Writers like me, A&Rs, and label executives used to be the ultimate gatekeepers to this industry; that was then, this is now. In a new-age of Hip Hop dominated by (seemingly) independent labels, and artists creating massive fan bases outside of the industry system, Spotify has reigned as an ultimate measure of genuine engagement with new music—and the format that big dogs use to generate the most significant percentage of their streaming revenue.
In this new landscape, Spotify’s Tuma Basa and his world-renowned Rap Caviar playlist have emerged as the premier platform for breaking new acts and dictating the wave of music that will inevitably flood the game.
This year they took this platform a step further with the introduction of Rap Caviar live, which featured a series of concerts with incredible line-ups, such as the New York show which featured a Dipset reunion that was 13 years in the making.
As a thank you to their massive fan base, Rap Caviar teased a money phone, which it claimed it would be giving to its top listeners. They made good on the promise and late last month I received my very own money phone, complete with incredibly impressive packaging, and intricate RC emblazoned money.
A play on the egregiously opulent trend of holding up stacks of money to your ear—which was harshly criticized by Jay-Z via his latest project—the phone case (yes it’s functional) is a fun way to reward loyalty among listeners. Not that they genuinely need any more reasons to stay faithful to the number one music plug of 2017.
If you’re not subscribed to Rap Caviar, you’re slipping. Period.