Some industries oscillate back and forth, their market shares and profitability tides that can be studied and predicted. But the record industry—at least the part facilitated by major labels—appears to be in a decline from which there is no return. Yet even without traditional metrics or hard figures to point to, hip-hop's hold on American and global culture is as strong as ever.

Forbes just released their annual '30 Under 30' list, a who's-who of industry power players. Fully one-third of the music industry list is hip-hop or hip-hop adjacent musicians. Chance The Rapper is the youngest entrant at 21, while the 27-year-old Hit-Boy is the genre's elder statesman. (Forbes was an early supporter of Chance, being the first publication of note to support his 2012 effort #10Day.) Also included are Big Sean, FKA Twigs, Mike WiLL Made It, Jhene Aiko, Iggy Azalea, DJ Mustard, and Azealia Banks, who makes the list despite the dissolution of her major deal.