21 Savage stopped by The Ellen Show this morning as not only a musical guest, but to talk about his non-profit, "21 Savage Bank Account Campaign." The Atlanta rapper is starting an initiative for children to not only sing "Bank Account," but to open their own. He presented the campaign with a check of $21,000 and performed a very censored version of the Count Dracula-esque standout from his Issa album.
It wouldn't be the first time Ellen had a major rap star gracing her stage—in fact, she's had some of the best rap performances on daytime television. Ellen's platform has given a slew of hip-hop artists their first performances on daytime talk shows, which according to her team, is a reflection of her own musical preference. In an interview with Variety, co-executive producer of The Ellen Show Jonathan Norman, says the performances "stem, first and foremost, from Ellen's love of the genre and those artists."
She averaged 2.9 million viewers for the last season, and hip-hop's growing presence on her show reflects the genre's pervasive power in pop culture. With Neilsen's 2017 year-end music report deeming hip-hop as the most listened to genre, it's not surprising that Ellen's show is accurately reflecting what is popular music today. The number of musical performances she's presenting on daytime television (more than 100 each season) is undoubtedly helping her increase her audience. Last year it grew by 13 percent, and that audience is primarily made of women ages 25-54. The talk show host is often comedic but uses her show to do things like expose President Trump's immigration ban using her role in Finding Dory as an analogy. It's moments like those that proves the show is for everyone, and granting hip-hop a space on the leading daytime television show doesn't seem to be accidental. Ellen is in its 15th season and with a deal that stretches to the summer of 2020, it doesn't seem like her love for hip-hop will be going anywhere soon.
The performances are good, too. They're high energy, and sometimes inventive as hell, almost as if the artists are on stage for an awards show. Here are five we can't get out of our heads.
Rae Sremmurd - "Black Beatles"
Migos - "Bad & Boujee"
Chance the Rapper, 2Chainz, and Lil' Wayne - "No Problems"
French Montana, P. Diddy, and Swae Lee - "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems/Unforgettable"
Future - "Incredible"
Kristin Corry is a staff writer for Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.