The California natives were named in a study conducted by College Rover, which surveyed 1,025 students between the ages 18 to 23, while also using Spotify’s API (application programming interface) to “analyze 48,077 songs in study playlists to discover which tunes correlate with higher academic achievement.”
The study determined that Kendrick was the most popular Hip Hop artist among students with GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0, with 19 percent of those surveyed counting themselves as listeners. That placed him at No. 7 on the list of most popular musicians.
Tyler followed closely behind at No. 9 with 18 percent, while Drake (17 percent), 21 Savage (16 percent), J. Cole (15 percent), Mac Miller (14 percent) and Lil Uzi Vert (13 percent) also making the top 20.
Topping the table was Taylor Swift with 30 percent, trailed by The Weeknd with 29 percent. SZA (26 percent), Harry Styles (24 percent) and Post Malone (19 percent) rounded out the top five.
It wasn’t all good news for Hip Hop, however, as College Rover reported that 60 percent of low-GPA students (2.5 or lower) listened to rap music while they studied.
Furthermore, Hip Hop was the 10th most popular genre among high-achieving students behind the likes of classical, instrumental, jazz, country and EDM.
Students’ love of Kendrick Lamar isn’t surprising. Back in 2014, his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city inspired an English composition class at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia.
The aim of the course was to “help students become a better writer, a better reader, a better analyzer, a better person, and a better appreciator of the language of the street: Hip Hop.”
“I decided to center the class on good kid, m.A.A.d city because I think Kendrick Lamar is the James Joyce of Hip Hop,” the class’ instructor Adam Diehl told HipHopDX at the time. “In the complexity of his storytelling, in his knowledge of the canon, and in his continuing focus on the city of his upbringing: Compton.”
“Kendrick Lamar is a real muthafuckin’ artist, the true definition of the word,” he said in an interview with Kevin Hart. “The only thing I can take credit for is opening the door for him because he’s done everything himself — him and [his manager] Dave Free.”
He added: “We have a fantastic relationship. He’s amazing, man. Kendrick is one of those artists that we call ‘forever artists.’ He could disappear for fucking five years or something like that and come back and fuck our heads up, you know?
“Some artists feel like, ‘I have to do something all the time so I won’t be forgotten.’ That’s not him. He can disappear and come back with something that’s shocking, that’s amazing and everyone’s gonna tune in and listen.”
Both Kendrick Lamar and Tyler the Creator have prided themselves on being students of the game too, with the latter telling fans that anyone interested in Hip Hop should “study” Missy Elliott’s innovative discography.
“To my younger fans, go study all her album,” Tyler wrote on Twitter last year. “Pass that dutch beat still blows my mind. Go watch the hot boyz video. See how she approached lick shots and gossip folks with her voice. capitol M!”
Tyler also urged his fans to do their Hip Hop homework during a stop on his CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST Tour last year. The rapper took a moment on stage to shout-out the likes of Q-Tip, RZA and DJ Drama, encouraging younger listeners to go back and listen to these greats.
“Because of the Internet now, a lot of kids don’t do their history. And the genre they’re a fan of — man, they don’t see how important a Gucci Mane is that all these kids are derivative of now,” he said. “So all y’all being here being a fan of this thing, please just do your history and learn and respect this thing that some people really hold dear.”
“I can’t lie, seeing a bunch of baby-ass white girls dancing to RZA beats in 2022 is fucking progression to me, bro,” he added, referencing the Gravediggaz sample on his song “Lumberjack.” “It’s beautiful.”