Apple Music’s Hip-Hop Programming Head Carl Chery Moves to Spotify

The streaming world has been shaken-up a lot over the course of the last few years, especially as it becomes the predominant way to listen to and discover new music. This year alone has already seen a few big players joining and leaving both record labels and streaming giants for new positions as the industry gets increasingly competitive. Now Variety reports that head of artist curation for hip-hop and R&B programming at Apple Music, Carl Chery, will be leaving the company for a new role at competitor Spotify.

Chery joined the company all the way back in 2014 as part of Apple's acquisition of Beats By Dre/Beats Music, but now it's expected he'll fill the hole former RapCaviar curator Tuma Basa left when he headed to YouTube in February. As Variety points out, Chery previously developed Apple Music's hugely popular A-List: Hip-Hop and A-List: R&B playlists, and he was also responsible for helping secure Chance The Rapper's Coloring Book as an Apple Music exclusive. 

Carl Chery has also played a big part in helping launch the careers of numerous popular artists, including Post Malone, Cardi B, and Daniel Caesar among others.

With Spotify recently going public with an estimated value of almost $30 billion dollars on its opening day of NYSE trading, he couldn't've picked a better time to join the company. 

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How Chance the Rapper’s Manager, Pat Corcoran, Reimagined the Music Business | Blueprint

Pat “The Manager” Corcoran and Chance the Rapper, two self-taught kids from Chicago, set the bar for what independent artists can achieve, but it didn't come easy. In our new episode of Blueprint with Complex's Editor-in-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever, Pat explains how the two met, the backlash around the release of Coloring Book, and the one thing that threatened their independence.

Chance and Pat's decision to roll with Apple Music for the release of Coloring Book was met with some criticism as people believed it changed their narrative of being independent. Pat disagrees with that stance, and also explains why they went with Apple. “We wanted to put the project in the hands of someone who was going to take the project seriously, who understood Chance, who would love the music and would be a champion for that music,” he says around the 32:50 mark. “We took all the meetings and the phone calls. We spoke with everyone: Tidal, SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music, even smaller streaming services like Audiomack. It was sort of like taking meetings as a high school all-star athlete and going to different colleges and seeing who's gonna care about us the most and who's going to help put us in the right position to win and succeed and have a great career in the majors. At the end of the day we went with the company that believed in Chance most… it wasn't about the money. It was about the people inside that building.”

Pat also details the pushback they received from Def Jam when securing features from Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and more for Coloring Book. “It took the wind out of my sails when the first thing I heard from the Def Jam CEO was, 'No way… not gonna happen. No way in fucking hell.'”

“Those were tough conversations to have, especially with being so close to the Kanye camp,” Pat adds.

Watch the full interview above and subscribe to Complex to catch upcoming episodes of Blueprint

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Chance the Rapper Debuts Untitled Track f/ Daniel Caesar With Stellar Performance on ‘The Late Show’

New Chance the Rapper has arrived. The Grammy award-winning rapper appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert  on Monday night and blessed us with an electrifying performance of his new Daniel Caesar featured track. The track is so new that it doesn't even have a title yet. Chance, who wrote the song just two days ago, previously premiered the track “Angels” on Late Show

Colbert took the opportunity to address the #TakeTheKnee protests that have been sweeping the NFL following inflammatory comments made by Trump. 

Though Chance's last project was 2016's collaborative Christmas mixtape with Jeremih, Merry Christmas Lil' Mama, the Chicago musician has been keeping busy. Chance linked with Colbert, dropping a politically charged verse, for the opening musical number at this year's 69th Primetime Emmy Awards . He has also been performing, featured on a handful of tracks, and even kinda helped to save SouundCloudChance dropped the stellar fourteen track mixtape Coloring Book back in May 2016.  

Oh, and let's keep our fingers crossed for that much-anticipated Chance The Rapper and Childish Gambino collaboration. In the meantime, check out Chance's new song in the video above. You can also check out the interview Chance did with Colbert on Monday's show, which features him talking about the campaign that fans started to try and make him the mayor of Chicago, below.

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Before ‘Teenage Emotions’: How Lil Yachty Got Here

Lil Yachty takes a huge step forward in his career with the release of his debut studio album Teenage Emotions. But what got us to this point? How did Lil Yachty become the phenomenon that everybody's talking about? Here are some of the high points of his journey to stardom.

January 2014: Yachty shares his first IG post

Yachty is nothing if not a master of social media. He currently has nearly three million Instagram followers, and gained much of his following via IG and other social media platforms. But it all started on Jan. 8, 2014 (175 weeks ago, in Instagram terms), when he posted this BRE (Before the Red hair Era) photo. 

