Yesterday, Drake hinted a new track release to come later in the day. What we received was not one new track, but 17 new tracks! We will tell you more about that, as well as a Björk art installation, a track from Anna Kendrick’s latest musical, and Wavves‘ ode to a boogie boarder.
Drake broke the internet with the unannounced release of a mixtape with the unsettling title, If Youre Reading This Its Too Late. The collection of tracks delivers the sleepy, ethereal sound we have grown accustomed to, with less of the hook-centric focus of his last studio releases. We get plenty of the trademark rapping about being young and rich that he does so well. But Drake is 28 now. He really needs to stop rapping about being young and focus on rapping about being rich.
It is still unclear whether last night’s release is the Views From The 6 album we had been anticipating, but with a new name, or is an appetizer to keep us preoccupied until 6 drops later in the year. Or is it a sneaky power move to relieve Drake from his Cash Money contract so that he is free to leave the label with his mentor, Lil Wayne? [Pigeons and Planes]
Time Out London had some fun asking a graphologist to analyze Drake’s REDRUM-like chicken-scratches. Without knowing anything about Drake, graphologist Tracey Trussell said rapper embodies “a curious mix of defiance, originality, hedonism and anxiety: this guy has a finger on the pulse of what makes people’s hearts beat faster, what’s current.” Read her full analysis here.
In November of 2013, Kanye West announced that he was ending his long-standing deal with Nike for the greener pastures of Adidas. It was a move, quoth Kanye, to help him “be bigger than Wal-Mart,” be the “Tupac of product,” and provide for his daughter (which the Nike deal was evidently not allowing). Yesterday, we finally saw the fruits of the budding fashion icon’s labor, with the “adidas Originals x Kanye West: YEEZY SEASON 1” presentation at New York’s Fashion Week. The bold collection featured skin-toned body suits and bulky, distressed outerwear, mostly of a military theme. That theme was compounded by Kanye’s decision to have his models stand in formation, rather than strut down the catwalk as model people tend to do at fashion show things. The overall effect was akin to visiting the wardrobe department of a post-apocalyptic filmset. “Dystopian-chic,” if you will. Why am I writing about fashion? What has my life become?
Overall, reviews were positive of the sportswear line (The Daily Mail called it, “just fine if you want to look like you’ve forgotten to get dressed”), and Kanye received special praise for employing models of varying races, shapes and sizes. Also represented were Kanye’s buzz-worthy YEEZY BOOST sneakers, which bring to mind Back To The Future, Part II’s Nike MAGS (also receiving an official release this year).
Most importantly, ‘Ye shared the first track off his upcoming album. The Cashmere Cat and Sinjin Hawke produced track, “Wolves” plays just past the 8min mark in the above video, and blends the stripped-down distortion of Yeezus with the auto-tuned harmonics of 808s and Heartbreak. Vic Mensa and Sia are featured on the track, which makes one wonder if the body suits in Sia’s “Chandelier” music video at all inspired West’s fashion line.
Audaciously creative alternative and multimedia artist, Björk, is receiving the career retrospective treatment from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The event, running March 8 through June 7, will include original installations, such as “Black Lake”, which MoMA posted a trailer of this morning. We see the Icelandic singer merged with the vegetation and earth around her; a theme revisited in her music videos and sure to be explored in the exhibit. [Pitchfork]
Actress Anna Kendrick posted the track, “Summer In Ohio”, from the soundtrack to her just-released musical, The Last Five Years. Kendrick stars alongside Broadway’s Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) in the film adaptation of this triple Tony-winning production. The album is out now through Sh-K-Boom records.
After a week of teasing us with gifs on instagram, Taylor Swift’s music video for “Style” has premiered. Lots of reflections, projections, digital smoke and masking layers. What’s there to say about it, really? Standard music video material, competently and inoffensively produced. *Sigh*
Wilco, Chance the Rapper and Sleater Kinney will headline the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival with a whole bunch of other headliner-worthy acts also making appearances. Tickets are on sale now, at the very reasonable price of $65/day or $150/weekend.
Madonna, always in tune with her audiences, is promoting her new album Rebel Heart through a promotional competition through the gay dating app, Grindr. Entering the competition requires recreating her Rebel Heart album cover art (her face, tied in lace), and hashtagging #LivingForLove. Five Grindr-using fans will win a chance to chat with the preeminent pop queen. Previously, the artist turned to another app, SnapChat, to premiere the “Living For Love” music video. [Rolling Stone]
Spirit Club, the new project from Wavves’ Nathan Williams, his brother Joel, and buddy Andrew Caddick, takes us to Ventura County to mourn the loss of the “chillest dude in town.” In the music video for “Duster”, a local boogie boarding legend bites the big one, and his bros host a rad funeral, then decide to reach out to their dearly deceased through supernatural means. Their debut album comes out this spring. [Pitchfork]
In October, conscientious hip-hop artist, Talib Kweli, took to crowd-funding in hopes of launching the Ferguson Defense Fund; an organization to support protestors in Ferguson pay for legal fees, bail, fines and loss of wages. Originally setting his goal at $25,000, Kweli brought in just north of $12,000. To administer the grant money, Kweli has organized a diverse group of artists and activists that will begin the work of organizing training programs and assisting local foundations. [Rolling Stone]
That’s all for now. Have a stellar weekend, and we will see you back here on Monday with more Music Dispatch.