Apple Music Teams With NBA, United Masters to Spotlight Emerging Hip-Hop Talent

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Apple Music and the National Basketball Association, together with United Masters, have launched a new global playlist that will highlight the best emerging and independent hip-hop each week, it was announced Thursday (Jan. 16). Called BASE:LINE, the playlist will be curated by Apple Music’s director of hip-hop and R&B Ebro Darden and his team.  

“NBA players come from the same communities that the music does, that is why the artists and the players feel connected. Many artists wanted to make it to the NBA before their life took a turn,” said Darden in a statement. “BASE:LINE is a playlist that gets closer to the community where the artist and the music is beginning.”  

Updated each week, BASE:LINE will feature a mixture of rising and established independent hip-hop artists from around the world, including many from UnitedMasters’ roster. The playlist notably grew out of a previous deal UnitedMasters signed with the NBA in October 2018, in which the league agreed to license music exclusively from UnitedMasters artists for the league’s suit of digital properties and social media channels.


Similar to the UnitedMasters deal, future NBA highlights featured on the league’s digital platforms and social media accounts will be soundtracked using music from the BASE:LINE playlist, offering featured artists exposure while simultaneously furthering Apple Music's current push to provide a larger platform for its playlists and editorial content. “We are excited to provide a massive digital stage” for artists featured on the playlist, added NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. BASE:LINE will additionally be playable on the league’s and NBA app platforms. 

The inaugural BASE:LINE playlist, featuring artists Young M.ASheff GPrincess Nokia and more, is available to hear now.


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