Broadcasting service, Caffeine, is partnering up with Drake to help bring battle rap to the forefront.
Officially launched in November 2019, the broadcasting service is doubling down on its goal to dominate the live streaming industry by signing on Drake to an exclusive multi-year deal.
The move to sign on Drake has been made in collaboration with battle rap league, Ultimate Rap League, in effort to garner more attention for both the sport and the streaming service.
Essentially, the hip-hop artist will be streaming live rap battles for free on his Caffeine channel.
A well documented battle rap fan, Drake serves as the middle man to help two cultures benefit. In fact, his impact has already been felt in the broadcasting world when Drake hopped on Twitch to play alongside big-time streamer Ninja. The move reeled in 628,000 viewers, setting a new record for the broadcasting culture.
“This is a guy that can catch the attention of not just the entertainment world, but the gaming world as well” – Ben Keighran, Founder of Caffeine
A former designer for Apple, Keighran is hoping for Caffeine to rival live TV, as per CNN, and with early investments from 21st Century Fox, the company has raised $146 million since its founding in 2016. However, clearly that’s just a starting point as Keighran reels in one of the biggest international acts.
“Drake, if you look at his career in the last ten years, is defined as the biggest artist in the world”, says Keighran.
However, in order to battle live TV, the gaming community may not be enough. “The first thing we’re bringing out with him is not actually a video gaming thing”, says the founder. By bringing in other communities and cultures to the broadcasting service, the likelihood of rivalling live TV is strengthened.
Hip-Hop’s Place In Broadcasting
Live TV has it all. Whether it’s sport or the news, there is typically a channel that is broadcasting what you’re looking for. And if you’re not exactly looking for gamer streams, what are the chances of consumers visiting a broadcasting service such as Twitch or Caffeine.
Caffeine is breaking the barrier however with their Ultimate Rap League partnership by bringing battle rap to the consumer. Traditionally a pay-per-view sport, Caffeine is presenting rap battle events free-of-charge to members. As a result, their membership may begin to stretch beyond just the gaming community.
The broadcasting service is no stranger to hip hop either having partnered up with Offset and Doja Cat prior to Drake, who stream Call of Duty and Sims 4 respectively.
Understandably, broadcasting services are looking to maximise revenue and viewership – a goal that can be achieved through the support of a public figure. In recent years however, hip hop has seemed to dominate streaming and broadcasting.
In 2018, hip hop became the most popular genre in the United States, surpassing rock. While this shift may have been expected by consumers, the rise in popularity has seemed to open up the genre to more than just music. Just last year, Netflix released Rhythm and Flow, Look Mom I Can Fly and reissued another season of Hip Hop Evolution.
The world of streaming is pushing hip hop to unseen territory with more artists opting to hop into the podcasting game. From NORE to Joe Budden to Nicki Minaj, podcasting is becoming wealthier by the second with so many legends stepping into the streaming wars.
Starting out on Soundcloud, The Joe Budden Podcast covered everything remotely related to hip hop, and 175 episodes later, they managed to ink a deal with streaming giant, Spotify – a huge move for the hip hop community.
Traditional hip hop artists have been working their way beyond just music, dipping into the streaming and broadcasting world. And with the latest partnership between Caffeine, Drake and the Ultimate Rap League, the ‘overlooked’ side of hip hop – battle rap – may be able to step outside of the ring.
Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Alchemy Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!