by Ore Fakorede
Rap mogul Jay-Z is teaming up with his one-time protégé and occasional collaborator, uber-producer Kanye West, on a five-track album due out sometime this year. Originally proposed as an EP, ‘Watch The Throne’ was later extended to a full-length feature. Although ‘Monster’ and ‘So Appalled’, two of the tracks recorded for the album, were on the tracklist of Kanye’s runaway hit album of 2010, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’, other tracks have since been recorded by the two maestros in Europe and the duo will reportedly complete the album in Australia. The word has been mum on the tracklist, but a single, ‘That’s My B***h’, featuring Elly Jackson (frontwoman of the English electropop duo La Roux), was leaked online in November 2010. Fingers and toes tightly crossed for this one. A sure contender for Rap Album Of The Year 2011.
Listen Here: That’s My B***h (explicit lyrics)
Due for release since 2004, multi-Grammy-winning producer Dr. Dre’s third and final (rumored) studio album, ‘Detox’ has almost become a myth. Dre, real name Andre Romelle Young, began recording material for the album in 2003, but pushed back its production to concentrate on working with artists signed onto his Aftermath Entertainment record label. After spending years in development hell, the album was finally completed in December 2010 and has been slated for release in February 2011- ten years and three months after his last album, ‘2001’, which went on to sell a whooping 6,000,000,000 copies.
‘Kush’, a track from the album leaked online mid-November 2010 and was later confirmed as the first official single. It features fellow rap veteran Snoop Doog and R&B artiste Akon. An accompanying music video directed by acclaimed director Joseph Khan was also released subsequently. The second confirmed unreleased track from the album is ‘I Need A Doctor’, featuring 2011 Grammy-nominee Eminem and singer/songwriter Skylar Grey who was a guest on Diddy-Dirty Money’s ‘Last Train To Paris’ album (released on December 14). The track is produced by another 2011 Grammy-nominee (in the ‘Producer Of The Year’ category), Alex da Kid (B.o.B’s ‘Airplanes’ and Eminem’s ‘Love The Way You Lie’). A third single rumored to be on the album, ’Syllables’ was leaked online on December 28. The song is a heavyweight collaboration featuring rap icons Eminem, 50 Cent and Jay-Z along with Ca$his and Stat Quo who take turns to mock the shallow lyrics of today’s hip-hop over a stripped-down piano-infused beat. The good doctor sure has his fans on the edges of their seats, whipped into a frenzy by over-anticipation.
Listen Here: Kush (explicit lyrics)
Listen Here: Syllables (explicit lyrics)
Watch The Music Video Here
For the better part of 2010, rapper Lupe Fiasco was locked in conflict with Atlantic Records over his refusal to sign a revised recording contract, which he believed led to a lack of promotion from the label and the delay of the release of his completed album, ‘Lasers’ (an acronym for “Love Always Shines, Everytime Remember 2 Shine“). According to him, “there’s something called a 360 deal which entails that they get 25% of any ancillary properties that you do that come from your music. So if I’m famous because of a song and that leads me to get a TV show or a sneaker, they think that they deserve 25% of that. I refuse to do that.” On October 15, a day known as Fiasco Friday, Lupe and a large group of his fans protested outside the Atlantic Records office in New York City over the delayed release of the rapstar’s third studio album, ‘Lasers’. With pressure mounting on all sides, the label finally announced that the album would be released on March 8, 2011.
‘The Show Goes On’, the official first single from ‘Lasers’, premiered on Lupe’s official website on October 26, 2010. Produced by Kane Beatz, the upbeat, mid-tempo track interpolates indie rock band Modest Mouse’s breakthrough hit, ‘Float On’, on the chorus. The accompanying music video was released on Christmas Day, 2010. A tracklist is expected to hit the web in the coming weeks.
Listen Here: The Show Goes On
Watch The Video Here
The accompanying music video of Kanye West’s smash hit, ‘Monster’, which features rappers Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj as well as indie folk band Bon Iver, has leaked online. Directed by award-winning director Jake Nava (videos of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” & “Beautiful Liar”) , the six-minute video is supposedly incomplete, but the footage available is more than enough to scare the living daylights out of anyone. Referred to as ‘a modern-day Thriller’, the graphic gore-fest is a short horror movie dominated by the undead, decapitated heads, cadavers and other creep-tastic images. The artistes featured on the single all make cameos, with the overly-dramatic Minaj somewhat playing a leading role. Another round of Illuminati membership rumors duly expected.
Watch The Video Here (due to explicit imagery and lyrics, viewer discretion is strongly advised)