Contemporary culture is constantly changing. In fact, that’s one of its prerequisites—it must constantly evolve. And when it comes to hip-hop culture—that evolution process is expedited. Things that were en vogue last quarter, last month, or even last week—could no longer be relevant today.
Which is why it is so important for brands that aim to appeal to the culture to stay aware of what’s trending in the culture.
To help brands—and others, interested in the culture—do just that; in Q1 of 2022, at Decryption, we created a quarterly snapshot of what’s currently trending in hip-hop culture. This snapshot consists of the trends and brands that are currently most relevant in hip-hop culture.
And while it is true that hip-hop culture evolves daily—the biggest shifts in culture usually occur around every 12-weeks.
So, with no further ado—here's the second installment of the ongoing series, Trending in Culture, for Q2 '22.
Who’s hot in music
One of the best things that makes hip-hop such a dope genre is the fact that there’s an element within the artform for anyone interested in the culture. For some, that element could consist being compelled by hardcore tales about the harsh realities and hopelessness endured by those raised in poverty.
For others, there’s elements within the genre for fans to gravitate towards which consists of the hip-hop artists that provide conscious or aspirational messaging in their music that makes you feel better or enlightened just by listening to it.
And of course there’s elements within the music for those that just want to dance and have a great time while listening to beats that slap.
However, this list has nothing to do with skills, emotions, or beats (so please try not to be angry if your favorite artists aren't on it). This list is based on who's the hottest artists in the culture at the moment. And these are those artists:
Lil Durk — A Durk takeover is underway. And based on the success of his latest studio album, 7220, I think it’s safe to say that his takeover won’t be coming to an end any time soon.
J.Cole — Fresh off the success of his second annual, Dreamville Festival. As well his label’s highly-celebrated, Gangsta Grillz mixtape titled, D-Day—presented by DJ Drama; J.Cole is currently hotter than fish grease from Hudson Bay Seafood (those in Fayetteville, NC will understand that one).
Doja Cat — Some may call her a rapper. Others may call her a singer. I call her scorching—because that’s what she’s been doing to the charts and social media sites lately. But one thing we’ll all have to call her from now on—is a Grammy Award-winning artist.
Latto — There’s never been a time in hip-hop that has been more remunerative for female hip-hop artists than it is today. Latto aka “Big Latto,” is one of the female hip-hop artists making sure this trend becomes immutable. She recently released her second studio album, 777, and the remix to her single from the album, Big Energy, featuring Mariah Carey has her as hot as any artist in the game at the moment.
NBA Youngboy — In hip-hop, there’s always an artist that may not have the most popular songs that most fans could recite word-for-word—but their music is so strong in the streets—the mainstream must take them seriously. And when it comes to the streets—NBA Youngboy has the game in a headlock at the moment.
Gunna — Gunna is just as hot in Q2 as he was in Q1 when he dropped his latest studio album, DS4Ever, which says a lot about his body of work.
Coi Leray — With her debut album, Trendsetter, currently receiving rave reviews from the streets and the sites—Coi is leaving her impression on the game.
What’s hot in non-traditional media
One could easily make the case that podcasts are becoming just as relevant to the culture as newly released music is. With that being said, these are the hottest non-traditional media platforms in the culture at the moment:
Off The Record With DJ Akademiks
The 85 South Show
Fresh & Fit
The Joe Budden Podcast
Million Dollaz Worth Of Game
What’s hot in fashion
Before we go any further—I must inform you that when it comes to fashion, the Trending In Culture, list will always have a few caveats. That’s because if you’re reading this, I think it would be a pretty safe bet to assume that for as long as you’ve been alive—brands like: Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton have always been culturally relevant.
Those brands are similar to the sun…they’ve been hot as long as we’ve all been alive.
Therefore, those brands and their subsidiaries are excluded from the list of what’s hot in fashion. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way—here’s the hottest clothing brands in the culture at the moment:
Billionaire Boys Club
What’s hot in traditional media
We’re currently in the golden era as it pertains to hip-hop themed television series (thanks to 50 Cent). There’s never been so many television series in rotation at once specifically aimed to appeal to those that love hip-hop culture. Whether it’s a series theme song, its cast, or its content—more shows than ever are embracing the culture (which is a great thing). These are the hottest television shows out at the moment:
Power Book IV: Force
Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty
Hottest social media platforms
There hasn’t been much change in the last 12-weeks as it pertains to the most popular social media platforms embraced by the culture. These are the stalwarts:
As you already know—fashion tastes are extremely finicky. Which is one of the reasons fashion trends come and go every season (clothing brands actually orchestrate it to be that way). One of the trends within the culture that is now out-of-season is small brand logos on clothing.
At the moment, high-end clothing brands that have big logos are the brands consumers within the culture are gravitating towards the most. The reason for that is simply this, fashion is becoming more expensive. And if you're willing to spend $430 on an Amiri t-shirt—wouldn’t you want everyone to easily be able to see the name of the brand whenever you wore it?
This trend also works in the favor of clothing brands because they get the best of both worlds. Consumers purchase their product…and the bigger logos serve as walking billboards when consumers wear their clothing. Sounds like a win-win to me.