• DeJuan Wright

Trending In Culture: Current Marketing Trends In Hip-Hop Culture (Q1 '22)


For almost the last 36 years, hip-hop culture has been a profitable partner to brands all around the world hoping to amalgamate with the one culture that truly represents the inner-city sentiment of America.


Ever since a summer day in 1986, when Adidas executives witnessed Run-DMC hold up their Adidas sneakers in Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 of their fans and commanded them to do the same – hip-hop culture has served as a transporter. Helping corporations get their brands up close and personal to consumers within the culture.


As a culture, hip-hop is the genesis that sets societal trends across the planet. Especially in America. Which also means that hip-hop culture is what determines what’s hot or not to consumers that gravitate towards contemporary culture.


History has shown us that a brand cannot become hot in contemporary culture without first being accepted by hip-hop culture.


Whether it’s a new app, wireless headphones, a new Netflix series, the latest sneaker, or any other product, service, or platform that you could think of – it will not appeal to contemporary culture without first being accepted by hip-hop culture.


Which ultimately makes hip-hop culture the judge and jury for which brands will appeal to contemporary culture and which brands will not. Therefore, it’s pretty important for brands to be aware of what’s resonating within the culture.


And although trends in hip-hop change about every twelve weeks. Here’s a snapshot of what’s currently trending within the culture as of Q1 2022.



Who’s hot in music


These are the hip-hop artists that are currently scorching the streets and the Billboard charts:


Drake – Drake has been on a run unlike hip-hop has ever seen. For the last thirteen years, Drake has either had a song of his own or has been featured on a song that has topped the Billboard charts. Aside from music, Drake also serves as an Executive Producer on one of the hottest shows in contemporary culture (HBO’s Euphoria).


J.Cole – Fresh off the success of his sixth studio album The-Offseason going platinum. J.Cole’s buzz is just as hot – if not more so, than it was when he dropped his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story in 2011.


Moneybagg Yo – Also coming fresh off the success of a platinum album, 2021 pretty much belonged to Moneybagg Yo. Everyone with a loud system in their car driving by in the streets seemed to be playing a song from his latest album A Gangstas Pain.


Gunna – At the time of this publication, Gunna’s album DS4EVER is currently #1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. Surpassing pop artist The Weeknd’s latest album Dawn FM. If you see the letter “P” symbol on your Twitter timeline – it’s Gunna that you could thank for it.


Lil Durk – Some of the biggest artists in the music industry have turned to Lil Durk for a feature to help make their song hot – and he constantly delivers. His latest feature being the theme song for the Starz network’s new series Power Book IV: Force, alongside 50 Cent and Jeremih titled Power Powder Respect.


Lil Baby – Lil Baby was also atop the charts on various singles in 2021. And with a highly anticipated feature on Nicki Minaj’s latest single set to be released the first week of February – I think it’s safe to say that Lil Baby will take his place on top of the charts in 2022 as well.


Pooh Shiesty – If the streets had a vote for their favorite rapper at the moment – it would probably go to Pooh Shiesty. Enough said.



What’s hot in non-traditional media

Podcasts have now become a cultural phenomenon. And it seems that within the culture, just about everyone seems to have a favorite podcast. Which certainly wasn’t the case ten or even five years ago. These are the most-favored podcasts and websites within the culture:


  • Drink Champs

  • VladTV

  • TheShadeRoom.com

  • Worldstarhiphop.com

  • Million Dollaz Worth Of Game

  • Fresh and Fit

  • Off The Record With DJ Akademiks

  • No Jumper

  • Geto Boys Reloaded



What’s hot in fashion


If there’s two things within hip-hop culture that’s unlikely to remain relevant for long – it’s rap artists and fashion. Besides the mainstays of the culture (Nike, Jordan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Louis Vuitton) these are the hottest fashion brands:


  • Balenciaga

  • Givenchy

  • Yeezy

  • Supreme

  • Savage X Fenty by Rihanna



What’s hot in traditional media


Although traditional media doesn’t have the drawing power that it once had prior to the prevalence of smartphones, podcasts, and social media – all of which has seized viewership from traditional television and cable platforms. There are still a few shows that the culture – as a collective gravitates towards. Those shows are:


  • Snowfall

  • BMF

  • Power Book II: Ghost

  • Power Book III: Raising Kanan

  • Grown-ish


Hottest social media platforms


One of the few things in the culture that doesn’t shift every quarter is the popularity amongst social media platforms. Those usually shift rank in popularity maybe once or twice a year. But very rarely does the culture totally turn away from a social media platform. These are the hottest social media platforms within the culture at the moment:


  1. Twitter

  2. Instagram

  3. TikTok

  4. Snapchat

  5. Facebook



What’s fading


With the emergence of streaming sites providing consumers the opportunity to listen to their favorite songs and podcasts at a relatively low price. Along with the fact that more people are working remotely due to the pandemic and not really commuting as much as they did prior. Terrestrial radio has lost a great deal of the appeal as well as listeners that it once had.


In fact, according to a study from early 2021, 71% of respondents said that they listen to less AM/FM radio because they spend less time in a car.


So, if people are listening to less terrestrial radio – that also means that companies purchasing radio advertisements in hopes of appealing to consumers within the culture certainly will not yield what they once did prior to the pandemic and the prevalence of podcasts.