 

trapaholics nigga I shoulda been had onna deez

A post shared by KING BOAT #fortheyouth (@lilyachty) on Jan 8, 2014 at 1:56pm PST

As the son of a prominent hip-hop photographer who was a veteran in front of the camera by the age of four, Lil Boat was a natural fit for Instagram. 

August 2014: He drops his first song on SoundCloud

Yachty didn't really break through until late 2015 (more on that later), but he had plenty of music before then. While some argue that his debut track was “Bitter Sweet,” the very first track he posted on SoundCloud on Aug. 10, 2014 was the confusingly-spelled “I Got the Baag.” Check it below.

Summer 2015: Yachty moves to NYC

In the summer of 2015, not long after adopting his nickname and nautical-themed style, the teenager formerly known as Miles McCollum moved to New York City with one simple plan: meet famous people. As someone with an eye on the fashion and streetwear worlds, Yachty wanted to meet and impress people like “fashion influencer” Luka Sabbat. “They're the cool kids all the kids listen to,” Yachty told Rolling Stone. “It was strategic. They helped my name build.” 

August 2015: Busted for credit card fraud

While back in Georgia that same summer, Yachty and a 21-year-old friend named Clarence Logan were busted at a mall with over three dozen fake credit cards between them. They were charged with forgery, fraud, and counterfeiting, and Yachty was let go on $11,000 bail.

December 2015: “One Night” used in popular comedy video 

Yachty's first big break arguably came at the very end of 2015, when his song “One Night” was used in a comedy video by Caleon Fox called “When Bae Hits You With That 'So What Are We?'” Almost immediately, YouTube commenters started asking what the song used in the skit was.

February 2016: Yachty models at Yeezy Season 3 show

By early 2016, Yachty had become close with the controversial tastemaker Ian Connor, who last year was accused of rape by multiple women. Connor played some of Yachty's tunes for Kanye West, which led to Yachty being invited to model for Kanye's Yeezy Season 3/album release show at Madison Square Garden.

March 2016: He drops his debut mixtape 'Lil Boat'

Yachty released his debut mixtape Lil Boat in the weeks after the Kanye show. The project proved the teenage rapper had a unique style that went beyond his social media presence.

April 2016: Collaborates with D.R.A.M. on “Broccoli”

April 6 was the release date for the hit collaboration with D.R.A.M., “Broccoli.”

May 2016: Works on Chance the Rapper's 'Coloring Book'

Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book featured Yachty alongside Young Thug on the track “Mixtape.”

June 2016: Yachty Spits a Hot 97 Freestyle

That June, Lil Yachty appeared on NYC radio station Hot 97 with Ebro Darden. When asked if he was a rapper, he said, “No. I don't know.” And then, as if to prove his point, he wiped out during a freestyle

The back-and-forth with Darden and Hot 97 continued, with Yachty releasing a song aimed at them in July. He then joined Ebro again on the latter's Beats 1 show in November for something resembling a reconciliation.

June 2016: Signs With Quality Control and Capitol

June was a huge month for Yachty. In addition to the Hot 97 appearance, he revealed he was signing to Atlanta powerhouse Quality Control. That was quickly followed by the announcement of a joint venture between Capitol and QC for Yachty's next project. Also that month? Yachty made the XXL Freshmen list

July 2016: 'Summer Songs 2' Drops

Yachty keeps the music coming in July with the release of Summer Songs 2 and an accompanying short film called Keep Sailing.

August, 2016: Yachty disses Biggie, Pt. 1

In an interview with Billboard, Yachty says he “honestly couldn't name five songs” by either 2Pac or the Notorious B.I.G. Outrage follows.

October 2016: Want a Sprite?

Yachty teams up with LeBron James for a Sprite ad featuring Yachty's hit “Minnesota.”

November 2016: Expands into fashion

Yachty's nautical fascination finally pays off when he's asked to model a collaboration between Urban Outfitters and Nautica.

November 2016: Yachty disses Biggie, Pt. 2

During an appearance on Pitchfork's “Over/Under” series, Yachty refers to Biggie as “overrated.” He quickly apologizes.

December 2016: Links with Kyle for “iSpy”

Towards the end of 2016, Yachty teams up with Kyle to release “iSpy.”

February 2017: Getting that Target money

Yachty has never been one to shy away from endorsements (“endorsement money is huge,” he noted in a 2016 New York Times profile). So it was no surprise that he did an ad for Target. What was a surprise was a) it was a collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen and b) it featured a remake of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's 1988 classic “It Takes Two.” 

