Click here view the RapCaviar Pantheon video, directed by Director X.
2017 has been an exciting year for hip hop artists, whose creativity and artistry have helped catapult the genre as a major tour de force on the broader pop culture landscape. Spotify has been at the forefront of hip hop’s explosion thanks to the highly influential RapCaviar playlist. With over 8MM followers, RapCaviar is an indisputable force in hip hop, serving a platform for both launching new artists and as a destination for established artists.
Rap has a pantheon of icons, names that are forever etched into culture and songs that no one is ever going to forget. In 2017, three breakthrough artists cemented their place in this pantheon. They created something lasting – and anyone who was listening this year knows it.
To celebrate the three breakthrough hip hop artists of the year, we are launching the inaugural RapCaviar Pantheon, which will pay tribute every year to some of hip hop’s rising stars in unique artistic formats. These artists are decided by a combination of data and curation, in keeping with the curatorial approach of the RapCaviar playlist. For the launch, we have chosen to create three life-size sculptures of this year’s inductees, Metro Boomin, SZA and 21 Savage, which will be unveiled at the Brooklyn Museum.
“Across time, people have had the desire to immortalize others for their contributions to society. And for hip hop, that time has come,” said Seth Farbman, Chief Marketing Officer, Spotify. “Not only has hip hop dominated music culture, it has influenced American culture and we are honored to have artists who are breaking down barriers and shaping culture, as the first inductees of the inaugural RapCaviar Pantheon program.”
“Pantheon is our way of non-verbally communicating the breakthrough artists of 2017,” said Tuma Basa, Global Head of Hip Hop. “We’re treating our artists with the importance that Ancient Rome treated its gods. Metro, SZA and 21 all proved this year that they’re here to stay. Their music is forever so why not immortalize their likeness? Greco-Roman Respect Style!”
Additionally, Spotify has partnered with Director X to create an exclusive short film that chronicles the creation of these sculptures. With voiceover from Pharrell, the film takes a deeper look into why these illustrious artists were chosen to be a part of the program.
“We live in changing times and I’m happy to be a part of something that is challenging the normal perception of what an icon is,” said Director X. “Working with Spotify to visualize the impact of these three artists says to the the world these young, black artists make hot records, you need to listen.”
Each of the three life-sized artist sculptures draws from history, with tiny details that nod to both the artists’ work and classic antiquities – from Metro Boomin’s flute, Sza’s signature ‘Love Galore’ butterflies, to 21 Savage’s eight M’s (in his bank account). These sculptures were developed in partnership with SpecialGuest and created using state of the art Kuka robotic arms at Neoset Designs and Proptogroup over the course of 15 days. All three sculptures will be on limited display open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum on December 8.