RADAR, Spotify’s global emerging artist program that launched in March 2020, represents Spotify’s commitment to supporting artists across all genres and stages of their development. We created RADAR, along with its 20 global sister programs, to harness the strength of our platform to deepen new artist connections to their audiences. Today, in the next step of the RADAR journey, we are excited to announce our newest partnership with NYC-based rapper J.I The Prince of N.Y.
“Our team is excited to announce its partnership with J.I The Prince of N.Y for its RADAR program,” says Carl Chery, Spotify’s Head of Urban. “We look forward to helping develop the career of one of the most promising new rappers in the game.” Ned Monahan, Spotify’s Head of Global Hits, continues, “We’re proud to be championing world-class talent through our global marketing and editorial teams with RADAR. J.I has built a devoted fan base that is ready to support him as he continues to grow and attain a broader audience. We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this development.”
J.I The Prince of N.Y is the second 2020 U.S. RADAR artist. He’s already made waves in the rap community and is known for his melodic flow, infectious charisma, and powerfully honest lyrics. “I used to write short stories in school,” says J.I The Prince of N.Y. “English was my favorite subject and it inspired me to try and write music at 12. And then at the age of 14, I went for it and put myself out there.”
At 14, the Puerto Rican-native—by way of Crown Heights, Brooklyn—began posting his freestyles on Instagram and soon caught the attention of legendary rapper-producer-executive Jermaine Dupri.
“I used to create videos of myself rapping and would upload them and tag the show, production, and Jermaine Dupri,” the rapper explained. “He started following me on social media, and then they reached out and finally flew me out to record [The Rap Game]. This show gave me a platform and it’s exactly what I needed.”
As the rapper’s star continues to rise, Spotify is propelling J.I The Prince of N.Y’s further success through the RADAR program’s wide universe of original content. That includes the forthcoming mini-documentary premiering on HotNewHipHop with a trailer out today, third-party partnerships, features in On Our Radar and RapCaviar playlists, a Spotify Singles recording, support on his album release, and marketing and social promotion across each tentpole initiative.
“I want to stress to all aspiring artists that a solid team behind you is what you need. When I started my career I had my family working with me,” J.I The Prince of N.Y explained. But “the reality is that they were not industry connected.”
J.I The Prince of N.Y has captured the attention of artists such as Jadakiss, Cardi B, and Drake, who recently sang along to his track “Used To” on Instagram Live. His music continues to be shared with his fan base, which includes over 1.4 million followers.
J.I The Prince of N.Y’s single “Need Me” is now climbing past the 89 million stream mark, and “Love Scars” and “Proud of Me” total over 300 million streams on Spotify. The East Coast rapper, who has cemented his place as a rising star to look out for, is set to release his new EP, Welcome To G Starr Vol. 1, on July 17, which is only the tip of the iceberg. He has a wave of music in store for his fans and a new approach to changing the game.
“Some of the artists that I am listening to include Novani, a rapper from Brooklyn who stays true to himself; and Toosie—he is blowing up and I am planning on working with him,” he said. “We need inspiring artists. We are in a weird gap in the music industry and we need more artists to make an impact in a positive way.”
Since RADAR launched, Spotify has supported and helped spotlight breakthrough artists such as the first U.S. RADAR artist, Alaina Castillo, as well as Agnes Nunes (Brazil), Lous & The Yakuza (Belgium), CHAII (Iran), and more. With RADAR, Spotify uses its strength in discovery to support artists of all levels and genres globally so they can be heard and supported in every way throughout their careers.
“I am excited to be presented with this global opportunity . . . with all of Spotify’s support, it’s just adding fuel to our jet pack,” J.I The Prince of N.Y said. “I don’t plan on going anywhere and people will need to get used to me.”
Stream J.I The Prince of N.Y’s top hits below.