Rappers Going Platinum in a Pandemic
The past year has been a trying time for everyone, as the world has grappled with the widespread effects of COVID-19. The isolation, fear and losing loved ones that came with the virus also impacted the music industry hard, especially hip-hop. The genre that thrives on touring found rappers stuck at home and doing livestream shows instead as a result of the pandemic, eliminating the cultural experience of seeing a favorite rapper with friends and associates. Streaming and buying music only continues to temporarily satisfy a lot of rap fans who would usually be at concerts on the regular. With those streaming numbers going up, it helped a litany of rappers go platinum and higher from last March to now. Here, XXL sheds light on the rappers who still managed to find success amidst chaos.
Most surprisingly, there are a lot of songs from yesteryear that went platinum from last March to today. Tyga's "Hookah," Kanye West's "All Day" and Future's "Trap Niggas" all went platinum in 2020, despite all of these tracks being five years old or more. Streaming changes the playing field in a multitude of ways; it gives old songs that were big in their time more light, and can also earn higher accolades after the fact. These songs felt like they were platinum in their heyday, so to see them getting their just due years later is amazing.
The last year saw a set of newcomers securing their first platinum plaques too. 24kGoldn's No. 1-selling track "Mood" featuring Iann Dior went four-times platinum this year. BRS Kash's inescapable "Throat Baby (Go Baby)" got the platinum nod in 2021 as a result of the original song's success and its subsequent remix, which features City Girls and DaBaby. CJ's "Whoopty" moved from a regional hit to a country-wide banger, which locked down his first platinum certification just six days before BRS Kash did the same. Hanging a plaque on their wall isn't a bad way to start a mainstream career, and these artists can attest to that.