Streaming Hip-Hop Music Forward 2023

Hip-Hop music has been a vital powerhouse of storytelling and connection from its earliest roots in the Bronx to its current economic success and cultural influence. Starting with ‘two turntables and a microphone’, hip-hop has also been at the forefront of technological adoption and hip-hop fans have enthusiastically embraced the streaming era. Streaming helps hip-hop artists bring connection and creative expression to the world. As the capabilities of streaming have evolved with technology, so too has our understanding of the genre and its fans. This report looks at hip-hop fans’ streaming and listening habits and engagement trends to better understand what hip-hop is, who makes it, and who listens to it.

Click here to view the Streaming Hip-Hop Music Forward 2023 Report

The report features interviews with six of the leading digital executives involved in hip-hop music. These executives shared new perspectives and interesting insights on both the state of hip-hop today and where the genre is headed. Highlights of their insights:


Timothy Hinshaw, Head of Hip-Hop & R&B at Amazon Music

“As the world comes together to celebrate hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, it’s important to realize how streaming has connected hip-hop fans to the genre’s history […]. Hip-hop fans have the entire history of hip-hop available to them because of streaming. And it’s our responsibility to create programming that connects our customers to the genre’s history and tells that holistic story.”

Ebro Darden, Senior Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B / Host, Apple Music 1 at Apple

“Streaming gives artists the opportunity for a much more direct to consumer approach – because of things like Apple Music for Artists as an example, artists have invaluable tools to better find, serve, and engage fans and build new audiences.”

Eric “Stens” Stensvaag, Director of Curation at

“Hip-hop has transported from the specific neighborhoods that birthed this music to the global stage, while communicating powerfully about the individual, often marginalized experiences of its creators.”

Joshua “J1” Raiford, Vice President of Music Programing at Pandora

“Streaming has given a platform and exposure to artists who may not have received it otherwise. It’s made it so an artist does not need the backing of a major label to get their music to the masses. It’s also provided an additional source of revenue.”

Carl Chery, Creative Director and Head of Urban Music at Spotify

“Each generation always introduces new ways to approach hip-hop. Over the years, many fans have consumed hip-hop through unofficial channels that didn’t count towards the chart. Streaming was instrumental in making hip-hop the #1 genre in the U.S. for the first time.”

Tuma Basa, Director of Black Music & Culture at YouTube

“There are no limits. Streaming took the ceiling off what and where the music could go. Barriers to entry were lowered and the floodgates opened, which created more opportunities for the music to be heard and for more families to be fed.”


Download the Streaming Hip-Hop Music Forward 2023 Report, highlighting how streaming has helped hip-hop artists bring connection and creative expression to the world.