March 2017: Named one of Forbes' 'Cash Princes'

Yachty's newfound commercial and financial success is celebrated by Forbes, who names him one of the magazine's Cash Princes alongside Desiigner, D.R.A.M., Noname, and others. That same month, he teams with Nautica for a second collection.

It will be interesting to see where Lil Yachty takes his career from here. Man cannot live on controversy and cool hair alone, so we'll be looking forward to seeing what happens when he becomes a little more established and no longer has to defend his every move against criticism from rap purists. What will Lil Yachty be like in a world where he's not constantly battling for acceptance—a world where, perhaps, there may even be a teenager or two rebelling against him? Whatever happens, we'll be listening.

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Chance the Rapper Files Lawsuit Against Anyone Trying to Sell Fake Merchandise

If you were thinking about selling some fake merchandise at his upcoming Spring Tour, Chance the Rapper wants to make it clear that you don't want zero problems, big fella! The rapper and his touring company, CTR Touring Inc., filed a lawsuit in an Illinois district court on Wednesday for “injunctive and monetary relief” as a precautionary effort against anyone who tries to hawking unauthorized merch at any of his shows. 

While the suit doesn't have a single name attached to it, Chance and his team are utilizing this approach to discourage people from even trying to inappropriately use the rapper's name to make a quick couple of dollars.

Last month, Chance addressed rumors surrounding an exclusivity deal with Apple Music, admitting that Apple gave him $500,000 because he “needed the money.”   

As an independent artist, Chance depends on every dollar he receives, and if he needs to take these measures to ensure that the money from this upcoming tour is going in the right pocket, then so be it. Chance reportedly filed a similar lawsuit late last year around the time of his Magnificent Coloring World Tour.

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Where Will Kendrick Lamar’s Next Studio Album Take Us?

Kendrick Lamar has a way of putting the entire music world on high alert. The Compton wordsmith signaled his grand return in dramatic fashion by dropping “The Heart Part 4” on Thursday night. After calling himself the greatest rapper alive and rattling off subliminal disses presumably aimed at Big Sean and Drake, Kendrick ends the shape-shifting track with a presumed release date for his next LP, gift wrapped as a warning to rivals: “Y'all got 'til April the 7th to get y'all shit together.”

So there you have it. Eleven days from today, Kendrick Lamar is coming…with something. But just where does one of rap’s most important voices go following the massive masterpiece that is To Pimp a Butterfly? He dropped some hints earlier this month in an interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine, describing the project as timely and “very urgent.”

“I think now, how wayward things have gone within the past few months, my focus is ultimately going back to my community and the other communities around the world where they’re doing the groundwork,” he said. “To Pimp a Butterfly was addressing the problem. I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore. We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it’s almost in conflict with what’s going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system.”

He continued with an analogy about watching a hypothetical daughter mature into a woman. “At one point in time I may have a little girl who grows up and tells me about her engagements with a male figure—things that most men don’t want to hear,” he said. “Learning to accept it, and not run away from it, that’s how I want this album to feel.”

The two themes—confronting the inevitable and the significance of religion in the midst of political havoc—evoke the idea of meeting with God in the afterlife. Kendrick alludes to this in “The Heart Part 4” via his burn of America’s so-called leader (“Donald Trump is a chump/Know how we feel, punk? Tell 'em that God comin’”). DMX has talks with both the devil (“Damien”) and the Lord (“The Convo”) on It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, the album that first inspired a young K-Dot to write his own raps. Perhaps Kendrick plans to address the same grapple on his next work.

Focusing on a higher power would be consistent with the trajectory of Kendrick Lamar’s studio albums thus far. Each LP finds him broadening his scope, almost as if he’s adjusting to the size and diversity of his audience. Section.80 homes in on the experience of ’80s babies brought up in the midst of Reaganomics and the crack epidemic. Its 2012 follow up, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, paints with wider strokes, portraying the perils of growing up on the red-and-blue patrolled blocks of Compton, which really serves as a microcosm for Any Hood, U.S.A. To Pimp a Butterfly and its well-received leftovers Untitled Unmastered are generally concerned with the plight of black Americans (the former has been notably described as “overwhelmingly black”). Religion would not be new terrain for Kendrick—GKMC concludes with a life-changing baptism and TPAB’s “How Much A Dollar Cost” is about an encounter with a panhandler who turns out to be God. Yet the time seems appropriate to musically explore spirituality in greater depth, especially after Chance the Rapper blurred the line between spiritual and secular rap last year with Coloring Book.

