The video sharing platform is investing more resources to support diverse video content creators and artists and help advertisers reach more fans. YouTube has expanded YouTube Select’s music lineup to feature more verified hip hop music and it’s adding more hip hop music to its global lineup to reach more fans.
YouTube is also putting more focus on amplifying minority voices this year. The company launched its #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program in January as part of a global, multi-year commitment to help Black artists and creators grow. The program provides Black artists and creators with resources, funding, trainings and workshops to succeed on YouTube. YouTube welcomed 132 Black artists and creators hailing from the U.S. to Kenya, to the U.K and beyond for the inaugural cohort of its #YouTubeBlack Voices program. YouTube will be adding music from this cohort to its dynamic music lineups for advertisers to purchase.
“We’re proud to offer brands more opportunities to reach hip hop fans on YouTube, and support diverse creators and artists at the same time,” Basa said in the blog post. “And we’re reaching for the stars.
Beyond this new initiative, YouTube reported that it will be rolling out new programming and events to connect with global Black communities.