Two interviews on the same day – were these precision engineered in a battle for our attention? We’re taking a view of these two quite contrasting interviews from two of the biggest ‘stars’ in the music world -Drizzy and Yeezy.
Fader has nailed probably one of the biggest exclusive interviews of the year with none other than Drake and what better occasion than the 100th issue of their long-running music publication. On the same day, Kanye West’s very different interview with Vanity Fair did the rounds and caught multiple headlines. While Kanye spoke about fashion, family, presidency but gave no imminent release date for his album ‘Swish’, Drake in contrast gave his first magazine interview in a year, speaking openly about his perspective on music, ghostwriting, beefs and the imminent release of his new album ‘Views From the 6‘.
2015 will undoubtedly be Drake’s year along with some strong contenders for what has already been an incredible year for Hip-Hop, the question remains can Drake dethrone the current king of Hip-Hop – infact who’s currently sitting on that ‘throne’ today? We’re not into takedowns, but Hip-Hop has always entertained and encouraged battling to be the best – a battle to push the game to newer and newer heights.
There are no overt rules to follow, but relatability is moving higher and higher up the agenda for a lot more fans in what has also been a year steeped in global injustices. This year in view of the growing discontent with prospects in life, music from Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J-Cole, Dr Dre, Future, Travi$ Scott and Fetty Wap has given people the audacity to dream, hope and even protest. With even more projects yet to drop, music fans haven’t had anything held back from them, with beefs and controversies to entertain along the way. Artists and fans have become intrisically linked together in a way that’s never been experienced before to this scale, permeating through the very fabric of music and weaving into our lives collectively and globally.
‘Connecting with people’ is probably one of the biggest buzzwords today, with a parallel battle going on between streaming companies all racing to grab not people but more and more ‘users’. Kanye speaks about his way to making those connections in his interview “If you have your data, you have everything. You know the people that are connecting with you . . .”, for Drake “I’ve never felt like, ‘Oh, people will bite at anything that’s Drake,” he says. “I’m just not that guy. I don’t feel that way about any of my music… If it didn’t connect, I would have a huge problem.” It’s already a very different view of connecting, one of Data vs Music.
That cross-cultural milieu of our experiences fused into one cohesive family of emotions, is something unfathomable to condense but somehow in the face of so many other bigger world issues regarding racial and class injustices, the time is now to have the ability to speak to the hearts and minds of billions of people. Fader’s article reads as a cultural commentary astutely picking up on the intuitive ’emotional imagination’ of Drake to tap into with this new generation. Co-signs or collaborations aside – it’s a view of the world that many of us are beginning to share, and it also dictates our views about the choices that are being made by those artists in the creative collaborations they nurture and the company they keep.
2015 has marked an incredible year of collaborations and co-signs which has almost changed the face of the creative process, Drake’s collaborations with Future, Skepta, Whizkid showed range; Kendrick’s with Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Bilal, unearthed a deep undercurrent of musical heritage: Dre’s with Anderson .Paak, Jon Connor and King Mez proved his uncanny ability to draw from and draw out of others the best of themselves. Kanye’s music collaborations with Vic Mensa, Sia, Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign barely touched the surface.
In contrast though, Kanye’s fashion collaborations have repeatedly brought into question his sensitivity to race through his associations with controversal figures like Vanessa Beecroft and Jean Touitou. APC was slammed earlier this year, when Touitou referred to his new collection as the “Last N****s in Paris” look, justifying it by saying “As a matter of fact, when I came up with this idea, I wrote to him, with the picture of the look and the name I was giving to it, and he wrote back immediately saying something like, ‘I love this vibe.’”
Somehow there’s something almost desensitised in the way Kanye describes people as palettes in the Vanity Fair piece, or am I just being too sensitive? “It had nothing to do with race. It was only colors of human beings and the way these palettes of people work together and really just stressing the importance of color, the importance of that to our sanity, these Zen, monochrome palettes.”
You could call Drake gifted for his emotional imagination, but in fact it’s something more specific as the Fader point out it’s ‘a gift for understanding his fans and intuitively knowing how to activate, and lay claim to, their feelings.’ Drake has a very different take on approaching human emotion “We’re talking about very simple human emotions. We’re talking about love, sometimes. We’re talking about triumph, we’re talking about failure, we’re talking about nerves. We’re talking about fear.”
New music streaming companies have entered the race each vying for our attention and our love. Where Tidal misfired with a disastrous PR stunt that delivered a completely unrelatable message in it’s manifesto, Apple has attempted to take a different road one that’s reaching for our emotions.
And it’s that our emotions that are at play.
This year has certainly been one with many cultural, societal, political, shocks and surprises, but it may not be as important to watch the throne – it might be a case of looking through at two very different views of life and Drake has already declared to Fader “I’m very in tune with this life”.
Are we exposed or are we being exposed, by two very different perspectives about a view of life itself?