Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Spotify Head of Urban Music Carl Chery Invites Fans To Look Into the Stories of Hip-Hop's Top Artists With RapCaviar Presents'


Mark March 30 on your calendars. That's when RapCaviar Presents arrives on Hulu. Based on Spotify's flagship hip-hop playlist, RapCaviar, the compelling new documentary series tackles today's most provocative issues through the lens of hip-hop. Centered around the visionaries and emerging stars who rule the charts and influence our culture, fans will get an up-close look into the lives of City Girls, Tyler, The Creator, Polo G, Roddy Ricch, Coi Leray, and more.

Featuring commentary from cultural tastemakers, media experts, and hip-hop historians, each of RapCaviar Presents' six episodes examines a specific deep-rooted issue that affects hip-hop artists, their fans, and society at large. This includes explorations of mental health, women's sexuality, the criminalization of rap, social media criticism, and the ultimate cost of viral fame.

In addition to honest commentary on cultural topics, the show also gets personal, homing in on the artists' tales of triumph, disruption, empowerment, and redemption.

To celebrate its upcoming release, we threw a party in LA with Hulu, where Coi Leray, Saweetie, Freddie Gibbs, Mustard, Blxst and Ty Dolla $ign were all in attendance. Guests were invited to toast the series, enjoy a hip-hop-focused set from DJ Domo, and hop in our RapCaviar-themed photo booth.

Saweetie (Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

Coi Leray (Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

DJ Domo (Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

Ty Dolla $ign (Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

Coco Jones (Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

(Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

(Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

Mustard and Carl Chery (Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)


Ahead of the series premiere, For the Record caught up with Carl Chery, Spotify's Head of Urban Music and Creative Director, who also serves as an executive producer on the show. As a driving force behind the creation of RapCaviar Presents, Carl gave us the scoop on RapCaviar's evolution from playlist to TV show, unique ways they were able to tell stories, and what fans can expect when it premieres.

What's the inspiration behind RapCaviar Presents? This started almost five years ago. The RapCaviar playlist had launched in 2015 and was showing the potential to become more than a playlist. So as we made plans to expand RapCaviar's influence with social channels and a podcast, we also started thinking about a docuseries. That started as far back as 2018, and we started pitching it in the summer of 2019.

Hulu bought the pilot in 2019, but then the pandemic happened, which delayed production for almost a year. We finally submitted the pilot in 2021, the series was picked up later that year, and then we began production on the actual series in February of 2022.

What makes Spotify and RapCaviar uniquely positioned to tell these stories? We're very much in the thick of the streaming era, and I think Spotify emerged as arguably the most important editorial outlet across mediums. I think that the work that we're doing across our playlist ecosystem is something that's really resonated with audiences for the past eight years.

In hip-hop, there's a timeline of the mediums that all these cultural authorities express themselves through. Once upon a time, it was radio stations, and then it was magazines, and then it was blogs. But now, it's playlists. So it felt like we were in the right place to be the next iteration of that hip-hop authority.

Does this series shed any light on the future of hip-hop? Yes, it does. It was very important for me that the show is centered around the current generation of rap stars. But as we tackle topics that pertain to things like the Tyler, The Creator apology, we still have to give historical context. So I like that in almost every story we start in the present, go back, and then go forward. But you'll have to tune in to find out where we end up.

Were there stories shared during filming that surprised you? Polo G's story, which I believe is part of Episode 4 (titled Through the Storm ), was very unexpected because it speaks of things that haven't been reported much. But the director, Mandon Lovett, did an incredible job of getting Polo to open up.

Spotify Head of Urban Music Carl Chery (Credit: JC Olivera/Picture Group)

Polo G is someone who is really reserved, and I don't think that many people are aware that he overdosed a few years ago. But he was willing to talk about generational trauma, and for viewers, seeing his vulnerability and experiencing that side of his personality will be revealing.

And then even with someone like Tyler, The Creator, who people have been familiar with for a longer period of time. If you remember, Tyler started his career as someone who was a shock-value type of rapper. But in more recent years, he's resurfaced as someone who is more thoughtful and polished. I noticed that as a fan, but I never knew what was behind it.

And on RapCaviar Presents, he talks about how he used to go on TV and just goof off. And one day, someone saw him at the airport and told him, Hey, you're that guy from Ridiculousness! For Tyler, it was an eye-opening moment because he was like, Oh, wow, I'm not known for my music. And that was one of the things that shifted Tyler's approach.

And then we have incredible journalists and artists who gave us amazing context that will be educational and informative to even the most rap-obsessed music lovers. In the episode featuring City Girls, Jamilah Lemieux gave us amazing historical context into the arc of women in hip-hop.

