[Music market and genres] Characteristics and history of popular American genres hip-hop and R&B


Hip hop is characterized by rap-style lyrics. As far as I know, America has one of the largest markets in the world, and is the country that records the highest sales amount in the world. You could say that American trends = global trends. American music sells all over the world, and even today, many aspiring professional musicians come to the United States. In America, hip-hop and R&B are overwhelmingly popular.

America is the world’s largest music market

The IFPI (International Federation of the Recording Industry) has compiled a report on global music market sales in 2021. Global music market sales in 2021 are expected to grow 18.5% year-on-year to $25.9 billion. Japan, which is in 2nd place, is expected to be overtaken by the UK and Germany in the future, and Australia in 9th place is also approaching Italy and the Netherlands in 10th place. America is by far the strongest. The United States has been in the top position for a long time, and since the United States is looking forward to aggressive global expansion in the future, there is a strong view that the United States will remain the number one for a while. There is no doubt that an American hit song = a world hit song.


RankCountryGrowth Rate
1United States+22.6%
3United Kingdom+13.2%

Hip-hop and R&B are recent stories

When you think of hip-hop and R&B, you think of America, but in reality, these two genres have not been popular for over 100 years. Until the 1990s, rock, dance, and pop were also popular genres that ranked high on the sales charts. The top 10 sales in 1999 are below. In fact, it’s only recently that hip-hop and R&B have dominated the top charts in America. And instead rock and pop declined.

2TLCNo Scrubs
3MonicaAngel Of Mine
4Whitney Houston feat. Faith Evans and Kelly PriceHeartbreak Hotel
5Britney SpearsBaby One More Time
6Sixpence None The RicherKiss Me 
7Christina AguileraGenie In A Bottle
8Sugar RayEvery Morning
9Deborah CoxNobody’s Supposed To Be Here
10Ricky MartinLivin’ La Vida Loca

The number one song is clearly dance music. It may be completely unimaginable now.

Sixpence None The Richer’s famous song “Kiss me” ranked 6th. It may not be possible now, but it’s a rock sound.

Full-scale from the 2000s

In the 2000s, hip-hop and R&B will dominate the charts. There were already hip-hop artists in the 1900s, but it is very impressive that other artists who were originally from other genres have incorporated elements of hip-hop and R&B. Originally a punk rock band, Linkin Park incorporated elements of hip-hop and became a very popular band. The collaboration album with Jay-Z was very popular.

Linkin Park

As a member of the popular boy group NSYNC, Justin timberlake incorporated elements of hip-hop and consistently topped the popularity charts. When I was NSYNC, the elements of pop music were strong, but since I became a soloist, the number of songs in popular genres has increased.

Justin timberlake

country music is alive and well

America is in the era of hip-hop and R&B, but country music is still alive and well. Country music is a genre of music that originated in the southern United States in the 1920s and is still very popular in the Nashville area. Even in the 2000s, it has many fans mainly in the central and southern parts of the United States, and it can be said that it is one of the major forces in the United States. Popular singer Taylor Swift’s early songs are country music. It’s more like pop music now, but most of the songs I put out in the early 2000s were country music.

Taylor Swift

Rap is currently mainstream

The current mainstream style is expressed through rap. Stances such as breakdance, where the movements match the rhythm, are still the mainstream. The main focus is on new styles, where there is also a DJ and the dance is synchronized to the beat. Hip-hop is composed of four major elements: MC (rap), DJ, breakdance, and graffiti. Dancers perform hiphop freely while taking steps. According to information, dance has been evolving since the 1970s with content said to have been derived from pop. Various types of practice and dance fashions have emerged and have developed in clubs, parties, and street dance in New York, and various choreography and new schools and art schools that teach it have also been born.

Also covered by the media

Due to the popularity of rap and hip-hop, the media has started to cover it. It has come to be divided into parts of each category, and although it is based on freestyle, it has one important influence from the street, which is different from the 1980s. The number of artists performing at many events and being active has increased, and from the 2020s onwards, this genre has completely dominated America, including the community. Regardless of the region, today’s scene and play is dominated by young African Americans, and girls’ hip-hop is also emerging.


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