Apple is deepening its partnership with the NBA by teaming up to launch a global playlist on Apple Music to highlight independent hip-hop artists.
The new playlist, dubbed “BASE:LINE” (get it? Cause there’s a baseline in rap songs and on the basketball court), will be curated by Apple Music’s director of hip-hop and R&B Ebro Darden. New artists and songs will be added to the playlist every Thursday with the first edition being made available today.
Apple Music has switched the names of one of its most popular playlists. “A-List: Hip-Hop” is now branded as “Rap Life,” and comes with a new show on Beats 1 radio.
The change was orchestrated by Ebro Darden, global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B at Apple Music. “Rap Life” will be promoted as a segment during Darden’s daily show on Beats 1. Apple is also launching a self-contained “Rap Life” show on Beats 1 every week.
Beats 1 anchor Ebro Darden has been given a New Year’s promotion, being made Apple’s new global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B. In the role, Darden will manage a team of editors in developing editorial strategies for promoting artists, albums, and song releases.
This will be in addition to his Monday to Friday role as a host on Beats 1 and the Hot 97 show, Ebro in the Morning.
This month marks the second year of Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station. To mark the occasion, Apple DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga have given an interview with High Snobiety, in which they look back at the successes and challenges faced by Apple Music over the past couple of years.
Please, please, please let Apple’s Beats 1 radio station be good.
Of all the announcements at Monday’s WWDC keynote, that’s the one I personally am most excited about. When it launches June 30, Beats 1 will be a 24-hour global radio station run by three DJs from three different cities around the world.
I’m a music junkie. I listen to music radio all the time, especially Radio 1, the BBC’s flagship radio station in London. To be honest, a lot of it sucks, but a lot of it doesn’t. It allows me — an expat Limey living in California — to keep tabs on Britain’s awesome musical culture.
And that’s what I’m hoping for — that Apple’s billions will privately fund a radio station that’s like the BBC’s publicly funded Radio 1 — on a global scale.
Apple hinted at such ambitions in the launch video played during Monday’s keynote. Done right, it could be the great music discovery mechanism the entire music industry’s been looking for.
Apple’s big idea for transforming the way we experience music is bringing a personal touch — and a simple, unified platform — to the tangled technological mess that music’s become in 2015. Apple Music is classic Apple: putting a human face on technology that threatens to overwhelm us.
Tim Cook brought out high-profile artists, and Apple’s team of industry insiders, to show off what he called “the next chapter in music” today at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
“I know your are going to love it,” Cook said, introducing Apple Music. “It will change the way that you experience music forever.”