Eminem fans are turning up where you might not expect.
It's always a fascinating conversation when asked where a rapper's biggest concentration of fans lie geographically. Besides their hometowns (which is usually a safe bet in terms of a strong, unwavering support base), the biggest pockets of their listeners in the United States might be in places you wouldn't normally expect. Case in point: Eminem.
He's often cited as an influence by rappers who have come up in big markets like New York or Los Angeles, but in actuality, a recent New York Times study has revealed that Em's fan base is strongest in whiter, more rural areas. Examples of specific U.S. locations include West Virginia, southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, northern Maine and the Ozarks in Missouri.
To acquire the data, the New York Times looked at the 50 most-watched artists on YouTube in the United States, starting January 2016 and ending April 2017. Any artist who was studied also had to hold a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this past spring. For the most part, the listener maps for other artists weren't too surprising. For example, Migos and Future are more popular on the East Coast and in the South, The Weeknd's smooth sound hits way better on the West Coast and Kevin Gates has the most listeners across Mississippi and Louisiana.