Loyalty seems to be a recurring theme of the year. We got it from Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna's fire collaboration, and Donald Trump demanded it of his staff—even if that meant looking like a mob boss in front of his constantly bewildered nation. Well, folks. Yet another type of loyalty is being tested across the country: this time, it's your loyalty to your hometown artists. Sort of.
In a new report, The New York Times analyzed the YouTube streams for 50 artists on the Billboard Hot 100, as of this spring. The chosen artists were the most-watched on YouTube in the U.S. between January 2016 and April 2017. Each resulting map shows their popularity reflected in different parts of the country. According to the Times: "If one part of a map is lighter, it doesn’t mean people there weren’t watching the artist’s videos; it just means fans were more likely to listen to a variety of other artists."
The top artist of the pack was Future, whose most concentrated areas of popularity were fittingly nestled along the South.
Rihanna is the most popular woman on the list at No. 2. She and Beyonce (No. 8) have similar maps: they're widely known across the country, but most streamed in the South and on the East Coast.
One of the most interesting results of this project is the fact that Kevin Gates is the fifth most popular artist on this list, behind Future, Rihanna, Twenty One Pilots, and Justin Bieber. Gates is pretty well-known throughout the country, but his most rabid fans live in—surprise—Louisiana, plus most of Mississippi and a chunk of Arkansas. Also in the top 10 are Rae Sremmurd (No. 7) and The Weeknd (No. 9), who's incredibly popular from the middle of the country to the West Coast.
The map also lays out what you may have thought in the back of your mind when it comes to certain rappers: Eminem's popularity is strongest in "whiter and more rural places," like West Virginia, southern Ohio, and eastern Kentucky, while Migos' pull is strongest in the South and relatively nonexistent in whiter, more rural swaths of the U.S.
Also popular in the South are Lil Yachty, Kodak Black, Gucci Mane, and DJ Khaled, who surprisingly wasn't super popular across the nation, as I would have assumed, given his status as the unofficial ruler of Snapchat and pop culture #influencer.
Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean are both incredibly popular in Cali, with Sean Don also drawing heavy streams from his hometown of Detroit and Kendrick pulling a lot of support from the West Coast in general.
In other regions: The upper West Coast is not fucking with Lil Uzi Vert at all. Uzi might need to push his tour life to the edge of the left side of the country and make himself acquainted, stat.
You can see the rest of the maps, featuring geocoded support for J. Cole, Travis Scott and Drake, here.