Most American cities have their own distinct music tastes. Some of what that entails is fairly obvious — Southern cities tend to represent harder for country, New York loves New York rappers, etc. — but there’s plenty of fascinating data YouTube accumulates that the public doesn’t get to see. Well, today, YouTube is pulling back the curtain a bit on video viewing habits across American cities.
Sharing some of their national collection of data exclusively with Billboard, YouTube’s data shows which artists receive more YouTube views in particular cities as compared to their average popularity across other U.S. cities throughout 2015.
As you would expect, local acts do better in their hometowns, but there are a few surprises too — for example, who knew Philly loves Empire so damn much?
Peruse the data below. According to YouTube, the numbers are determined by “how many views a certain artist had on YouTube in 2015 in each city, in comparison to the average popularity across [American] cities.”
Local artists are beloved in their native Philly. Meek Mill gets four times as many YT views in Philadelphia, with “Monster” and “Lord Knows” being five times as popular; Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild are twice as popular in their hometown. One unexpected fact: Songs from Empire are almost three times more popular in Philly than in other U.S. cities, which means Philly locales are really feeling Cookie & Co.
Of course, country does very well in Nashville, so it’s no surprise Chris Stapleton gets three times as many views in Nashville for his YouTube videos. Beyond that, however, Louisiana rapper Kevin Gates is massively popular, getting three times more views in Nashville than his national average. Another non-local artist, Mexican corrido group Los Inquietos del Norte, also does great in Music City, earning twice as many views in Nashville than across the U.S.
Country music aside, Texas rappers perform big on YouTube in Austin. Slim Thug and UGK net nearly three times more views in Austin than other U.S. cities. Tejano music is big as well, with the band Mazz earning seven times more views in Austin than other cities. Late legend Selena is twice as popular in Austin, too.
New Orleans rappers have it easy in the Big Easy, at least on YouTube. Kevin Gates and Juvenile get four times more YT views in NOLA than their U.S. averages, and August Alsina is three times as popular. Given New Orleans’ vital role in the development of R&B, icons of that genre are understandably more popular there: Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and Erykah Badu get twice as many views in New Orleans than in other U.S. cities.
These rappers get twice as many views in ATL than in other U.S. cities: T.I., Migos, Jeezy, Rocko, and K Camp. Additionally, Future gets 2.5 as many YT views in Atlanta, and Young Thug’s “Check” and “With That” videos are almost three times as popular in Atlanta.
Chicago’s own R. Kelly is twice as popular in the Windy City.
Naturally, NYC rappers are bigger in their hometown, with videos from Nas, Mobb Deep and Cam’ron getting twice as many views. West Indian artists are much bigger in New York City compared to other American cities, thanks to the city’s sizable Caribbean population. Jamaican artist Vybz Kartel gets six times more views in NYC than across the U.S., and 2015 breakout Popcaan is five times more popular in New York. From the Dominican Republic, Frank Reyes and Antony Santos are six times more popular than their national average.
Latin artists have huge followings in Los Angeles. The following artists get twice as many YT views in L.A. than other cities: The late Jenni Rivera, Vicente Fernandez, Joan Sebastian, Los Caminantes, Los Temerarios, Los Mismos and Pedro Infante.
Californian reggae artists Iration, Slightly Stoopid, Sublime and Rebelution get twice as many views in San Diego.
Bay Area legend E-40 gets four times more views in his San Francisco than his U.S. average. Latin artists are also huge in San Fran, with these artists getting anywhere between two to four times as many YT views: Cuisillos, Los Originales De San Juan, Pequeños Musical, Sinaloense MS De Sergio Lizárraga, Los Mismos, Chalino Sánchez and Vicente Fernandez.
Hometown heroes Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are twice as popular in Cleveland. Another Cleveland rap artist, Machine Gun Kelly, is four times as popular there, as compared to his average views across U.S. cities.
In the nation’s capital, Wale gets twice as many views, and D.C. rapper Shy Glizzy is five times more popular.