New Apple Music Playlist Highlights Under-the-Radar Midwest Rappers

"Calling back to the days when Michigan and Ohio were the funk capitals of the country, this playlist celebrates the voices, flows, and humor of one of the busiest — but most underrepresented — regions in rap." Apple says.

Video killed the radio star, but these days, streaming playlists are the new hitmakers in music.

To dig deeper into local indie music scenes, Apple Music launched a series of new curated playlists on Feb. 3. One of them, "The New Midwest," highlights lesser-known Midwest rappers.

Well, lesser-known to the rest of the world, that is.

"[With] the occasional exception (Eminem, Big Sean), Midwest rappers have mostly lived — and thrived — in their own hyperlocal bubbles, creating idiosyncratic substyles that have branched far off the evolutionary trunk of mainstream hip-hop," Apple Music says of the new playlist. "Calling back to the days when Michigan and Ohio were the funk capitals of the country, this playlist celebrates the voices, flows, and humor of one of the busiest — but most underrepresented — regions in rap."

"Launching these three new regionally-focused playlists allows us to shine a light on the vibrant local communities producing some of the most progressive sounds in hip-hop, Ebro Darden, Apple Music's Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B, says in a statement. "It's always been a priority to connect with artists and listeners at the community level as we champion discovery and emerging artists from across the map."

"Regional hip hop scenes have only grown in importance over the years and we're confident these new playlists will help spotlight tomorrow's superstars by giving them a global platform," Apple Music Hip Hop programmer Cyle "Zini" Tahsini adds. "We're excited to accelerate discovery and connect artists with new fans."

Not only are cities like Detroit and Chicago well-represented on the playlist, but Columbus, Flint, Louisville and more take center stage, too. Like Apple Music's other curated playlists, this one will be regularly updated, so be sure to "Add" it to your library.

You can listen on Apple Music.

A version of this story was originally published by CityBeat sister paper Detroit Metro Times.

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