Is Hip-Hop More Influential Than The Beatles?

New study claims that hip-hop trumps Beatlemania

The Beatles' Abbey Road and Kanye West's Late Ochestration
A new study states that hip-hop influenced the musical landscape like nothing before or since. Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Records; Mercury Records

Is hip-hop more important than The Beatles? Some scientists say so.

A new study on the Beatles is sure to have fans of the Fab Four in a collective fit. The study examines the musical impact of the awesome foursome (Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) to determine if Beatlemania was really as revolutionary as music historians claim.

A group of Londoners studied the musical patterns of U.S. pop charts between 1960 and 2010.

The researchers tracked chord changes and musical tone. Their goal? To zoom in on pop trends and analyze their chart impact, if any. The authors of the study found that the so-called “British Invasion” had no impact on U.S. charts. At all.

What they found, instead, was that the emergence of hip-hop has been significantly influential on pop culture. The study claims that hip-hop’s explosion in 1991 “reinvented the musical landscape like nothing before or since.”

The lead author, Matthias Mauch, told The Guardian that the research is groundbreaking because of the way it measures musical trends. “For the first time we can measure musical properties in recordings on a large scale. We can actually go beyond what music experts tell us, or what we know ourselves about them, by looking directly into the songs, measuring their makeup, and understanding how they have changed,” Mauch told The Guardian.

Fans who enjoy hip-hop and The Beatles can experience both in one setting by way of Kanye West’s new album, which was co-created by ¼ of the Fab Four.