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  • DeJuan Wright

Trending In Culture: Current Marketing Trends In Hip-Hop Culture (Q1 '23)

Updated: Jan 3


Don’t you just love the vibe that comes along with ringing in a new year? Between the new year’s resolutions, upcoming opportunities, as well as all the old baggage vowed to be left behind in the previous year—the energy and optimism at the start of each year is palpable and unmatched during any other season.


For fans of hip-hop, a lot of other great new things also come with the start of a new year. Things such as new music, artists, trends, brands, tours, television shows, as well release dates from some of your favorite hip-hop artists—enhances the anticipation of the new year that much more.


As exciting as it may be to guess just which artists, trends, and brands will dominate the year 2023; for now, let’s just appreciate the present by acknowledging those that are dominating those facets of the culture at the moment.


Who’s hot in music


2022 was definitely one of the more interesting years when it comes to hip-hop music. Some of the biggest artists in the genre were able to dominate the Billboard charts without even releasing an album.


And many of those that did release an album last year—saw some of the highest streaming numbers in history. Now that 2023 is finally here, these are the hottest hip-hop artists in the genre at the moment:


Lil Baby — Like him or love him, you gotta admit that whenever Lil Baby drops an album or even a single—it has an impact on both the streets and the charts. The Atlanta rapper is still seeing significant sales from his latest album titled, It’s Only Me, which was released in October of 2022. He’s also been able to stay relevant in the public’s eye by partnering with Axe as the frontman for the brand’s ‘Fresh as Fr*sh’ campaign.


Metro Boomin — They say that every great list is allowed at least one caveat. And due to the fact that Metro Boomin isn’t really a rapper—which is what most people would consider a hip-hop artist—he’s the caveat for this particular list. However, as one of the biggest producers in hip-hop at the moment—Metro Boomin’s imprint on the genre must be acknowledged.


The St. Louis beatmaker’s sophomore album titled, Heroes & Villains, released on December 2nd, had first-week sales of 185k and has remained atop the charts since its release; and received nominations for album of the year on various hip-hop sites.


GloRilla — There is not a new hip-hop artist on earth that could make the claim they had a better 2022 than GloRilla had. In fact, you’d have a tough time finding any hip-hop artist that had a better year than the 23-year-old Memphis, Tennessee, rapper did this past year for that matter.


Released November 11th, 2022, her debut EP, Anyways, Life’s Great, is still slapping speakers hard in the streets. Which is why she made our list.


Drake & 21 Savage — Whenever two established brands get together for a co-branding purpose—great things often happen. As is the case when hip-hop heavyweights Drake and 21 Savage got together for their collaborative studio album, Her Loss. Released in early November of 2022, the project has received rave reviews from hip-hop publications but most importantly—hip-hop fans.


Lil Durk — Ever so often, an artist comes around that seems to just have a hold on their respective genre for a particular period of time. When it comes to hip-hop music at the moment—Lil Durk is that artist.


The most recent project from the Chicago rapper titled, Lil Durk Presents: Loyal Bros 2, is just the latest of a long list of projects that has solidified Durk as the streets’ favorite artist at the moment.


Kendrick Lamar — Fans of Kendrick Lamar finally got their wish in 2022, when after a five year hiatus—the Compton, California, MC finally released his long-awaited album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. Although the album has received awards and nominations in just about every category that a hip-hop artist could hope for, the fact that the album met the expectations of his huge fanbase and is still buzzing is the reason why Kendrick made our list.


Cardi B — Cardi hasn’t released an album in over five years. However, she’s remained relevant in the culture by crushing her collaborations with other artists as well as being a presence on social media. And while most artists in her position tend to veer away from posting regularly on social media—Cardi B has kept her brand hot by doing the opposite and becoming a mainstay on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.


SZA — Most hip-hop fans would probably consider her a singer, but if you’ve ever listened to a SZA album—you know that she’s also a very good rapper. And her long-awaited sophomore album titled, SOS, released December 9, 2022, certainly lived up to the hype. As far as sales, the album was one of the most successful releases of 2022. Earning SZA her first no.1 album of her career—selling equivalent album units of 318k its first week.


What’s hot in non-traditional media


2022 was a great year for content creators on non-traditional media platforms. According to NeilSchafer.com, 51% of Americans reported to have listened to a podcast at least once. This is huge news because not long ago—podcasts were looked upon as platforms that were more niche than mainstream.


Which is no longer the case now that over half of Americans have tuned into one.


In hip-hop, podcasts and other non-traditional media are extremely popular. With these being platforms being the hottest in the culture at the moment:

  • Caresha Please

  • Drink Champs

  • Earn Your Leisure

  • Million Dollaz Worth Of Game

  • My Expert Opinion

  • Off The Record With DJ Akademics

  • Say Cheese TV

  • VladTV

What’s hot in fashion


Much like hip-hop artists, fashion brands that were relevant last quarter—often become disregarded in the current quarter. With that being said, these are the hottest fashion brands in the culture at the moment:

  • Amiri

  • Balenciaga

  • Dior

  • Gallery Department

  • Moncler

  • Off-White

  • Supreme

What’s hot in traditional media


The only thing close to being as good as the fall TV season—is the winter season. And with some of the most celebrated shows of the culture having their return dates slated for this winter—fans of those shows have a lot to look forward to this season.


These are the television shows the culture are most looking forward to returning this season:

  • Abbott Elementary

  • Bel-Air

  • BMF

  • Godfather Of Harlem

  • Grown-ish

  • Power Book II: Ghost

  • Snowfall

Hottest social media platforms


CEO and social media strategist, Kami Huyse, once said that, “The first rule of social media is that everything changes all the time. What won’t change is the community’s desire to network.”


Kami's statement was spot-on. And although there’s been some changes in the popularity of certain social media apps, the culture’s desire to network via social media has never been higher. And these are the favorite social media platforms being utilized to do so:

  1. YouTube

  2. TikTok

  3. Instagram

  4. Snapchat

  5. Twitter

What's fading


To the dismay of many marketers, the allure of Black Friday appears to be losing its luster. According to U.S. retailer point-of-sale information collected by The NPD Group, unit sales for Black Friday last year were down 8% than it was in 2021.


While sales revenue was also 5% lower than the same week in November a year ago.


The underperformance of Black Friday 2022 could be just a blip due to various factors like inflation, harsh weather conditions, or quite simply consumers not seeing much value consumers in the deals offered by major retail stores. And as the data continues to come in, we’ll learn a lot more about what led to the lack of consumer enthusiasm for this past Black Friday.


But as of this moment, the appeal of Black Friday seems to be fading.


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