THE HIPHOP MILIEUS
In 1973, hiphop was initiated in the Bronx by people who were denied full participation in society due to classism and racism. They responded with self-empowerment and utilized their ambition and creativity to create something out of nothing. They formed a culture that conquered the world, adapting to different environments and carrying the spirit of 1973 until today.
By 2023, hiphop is no longer just a subculture. In Germany, 14.9 million people between the ages of 12 and 49 identify with hiphop culture*, 19 million people listen to rap**, and nearly 80 million people are reached directly or indirectly by the greatest culture of our time. In the Gen-Z, it is even a staggering 65% who consider themselves part of hiphop culture***. Some are primarily interested in music, others in street fashion, and still others in street dance or street art.
Only those who deeply engage with the origins, needs, and diverse characteristics of hiphop culture can do justice to it and the people who live within it. The hiphop communities provide the perfect entry point and guide for this purpose.
The Hiphop Milieus show the culture’s diversity
As the culture celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it has grown and become more diverse over the past five decades. Thanks to its mental openness and ability to “sample,” hiphop culture integrates and reinterprets elements from outside the culture, making them its own. This has created a multifaceted and highly individual landscape of today’s hiphop culture, where people live in different worlds, have different role models, and are interested in different artists, brands, and themes. What unites people despite all their differences is their mindset and passion for hiphop culture.
The Hiphop Milieus now provide an overview of all these strongly differentiated and unique currents, from traditional to progressive and from premium-oriented to non-premium.
Hiphop milieus are groups of like-minded individuals defined by similar values, mentalities, and lifestyles, not by demographic data such as income or education level. People use social milieus to develop their social identity. They identify with a Hiphop Milieu by shaping their lifestyle according to its ideals. The ideals of a Hiphop Milieu do not define how each individual in the group is, but rather how they aspire to be.
Hiphop Milieus are fluid: hardly anyone remains in the same Hiphop Milieu their whole life – most people change, their desires and ideals evolve over the years, and some even switch between different hiphop milieus depending on their mood or environment.
Since its founding in 2021, THE AMBITION, supported by renowned experts and opinion leaders, has been the first and only company to describe and map the diverse cultural movements within hiphop culture. THE AMBITION is Germany’s first consulting company for hiphop culture.
* YouGov x THE AMBITION 2021
** Allensbach 2021
*** Appinio x THE AMBITION 2022
**** Steuerwald C. Soziale Sicherung. In: Die Sozialstruktur Deutschlands im internationalen Vergleich. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, 2016. S. 278
***** Hörning, K. H. und Michailow, M. Zum Wandel von Sozialstruktur und sozialer Integration. In: Lebenslagen, Lebensläufe, Lebensstile. Berger, Peter A. (Hg) Göttingen, 1990. S. 503 – 524