You can see life-size sculptures of Cardi B, Jaden Smith, Juice WRLD and Gunna at the Brooklyn Museum this weekend. The music icons are the 2019 inductees of Spotify’s RapCaviar Pantheon, a reflection on hip-hop today and what it will become in the future. Spotify chose to honor these artists with statues because of their "undeniable impact on hip-hop."
“Spotify is committed to supporting young, innovative artists who also have a positive impact on the music industry, culture, and society,” said Carl Chery, Spotify’s Hip-Hop curator and Head of RapCaviar in a news release. “These four bold and fearless artists are striving to make changes with their music, and we’re thrilled to induct them into the program.”
Each statue aims to capture the artist’s vibrant personalities. Cardi B is holding her cellphone in her sculpture, which is a nod to her influence going beyond music and owning the cultural conversation.
Jaden Smith’s sculpture has two heads, which is said to represent his highly conceptual music and his unconventional journey from child actor to rapper and artist. It also symbolizes the dueling characters in his music.
Juice WRLD has been blurring the lines between hip-hop, pop, rap and emo. So his sculpture was inspired by the mythological Greek Titan Atlas at rest. The Titan was condemned to carry the universe and this sculpture is a nod to the vulnerability in Juice WRLD’s music.
Gunna is holding a snake, which symbolizes the recurring serpent iconography he uses throughout his visual language.
Spotify RapCaviar created its real-world Pantheon in 2017. The first inductees were the three biggest breakthrough artists of that year: SZA, Metro Boomin and 21 Savage. RapCaviar is Spotify’s own curated hip-hop playlist and has more than 10 million followers. This year’s Pantheon was created by Spotify’s In-House team and creative director Ibra Ake also consulted on the project.
The statues will only be at the Brooklyn Museum until April 7 so get there quick if you want to check them out for yourself.