Artist News Business News Labels & Publishers

BPI annual report shows rap continues to boom in the UK

By | Published on Thursday 15 April 2021


UK record industry trade group BPI publishes its annual ‘All About The Music’ report today, and among the many stats contained within it, it shows that rap and hip hop continued to boom in the UK in 2020.

Rap and hip hop made up 22% of overall single track consumption last year, and 12% of album consumption – the latter helped by British acts Headie One, Nines and KSI.

That’s up from 21.5% for single tracks and 10.8% for albums in 2019. Back in 1999, when the BPI first started crunching numbers for individual genres, rap made up just 3.6% of singles consumption and 2% of albums. Now it is the second best-performing genre, behind the relatively ill-defined pop category.

Music by British acts made up around a third of listening for rap and hip hop singles last year – down quite sharply on 2019, when it was 42.2%. However, 2020 was a year of stiff competition from US acts, particularly the likes of Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat.

“A glimpse of this year’s BRITs nominees shows the extent to which rap and hip hop now occupies music’s centre-ground”, says BPI chief exec Geoff Taylor. “The genre has exploded in recent years, propelled by artists such as Stormzy, Dave and Little Simz, who are creating a new narrative for British music and are leading a rising wave of British talent that is harnessing the power of streaming to achieve chart success”.

Now, thanks to the good old Official Charts Company, here are the top five rap and hip hop singles and albums in the UK in 2020…


1. Saint Jhn – Roses
2. Stormzy/Ed Sheeran/Burna Boy – Own It
3. Roddy Ricch – The Box
4. Doja Cat – Say So
5. S1mba feat DTG – Rover


1. Stormzy – Heavy Is The Head
2. Pop Smoke – Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon
3. Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By
4. Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding
5. Juice Wrld – Legends Never Die