Apple Music executive Larry Jackson has explained how black artists have changed the face of pop music in the last few years in an interview with the New York Times.
Apple’s streaming service had a big 2016, working closely with Drake in promoting his VIEWS album — which became the first to reach a billion streams on Apple Music. The record was premiered on Apple Music’s OVO Sound Radio and released exclusively through the Apple streaming service and iTunes.
Asked about the surge in streaming for Hip Hop and R&B artists, Jackson explained how the popularity of black artists has changed the very face of music. It’s a change Jackson has seen happen over the years, and he says that rap has nearly overtaken rock music among young audiences.
“From my perspective and from Jimmy’s, we’ve always had a very strong knack for signing and nurturing hip-hop and R&B acts. The thing I find more interesting now is: What’s the new pop? Pop has always been considered to be one thing, if you know what I’m saying. But when I look at the top albums of the year — it’s Drake, Beyoncé, J. Cole, Frank Ocean and the Weeknd — all black artists. How is that not pop? You don’t really hear Frank Ocean or J. Cole on pop radio, but streaming has ushered in what the new pop is.”
Speaking on the release of The Life Of Pablo through TIDAL, Apple’s Jimmy Iovine explained that “[Kanye] was part of Jay’s thing and chose to make a deal with his friend, and I respect that. I kind of felt like it was going to happen before it did.”
Read the full interview with Larry Jackson and Jimmy Iovine here.