On January 2nd, Ebro Darden officially announced his addition to the Apple Music team as global editorial head of hip-hop.
Darden says he wants to help jump-start the discovery of hip-hop music for fans. And part of Ebro’s appeal comes from his already-important positions on New York’s Hot 97 and Apple’s Beats 1 Radio. Accordingly, Darden’s role as head of hip-hop won’t affect his Hot 97 or Beats 1 anchor positions.
In fact, it looks like Beats 1 Radio is about to see more integration with Apple Music with Darden at the helm.
In an interview with Complex, Darden touched upon Beats 1 Radio briefly, saying he doesn’t believe people understand the difference between algorithms and curation. Beats 1 Radio offers live shows that are curated and available to listen. Apple Music contains both curated and algorithmic generated playlists for listening moods.
“Inside Apple Music, you can get an algorithmic radio station for sure,” Darden stated. “You can get playlists that are tailored to certain moods and sounds and vibes. But you can also get Beats 1, which is a live radio station inside Apple Music.
“You can get mixes from DJs inside Apple Music and music videos inside Apple Music. I don’t think even people understand the capabilities that are available, the things that they can do.”
As the global head of hip-hop, Darden says he will be looking for music to captivate the hip-hop audience. Darden says hip-hop is a worldwide phenomenon and he will be keeping his eye on a heat map to see where people are engaging with Apple Music.
Darden describes himself as an advocate for hip-hop, and someone working to find the genre’s next superstar. He says the human curation of Apple Music helps connect with the audience at a deeper level than algorithmic content.
That’s part of an age-old debate, though Ebro’s planned merger of the two could prove powerful.