MF DOOM and Madlib's 'Madvillainy' Is Getting More Popular Every Year. Here's Proof.

Two decades after the release of 'Madvillainy,' Spotify streams for the album are increasing by a staggering percentage each year.

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Madvillainy is timeless. MF DOOM and Madlib’s classic 2004 album is only getting more popular two decades after it was released. 

In celebration of the album’s 20-year anniversary, Complex reached out to Spotify and obtained exclusive data about its streams over the years. It turns out that Madvillainy is picking up a staggering amount of new plays each year. Since 2009 (Spotify’s first full year in operation) streams have increased by an average of 73 percent, year over year.

Here’s exactly how many streams Madvillainy has accumulated on Spotify every year since 2009:

2009: 183,140
2010: 543,707
2011: 736,631
2012: 1,753,415
2013: 3,433,139
2014: 6,099,042
2015: 9,162,091
2016: 15,887,659
2017: 28,008,881
2018: 39,966,145
2019: 45,714,514
2020: 57,378,999
2021: 143,778,525
2022: 178,828,918
2023: 226,769,343

This data supports the theory that MF DOOM’s overall legacy is growing and becoming more widespread as time goes on. Posters of the late rapper’s iconic mask are hanging in dorm rooms across America, and as multiple generations of fans bond over a shared love of DOOM’s music, he’s achieved folk hero status. Naturally, as a standout album in a storied discography, Madvillainy is benefitting from sustained attention in DOOM's life and career.

There was a large spike in streams (an increase of roughly 250%) in the year following his tragic 2020 death, but this isn’t strictly the case of renewed public interest in a recently deceased artist. As the numbers show, this was a trend that had already been growing for years. 

Of course, it’s important to remember that the overall number of Spotify users has been consistently growing year over year, as well. So it would be fair to expect a steady rise in streams for most artists on the platform. However, according to publicly available data, DOOM’s streams are rising at a relatively faster rate than Spotify’s overall user growth. Even if you adjust for the overall inflation of Spotify’s user base, Madvillainy is still getting more popular as time goes on. For example, Spotify’s monthly active users grew by 23% from 2022 to 2023, and Madvillainy’s streams grew by 26.8% over the same period.

In total, Madvillainy has accumulated over 803 million all-time streams on Spotify since 2009, and songs from the album have been featured in over 8.2 million playlists. MF DOOM currently has 7.8 million monthly listeners on Spotify. While monthly listeners can sometimes be a misunderstood and misleading metric, compare DOOM to anyone you consider his contemporary and see how that number stacks up. His music's sustained appeal is very impressive.

According to Spotify, these are the 10 global cities that have listened to Madvillainy the most:

  1. New York City, New York
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. Melbourne, Victoria
  4. Chicago, Illinois
  5. Sydney, New South Wales
  6. Santiago, Chile 
  7. Toronto, Ontario
  8. Seattle, Washington
  9. Phoenix, Arizona
  10. Dublin, Ireland 

This just goes to show that classic music can live on forever.

While you give Madvillainy an extra spin this weekend, check out five things you probably didn't know about the album here.

Additional reporting from Stefan Breskin

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