Hip hop and rap claimed a record share of UK albums market in 2022

Hip hop and rap made up 12.4% of the UK albums market in 2022, the BPI finds in its All About The Music 2023 yearbook.

Liam Konemann
  • By Liam Konemann
  • 13 Apr 2023
  • min read

Chart-topping British artists including Central Cee, Dave and Stormzy helped hip hop/rap claim a record share of the UK albums market in 2022, the BPI has reported in its All About the Music 2023 yearbook.

Based on Official Charts Company data, the genre was responsible for 12.4% of all album consumption last year, the third largest share behind rock and pop. The figure is its highest annual share to date and more than triple its share in 2015. 

While the genre’s growing impact in the albums market can be attributed in part to global superstars, much of its success is down to the popularity of domestic artists, including Central Cee, Digga D and Stormzy, who all reached the number one position on the Official Albums Chart in 2022. 

Other notable homegrown successes last year included ArrDee, whose album Pier Pressure was 2022’s biggest new debut by a UK artist, D-Block Europe, Dave and Little Simz, who won the 2022 Mercury Prize for Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. Eight of the 10 biggest hip hop or rap tracks of 2022 were by UK artists, compared to just three in 2017. 

Sophie Jones, BPI Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Chief Executive, says, ‘As 2023 marks the 50th anniversary since the birth of Hip Hop and Rap, the genre is showing immaculate timing by celebrating another milestone in its remarkable history and claiming a historic annual share of the UK albums market.’

‘Hip Hop/Rap has been hugely popular with British music fans since The Sugarhill Gang’s ground-breaking hit Rapper’s Delight at the end of the 70s. But while at one time most of its successes here were exported from across the Atlantic, the UK today has a thriving scene of its own, led by brilliant artists such as Dave, D-Block Europe, Little Simz and Stormzy, to name a few. They and many others in the genre are taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by streaming, which, with record label support, has placed them at the centre of British music culture and is delivering them hugely-deserved success.’

All About The Music 2023 is free to BPI members, but can be purchased by the public here.