Along with all of the celebrations that come along with bringing in a new year, also comes resolutions and vows to improve on various aspects of our lives that we may have neglected or not have devoted our full commitment towards.
But if you were to take a second to look back at some of the great things that you experienced throughout the previous year, you’ll have a far greater appreciation for what’s to come in the new year.
Take hip-hop for instance, last year provided us with plenty of great things and experiences that we can fondly look back on this year. One of the most monumental being hip-hop’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
And while we appreciate all of the dope moments, music, and trends bestowed in hip-hop in 2023; in 2024, look forward to the culture having an even bigger impact on influencing consumers, brands, and industries across the globe.
Ushering in the new year the right way, these are currently the hottest trends, artists, brands, podcasts, television shows, and social media platforms in hip-hop culture in Q1 of 2024.
Who’s hot in music
Throughout its illustrious 50-year history as an artform, January has always been a very peculiar month for hip-hop music. That’s because of the lack of undeniable classic albums that have been released during the month.
One could surmise the reason for that is due to the fact that record labels place such a high priority on releasing albums during Q4—they reserve the month of January for promoting those projects.
But if your motion in the streets is effective enough, you could remain relevant throughout Q1 for heat you dropped from over an entire calendar year prior—like two of the artists on our list have done.
These are the hottest artists in hip-hop at the moment:
Nicki Minaj - To make it to the pantheon of all-time greats in any artform or industry is a task that is beyond difficult for anyone to accomplish—regardless of how talented you are. In order to do so, not only does it require one to possess exceptional talent, it also requires a tremendous pattern of consistency.
Not only has Nicki Minaj met the criteria for both prerequisites—she has surpassed them.
Since the debut of her first mixtape, 2007’s Playtime Is Over; Nicki Minaj has shown that she is one the most consistent, talented, and entertaining artists hip-hop has ever seen. The Queens, New York native recently released her long-awaited fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, this past December.
The reception of the album by not only the Barbz (Nicki’s frenzied fanbase), but also rap critics has been overwhelmingly positive. The album debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, making it her third album to do so and earning an impressive 228,000 equivalent album units in its first week of release.
Rod Wave - With hip-hop being the most influential genre of music on earth; along with the prevalence of social media today—you’d probably think that it would be pretty hard for an artist to become a star in the culture—while also remaining somewhat of an enigma in mainstream society.
But that’s exactly what St. Petersberg, Florida's own Rod Wave has done to a certain degree, over the last four years. The singer/rapper has flown under the radar of even casual hip-hop fans until recently.
That changed in 2023 with the success of his fifth studio album, Nostalgia. Released last fall, the album became Wave’s third consecutive album to debut No. 1 on the Billboard 200—setting up his Nostalgia Tour—which for months, has sold out arenas all around the U.S.
SZA - Released in December 2022, SZA’s second studio album, SOS, was such a banger, songs from the album still reigned number one on the charts, as well as millions of Spotify playlists throughout the entire calendar year of 2023.
Although crowned Variety’s 2023 Hitmaker of the Year, the streets gave her that title way before the publication did—which is far more important.
Latto - Even without having released a studio album since 777, which dropped back in March of 2022, Latto has remained one of the most relevant artists in hip-hop by dropping hot singles, staying active on social media, and securing endorsement deals with brands like Wingstop, Halls, and UberEats. All of which has all helped keep her face card in the public’s eye.
Sexyy Red - Although it certainly helps, being one of the hottest artists in hip-hop isn’t always about having the most successful album or songs in rotation at the moment. Being one of the hottest artists in the culture also consists of the amount of attention and influence that you currently have in the culture.
At the moment, very few artists could honestly say that they have more influence and receive more attention within the culture than St. Louis, Missouri native Sexyy Red.
Drake - Speaking of hip-hop artists who receive a great deal of attention while also having a tremendous amount of influence within the culture, no one has more of both (along with being one of the highest-selling artists of all time) than Drake does.
Still buzzing in the streets from the success of his eighth studio album, For All The Dogs, released last fall; along with co-headlining the It Was All a Blur Tour—Drake’s run as the biggest artist in hip-hop will without a doubt, carry over throughout 2024.
Jack Harlow - Many hip-hop fans often struggle with finding a lane to put Louisville, KY rapper Jack Harlow in as an MC. But regardless of where you think he belongs or ranks as a lyricist or an artist—you must admit that whenever he drops a single—it reverberates in the club.
The music video for his latest single, Lovin On Me, received over 35 million views on YouTube in less than a month after its release. The song has also remained atop the charts since its debut in early November.
What’s hot in non-traditional media
Just five years ago, if someone were to tell you that you’d tune in to more podcasts than television shows, you would’ve probably called them crazy. But what's really crazy is just how things have changes so quickly in that regard.
Today, podcasts are as much of a part of our daily lives—if not more so, as any other form of entertainment.
These are the hottest non-traditional media platforms in the culture at the moment:
Club Shay Shay
It Is What It Is
Joe Budden Podcast
Kai Cenat Live
Million Dollaz Worth Of Game
What’s hot in fashion
A lot could change in 90 days in any industry. But no industry celebrates that change quite like the fashion industry does. Now that we’re at the start of a new year, keep in mind that many fashion brands that may not be hot in Q1, could be extremely hot in Q2.
Also, brands that are currently in vogue at the moment, could also be an afterthought three months from now.
Nonetheless, these are the hottest fashion brands in the culture at the moment:
What’s hot in traditional media
Rapper, entrepreneur, and television executive, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, recently shared a post on social media featuring a clip of a scene from a... let's just say, a not so well written or directed film from Tubi and said, "See this is what you would be stuck with if I wasn't out here. THANK ME LATER!"
Thankfully, for our sake, 50 is actively out here creating great television shows that we in the culture, have become extremely addicted to.
These are currently the hottest television shows in the culture at the moment:
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Power Book III: Raising Kanan
Hottest social media platforms
For those of us who could recall what life was like prior to the prevalence of social media, we must admit that social media has definitely made day-to-day life much more informative and entertaining than it was before those apps on our smartphones began demanding our undivided attention.
And while we all have our own favorite particular platforms, pretty much every adult is on social media at this point.
These are the most popular social media platforms in the culture at the moment:
As the saying goes, out with the old, and in with the new. When it comes to trends, for every one of us who happily welcomes a new trend, there’s an equal amount who lament that the way of life they have come to enjoy now is no more.
However, when it comes to one particular trend, it’s pretty safe to say that the vast majority of consumers are happy to see it go. That trend consists of purchasing retro Nike and Air Jordan sneakers at brick and mortar stores on the first day of their release.
For years, the only way that sneakerheads could get their hands on the latest exclusive Nike or retro Air Jordan sneakers was if they headed to shoe stores like Champs, Foot Locker, or Finish Line early in the morning (mostly on Saturdays) to purchase a pair of the coveted kicks. Or purchase them for a highly marked up price from resellers online.
Not only was the process inconvenient, it was often extremely dangerous depending on the location that you went in order to obtain the sneakers.
But now, thanks to Nike, that trend has recently come to an end. Through a drawing style selection process, the brand’s SNKRS app allows consumers to purchase newly released pairs of Nikes or Air Jordans and have the shoes shipped to wherever they choose.
By Nike selectively withholding distribution of their most coveted shoes to brick and mortar chains as they once did on the first day of their release, consumers can now safely order the shoes online without having to risk being trampled, robbed, or assaulted at stores over a pair of sneakers; which is a trend that we should all be happy to see fade away for good.