Looking at '90s hip-hop, which featured women like Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, and Trina, Jamilah pointed out that those women were aspiring to be mafia wives, but this new generation is a completely different thing and they&
See more stories from spotify

More from Spotify


Celebrate Pride on Spotify, Where Everyone is Free To Be'

From punk to ballroom, EDM to drag, music and culture from LGBTQIA creators have helped shape and inspired our world. At Spotify, we're creating a platfo...


Charlotte Cardin Kicks Off CAN You Hear Me,' Spotify's New Series Dedicated to Canada's One-of-a-Kind Music Scene

In celebration of Canadian artistry, For the Record is launching CAN You Hear Me...


Blend With FC Barcelona and See How Your Musical Tastes Compare to Your Favorite Players

The men's and women's FC Barcelona teams are celebrating title-winning s...


Prepare-se para o The Town, o Festival de Msica de So Paulo, com playlists exclusivas

Com menos de 100 dias para o The Town, o maior festival de m sica de S o Paulo, ...


Get Ready for So Paulo's The Town Music Festival With Exclusive Playlists

With under 100 days to go until The Town, S o Paulo's biggest music festival, we're joining forces with the brand to launch The Town hub on Spotify and ...


Celebrating Central Park With Spotify and KIDZ BOP

Photo credit: BFA/Darian DiCianno/Deonte Lee/Matteo Prandoni New York City residents and visitors alike have made countless memories in each of Central Park...


GLOW Artist Sycco Shares How She Found Her Voice

Dive into the psychedelic pop sounds of Ripple or Dribble to immerse yourself in the bright and colorful world of 20-year-old Sycco. The artist, who has Tor...


Podcast Q&A and Polls Help Creators Talk to Fans Where They Are

Looking back, it's clear the early days of podcasting were uncharted territory. Avid listeners would finish an episode and engage with each other elsewhere-...


Spotify Camp Nou Glows' With Spotify and FC Barcelona's LGBTQIA+ Creator Takeover

LGBTQIA people are in music, art, television-and on the football pitch. So earl...


Spotify's New Interactive Experience Helps Latin Music Fans Find Their Flow

It's hardly hyperbole to say that Latin music has taken over the globe: Latin music streams on Spotify have increased by almost 170% in the last five years....


The Transformative Power of Spotify Songwriter Sessions

When you're an emerging writer, the toughest thing is getting into the room, starts Aaron Buckingham, a lead on Spotify's Songwriter and Publishing Rel...


How Spotify Blend Creates a Connection Between Fans, Friends, and Artists

Whether you're an artist, a listener, or a bit of both, there's one thing that has been true since time immemorial: Music should be shared. If you'r...


The Crossover Effect: Artist Collaborations Thrive on Spotify

The crossover collaboration is one of music's great traditions. When artists from different genres, regions, or simply different career stages bring their t...


RADAR US Is Back With Peso Pluma, the Emerging Hitmaker Taking Msica Mexicana to the Global Stage

As M sica Mexicana (Mexican music) increasingly captivates fans around the world...


Raissa Anggiani Berhasil Raih Kesuksesan Melalui RADAR Indonesia dan Buka Peluang Bagi Angkatan 2023

Raissa Anggiani tidak butuh waktu lama untuk membuat pendengar Indonesia terpuka...


Raissa Anggiani Finds Success Through RADAR Indonesia and Paves the Way for Its 2023 Class

It didn't take long for listeners in Indonesia to be enchanted by Raissa Ang...


RADAR Poland Returns With 5 Artists Who Embrace a Truly Genreless Sound

RADAR serves as Spotify's program to spotlight rising talent from around the world, supporting emerging artists on their journey to global stardom-including...


Spotify's AI DJ Brings a Personalized Listening Experience to Fans in the UK and Ireland

In February we unveiled DJ, a personalized AI guide that understands you and you...


Eurovision 2023 Wrap-Up: Loreen Wins Big in Liverpool and on Spotify

Each spring, millions of music fans are glued to their TVs, mesmerized by the fabulous spectacle of song, dance, and theatrics that is the Eurovision Song Conte...


Spotify Rolls Out 11 New Languages to Users Around the World

At Spotify, we're committed to bringing the best in audio to our users around the world. That means ensuring our experience is accessible in the languages o...


Spotify's Innovative Fuego Playlist Turns Fans Into Music Curators

Spotify's Fuego has been red hot since launching last year, with surprise updates each week redefining how listeners discover Latin music. But continuously ...


Toronto Singer-Songwriter Katherine Li Delivers All the Feels as May's EQUAL Global Artist

Within the span of only a few months, 19-year-old singer, songwriter, and social...


Spotify Original Podcast Stolen' Adds a Pulitzer and Peabody

Earlier this year, thanks to its impactful reporting, the Spotify Original podcast Stolen: Surviving St. Michael's won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Universi...


Naples' One-of-a-Kind Music Scene Is Having a Championship Year

Naples is having a magical moment in 2023. As the city celebrates a title-winning football season, its thriving music scene has also claimed a big victory: Napl...


