On his 2016 EP Friends First, Chicago rapper-singer L.A. VanGogh drapes his silky voice over even his hardest bars, so that his rapping feels almost like sultry R&B. As part of the Private Stock collective, VanGogh benefits not just from its ace studios but also from its management team—when he dropped the Everything Is Subjective: Episode 1 EP in October, one of its singles topped Spotify's "Fresh Finds" playlist. Playlists created by major streaming services have exploded in importance this year, sometimes rivaling Top 40 radio in influence: Spotify playlist Rap Caviar, for instance, has more than 7 million followers and a reputation for keeping up with what's viral or about to blow up nationally.…Read more