As for politics, things done changed since the last time Kendrick compiled an album. TPAB dropped in the wake of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice’s murders by police officers, days when movements like Black Lives Matter were beginning to really find momentum. Kendrick took it all in and spit out a soundtrack of survival (“We gon’ be alright”), self-care (“I love myself”), self-esteem (“Complexion don’t mean a thing”) and self-worth (“This dick ain’t free”). And while each of those themes remains important, for many the socio-political climate has shifted from survival to resistance. Kendrick has the opportunity to make angrier—or to use his words, “very urgent”—music to keep listeners fighting the good fight against America’s first (and, God-willing, last) orange president. He could pack his new LP with tracks that are more Public Enemy than A Tribe Called Quest, more “The Blacker The Berry” than “You Ain't Gotta Lie (Momma Said).”

Alternatively, Kendrick could blow minds with an album that aims to be an easier listen than its predecessor. Maybe he’s cooking up music designed to take your mind off the clusterfuck in the nation’s capital and its ensuing whitelash, calling up the likes of Quavo, Travis Scott, and Metro Boomin to compile a project full of trunk rattlers and trap-friendly pop hits. Aside from toning down Kendrick’s sometimes heavy songs, it’d be an interesting wrinkle in his rivalries with Drake and Big Sean, who’ve enjoyed better success on the singles charts (please believe there will be some shots at both on the new project, whether subliminal or Kurupt-like).

If K-Dot really wanted to come from left field, he could drop a primarily sung release—he told Rick Rubin last year that he could envision himself one day creating a project where he’s not rapping. “I think I got the confidence for it,” he said. “If I can master the idea and make the time to approach it the right way, I think I can push it out.” (You get a sense of that side of Kendrick’s abilities on Mac Miller’s “God Is Fair, Sexy, Nasty,” from The Divine Feminine.)

A document purported to be Kendrick’s upcoming LP credits surfaced on the internet Saturday, citing Andre 3000, D’Angelo, and Kanye West as collaborators. Despite a thoroughness that includes sample credits and publisher information, it seems to be the imaginative work of an obsessive troll—producer Cardo has debunked it via Twitter, and one song is even titled “Counterfeit.” The takeaway: Only Kendrick Lamar knows what the next entry of his catalog holds.

“Everything is going to make sense—not only to myself but to anybody who wants to understand life and music,” Kendrick told the Guardian in 2015 of his follow-up to TPAB. “I know exactly what I want to say next.” We’re all ears, Kenny.

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Chance the Rapper Donates Over $1 Million to Chicago Public Schools

Chance the Rapper held a press conference at Westcott Elementary School in Chicago Monday to discuss education funding and announce a $1 million donation to Chicago Public Schools. The press conference was streamed live here via Chance's Instagram. Complex News was also on the scene.

Chance's presser centered on what he said was an “urgent need” to fund Chicago schools. “Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago's children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn,” Chance said. “Our talks were unsuccessful.” Rauner, Chance said, was unwilling to budge without caveats and ultimatums.

“Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positioning,” Chance said. “If the governor does not act, CPS will be forced to end school 13 days early, which means over 380,000 kids will not have adult supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm's way.”

Chance also announced a donation of over $1 million to Chicago Public Schools:

As humorously recounted during Monday's presser, moments like these make a good case for answering calls from numbers you don't recognize:

While taking questions from reporters following the announcement, Chance also revealed he had plans to speak with fellow Chicago icon Common regarding education funding later that day.

Activist DeRay Mckesson, who met with Chance this weekend to discuss CPS funding, praised the Coloring Book artist's efforts on Twitter:

The presser came days after Chance's meeting with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner last week, which didn't exactly conclude in the way Chance had hoped.

“I'm here because I just want people to do their jobs,” Chance told the Chicago Sun-Times and other reporters Friday after the meeting. “I did speak with the governor. I asked him about funding [Chicago Public Schools] with that $215 million that was discussed in May of last year. It was vetoed in December.”

Hours before Monday's presser, Rauner floated some funding ideas in a memo obtained by the Chicago Tribune. The first option involves the passage of legislation allowing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to “tap into” the city's tax increment financing funds to help cover the $215 million gap. The other, according to the Tribune, would require the passage of a larger overhaul of Illinois' pension retirement program.

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Chance The Rapper Wins Grammy For Best New Artist

The 59th Grammy Awards have officially commenced, and the first award up for grabs was the honor of “Best New Artist.”

A lot of people assumed it might be The Chainsmokers thanks to their massive string of chart-topping singles, but crowd favorite and free music advocate Chance The Rapper has taken home the evening’s esteemed opening award.

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Their fellow nominees were as follows:

Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

To celebrate, check out Change The Rapper’s 2017 album, Coloring Book.

 

Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Chance The Rapper Wins Grammy For Best New Artist