In his own way, though, Drake has always had something bigger driving him. Cliché as he’s made it, there’s truth in his projection of Toronto culture. He’s the city’s global ambassador, and one local sports team has gone so far as to give him money for it. Outside of the island joys of “One Dance” and “Too Good”, we didn’t see much of this on Views. On the new More Life playlist, though, Drake is taking in more voices, more languages, more culture. In North America’s most diverse city, it’s the sounds of summer, and it shows how excited Drake is at Toronto’s evolution, creating a music well beyond Canadiana.
We all shared restless feelings in 2016 — watching the news, waiting for the next disaster. The small moments, the ones where we could press play and forget everything else, felt a little more romantic. In general, the music we heard this year matched our restlessness. Faced with the world around them, artists turned inward and created masterpieces.
In all the lead-up to 22, A Million, various promotional materials screamed the band’s new direction. The announcement was coupled with a note from Vernon’s friend, explaining that the album dealt with death and new leases on life. High concept art lined the band’s social feeds, as well as building sides in major cities. On the day of the album’s release, newspapers appeared below these billboard art pieces. Speakers on small boomboxes were tested to their limits, playing the album in its entirety.
It doesn’t feel like four years, but that’s how long it’s been since Frank Ocean released channel ORANGE, his debut long play and a system shock to R&B. Since that release, with its heartbreak and playfulness, Ocean’s story has been more about his disappearance. Since that release, we really haven’t heard from him at all.
This lesson in what makes The Beatles’ White Album great helps inform a critical look at The Life of Pablo, the most recent outing by Kanye West. The two albums are not unfamiliar. Think about their contentious releases, their vexing run times. Think about the music itself. We see history repeat itself, an artist’s reality affecting the product they create.
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By: Nick Fernandes Even before Yeezus’ opening track ‘On Sight’ comes crashing in, we might recall the modest applause that closed West’s last solo album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. […]