Image: Westside Boogie & Eminem
According to Billboard, back in 2018, Nielsen Soundscan’s year-end music industry report confirmed that R&B/Hip-Hop was the most popular genre in the United States of America. Nine of the ten most consumed songs in the country were R&B/Hip-Hop songs, and as streaming became the dominant way to consume music, eight of the ten most streamed artists were rappers.
That report focused on 2017, but the period between 2015-2018 was a crescendo for the genre. Established artists like Eminem, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne still had more in the tank; younger stars like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj put their mark on the culture; and rising stars like Pop Smoke, Juice WRLD, XXXTENTACION and Cardi B were already scoring RIAA plaques. Everything was pointing up.
Looking at the hip-hop landscape today, you might get a different feeling. Rap is still enormously popular, but its growth is slowing. Luminate’s mid-year report revealed that Hip-Hop/R&B/ still has the largest overall market share of any genre in America with 27.6% — but that is a decline from last year’s 28.4%, even though it widened its lead at the top in terms of overall equivalent album units. The genre’s total on-demand streaming growth is up 6.2% in 2022, but that’s lower than the rate of the market overall, which is up 11.6%.
TMZ got Westside Boogie at LAX over the weekend, and asked his thoughts on the ongoing conversation about rap losing its dominance. The Shady Records rapper says he can actually relate to Billboard’s article. He says he has been listening to pop music closely and thinks those artists are putting more attention to detail in their music than rappers these days, especially Taylor Swift, whose new album is set to sell around 1.5 million copies in its first week of release.
“I was just talking with somebody yesterday, I was listening to a pop song and I told my manager how white people feel like they are paying more attention to the details of the songs right now. And I don’t think rappers understand that details still matter in that. People notice that they, subconsciously, they probably don’t even notice that they notice it, but that lazy music, we are losing because of it. So, rappers! Get it together! Stop being lazy.” said Westside Boogie.
Then he continues: “Its not only about lyrics. It’s beat selection. It’s telling your story. Because we are in a space where everybody rap good now. How you going to deliver your message, how you going to make it sound authentic. How you gonna make it sound different. If you tell your story, it automatically be unique. As far as sonically, it’s just about pushing yourself and pushing different limits. Don’t be complacent. Because when you are complacent, that’s when you get trashed.”
“I think the magic happens when artists do what he is supposed to do on a song and a producer doing what he’s supposed to do on a song. Cohesive moment creates the magic. When it’s lopsided, you just never know.” Boogie added.
Then the interviewer asked what he did on Eminem‘s 50th birthday and what Eminem’s legacy looks line in the eyes of young generation, on which Boogie replied: “I was just on tour. All I did was say happy birthday while I was on stage and I texted him, told him happy birthday and he said thank you. Shout out to Em. He turned 50. That s**t tripped me out. He really 50 years old… I got 13 years old son and my 13 year olds don’t necessary feel the impact the Eminem had on the world. I feel like that’s why newer artists not to let their legacy die. Especially if we take something from Eminem, life if other artists take a certain cases from Eminem, give him his credit! Because it’s EMINEM, S**T!”
You can watch the interview below: