David Bowie is the shooting star who never stops soaring. For the first time ever, one of his albums has achieved the #1 spot on the Billboard charts in America. And in his wake, other artists are working hard to make their mark in the music world, too. Kanye West dropped the full version of “No More Parties In L.A.” with Kendrick Lamar, R&B musician Blowfly passed away, Jarvis Cocker shared a beautiful two-hour radio tribute to David Bowie, Future dropped a free mixtape with a nod to Prince, and Cass McCombs has gorgeous country folk to send you off into the sunset.
The kind can rest easy in his constellation. David Bowie finally achieved his first #1 album with Blackstar. After selling nearly 200,000 copies within the first week of its release, Blackstar shot up the Billboard charts and landed him the top spot. It’s Bowie’s 24th and final studio album. As such, it marks the first posthumous release to go #1 since Michael Jackson’s 2009 compilation This is It. You’re still soaring through our ears, Starman. [Consequence of Sound]
Shortly after announcing he would be releasing new music every Friday, Kanye West has already gone back on his word, though we would like to think it was a mistake. This Friday, the hip-hop icon didn’t drop any new tunes. However, right at the cusp of Martin Luther King Day, his soundcloud saw one new track pop up: the full, six-minute-long version of “No More Parties In L.A.” Once again, Kendrick Lamar can be heard rapping out some truly wordy verses. The whole thing is pretty long and goofy at times, but there are some classic Kanye lines that people will be quoting in a matter of days. [Stereogum]
Blowfly, the moniker of Miami R&B musician Clarence Reid, passed away this week after a long battle with terminal liver cancer. He was 76 years old. Reid was incredibly prolific, in particular for his traditional funk and soul jams written for the likes of Sam & Dave, Irma Thomas, and more. At night, he turned into Bowfly, the masked rapper who charged through bizarre songs like “Who Did I Eat Last Night?” tallying them up for a total of 30 (!) albums. Reports say he was working on a final album titled 77 Rusty Trombones. Although he has passed, the production and finalization work will continue next month so that his music can reach the fans he loved. [Pitchfork]
Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has a BBC Radio 6 program called Sunday Service. On this week’s episode, he spent the full two hours celebrating the life and work of David Bowie. While this week has seen a flood of beautiful tributes, Cocker’s goes above and beyond in highlighting overlooked deep cuts. Listen in at BBC Radio 6’s website to hear archival interviews, alternate song endings, demos, and other prize-like finds. [BBC Radio 6]
Prince isn’t the only one who can make it rain purple. Future dropped a new rap mixtape titled Purple Reign where he fights for the title of biggest rising artist (or so it appears to be that way). This marks his first release of 2016. It’s executive produced by Metro Boomin and DJ Esco, with additional production from Southside, Zaytoven, and more. You can download it for free right here. [Complex]
Slow rollin’ country man Cass McCombs is back with new music. His upcoming with the Skiffle Players, titled Skifflin’, comes out February 12th via Spiritual Pajamas. That’s a lot of funny words strung together in one sentence, but the music is seriously good. If you’re a fan of laid back Fleet Foxes or quieter Father John Misty tracks, give his lead single “Omie Wise” a listen above. [Pitchfork]
That’s it for today’s Music Dispatch, but we’ll see you back here on Wednesday for another music news wrap up!