Ride on the Coastal Cowgirl Trend With Paige Lorenze's Music Playlist Picks

Coastal cowgirl: It's a vibe. This aesthetic, inspired by a mixture of slow-paced country living and sun-soaked coastal dreaminess, has been trending on soc...


Miley Cyrus's Flowers Makes Spotify History as It Reaches 1 Billion Streams

It's official: Miley Cyrus's hit song Flowers danced itself into the record books yet again, reaching one billion streams faster than any other song i...


Thorn Joins the Spotify Safety Advisory Council

At Spotify, we've had long-standing policies against content that promotes, solicits, or facilitates harm, including child sexual abuse or exploitation. It ...


Discover the Songs that Help Superstar Driver Lando Norris Get Ready for Race Day

He might only be 23, but McLaren Racing's Lando Norris is already one of the...


May the Fourth Be With Your Spotify Listening

Check your calendar: The annual moment for date-related puns, internet frenzy, and fandom has arrived. May the 4th, aka Star Wars Day, is a celebration of one o...


A Small Light' Producer Este Haim Shares the Classic Songs That Inspired the Star-Studded Soundtrack

Yesterday marked the premiere of A Small Light, a new limited series on National...


Our Generation Comes to Life With IRL Event Space From Illustrator Eliza Williams

Story photo credits: Alice Backham If you're ready to reset your expectatio...


Conoce Sonido Perpetuo, nuestro nuevo estudio pblico para el talento emergente de Medelln

La historia musical de Medell n se ha forjado con pasi n, creatividad y talento,...


Check Out Sonido Perpetuo, Our New Public Studio Built for Medelln's Emerging Talent

The musical history of Medell n is one of passion, creativity, and talent rooted...


Rising Together To Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month on Spotify

May marks Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APIHM), and Spotify is using this moment to continue to support Asian and Pacific Islander representation on ...


EQUAL Marks Two Years of Celebrating Women Artists And Spotify Announces the Next EQUAL FEST

From Japan to Argentina, Malaysia to the U.K., women artists, engineers, and pro...


Sweden's Best New Artists Celebrate Their Grammis Nominations With New Spotify Singles

On May 3, Sweden's music industry will come together for the 40th edition of...


Celebrate Country Legend Willie Nelson's 90th Birthday With New Spotify Singles

Often spotted with a bandana on his head and a guitar in his hands, Willie Nelso...


Punjabi Music Gains Worldwide Recognition

Punjabi music is enjoying a remarkable rise in popularity-and not just with listeners in India, but also among the diaspora and broader global audiences. Of the...


Tune In to the Hottest Arabic Playlists Spotify Editors Curate for the World

No matter where you live, music has the power to transport you home. And for those living apart from their extended families and places of origin, that feeling ...


Spotify Reports First Quarter 2023 Earnings

Today, Spotify announced our first quarter 2023 financial performance, showing outperformance across nearly all key performance metrics. Take a look at the high...


Spotify rapporterar intkter fr frsta kvartalet 2023

Idag publicerar Spotify sina finansiella resultat f r f rsta kvartalet 2023. Klicka h r f r att ta del av hela den finansiella pressreleasen och kolla in h jdpu...


GLOW Artist Joy Oladokun Embraces the Beauty in the Unexpected

Joy Oladokun is one of those self-proclaimed rare birds who didn't set out to become a professional musician. The fact that Joy now gets to write, record,...


Bizarrap supera las mil millones de reproducciones con Quevedo: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52

El artista y productor Bizarrap es el ltimo en llegar al Club de los Mil Millon...


Bizarrap Racks Up 1 Billion Streams for Quevedo: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52

Bizarrap is the latest artist to reach the Billions Club. The Argentinian producer has racked up more than 1 billion streams on Spotify of his track Quevedo: B...


Spotify Hosts Summits in Germany To Bring Creators and Industry Professionals Together

Last week, hundreds of artists, publishers, creators, and individuals working in...


This Earth Day, Spotify Lifts the Voices Fighting Climate Change

Climate change is a problem that impacts individuals, communities, and the planet we call home. Real solutions to help the planet exist, but it's going to t...


Streaming Helped Eloise Land a Room of Her Own

U.K.-based indie artist Eloise doesn't have a standard songwriting routine. Rather, she writes when inspiration strikes. It's annoyingly variable, she...


Spotify Amplifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists With New Playlists and a Music + Talk Show

In 2017, Spotify launched Blak Australia, a music playlist that spotlighted Abor...


America Must Take the Lead in the Fight Against Tech Gatekeepers

Daniel Ek Founder and CEO, Spotify As a Swedish entrepreneur, I've long admired the American marketplace, where principles like innovation, competition and...


Our New Integration Allows You To Share Music and Podcasts On BeReal-Here's How

You never know when that yellow hazard notification is going to strike, but when...