Earlier this year, the RIAA updated their album award methodology to include streaming, a much needed change in the age of an increasingly digitized music industry. The implementation of these new rules mean that every 1500 streams now count as one album sale, which is then put towards the overall album certification. The change has already benefited many artists, but it seems like rappers are really reaping the benefits. In just under five months since the update, 29 hip-hop records have gone gold, platinum, or multi-platinum.
When the announcement was made February 1st 2016, several records immediately went platinum, including Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly and Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise, both of which were released in 2015. Other records, including J. Cole's 2014 Forest Hills Drive, took a bit longer to catch up. FHD went double-platinum just a few days ago, an impressive accomplishment considering the album has no features.
As Gary Suarez points out in Forbes, four times as many hip-hop releases were certified in the past few months as were recognized in the exact same period just a year ago. Intentional or not, it appears the industry is finally catching up to the most popular hip-hop records of the past few years and giving them proper credit.
Below is a list of all the records that have been certified since February. If it wasn't obvious enough that people love Drake, this should cement it for you. His latest album, Views, hit the double-platinum mark in just 6-weeks, no doubt thanks to a little streaming optimization on his part. He's breaking records left and right.
- A$AP Rocky – At Long Last ASAP
- Childish Gambino – Because The Internet
- G-Eazy – These Things Happen
- G-Eazy – When It’s Dark Out
- Kevin Gates – Islah
- Gucci Mane - The State Vs. Radric Davis
- Kid Ink – My Own Lane
- Meek Mill – Dreams & Nightmares
- Wale – Ambition
- YG - My Krazy Life
- 2 Chainz – Based On A T.R.U. Story
- Iggy Azalea – The New Classic
- Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise
- J. Cole – Born Sinner
- J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story
- Drake & Future – What A Time To Be Alive
- Fetty Wap - Fetty Wap
- Future - DS2
- Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
- Bryson Tiller – Trapsoul
- Various Artists – Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording
- Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2x)
- Drake - Nothing Was The Same (3x)
- Drake - Take Care (4x)
- Drake – Views (2x)
- J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2x)
- Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday (3x)
- Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2x)
- Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint (2x)
So, yeah, apparently hip-hop fans are super down with streaming. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of hip-hop on the charts in the future.