34 Rappers Going Platinum in 2016
Numbers rarely lie, especially when it comes to determining success or popularity. They're not the end-all, be-all, but you'd be remiss to believe that numbers don't matter because they truly do. When it comes to hip-hop, numbers can be the determining factor in achievement. Just ask your favorite artist, whose accolades and legacy are often altered or impacted by sales numbers.
The line between gold and platinum album sales is a thin one for those who are pushing towards it and a thick one for those trying to surpass it, which makes the title of a platinum-selling artist a major bragging right and achievement. And now that the RIAA has changed their rules with the times, even more artists will know how that feels.
Back in the days, before streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and TIDAL were having cold wars over control of the market, radio and physical copies of albums were how most listeners consumed their music. Whether it was vinyl, CD or cassette, actually having that album by your favorite artist in your possession was a must for any music lover. And when SoundScan was introduced in 1991, the RIAA began officially accounting for every unit of an album sold, which in turn became the barometer for albums that were awarded platinum status.
With the advent of downloads and streaming, record sales took a hit, thus decreasing the number of albums that accumulated more than a million albums sold. But with the RIAA's decision to start counting streams to overall record sales, a number of rap albums and singles have been pushed past the million copies-sold mark and have since been deemed platinum.