With nearly three decades of putting on for hip-hop under its belt, Sprite has proven time and time again that it’s truly for the culture with its Live From The Label program as the latest example. Announced on Monday (June 28), Live From The Label will give fans across the globe access to three virtual livestream performances, with the first live show headlined by Latto (Stage 1) from Atlanta on July 29.
The second will be headlined by Saweetie (Stage 2), who will set the stage ablaze from the west coast on Aug. 12. The artist headlining Live From The Label’s third stage has yet to be revealed but will be announced at a later date. To access each livestream performance, you will need a 20 oz. Sprite or Sprite Zero Sugar with the corresponding stage. Artists handpicked from the Sprite Way community by the headliners will open each Live From The Label show with a performance of their own.
Latto and Saweetie both voiced their anticipation of being a part of the program, announcing the Sprite Way artists who will also be hitting the stage during their respective shows.
“I’m so excited to be kicking off Sprite’s Live From The Label concert series with the first performance on Thursday, July 29, and representing Clayton County live from SpaceCondo Live,” Latto said in a statement. “THE BIGGEST! For years, Sprite has been committed to supporting young creators and helping them realize their dreams, and Live From The Label is no different. I’m proud to work with Sprite to put on talented young artists like Chlo the God and Jazmin Rodriguez, and give them a platform to share their talent, and support them in their hustle to make it in this industry. Now I want all of my fans to pick up the Stage 1 20 oz. Sprite or Sprite Zero Sugar bottles and scan the label to catch my show this summer.”
Saweetie adds, “I am so excited to finally be able to tell my fans that I am teaming up with Sprite to put on for the West Coast! Sprite has been a long-time favorite drink of mine growing up and love how it’s been giving young artists and emerging creators a spotlight – something that is super important to me as many of those artists were my inspiration when I was first coming up. I’m doing a special performance for fans as part of Sprite’s Live From The Label concert series on Thursday, August 12 at none other than Roosevelt Hotel. Also, joining ya ICY girl will be some very gifted young creators including Summer Valentine and Michelle Alfonso. To stream my show, go pick up the Stage 2, 20 oz. Sprite or Sprite Zero Sugar bottles, scan the label and check me out!”
In anticipation of the event, the Sprite Green Room held a Virtual Hip-Hop DJ Roundtable moderated by host/journalist/DJ, Brandon ‘Jinx’ Jenkins and features DJ Drama, NY’s Power 105.1 DJ Nyla Symone, and Aaliyah Shafiq Ely, a Sprite executive and Vice President of Sparkling Brands at The Coca-Cola Company. The conversation centered around the various facets of being a DJ in today’s musical and cultural landscape, including breaking into the industry, discovering new talent, being a curator and tastemaker, and the future of hip-hop.
Drama, the co-founder of Generation Now, which helped launch rap star Lil Uzi Vert’s career, shares what qualities and attributes attracts him to an artist. “I definitely look for people who have vision and who have passion and can kind of see down the line,” he says. “When I first met [Lil] Uzi [Vert], I remember one of the first things he told me was, ‘Yo, I’m gonna be more famous than you’ and I remember being like, ‘I hope so. If not, I failed.'”
As the youngest DJ on Power 105.1, and one of the few female spinners to have rocked the station’s airwaves, Nyla Symone has quickly built a reputation and profile that’s increased the demand surrounding her various talents. The Maryland native spoke on the importance of the cosign and being dedicated to your craft. “Honestly, I just like people that are hungry, and I just like music that’s good. So it doesn’t really have anything to do with clout or how much money you think you can bribe me with, it’s just all about if you’re hungry, if you’re really serious about it and if you’re passionate about it. You just want it to be good at the end of the day. You don’t wanna cosign anything that’s wack.”
Launching their “Thirst for Yours” platform in 2019, Sprite has increased its focus and commitment to supporting and showcasing emerging hip-hop artists and creatives, which is in line with the brand’s history of embracing and growing with the culture. Sprite exec Aaliyah Shafiq Ely spoke on how Sprite’s continuous expansion is in line with hip-hop’s journey to becoming a global force. “Hip-Hop is not just music,” Ely said. “It started off being a niche thing, just the music. And yes, music is still very powerful, it’s still a big part of hip-hop and what Sprite is about, but we’ve also evolved because hip-hop has evolved. It’s more mainstream, it’s fashion, it’s art, it’s dance, so if we don’t evolve as we listen to what our community and what our fans are saying, then we won’t be a good partner to hip-hop and help to propel it to where it is today.”