Dave Chappelle, hip-hop dominate YouTube year-end top trending videos lists

The comedian made an impact with his powerful special, '8:46,' while rappers like Roddy Ricch took over the streamer's music lists

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping millions indoors this year, people depended on the internet for most of their entertainment. YouTube announced its annual Top 10 lists of the year on Tuesday, with Dave Chappelle taking the top spot for the No. 1 trending video, and hip-hop dominating the Top 10 music videos list.

As posted on YouTube’s Official Blog, the three-time Grammy-winning comedian had the No. 1 trending YouTube video in the United States in 2020, with his special, 8:46. Posted by Netflix’s Is A Joke, the streaming service’s official comedy channel, 8:46 dropped as a surprise on June 11, and has since received over 29 million views and 894,000 likes.

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The title derives from the amount of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on the neck of George Floyd on May 25. Floyd died from his injuries while being captured on a video that went viral and sparked months of demonstrations and rallies around the globe.

Chappelle, who stated in the special that 8:46 was one of the first live comedy sets for an in-person audience since the pandemic hit America, opted to be more direct with his feelings about Floyd’s murder and the succeeding protests that followed, rather than his traditional set of jokes and clever storytelling.

Chappelle’s 8:46 beat out Saturday Night Live’s October 3 cold open sketch about the first presidential debate, which took third place. Actor Alec Baldwin portrayed President Donald Trump, as he has been doing since 2017. Comedian/actor Jim Carrey played the role of current President-Elect Joe Biden and Emmy-winning comedian/actor Maya Rudolph portrayed current Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.

Also on that list was Ricky Gervais’ controversial monologue on the 2020 Golden Globes ceremony on NBC in January. It took eighth place on the Top 10 trending videos in the United States. It currently has over 16 million views and 495,000 likes.

Since live music has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube has been an even more reliable source for music and entertainment. As YouTube’s Head of Culture and Trends Kevin Alloca wrote, “In the U.S., this year’s top trending videos show how creators quickly adapted to the unforeseen challenges of 2020 while also addressing the unique, personal needs of their communities.”

Not only did Chappelle’s special speak to the conscious and temperature of today’s society, musicians and rappers have been a haven of joy, escapism and reflection of the listening and viewing audience that’s been thirsty for content.

As a result, the people have spoken and the entirety of YouTube’s Top 10 trending music videos in the United States are rap artists. Topping the list with nearly 2 billion views combined are Future and Drake’s short film for the single “Life is Good” and Takeshi 6ix9ine’s “Gooba.” They respectively earned 1.3 billion and 640 million views each.

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Future featuring Drake in their music video for “Life is Good”

Coming in at No. 5 was Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s video for their hit single “WAP,” which reached just under 300 million views so far. Rapper Roddy Ricch has the special distinction of being on this list three separate times.

Ricch is a featured artist on the video for NLE Choppa’s “Walk Em’ Down,” which landed at No. 4. His collaboration with DaBaby for “Rockstar” debuted at No. 6 and his own video as lead artist for his smash single, “The Box,” sits at No. 7. In total, Ricch accounts for over 655 million total views on the list.

Drake and rapper Lil Baby are also on the list multiple times, each making the list twice.

This is the second year in a row that Hip-Hop dominated YouTube’s Top 10 trending music videos in the United States. In 2019, seven of the 10 entries were held by rappers, most notably Grammy-winning new comer Lil Nas X. As reported by Variety, his top-selling single, “Old Town Road Remix” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, was on the list twice. The audio video for the song held the top spot while the short film for the song sat at No. 5.

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