To commemorate a person with a statue is one of the oldest forms of tribute in history. When made well, they can withstand thousands of years, carrying the stories of those who they’re honoring through the ages.
Similarly, hip-hop has the same cultural effect. Beats, samples, and styles have such a pervasive, cross-genre influence that hearing a young creative today reference The Sugarhill Gang might not be so surprising. If an artist can cause a significant cultural shift, then it’s only fitting that any tribute to them has the same lasting power.
Last year, one of Spotify’s most established playlists, RapCaviar, created Pantheon, an Ancient Greece-inspired installation of actual life-sized statues meant to celebrate the year’s biggest breakthrough talents or those who they consider “cultural disruptors.” Previous honorees included SZA, 21 Savage, and Metro Boomin. Under the guidance of creative director Ibra Ake, this year’s inductees feature Cardi B., Jaden Smith, Juice WRLD and Gunna.
The Pantheon is currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum in New York for a limited run that will last until Apr. 7.
For years, Spotify has worked to distinguish itself from other music streaming platforms by maintaining a focus on curation via celebrity playlists and special events, like last year’s pop-up museum celebrating Ariana Grande’s album Sweetener. The Pantheon is another example of a brand that not only aims to preserve music but to also establish themselves as the go-to source of unconventional artist appreciation.
“Spotify is committed to supporting young, innovative artists who also have a positive impact on the music industry, culture, and society,” said Carl Chery, Spotify’s hip-hop curator and head of RapCaviar. “These four bold and fearless artists are striving to make changes with their music, and we’re thrilled to induct them into the program.”
VP, Global Brand: Alexandra Tanguay
VP, Global Executive Creative Director: Alex Bodman
Global Head of Design Brand: Rasmus Wangelin
Global Director, Brand Strategy: Zach Pentel
Creative Director: Cecilia Azcarate, Heather Brodie, Tal Midyan
Design Director: Felipe Rocha
Director, Integrated Production: Belinda Lopez
Producer: Tara Fraser
Senior Experiential Marketing Manager: Natalie Espinosa
Global Brand Lead: Payman Kassaie
Chief Content Officer: Dawn Ostroff
VP, Music: Nick Holmsten
Global Head of Artist & Label Marketing: Marian Dicus
Head of North America, Artist & Label Marketing: Rosa Asciolla
Manager, Artist & Label Marketing: Sydney Lopes
Head of Urban Music: Carl Chery
Senior Editor, Hip-Hop: Maxwell Adepoju
Manager, PR & Communications: Tamika Young
Associate Director, Artist Marketing: Amanda Butler
Global Social Campaign Manager: Zainab Hasnain
Social Community Manager: Max Weinstein
Co-Creative Director: Ibra Ake
BTS photography: Keith Oshiro
Production partner: Mamag Studios
Fabrication partner: Pretty in Plastic
3D design and animation: unfun
Event production: Trevanna Entertainment, Inc.
Experiential consultant: PVTL
Museum photography: Anthony Cotsifas
Retouching: Rob Willingham