These days, getting your song put on one the major playlists that a streaming service has to fer – be it Spotify, Apple Music and so on – is arguably more important for artists now than a hit single on the radio. For hip-hop, the golden glow on the horizon that must be aimed for at all costs is Spotify’s RapCar playlist, a grouping songs that updated weekly and followed by over 8.7 million people who use the platform. Now, the playlist’s curator, Tuma Basa, is revealing exactly what it takes to get your track on that list.
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Speaking on XXL’s Shot Callers podcast, Basa had one simple answer for those who wish to be part his extremely popular collection the genre’s best tracks. “Get hot!” he exclaimed. When it comes to crafting the playlist week to week, he says he employs a mixture “gut and data” when it comes to choosing songs.
“The actual storytelling. If you’re building a story and you have an actual relationship with your audience—you have a song that’s got traction—that story will get out there,” he added. “Especially on our platform, what happens in the outside world is reflected on our platform. We see it.” While many the tracks that get included from week to week cherry-pick from hot-button singles and releases, there’s also a fair amount independent work that gets added and then noticed by consumers. Childish Gambino’s “Redbone,” which took on an almost second life as a result being included on RapCar, is a perfect example.
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Check out the entire podcast with Tuma Basa below.