This really happened: as, apparently, pioneers of the technology, Kanye West and superproducer Rick Rubin accepted a Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival on behalf of the Roland 808 drum machine, a long-discontinued tool commonly used by hip-hop producers. The guys couldn’t make it to the awards ceremony, so they enlisted director Mark Romanek to make a collaged, insane acceptance video, which includes older interviews with West and Rubin, footage from Pink Floyd’sThe Wall, and Laurel and Hardy getting down to “I’m In It.” Check it out.
“I’ve got to get home and write an Otis Redding–style beat for him,” Christ said in a recent interview. “[Kanye] e-mailed last night. He wants something that sounds a bit like Otis Redding, a bit like Mobb Deep.” He also said, “Kanye is the one dude who’s like, ‘This is not experimental enough. This is too poppy. Make something else. The other guys are like, ‘We don’t get it.’”
Christ then confirmed what we were suspecting all along: “Kanye is a dream to work with. No one else gives you that level of creative freedom. When he wants you to work to a blueprint, the blueprint is: ‘Don’t make a rap beat. Anything but a rap beat.’”
While we wait for… Yeez-USA? Kan-USA? Christ has shared a new remix of Young Thug’s “Stoner,” and to our ears it sounds like a long lost Yeezus track. Listen below and download an mp3 here.
If you were interested on Future’s opinions on feminist empowerment, take a listen to his new, Kanye West-featuring Honest jam “I Won,” which sees both grooms-to-be waxing poetic about how hanging out with their ladies feels like having won a trophy. With plenty of slow-burning, auto-tuned lyrical attestations figured over a minimalist, piano-heavy Metro Boomin beat, it’s a cool listen – we particularly like Kanye’s “one day, I put an angel in your ultrasound.” Aww. Check it out – you probably already know this, but Honest is out April 22.
“”I Won” is not a love song. It’s just me uplifting women in general. I’m giving women the power to treat themselves as a trophy—to show that and know it in yourself and be confident—because when they do that, whoever they’re with is winning. I’m not teaching motherfuckers how to love.”
Surprise! Following Beyoncé, Kid Cudi and Skrillex, Frank Ocean is the latest major artist to release a new album without any notice whatsoever. Ocean’s new 18-track double album is called River/Lake and features guest appearances by Kanye West, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Lorde, Beyoncé and The Beatles (!) …sorta. Ocean was granted the rare Beatles sample on the Side A-closing “Bird of Beauty” (“Blackbird”). Like with Ocean’s landmark 2012 album, Channel Orange, record producer Malay worked on most of River/Lake, with a few tracks seeing the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell and James Blake helming production duties.
Both the River and Lake portions of the album come with a “visual companion,” or a short 15-minute film directed by photographer Nabil. River/Lake is currently available as an iTunes exclusive and can only be purchased as a single package, but iTunes says individual tracks will be available for purchase on April 15.
According to Roc Nation, Kanye West is postponing the Australian leg of his Yeezus tour due to “unexpected timing requirements” related to finishing his new album. The new dates were moved all the way back to September, presumably after the new album is released.
While this is as close as we’ve gotten to an official confirmation that a follow-up to Yeezus is indeed in the works, we’ve heard of potential producers like James Blake, Q-Tip and Rick Rubin. West himself has abstractly spoken on the album, saying in an interview that if Yeezus was his Nebraska, which is to say a personal and introspective work, his next album will be Born In The U.S.A., a hit-filled, stadium-sized romp. No wonder he’s postponing arena dates to get it done.
Here are the new Australian dates; European dates are, presumably, pending:
09-05 Perth, Australia – Perth Arena
09-07 Adelaide, Australia – Entertainment Centre
09-09 Melbourne, Australia – Rod Laver Arena
09-10 Melbourne, Australia – Rod Laver Arena
09-12 Sydney Australia – Qantas Credit Card Arena
09-13 Sydney Australia – Qantas Credit Card Arena
09-15 Brisbane, Australia – Entertainment Centre
Lyric videos just seem so passé now, don’t they? I was hoping the internet trends would move to American Sign Language to bring together music and lyrics, but emojis are, literally, the next best thing. Our thanks to Jesse Hill to who it upon himself to emojify (don’t you just love a neat suffix?) recent smashes from Beyoncé and Kanye West (what? it’s a Rick Ross song, you say? Huh.) Check them both out below:
Welcome to the 2014′s 4th, and overall 39th installment of Tracking, a regular series in which we discuss our current favorite songs. This time around we discuss new music from Real Estate, Rick Ross, Kanye West, Beck, Mac DeMarco, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks and Trust.
Real Estate, “Talking Backwards”
Is it a little cute that Real Estate, a band whose sound exemplifies clarity, has recorded an elegy for precise communication? Sure. Does that diminish “Talking Backwards,” the glistening first single from Atlas, their latest LP? Not in the least. Though I’m in the lonely minority as a Real Estate skeptic, who once compared their previous album to a horrific scene from A Clockwork Orange, the band’s charms are hardly lost on me. Especially when presented this well.
“Talking Backwards” brims with the adjectives enthusiasts regularly cite in their praise. But there’s a scuff to cloud the shine, a twang to counter the jangle, a frustration to temper the spring. Such minor tweaks make all the difference here: Martin Courtney’s exasperated lyric, in particular, provides the song’s sugarcoat with barbs. “The only thing that really matters,” he sings to his lover, “is the one thing I can’t seem to do.” Self-flagellation this is not. “Talking Backwards” is rarity – a beaming kiss-off, which rings with joy and chimes with only a hint of apology. [Peter Tabakis]