Apple is deepening its partnership with the NBA by teaming up to launch a global playlist on Apple Music to highlight independent hip-hop artists.
The new playlist, dubbed “BASE:LINE” (get it? Cause there’s a baseline in rap songs and on the basketball court), will be curated by Apple Music’s director of hip-hop and R&B Ebro Darden. New artists and songs will be added to the playlist every Thursday with the first edition being made available today.
Beats was made the official headphone, wireless speaker and audio partner of the NBA before the beginning of last season. The BASE:LINE playlist deal was made together with UnitedMaster which agreed to an exclusive music licensing deal with the league in October 2018.
Apple Music + NBA
“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 Ebro Darden in a statement. “BASE:LINE is a playlist that gets closer to the community where the artist and the music is beginning.”
BASE:LINE will feature many artists from UnitedMasters’ roster along with independent and established artists. UnitedMasters claims to have more than 50,000 artists on its roster with NLE Choppa and Lil Tecca being two of the biggest names. NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the deal will provide a “massive digital stage” for artists.
I’m a pretty big hip-hop fan and don’t recognize even half of the artists on the inaugural BASE:LINE playlist so it looks like it could be a great way to unearth fresh tunes. Some of the featured artists include tracks with Paul Wall, TI, Cyhi the Prince, Young M.A, Sheff G, Princess Nokia and more.