Apple Music Taps Hot 97 Host Ebro Darden as Head of Hip Hop
Hot 97 and Apple Music Beats 1 host Ebro Darden has a new gig at Apple Music.
Apple has appointed Darden global editorial head of hip hop and R&B. The well-known deejay will take on the role starting today (Wednesday) alongside a team of editors.
Ebro will be in charge of developing Apple Music’s hip hop and R&B editorial strategy for artists, albums, and new song releases. The move is another counter-strike against Spotify’s ultra-powerful playlist, Rap Caviar.
Guests on Darden’s Beats 1 show have included Meek Mill, Cardi B, Migos and Chance the Rapper, among others.
Darden will continue hosting his popular Hot 97 and Beats 1 shows. ‘Ebro in the Morning’ runs Monday through Friday, 6 am to 10 am ET, and his Beats 1 show streams Monday through Friday 3 pm to 5 pm ET. Darden typically interviews top hip hop artists and discusses breaking news about the hip hop industry.
Apple Music director Rachel Newman says the company is pleased to have Ebro on board.
“Having dedicated his life and career to hip hop, R&B, and pop music, he has so much to offer. One of Ebro’s most defining characteristics is that he has great ears for where R&B and hip hop are transcending and evolving to beyond even the borders of the U.S.”
Hip hop and R&B remain surging genres for both Apple Music and Spotify.
Emo Rap was listed as the fastest growing genre for Spotify in 2018, underscoring how the hip hop community is evolving.
Ebro announced the new gig via Instagram, writing that he has officially joined the Apple Team in 2019. Darden’s appointment replaces Carl Chery, who served as Apple Music’s head of artist curation before leaving for Spotify in April 2018.
When discussing his goals for his new position, Darden says he wants to find a way to help “artists connect with consumers in a real way.”
“Black music comes from the community. This is music made by people living real lives and artists speaking on behalf of those real lives.”
Darden joined Apple Music in 2015 as an anchor host on Beats 1 global live stream. He previously served as the station music director for Hot 97 from 2003-2007.