Long gone are the days when music consumers had to go to a record store to cop the latest tunes. Digital sales run the world more than ever before. Certain rappers are winning big in the digital download game.
Musicians depend mostly solely on digital sales these days, with CD numbers paling in comparison streaming stats. Evidence of the online boom has come in the fact that singles are going diamond at a much faster rate than the pre-DSP era. Post Malone owns eight diamond singles, while the The Weeknd and Drake both each have five. Drizzy is one No. 1 song away from tying Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 songs by a male soloist on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Ice Spice has more monthly Spotify listeners than The Beatles.
While streaming has its advantages, at times it has gotten a bad rap. During the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference, Snoop Dogg lashed out against the medium.
“[Streaming is] exciting but streaming gotta get their s**t together,” Snoop Dogg said. “Because I don’t understand how the f**k you get paid off that s**t. Can somebody explain to me how you can get a billion streams and not get a billion dollars? That s**t don’t make sense to me. I don’t know who the f**k running the steaming industry, whether you in here or not. But, n***a you need to give us some information on how the f**k to track this money down. Because one plus one ain’t adding up to two.”
While digitals sales have reigned, 2023 has been a rough year for hip-hop in the sales department overall. There are only roughly a handful of rap artists who can say they topped the Billboard 200 or Billboard Hot 100 charts this year. However, there are still dozens of rappers who are still putting numbers of the boards.
Here are the 30 of the highest-selling hip-hop artists when it comes to digital singles sold, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The RIAA doesn’t include which digital singles are counted. The following is a grand total of units sold. So run up the best song from these rappers’ catalogs.