Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

What to Know: Hip-Hop’s Dominance of the Summer

By Spencer Kornhaber

Hip-hop and R&B officially leapfrogged rock to become the most consumed genres in America last year. 2018’s race for the song of the summer makes clear just how profoundly the center of popular music has shifted. On Billboard’s Hot 100 chart this past week, you’d have to skip down 14 slots to find a song that doesn’t have a rapper and wouldn’t be classified as R&B. That song is Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry,” a diva-led anthem of the sort that would have once been a fearsome contender for song of the summer. But instead, the battle is between Drake, this decade’s unstoppable musical force, and Cardi B, the era’s most exciting insurgent.

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