Hit Songs Deconstructed recently released its Q4 2017 Quarterly Trend Report, which details the compositional and industry trends for the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10.
In Q4, there were 22 songs in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, three of which reached #1 during the quarter – Rockstar, Perfect and Bodak Yellow.
After surpassing Pop for the first time in Q2 with 40% of the Top 10, Hip Hop/Rap decreased in prominence during the second half of the year, accounting for 32% of songs in Q4. On the other hand, Pop, after dropping to its lowest level of prominence in years with 16% of songs in Q2, rebounded back up to 35% of songs in Q4, and once again surpassed Hip Hop/Rap. However, Hip Hop as an influence remained steady, shaping the sound and vibe of 77% of songs both within and outside of the Hip Hop/Rap primary genre.
While men continued to dominate the Top 10 in Q4 with 41% of all songs featuring exclusively male lead vocals, this was down significantly from 70% in Q3. Male/female duet and group vocals, however, almost tripled in prominence from 13% in Q3 up to 36% in Q4. Minor keys continued to increase in prominence, and the popularity of claps/snaps held steady, being utilized in 82% of the Top 10, including hits such as Thunder, Too Good At Goodbyes and What Lovers Do, to name a few.
Larger songwriting teams were still by far the most prominent, with songs featuring four or more credited writers accounting for 82% of Top 10 Hits in Q4.