Top Cities for Hip Hop

Planning your next tour as an indie or growing artist? It’s important to plan your tours around the right cities to not only strengthen your core fanbase, but to grow your audience as well.

Stem looked at internal data to provide important insights around which cities preform the best as it relates to hip-hop.

While it’s obvious that cities like Los Angeles, New York and the Bay Area would play heavily, there are a few that stick out. Ontario, Dallas, and Seattle may not immediately be top of mind for hip-hop artists but our data shows that Stem clients of that genre perform well in those cities.

Here are some takeaways:

  1. Don’t assume. You never know where your fans are coming from, but using your Stem or DSP generated data can help you figure that out and pinpoint those areas.
  2. Show love & reach out. In areas you’re performing well, show up for your fans. And in those you don’t have a following in, reach out! Fans want to feel connected personally, so it’s important to reach out to listeners in cities you have less streams in. Reach out to platforms and businesses in the cities cities you have a major following in with interesting activations ideas. This could mean partnering with local radio stations for a merch giveaway or giving pre-sale access to fans in particular cities!
  3. Think beyond live. While it’s obvious touring is the easiest way to connect with fans in certain cities, what are other ways you can make fans feel special? Make Instagram videos dedicated to certain areas, make city specified merch drops, or partner with a local restaurant on a unique dish! Share your stories about fans cities to include them in the conversation, even without taking a physical trip or playing a live show. This is especially important as indie artists often don’t have the bandwidth to play a 50-city tour, but can still reach fans in cities they are not performing in.
  4. Smaller doesn’t necessarily mean less fans. While Seattle has a smaller population in comparison to cities like NYC or LA, it still performs highly for Stem hip-hop users. In fact, while NYC has a population of over 19 million, and Seattle’s is less than 4 million, Seattle still holds an important part on this list. Don’t ignore the smaller cities just because of numbers, as they can garner huge attention for your tracks!
  5. Cities beyond states. People are often connected to their city just as much as their state, so call out cities whenever possible. Running city wide campaigns beyond state-wide ones can help add personal touch, especially in smaller cities that artists often forgot to reach out or market to.

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