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Music Mid-Year Report

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Hip-hop represented 55 percent of all top 10s in the first six months of 2018, up from 37 percent in the same span last year.

Led by Drake, hip-hop surged in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 in the first half of 2018.

According to Hit Song Deconstructed’s mid-year trend report, hip-hop (as a primary genre on songs) accounted for over half of all Hot 100 top 10s on charts dated Jan. 3 through June 30. Here are five key findings from the first half of 2018, per Hit Songs Deconstructed, which analyzes the compositional characteristics of Hot 100 top 10s.

Hip-hop flew higher: As a primary genre, hip-hop accounted for 55 percent of the Hot 100’s 44 top 10s in the first half of the year. The share is up from 37 percent during the same period in 2017.

Drake dominated: Drake led hip-hop’s rule in the first half of 2018, spending 18 of the year’s first 27 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. In that span, he was the only artist with two leaders (“God’s Plan” and “Nice for What”) and tied Cardi B for most top 10s (six each).

(Drake has since expanded his 2018 totals to three Hot 100 No. 1s, taking over atop the latest, July 21-dated Hot 100 with “In My Feelings,” and 11 top 10s, following the arrival of his album Scorpion atop the July 14-dated Billboard 200, which the set leads for a second week.)

Hip-hop influenced 90 percent of all top 10s: As an influence shaping the sound of songs (but not a primary genre), hip-hop played into a whopping 89 percent of all Hot 100 top 10s between January and June. The total is up from a still-dominant 63 percent during the same stretch in 2017.

(“An influence is a vocal or instrumental characteristic associated with a particular genre, time period or geographic location that helps shape the sound and vibe of a song,” Hit Songs Deconstructed co-founder Dave Penn says. “For example, rapped vocals could be used to impart a hip-hop vibe in a song outside the hip-hop genre.”)

Minor keys, major hits: Minor keys marked the majority of Hot 100 top 10s in the first half of 2018: 68 percent. Still, five of the year’s first seven No. 1s are in a major key: Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”; Drake’s “Nice”; Childish Gambino’s “This is America”; Post Malone’s “Psycho,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign; and XXXTentacion’s “Sad!” Only leaders “Havana” by Camila Cabello, featuring Young Thug, and Drake’s “Plan” are in minor keys.

Male artists sang more than twice as many top 10s as women: Among all Hot 100 top 10s in the first half of the year, 55 percent sport exclusively male lead vocals. Only 20 percent feature exclusively female vocals. Source: Billboard


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