After an eight-month hiatus, the second installment of Apple Music’s Rap Life Live series, filmed at the esteemed Clark Atlanta University, debuts Friday (May 212) at 2 p.m. PST.
The episode is a part of an ongoing series taking place at historically Black colleges and universities, highlighting the interconnectedness of the Black experience, history and music. This episode of Rap Life Live will feature cinematic performances by Saweetie, Lil Durk and Moneybagg Yo across Clark Atlanta’s campus, in addition to exclusive interviews with each of the buzzing up and comers.
Hosted by Apple Music’s global head of hip-hop and R&B, Ebro Darden, alongside Apple Music 1 hosts Nadeska and LowKey, the episode will feature interviews with social and political leaders, including Atlanta mayor and HBCU graduate, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Black Voters Matter Fund co-founder, LaTosha Brown, Clark Atlanta president, George T. French Jr, in addition to highlighting members of the student body, making impactful moves for their communities.
“Black music is the most streamed music on planet Earth,” Rap Life host and radio personality, Ebro Darden tells Billboard. “When we decided we wanted to create an extension of the [Rap Life] franchise, it was like, how can we not only give people a great piece of visual content, but intertwine what’s really going on with the young people that consume the music?”
Darden says a dichotomy is often created between the idea of Black academic excellence and alternative routes to success. His hope is that the series will build a bridge between the worlds of college students and musicians who may not have taken the academic route, celebrating both sets of experiences.
“A lot of music fans that have streaming services [are] 18- to 24-year-olds and they’re in college or trying to figure out their life,” he explains. “Most of the artists are also 18- to 24-year-olds who have either taken on some entrepreneurial hustle in being an artist … or academics didn’t work out for them early on, and they realized to to achieve more financial success and take care of their families, they went the music route.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic created roadblocks for the production of “Rap Life Live,” Apple released the series’ first episode in September 2020 at Howard University–taking all necessary health precautions–and plans to hit two more HBCU campuses before the end of 2021, says Darden.
Watch the trailer below.