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Rap Life, Apple Music’s leading hip-hop playlist, is going live.
Tonight (Sept. 18), Apple Music global head of hip-hop and R&B Ebro Darden, along with Apple Music 1 hosts Nadeska and LowKey, will host Rap Life Live, an event designed to “extend the discussion around the many important issues impacting the Black community.” Held on the campus of Howard University -- one of the U.S.’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) -- the event will feature conversations with and performances from rappers Lil Baby, Nas, Rapsody and Wale.
In addition, Rap Life Live will include sit-down interviews with Howard University students including student association president Rachel Howell, Miss Howard University Taylor Davis and Peter Lubembela, president of the Black-run 10for10 community service organization. All will discuss their work “to inspire, educate, unite and uplift their communities.”
A press release notes that health precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the participants, including daily health screenings, face coverings and regular thorough cleanings of the facilities, along with other measures in accordance with national and local COVID-19 guidelines.
"The Rap Life team's main objective was to use our voice and tools to show support and solidarity with students, artists and activists around the nation rising up to make sure the world knows that Black Lives Matter,” Darden said in a statement. “We plan to bring Rap Life Live to more HBCU campuses because these institutions are part of the backbone of Black communities and hip-hop is from the Black experience."
Rap Life Live is an extension of the popular Rap Life playlist (and its companion radio show), which this week is highlighting artists who are “using their music to entertain, inform and heal during this time of ongoing uncertainty.”
All four rappers slated to participate in Rap Life Live released statements of their own ahead of the event.
Lil Baby: "I feel like we got a long way to go... I'd be lying if I said we are getting there. Don't get me wrong it's a start, but it's going to take some time for this to work out.”
Wale: "Black people need to understand and hear each other, combine our messaging and give it to the world.”
Rapsody: "Our voice is our biggest weapon. You have to speak up for what you want. You have to be the change. Speak to each other. Speak up, let people hear you."
Nas: "Whatever is going on in society, affects people. People affect society. And people are going to speak and artists are going to make art."
On June 11, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a $100 million initiative to promote racial justice inside the company. Prior to that, Apple donated an undisclosed amount to groups including the Equal Justice Initiative and matched all employee donations to those groups in the month of June two-for-one.
Rap Life Live -- which is being billed as the “very first” in a series -- airs tonight at 7 p.m. PT on Apple Music. You can listen here.
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