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Spotify lures away Apple Music's head of hip-hop programming

Carl Chery had scored exclusives from Chance the Rapper.
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Getty Images for Interscope Reco

The war between Apple Music and Spotify is clearly heating up. Variety has discovered that Spotify recently poached Carl Chery, Apple Music's Head of Artist Curation for hip-hop and R&B programming. It's not certain when he's leaving or what he'll do next (we've asked both Apple and Spotify for comment). However, it could be a big coup -- Chery has been influential not just at Apple, but in the music industry at large.

Chery is best known for securing Apple Music exclusives from Chance the Rapper, including the Grammy-winning album Coloring Book. He can also take credit for helping to break artists like Cardi B, Post Malone and Khalid. Combine that with his oversight of key A-List playlists on Apple Music and it's evident that Chery is a tastemaker who can find relatively unknown artists and give them global recognition.

Given his history, there's a good chance he may oversee equivalent playlists at Spotify, including the influential RapCaviar. It also won't be shocking if he presses for exclusives that would normally go Apple's way. Spotify needs whatever edge it can get to keep growing as a public company, and that's likely to involve recruiting the best talent the streaming music business has to offer.

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