Who said radio was dead? Not Apple.
The company has been blazing new trails in the medium since rolling out its Beats 1 Radio and continued to do so over the weekend as Just Blaze dropped off unreleased music from the likes of Kanye West, Jay Z and more on his Abstract Radio show.
Among the many gems featured on the program were a reworked version of West’s hit “Touch The Sky” with Robert Glasper, a reworked version of Jay Z's "Early In The Morning" and a new version of Usher's "Throwback" with a Rico Love verse and Joe Budden's "Pump It Up" sporting bars from Busta Rhymes.
It’s been a long, winding transition for radio from its analog days to digital to internet-based evolutions and it appears as though Beats 1 Radio is proving what the future of the outlet can truly sound like. Having scooped up talent like Q-Tip, Zane Lowe and more, the Apple owned station has essentially set the bar for what the online radio-streaming will look like moving forward since acquiring it in the mega-deal with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.
In a lot of ways the format is bringing back the sense of a moment that Stretch & Bobbito talked about missing from contemporary music in a recent interview.
Through the sort of ‘anything-can-happen’ spirit of the service, which has premiered music from all corners of the world and industry alike, that idea of excitement around new music being played seems to be coming back, even if it is in a different form. We also live in a time that is more transparent, people know why certain music is played on traditional radio. For its part, Beats 1 Radio has circumvented the mainstream radio monotony by allowing freedom to its DJs, most of them artists themselves.
Radio certainly isn’t dead, but it’s definitely taking a welcome new new direction.