Trending In Culture: Current Marketing Trends In Hip-Hop Culture (Q3 '22)
Updated: Oct 10
The late great fashion designer and cultural icon Virgil Abloh once said, “Fashion and music are two great artistic forms that can be molded by the youth culture—our taste and our passion for evolving things in our limited time on earth allows us to look at things with fresh eyes.”
Abloh couldn’t have been more correct in his assertion. Fashion and music are absolutely the two artistic forms that can be molded by youth culture. And it’s youth culture—hip-hop culture in particular, that sets the trends that almost commands consumers of all cultures to follow.
It’s because of hip-hop culture's power to influence trends, brands, and therefore revenue—we created a quarterly series that we call Trending In Culture, which focuses on the hottest trends and brands within hip-hop culture. With that being said—here’s our third installment (the summer edition) of Trending In Culture for Q3 of ‘22.
Who’s hot in music
Even if you’re one of the biggest fans of hip-hop music—like myself, you’ve got to admit that hip-hop fans are more fickle than fans of other genres of music. Artists that are scorching hot today—could be irrelevant ninety days from now.
However, that’s not the case for a few of the artists on our list that were just as hot in Q2 as they are now.
These are the hottest artists in hip-hop at the moment:
Lil Durk — Durk’s reign remains supreme in hip-hop. Coming off the deluxe edition release of his album 7220—Durk is hot as any solo artist not only in hip-hop, but any genre in the U.S. at the moment.
YoungBoy Never Broke Again — In hip-hop, you don’t have to be one of the hottest artists on the Billboard charts to be one of the hottest artists in the culture—you just need the support of the streets. But every now and then, a few fortunate artists have both—the support of the streets, and the sales success that goes with being atop the Billboard charts. Which is currently the case for Youngboy Never Broke Again A.K.A. NBA Youngboy.
J.Cole — Cole hasn’t dropped a studio album in 2022, but his buzz is still scorching from his Dreamville label’s mixtape D-Day—as well as the success of his second annual Dreamville Festival.
Cardi B — Whenever Cardi B drops a new single—whether it’s for her own project, or a feature for another artist—it has a way of becoming more like an event than just an ordinary release. And although Cardi hasn’t released an album since her 2018 debut Invasion Of Privacy, she has remained relevant in the culture by killing it on features and on social media with her eccentric personality.
Drake — There’s been countless debates by hip-hop fans on just how to rank Drake as an MC due to the fact that he jumps in and out of the genre so often. But even Drake’s biggest critics have to acknowledge the fact that there’s never been a hip-hop artist that has had a run of relevancy quite like he has.
And while his latest album Honestly, Nevermind has been met with harsh reviews from true hip-hop heads that expected a bar-heavy, lyrical type of album from Drizzy—his seventh studio LP still sold the equivalent of 204,000 units in its first week.
Roddy Ricch — In any genre of music—a good way to generate buzz and remain relevant in the culture of an artform is to do plenty of features on other artists’ projects…and destroy them (in a good way, of course). Which is exactly what Roddy Ricch has been doing after the release of his second studio album Live Life Fast (released in December 2021).
Yo Gotti — As an artist that happens to also be the CEO of the hottest record label in hip-hop (CMG), the first three quarters of 2022 has been absolutely great for Gotti. Having already dropped two projects before fall (Free Game, Gangsta Art)—as well as announcing a few big signings to his label, you should only expect bigger and better things from Gotti and CMG going forward.
Babyface Ray — One of the best positions to be in as a hip-hop artist is to have “next.” Next essentially means that a large group of hip-hop fans have an anticipation or expectation for you to be the next rapper to take over the game. At the moment, Babyface Ray is the rapper that has next.
What’s hot in non-traditional media
If you want to put your brand in front of people where their eyes and ears are in 2022—one of the best places to start is non-traditional media outlets like podcasts, vlogs, and blogs.
These are the hottest non-traditional media outlets within the culture at the moment:
Earn Your Leisure
Million Dollaz Worth Of Game
The 85 South Show
The Joe Budden Podcast
Off The Record With DJ Akademiks
What’s hot in fashion
More than any other culture on the planet—hip-hop is known for setting trends in fashion that influences the world. Fashion brands that are embraced by hip-hop also reap all the rewards that come with the influence of the culture—with sales being at the top of that list.
These are the fashion brands that are reaping those benefits that comes along with being the hottest in the culture:
What’s hot in traditional media
With Starz’ ‘Powerverse’ currently on hiatus until the season two premiere of Power Book III: Raising Kanan in August—the last few months have been sort of a famine as far as television shows that resonate with the culture.
But with the fall season on the horizon, these are the shows—both new, and returning—that are the most anticipated by the culture:
Power Book III: Raising Kanan
Hottest social media platforms
Very seldom does a social media platform that becomes adopted by hip-hop culture gets disregarded by the culture. Which is a great thing for the social media platforms that do get embraced by the culture.
However, in terms of popularity—the rankings for those social media platforms can fluctuate from time to time. At the moment, these are the current rankings for social media platforms as it pertains to popularity:
As much as it hurts to say this—malls in America are falling off. What was once a place that served as a magnet for attracting not only consumers—but also anyone looking for a place to hang out, socialize, or people watch—has now become an afterthought to the average American.
For the average American mall goer—the mall experience was something to look forward to. Whether you were an adolescent looking for a great place to hang out with friends on the weekend. Or a shopper that enjoyed going from retailer to retailer looking for the best bargain for an item that you wanted. The mall was the place to be (2Pac even shot a music video in a mall).
However, with the emergence of major online retailers—many of the smaller brick-and-mortar retailers that were once located in malls, unfortunately—were forced to close their doors permanently. And even worse, most of them still haven’t been replaced by other retail stores—as a result, leaving empty spaces in malls that shoppers once flocked to.
But all is not lost. Although most malls in America have lost a great deal of foot traffic, there’s still hope that they could rebound within the next few years.
That’s if brick-and-mortar retailers can get just a little more creative by putting more of an emphasis on niche shops that’ll provide shoppers a unique experience that would sweep them off their feet—even more so than the convenience of receiving a package from Amazon at their front door ever could.