Streaming is the platinum standard in music. In 2017, there were over 618 billion on-demand streams and hip-hop took the top spot as the most-streamed genre. Tuma Basa, Global Head of Hip-Hop at Spotify, has a lot to do with that. As the man behind Spotify’s most popular hip-hop playlist, RapCaviar, Tuma helps breaks new tracks and takes your favorite rappers to the top of the charts.

In the second episode of XXL’s Shot Callers, Tuma Basa explains why streaming is important and how rappers—even independent artists—can get on. With nearly 9 million subscribers, including industry insiders and record label executives, it’s the most influential playlist in hip-hop. “Get hot!” he says. He uses a combination of “gut and data” to select what songs will be featured. “The actual storytelling. If you’re building a story and you have an actual relationship with your audience—you have a song that’s got traction—that story will get out there. Especially on our platform, what happens in the outside world is reflected on our platform. We see it.”

XXL’s Shot Callers podcast includes conversations with hip-hop’s power players. Hosted by music journalist and XXL contributor Sowmya Krishnamurthy, this podcast gives an inside look at the executives, personalities and thought leaders behind your favorite artists. Meet the people who call the shots in hip-hop. Get their insights and take your own professional game to the next level in 2018.

Subscribe to iTunes to check out future episodes of XXL's Shot Callers podcast and listen to XXL’s second episode of Shot Callers featuring Tuma Base below.

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