Achievement of the year: “J. Cole’s world tour without a true radio hit and no features,” says Siegel of the artist, whose 2016 album, 4 Your Eyez Only, sold 363,000 copies in its debut week and reached RIAA platinum status last April. “He’s a safer bet to keep building because he’s not a prisoner of radio, and it’s not about being a fad. It’s the pureness of the art form,” adds the Harlem resident.
All Hail, Daniel Caesar: With a tastemaking roster that includes Lil Yachty, Kodak Black and Migos, as well as the shrewd signing of Daniel Caesar, ICM continues to be a winner in the hip-hop and R&B space. Rising Canadian soul singer Caesar netted two Grammy nominations for his debut LP, Freudian, and landed his first headlining North American tour that included sold-out stops at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg and Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom. “We could’ve done more,” says Siegel, “but we wanted to keep the experience intimate.”